Legal Postings

Legal Postings: Addington II, Appeal to the Ninth Circuit

This morning we received a decision from the United States Court of Appeals in Addington II, reversing Judge Silver’s decision on the duty of fair representation claim and remanding the case to the District Court to enter an injunction against USAPA.  The opinion reads in part:  “Accordingly, we reverse the district court’s conclusion that USAPA did not breach its duty of fair representation and remand with instructions to enjoin USAPA from participating in the McCaskill-Bond proceedings except to the extent that USAPA will advocate the Nicolau Award.”

The opinion and the dissent by Judge Tashima is now posted in the Legal Library.

USAPA is considering its response to the decision at this time with respect to the SLI Hearing and we will provide more information as soon as possible. 

USAPA Communications

 

 

Legal Posting – Addington II Appeal

Oral argument was held in the Addington II appeal on April 14, 2015, before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Ninth Circuit records and archives video of all oral arguments.  Click here for the video of the proceeding in Don Addington, et al v. US Airline Pilots Association, et al, No. 14-1575.

Oral argument in the United States Court of Appeals is primarily an opportunity for the three judges on the panel to ask questions about the issues raised in the briefs submitted by the parties.  The time is extremely limited.  In this appeal, the Court allowed 20 minutes to the Plaintiffs and a total of twenty minutes to USAPA and the Company, meaning that only 10 minutes were available to USAPA.  And, as in this appeal, most of the time is taken up in answering the questions posed by the judges.  

The oral presentation is the smallest part of what is presented to the court in an appeal.  An appeal concentrates on legal issues and by far most of what is before the court is in the written briefs submitted by the parties well before the argument.  The briefs are all available in the Legal Library.  USAPA’s principal brief is Doc 22-1.

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Legal Postings: Declaratory Judgment in the State of North Carolina

On April 10, 2015, USAPA filed a Motion to Consolidate (Doc. 40) the two actions pending in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina: the Declaratory Judgment Action filed by USAPA on September 16, 2014; and Bollmeier, et al. v. Hummel (the Bollmeier action). The Motion to Consolidate is unopposed.

As previously posted, USAPA filed the Declaratory Judgment action in North Carolina State Court seeking declarations from the court that the actions taken by the National Officers to defer dissolution and distribution of assets were right and proper in light of the constitutional provision that the National Officers were empowered to continue the organization post-decertification for the purposes of, among other things, seniority list integration proceedings. That case was removed by defendants to federal court. On March 27, 2015, the Bollmeier action was filed by three USAPA members alleging that the National Officers and certain members of the BPR (“the Bollmeier defendants”) violated their fiduciary duties under the federal Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (“LMRDA”) by deferring distribution and spending money from the USAPA treasury since September 16, 2014, including expenditure of funds in connection with the Preliminary Arbitration and substantive SLI proceedings. Not all of the Bollmeier defendants have been served to date and those that have been served have yet to file a responsive pleading. The Bollmeier defendants are confident that the actions complained of were in full compliance with the letter and spirit of the USAPA Constitution and other governing documents. The consolidation of the cases is important because it gives the Court a fuller picture of the reasons underlying the decisions to defer dissolution and distribution of assets.

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Legal Postings: Addington II - Appeal to Ninth Circuit

Four recently filed documents will bring everyone up-to-date on the appeal to the Ninth Circuit from Judge Silver’s January 2014 decision in Addington II. Judge Silver ruled (1) that USAPA did not breach its duty of fair representation when it decided not to include the Nicolau Award in the MOU that was ratified in February 2013 and (2) that former America West pilots were not entitled to separate representation in the McCaskill-Bond proceeding at least so long as USAPA remained the certified bargaining representative for all US Airways pilots.

The following documents have been added to the Legal Library under Addington II - Appeal to Ninth Circuit:

Briefing in the appeal was completed in December 2014 and oral argument has been scheduled for San Francisco on April 14.

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Legal Postings: Declaratory Judgment in the State of North Carolina

Yesterday afternoon, Magistrate Judge David Keesler issued his Report and Recommendations (Doc 39) with respect to the four motions pending in USAPA’s declaratory judgment action before the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina (3:14-cv-577-RJC-DCK).

