Why super-lawyer David Boies joined Raimondo defense team

Treasurer Raimondo’s office confirmed Thursday that super-lawyer David Boies has agreed to join the state’s defense team for the big pension lawsuit at a knockdown hourly rate of $50 – quite a bargain considering the famed Bush vs. Gore attorney usually charges $960 (!) an hour.

Boies explained his reasons for taking on the case in an interview with Reuters’ Alison Frankel:

“This is a $5 trillion issue,” Boies told me in a phone interview Wednesday. “Unless we solve this problem, everyone is in jeopardy — cities and states, those who depend on their services, even employees of cities and states.” Boies predicts an unprecedented wave of government bankruptcies if elected officials don’t take action. …

Raimondo … approached Boies several weeks ago, after deciding the state needed a constitutional law expert. “The enormity of the consequences of this case is hard to overstate,” Raimondo said. …

Boies was intrigued by the national implications and constitutional considerations of pension reform. He also admired the way Rhode Island accomplished its overhaul. … “This was a bipartisan effort, led by Democrats, attempting to reform state finances in a way that will benefit everyone,” Boies said. “It doesn’t help employees to have an employer that’s insolvent.” …

“This is not just a legal question,” he said. “It’s a political question, a question of how we’re going to reform the finances of city and state governments.” If other states see that Rhode Island has succeeded in passing an overhaul and turning back a court challenge, he said, they may follow.

But the best quote in the piece may be from Council 94’s Michael Downey, who dismisses Frankel’s suggestion he and his union allies should be more worried now: “Boies didn’t do much good for Al Gore.”

17 thoughts on “Why super-lawyer David Boies joined Raimondo defense team

  1. You have to love the irony of guy who thinks he’s worth $1000 per hour trying to make sure the pensions of teachers and state workers remain decimated.

  2. Boise has to put his pants on one leg at a time just like everyone else, there’s no magic in what he does. If he hopes to pull-off a win, he will have to overcome the fact that the state put the screws to retirees and employees while ignoring their rights and unjustly benefited without making any effort to negotiate a compromise. The state continues to spend wildly and has made no effort to cut other areas before axing the pensions.

    The state must be running scared, since they couldn’t get the judge tossed.

    Good luck Mr. Boise, see you in court.

  3. Have you considered that challenging the judge on the basis of a conflict of interest is just laying the ground work for an appeal to the State Supreme Court and/or Federal Courts? If you don’t claim conflict of interest now it would be had to claim it later.

    • The last paragraph of the advisory committee rulling says it all “Any judge who acts in accordance with an opinion of the advisory committee shall be presumed to have abided by the Cannons of the Code of Judicial Conduct.”

      This opinion should put to rest any ethical question concerning her ability to preside over the Pension cases, since she has complied with the Code of Judicial Conduct.

      The fact that the State is the defendant does not change the Code of Judical Conduct, it applies equally to all.

  4. Gina “7-UP” Raimondo strikes again, as Wall Street is circling the wagons to protect its own interests. Boies’ normal hourly rate is probably greater than many of the suspended COLA’s for retired state employees. SHAME!

  5. If this guy is working for $50.00 dollars an hr, you can bet the other $ 950.00 hr there is more to this Wall St charade.

    Gina and company remind me of the Baltimore Bullets who came from Washington during the banking crisis in the 90’s.

    This is the Wall Street version.

  6. Spare me!

    Mr Boies is no different than any other ambulance chasing lawyer. The only difference is that the patient is a pension system, where, if he wins, this becomes a $960 per hour windfall against the thousands of other pension plans across America that want his sage legal advice.

    At issue is not the contract question, which RI appears destined to lose in court, but the issue of states rights vs Article I of the US Constitution (no state can pass any law impairing the obligation of contracts).

    So “Heavy Hitter” Boies thinks that after RI voters have approved new every spending initiative brought before them in the 2012 election, he can muster an argument that RI is too broke to pay retirees.

    Ms Raimondo took a gamble on pension reform, and the gamble is now showing it’s flaws.

  7. I am glad Gina realizes that these municipal pensions have to be cut. Start with the public school teachers and work down the ladder. If any of you are concerned about any one quitting if they get a cut in pay or their pension, you are nuts. The municipal workers in Rhode Island are bullies, push back and watch them cry just like Snow with the first remark. Push the municipal workers until they do quit, give the taxpayers a break.

    • So you’ve decided the problem with these pensions being cut, is that someone (who is a mystery)will be worried about municipal workers quitting? That would be great huh? One problem. No one is worried about that. What they’re worried about is that the pension “reform” is illegal. No one is threatening to quit. But please tell us what you mean by “push back”. Bet you don’t. And if you want to cry about “bullies”, go tell mommy…

      • In Rhode Island look at all the criminal cops and firemen that are getting disablity. The General Assembly protects these parasites. Time to fire all you maggots and get people who willing to do the job for salary the taxpayers can afford. Not what you think you are worth.

      • Wow Richie is big on name calling. So you don’t just want their pensions, you want them fired also. Reality check Richie: you’re in no position to do either. But you can help get all these “criminal” cops and firemen kicked off disability. Submit a list of their names and the crimes they are commiting to the proper authorities. You do have that info, don’t you? I’d hate to think you made such serious accusations without being able to back it up…

  8. The municipal union employees are all way over compensated. Not a single one does a job valuable enough to justify a salary for life…with raises.

    After Boies wins the next step is to make Rhode Island a right to work state and begin to take the state back from the crooks.

  9. @whahut. John Sauro. If he can keep his tax free “disability” pension than anyone can. There is no point to fighting that fight. Better to change the system for the future.

    So all the “disabled” cops and fireman can continue to work their construction, landscaping and private security jobs while collecting their “well deserved” pensions.

    • That’s it? John Sauro? That’s the whole list?? They already know about him. I wish they could have nailed him too, but they couldn’t. But who are all these other “criminals”? You seem to know where they’re working, list the names if you’re so in the know. No stones?

  10. I agree with the arguments that the disability pensions are a scam and a drag on the system. That part of the pension system must be scrapped.

    E.g. the disabilities for nervous conditions. If a worker can’t deal with their own nerves in the same way any convenience store worker has to on the midnight to 7am shift, then let them have only what they’ve earned up to that date.

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