Friday, October 10, 2008

Sturgeon v. County of Los Angeles (Cal. Ct. App. - Oct. 10, 2008)

It's bad enough that your investments are plummeting, your house is worth only a fraction of what you paid for it, and your retirement accounts are completely tanking. But, in the midst of all of this, the Court of Appeal wants to make your weekend even worse. So this afternoon, it publishes this opinion. Which reverses the trial court and threatens to take away a large amount of money from state court judges not only in Los Angeles, but across the state as well. Basically, all their benefits.

Wow. The timing couldn't be worse.

Mind you, on the merits, I think that Justice Benke is right. And she writes an outstanding opinion that I really think addresses the issues quite well. Moreover, as a practical matter, at the end of the day, I think it very likely that state court judges don't have much to worry about from this one, since there's footnote 11 as well as -- in my mind -- a strong likelihood that, if nothing else, the Legislature will step in to clean this problem up and make sure that judges get their benefits.

Still. If you are a state court judge, you've had better weeks.