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.”

blog comments powered by Disqus