Justia Public Benefits Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Securities Law
Hilda Solis v. The Food Employers Labor Relations Assoc., et al
The Secretary of the United States Department of Labor ("DOL") petitioned the district court to enforce administrative document subpoenas after a DOL investigation into the management of respondents (collectively, "Funds"), which arose out of a $10.1 million loss of Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. 1134(a)(1), plan assets, as a result of the Funds' investments in entities related to Bernard L. Madoff. At issue was whether the attorney-client and work product privileges protected some of the materials requested by the Secretary from disclosure and whether the district court erred in applying the fiduciary exception to override these privileges. The court affirmed the district court's order granting the Secretary's petition and held that the fiduciary exception applied to the Funds' claims of attorney-client privilege and no good cause showing was required in the ERISA context. The court also held that the Funds have failed to carry their burden to demonstrate the applicability of the work product doctrine.