Oakland Pension Expert Teague Paterson on Stockton Ruling

July 19, 2015

In response to Judge Klein’s opinion approving Stockton’s bankruptcy plan today, leading pension attorney Teague Paterson of Beeson, Tayer & Bodine, who filed an amicus brief for Peace Officers Association of California in this case, has made the following statement:

"Judge Klein’s decision to accept the Stockton Plan of Adjustment means that his October 1 opinion on pensions has little meaning for the future of public pensions. It has not established any legal or binding precedent. The City of Stockton is able to do what’s right for the community – protect both pensions and public safety services.

"The outcome in Stockton is more evidence that bankruptcy is not an appropriate tool to jettison pension debt. Bankruptcy simply has too much baggage to even be considered as a viable option for cities interested in dismantling public employee retirement. Ultimately, the decision in Stockton highlights a unique and unfortunate situation brought on by the financial collapse of 2008, and thankfully not a situation that the overwhelming majority of municipalities have to face."