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Thursday, April 2, 2009

You Got To "Give It To Me" - Failures to Pursue Information and The J. Geils Band

Continuing with the sometimes-this-blog-writes-itself mode, see my prior Michael Vick post, my newfound friend Erin S. has alerted me to the ERISA troubles of The J. Geils Band (I find myself unable to resist reminding that the harmonica player therefor was Magic Dick (Salwitz)). Apparently, about half the world knows about this sad story of rock 'n roll* and ERISA, but I didn't. In J. Geils Band Employee Benefit Plan v. Smith Barney Shearson, 76 F.3d 1245 (1st Cir.), cert. denied, 519 U.S. 823 (1996), the band felt ripped off by its pension manager, but waited a long time before bringing suit.

In affirming the dismissal of the case on statute-of-limitations grounds, the Geils court showed its abject lack of a sense of humor when it unforgivingly stated: "Unsophisticated or not, plaintiffs cannot shroud themselves in ignorance or expect that their unsophistication will thoroughly excuse their lack of diligence or failure, here, to even inquire." J. Geils, unsophisticated? How mean! I wonder if the court saw the humor in the following factual recitation in the case: "The Plan, also known as T & A Research and Development, Inc., was formed as a pension and profit sharing plan . . . ." Id. at 1248. With apologies to Forrest Gump, that's just about all I have to say about that.

(I note that Michael Melbinger, who writes so colorfully, wrote a December 1996 Memorandum on the case. The above title of this post is with apologies to him (two apologies in one short blog!), in that he too had come upon the same thought, although, honestly, I drafted my title before having had the pleasure of having seen his piece.)
* For the record, I still think that Guns N' Roses, as much as I love 'em, has the apostrophe on the wrong side of the "N."


Mike Melbinger said...

This post is actually in regard to your profile, specifically your comment under favorite books. A legendary Chicago newspaper columnist, Mike Royko once wrote, in response to his preference for John Wayne movies over "serious" ones: "If I want to get depressed, I'll go to work."

Mike Melbinger said...

I wonder if you have considered adding some "Lawyers Guns 'N Money" by Warren Zevon to your Lite Thoughts

xtremErisa - said...

Suggestions as cool as these are not likely to go untaken. The site has been updated to reflect both. Thx, Mike M.!