legal issues

The mediation aimed at settling a legal challenge by a series of unions to the state pension overhaul of 2011 is set to continue through the month of February.

Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter met Friday morning with the two sides in the case, according to court spokesman Craig Berke. "They are going to continue to mediate," Berke said, adding that Taft-Carter is scheduled to get another update on February 28.

As the General Assembly starts a new session on Tuesday, one legislative constant will remain unchanged -- a lot of the 113 lawmakers on Smith Hill are lawyers.

The ProJo's Political Scene says there are 24 lawyers in the legislature -- 15 in the 75-member House and nine in the 38-member Senate:

The Rhode Island Supreme Court has declined a state motion to stay the big pension case pending before Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter. Via news release:

In the matter of Rhode Island Public Employees’ Retiree Coalition et al v. Lincoln Chafee et al, the Supreme Court today declined to intervene in the union and coalition lawsuits against the state regarding the Rhode Island Retirement Security Act of 2011.

High-profile lawyer David Boies’ request to practice law in Rhode Island is expected to be considered by Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter early Friday, according to court spokesman Craig Berke. That’s the same morning when Taft-Carter is slated to hear a state motion to dismiss a union challenge to last year’s pension overhaul.

The granting of permission for an out-of-state lawyer to practice in Rhode Island is usually a formality.

Governor Lincoln Chafee says the uncertainty and cost of litigating a union challenge to last year’s landmark pension overhaul justify efforts to seek a settlement.

In a telephone interview from Washington, DC, where he’s attending a National Governors Association meeting, Chafee dismissed concerns that a settlement would dilute the pension overhaul to such an extent that it would hurt Rhode Island’s fiscal condition.