Looking for a potential source of revenue? There’s an opportunity for brokers doing business in and around San Francisco to pick up some incremental business based on a recent court decision. Hopefully dedicating five minutes to read this will result in you picking up an extra nugget or two.

In reversing the district court’s ruling in early October, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals surprised no one and unanimously found no ERISA pre-emption in Golden Gate Restaurant Association v. City and County of San Francisco. The reason for the lack of suspense was that the same three-judge panel that ruled on this case also issued an order in January requiring employers to make contributions pending the outcome of this appeal. Their lengthy opinion in January was more than a little foreshadowing as to the likely result here. And while the 9th Circuit explicitly states they do not believe their ruling is contradictory to the 4th Circuit’s ruling in Retail Industry Leaders Association v. Fielder, the 9th seems to be alone in that belief. Most pundits believe that because these rulings are inconsistent, the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately will decide the fate of this case.

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