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DOL Fiduciary News: January 19, 2018

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DOL Court Appeal Ruling Might Take Time: Analyst

InsuranceNewsNet; January 18, 2018

The financial services industry has waited months for a ruling on a promising appeal of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule.

They might be waiting for a lot longer, said one legal expert. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans might have shelved its appeal decision while the DOL completes a review of the controversial fiduciary rule, said Bruce L. Ashton, lawyer with Drinker, Biddle & Reath in Los Angeles.

The final implementation of the DOL rule was delayed from Jan. 1, 2018, to July 2019. In the interim, the Trump labor department is expected to weaken the more onerous parts of the rule. That work has just begun.

"It may be that the court is simply delaying issuing the ruling to see what happens in the regulatory process," Ashton said. "To me, that makes some sense, rather than the courts imposing some different view."

The appeals court heard arguments July 31, and most industry experts predicted a ruling by the end of 2017 at the latest. Federal appeals courts are under no time constraints when it comes to rulings, Ashton said.

Plaintiffs include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Council of Life Insurers, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, the Insured Retirement Institute, and many others. 

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