The federal judge in Texas overseeing the three lawsuits filed in the state against the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule has set a Nov. 17 date to hear oral arguments from both sides.
District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn agreed on June 27 to allow the three lawsuits against the rule that are pending in the state to be consolidated, and both parties recently filed a motion asking that the judge render a decision in the case as soon as October.
Lynn granted in her July 7 order that oral arguments would take place on Nov. 17.
In her June 21 order, Lynn stated that the three actions are based on “common issues of law and fact” and allowed for each case to retain its “separate identity” with separate oral arguments and allowing each to make further litigation decisions.
DOL filed a motion on June 20 requesting that the three lawsuits pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas challenging DOL’s fiduciary rule be consolidated. The plaintiffs agreed to consolidation.
The nine plaintiffs in the first suit, filed June 2 in the Texas district, include the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the Financial Services Institute, the Financial Services Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Insured Retirement Institute and four Texas groups, including the Texas Association of Business.
The nine groups are represented by former DOL solicitor Eugene Scalia, who’s now a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Washington office.
The second suit was filed June 8 by the American Council of Life Insurers along with the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, and the third suit was filed on June 9 by the Indexed Annuity Leadership Council.
The plaintiffs argue, among other things, that there’s insufficient time for their members to comply with DOL’s rule by the April 2017 deadline.