Firm wins landmark appeal on behalf of local public retirement system

January 06, 2012

In a unanimous decision, the Third Circuit Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the City of Alexandria Employees’ Retirement System, a local public retirement system represented by the firm.  The plaintiff sought to recover payments from the retirement system which had been made to a deceased member, and to the estate of the beneficiary designated by the member.  All payments were made in accordance with the retirement plan and a properly executed designation form.  The appellate court affirmed the trial court's decision that the retirement system properly made payments to the member and the designated beneficiary, that the retirement system was discharged from adverse claims to the retirement funds under La. R.S. 23:638, and that Louisiana law does not require designation forms to contain particular questions.  The decision is a landmark first interpretation of La. R.S. 23:652, which governs designation forms for retirement plans.  It is also one of the few judicial interpretations of the governing statutes for public retirement systems across the state.

Joseph H. L. Perez-Montes successfully briefed and argued the case before the appellate court.

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