The U.S. Supreme Court does not often issue decisions interpreting the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), so when the Justices speak, the issues are significant.
Today, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous 8-0 decision (with Justice Sotomayor taking no part in the consideration of the case) vacated and remanded CIGNA Corp. v. Amara, No. 09-804, 563 U.S. ____ (2011) to the district court for further consideration.
In the first excessive-fee case decided by a federal court in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Jones v. Harris Associates, the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota on December 9 reinstated its order granting summary judgment to defendant Ameriprise Financial in Gallus v. Ameriprise.
On March 30, 2010, the Supreme Court unanimously reversed and remanded the Seventh Circuit's denial of an appeal of summary judgment by plaintiffs alleging that a mutual fund's investment adviser charged excessive advisory fees.
On March 30, 2010, the US Supreme Court issued its decision in Jones v Harris Associates, embracing the Gartenberg standard (from the Second Circuit) for evaluating advisory fees and rejecting the approach articulated by the Seventh Circuit, which looks to market efficiency and trust law fiduciary duty.
On April 8, 2009, in Gallus v. Ameriprise Financial, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit weighed in on the ongoing debate regarding the evaluation of advisory fees and the corresponding fiduciary duty set forth in Section 36(b) of the 1940 Act and, in doing so, added yet another wrinkle to a debate which has worked its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.