Legal Postings

Legal Postings - Addington II - Appeal to Ninth Circuit

On Wednesday, December 31, USAPA filed a brief (Doc 38) in the pending appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, from the decision issued by Judge Silver in January 2014 in Addington II.

The brief includes two sections.  The first repeats USAPA’s response to the cross-appeal filed by US Airways, which was previously filed separately on November 26 (Doc 33).  USAPA asks the Court to dismiss the US Airways cross-appeal because US Airways did not include any reasons why it filed the cross-appeal or why the cross-appeal should be granted in its brief in support of the cross-appeal (Doc 21).

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Legal Postings - Addington II - Appeal to Ninth Circuit

USAPA filed a Response (Doc 33) on November 26, to the brief previously filed (Doc 21) by US Airways. Under the applicable rules, the subject matter of this brief is limited to responding to arguments raised by US Airways in support of the cross-appeal US Airways filed in this case. The USAPA brief asks the Court to dismiss the US Airways cross-appeal because US Airways failed to include any argument or reasons for granting its appeal.

Under the rules and current schedule, USAPA is entitled to file a reply brief at the end of December, limited to the issue raised in USAPA’s cross-appeal which asks the Court to disregard several statements made in the District Court’s decision concerning matters after APA was certified as the bargaining representative for the combined pilot group. Once briefing is completed, the Court will schedule oral argument which could be as late as 9-12 months after briefing is completed.

 

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Legal Postings – Declaratory Judgment in the State of North Carolina

On November 17, 2014, USAPA filed its Motion to Remand the Declaratory Judgment action back to North Carolina State court. The documents that comprise the filing, the Motion to Remand, Brief in Support of Motion to Remand, and Declaration of Robert Streble, can be viewed here.

The Motion to Remand is in response to the removal of the action from state to federal court, which resulted from the filing of a Petition for Removal by defendants Roger Velez (individually and as a class representative) and Leonidas. Defendants removed the action on two purported grounds: (1) the federal court has original subject matter jurisdiction based on diversity of citizenship (and amount in controversy exceeding $75,000); and (2) the federal court has original federal question jurisdiction because, in their view, USAPA’s claims arise under the Railway Labor Act and the Labor Management Disclosure and Reporting Act. Under the rules of federal procedure, a removal is effective upon the filing of the removal petition; no judge decides whether the removal is legally justified. If the plaintiff believes the removal was improper, the response is an application to the federal court to “remand” the case back to state court. The party that removed the action to federal court has the burden of establishing federal jurisdiction.

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Legal Posting: Addington II - Appeal to Ninth Circuit

Late yesterday (Thursday, November 13), the Plaintiffs filed their Response to the briefs filed by USAPA and US Airways on October 29.  Among other points, Plaintiffs take the position that the statements to which USAPA objects, concerning USAPA’s participation in the McCaskill-Bond process, are as USAPA pointed out in its brief (Doc 22-1), statements concerning matters “not at issue” in the District Court and therefore are statements with no legal effect.

We will continue to keep you informed of developments in this appeal.

USAPA Communications

Legal Postings - Addington II - Appeal to Ninth Circuit

Yesterday USAPA and US Airways filed their initial briefs on appeal from the judgment entered by the United States District Court in the Addington II action. The briefs and the excerpts of record are available in the Legal Library and at the bottom of this update.

Addington II is the case in which several former America West Pilots filed complaint alleging that USAPA was required to include the Nicolau Award as part of the January 2013 Memorandum of Understanding and violated its duty of fair representation when it do not include the Nicolau Award in that agreement. The plaintiffs also alleged related claims that the Company had violated the 2005 Transition Agreement by failing to implement the Nicolau Award and that the plaintiffs were entitled to attorneys’ fees, not only for the new action but also for the two previous actions (Addington I and the Declaratory Judgment action) in which they were unsuccessful. The plaintiffs later amended their complaint to also allege that the former America West Pilots were entitled to separate representation in the McCaskill-Bond seniority list integration proceeding that would follow a merger between US Airways and American. After a two-day trial in October 2013, the District Court entered judgment dismissing all claims, finding, in particular, that USAPA did not violate its duty of fair representation and that the former America West pilots were not entitled to separate representation in the McCaskill-Bond seniority list integration proceeding.

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Legal Postings – Declaratory Judgment in the State of North Carolina

Yesterday, October 17, 2014, a Notice of Removal was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina by Leonidas, LLC and Roger Velez (collectively the defendants) seeking to have the US Court assume jurisdiction of USAPA’s Declaratory Judgment Action (previously explained in the September 16th USAPA Update) which is presently pending in the State Court of North Carolina.

The defendants asked the court to assume jurisdiction on two general grounds: (1) that there is complete diversity of citizenship between the parties to the litigation, and (2) that the complaint in the Declaratory Judgment Action raises questions of federal law that are within the original jurisdiction of a federal district court, and not a state court.

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Legal Postings - Addington II - Appeal to Ninth Circuit

The Addington Plaintiffs filed their opening brief in Addington II - Appeal to Ninth Circuit  yesterday, August 8, 2014. The Addington Plaintiffs also filed Excerpts of Record in two volumes.  Excerpts of Record are portions of the transcripts, exhibits and other documents that were part of the proceeding and trial in the District Court.  The Plaintiffs' Opening Brief and Excerpts of Record are available below and in the Legal Library.

The Addington Plaintiffs presented the same two issues as presented in the District Court.  First, whether the MOU breached USAPA’s duty of fair representation because it “abrogates the West pilots’ right to be integrated with the East pilots according to the Nicolau Award.”  Second, whether the West pilots have a right to separate representation in the pending McCaskill-Bond proceeding “because there is compelling evidence that USAPA will not represent West pilots fairly.”   The District Court held that the MOU did not breach USAPA’s duty of fair representation and that the West pilots were not entitled to separate representation.  The Addington Plaintiffs argue that the District Court should be reversed on both counts.

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Legal Posting: Addington II - Appeal to Ninth Circuit

As expected, yesterday the Clerk issued an Order (Doc 12) in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, approving the request to extend the time for the Addington II Plaintiffs to submit their opening brief and moving the dates for the other briefs accordingly.

USAPA Communications

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