Dallas Team Secures Ruling in Favor of Employees' Retirement Fund of the City of Dallas Preserving Employee and Voter Representation in Governance of Nearly $4 Billion Pension Fund

A Locke Lord team led by Stefan Smith and assisted by Seth Roberts, Tom Loose and Taylor Brinkman (all of Dallas) secured a ruling from the Fifth District Court of Appeals in favor of the Employees’ Retirement Fund of the City of Dallas (ERF), a defined benefit plan for non-uniformed, permanent city employees. The case involves a three-year effort on behalf of ERF to protect how its trust document may be amended and preserve the mutual rights of city employees, ERF trustees and Dallas voters to determine how the nearly $4 billion pension fund is governed. At issue was the City Council’s attempt to limit the number of terms that can be served by an ERF trustee. The appellate court ruled the ordinance imposing these term limits was void and unenforceable because the ordinance was not enacted per the requirements of the pension fund. The opinion reversed the district court’s earlier summary judgment motion in favor of the City of Dallas and remanded the case to the district court on the issue of an award of the ERF’s attorney’s fees. Additional assistance was provided by Elizabeth Lang Miers, Cynthia Timms and Mike Powell (all of Dallas).
Posted on November 3, 2021