After USAPA commenced this action, defendants Roger Velez and Leonidas LLC removed this case (which USAPA originally filed in North Carolina state court) to federal court, and then asserted various procedural defenses to the complaint, including that the Court lacked jurisdiction over Velez and Leonidas. In response, USAPA demanded discovery of Velez and Leonidas, which was vehemently opposed by the defendants. USAPA also moved to amend its complaint during the course of this litigation, which was also opposed by the defendants.

The Magistrate found in USAPA’s favor, ruling that the discovery sought by USAPA is necessary in order to address the remaining motions, and that an amendment to USAPA’s complaint was appropriate in this case. All other motions were denied without prejudice because the Court concluded that discovery must be completed before the denied motions could be addressed. Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the parties have a period of time in which they may file objections to the Magistrate Judge’s Recommendations, which will be considered by the District Court Judge in deciding whether to adopt, modify, or reject the Magistrate Judge’s findings and conclusions.

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Legal Postings: Declaratory Judgment in the State of North Carolina

On March 2, 2015, the West Pilots made two filings in the Declaratory Judgment action regarding USAPA’s right to defer disillusion, which is presently pending in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina:

  1. Opposition to USAPA’s Request for Hearing on Pending Motions (Doc. 35), and
  2. Opposition to USAPA’s Motion to Amend and/or Supplement the Declaratory Judgment Complaint (Doc. 36).

As to USAPA’s Request for Hearing on Pending Motions (Doc. 34), on February 11, 2015 USAPA requested that the court schedule oral argument on the four motions currently pending:

  • Defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction (and, as to Leonidas, also for failure to state a claim);
  • USAPA’s motion for jurisdictional discovery;
  • USAPA’s motion to remand the declaratory judgment action back to North Carolina State Court; and
  • USAPA’s motion for leave to file an amended and/or supplemental complaint.

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Legal Postings: Declaratory Judgment in the State of North Carolina

On February 11, 2015, USAPA filed with the District Court in the Western District of North Carolina its Motion for Leave to Amend or Supplement the Declaratory Judgment Complaint (Doc. 33). Filed along with it were a proposed Amended Complaint (Doc. 33-1) and Brief in Support of the Motion for Leave to Amend and/or Supplement (Doc. 33-2). This motion was preceded by a request for defendants to stipulate to amend or supplement, which would have done away with the need to make a motion. Defendants did not consent. Leave to amend or supplement is being sought to add demands made on behalf of defendants after the date of the filing of the original complaint, including that USAPA pay the expenses of the West Pilots’ merger committee and for USAPA to distribute a pro rata share of the 0.5% dues increase for the West Pilots to use in the seniority integration proceedings, all of which, like deferral of dissolution and distribution of USAPA assets, also arise out of and directly relate to the interpretation and application of the USAPA Constitution and Bylaws. As detailed in the brief in support of the motion, leave to amend pleadings is liberally granted and there is no prejudice to defendants, especially given the early stage of the litigation. Defendants’ responding papers will be due in approximately two weeks and USAPA will have an opportunity to file a reply. The motion has been assigned to Magistrate Judge David Keesler.

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Legal Posting - Addington II - Appeal to Ninth Circuit

We received notice yesterday that the panel (Judges Tashima, Graber and Bybee) has scheduled oral argument on the appeal from Judge Silver’s January 2014 decision in Addington II.

The Order (Doc 41) reads as follows:

These cases are scheduled for oral argument on Tuesday, April 14, 2015, at 2 p.m. in San Francisco, California. Each party is allotted 20 minutes of argument time.

USAPA Communications

Legal Postings - Declaratory Judgment in the State of North Carolina

On January 2, 2015, USAPA filed with the District Court in the Western District of North Carolina its Brief in Reply to Defendants’ Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand (Doc 31), along with a Declaration from Rob Streble in further support of USAPA’s Remand Motion (Doc 31-1). The Motion for Remand relates to the North Carolina state court declaratory judgment action that USAPA commenced on September 16, 2014 against Roger Velez, individually and on behalf of all similarly situated former America West Pilots, and Leonidas. Defendants removed this action to federal court claiming the case belongs in federal court because USAPA’s claim seeking a ruling on the validity of the National Officers’ decision to defer dissolution and distribution of dues is constrained by federal law (i.e., the Railway Labor Act and/or the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act).

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