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Leonidas West Mediation Group Update January 31, 2015

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The past week a group of West pilots comprised of LMRDA Plaintiffs, Addington Class Reps and a Leonidas manager met in Charlotte in an attempt to mediate a global settlement regarding the sun-setting of USAPA, and resolving the combined North Carolina LMRDA/Declaratory Judgement actions along with the PHX Addington litigation. The members of the West Mediation Group (WMG) traveled to NC with the full support of all West Addington Class Reps and Leonidas Managers to try to end the legal entrenchment that has gone on for many years. The WMG was represented by our well experienced legal team of Marty Harper and Kelly Flood. Their experience and direction was invaluable in working with the WMG to debate and work out possible scenarios that involved many complex legal issues, not to mention the long history of acrimony between East and West US Airways pilots. Being fully prepared to mediate, the WMG was encouraged that the east contingent was also mostly present, represented, and appeared interested in negotiating some type of settlement to potentially end the east/west conflict. 

 

Through three days of engaged negotiations in strong, mediated discussions, the WMG was encouraged that significant movement did occur and, though not easy, it ended without coming to a complete agreement. Although the WMG left CLT without reaching an agreement, legal counsel has the ability to respond to continued dialogue with USAPA/LMRDA defendants' legal counsel who may still desire to reach a final settlement. 

 

The mediator submitted a report to Judge Conrad in NC confirming that all parties participated in good faith, and thought that a settlement was still possible if parties continued to work together. 

 

The window for some type of final settlement is very short, and as the WMG pressed during last week’s discussions. We will reiterate, the West pilots' ability and resolve to support all litigation necessary to press forward with our positions in the NC LMRDA actions and finalizing the Addingtion request for fees is without doubt. 

 

The WMG is hopeful that the East mediation group understands the West pilots' resolve and that the East mediation group is open to concluding a final settlement that will end the east/west conflict. 

 

Updates will be forthcoming with further information regarding either potential settlement or the future litigation progress concerning both NC LMRDA and Addington fee lawsuits. 

 

Thank you, 

 

 

West Mediation Group 

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West Merger Committee Update January 3, 2016

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The rebuttal phase of the seniority arbitration hearings is scheduled to commence tomorrow, January 4, 2016, and will continue weekdays through Friday, January 15 (although it is possible the hearings will conclude without using all of the allotted time). The hearings will be held at the following location:

 

Washington Hilton

1919 Connecticut Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20009

 

The Washington Hilton is approximately one-half mile from the DuPont Circle Metro Station or easily accessible by taxi or Uber.

 

Hearings each day will run approximately 9am-6pm, and will generally be open to pilots to observe the hearings as space allows. Portions of the hearing however containing information and data subject to confidentiality agreements and restrictions may be closed to observers. Daily transcripts and exhibits will be posted as soon as they become available at the following web locations:

 

http://www.west-merger-committee.com .

https://public.alliedpilots.org/apa/Home/

SeniorityIntegration.aspx

 

Recall that all hearing days in 2015 were committed to the "direct cases"; presentation of evidence by each committee to support their respective proposals. The next two weeks will be the "rebuttal cases" in which each committee will have the opportunity to introduce additional witnesses and evidence to respond to evidence and arguments that the other committees presented in their direct cases.

 

The committees will retain the same order of presentation as they did in the direct cases: the East Committee will present first, followed by the West Merger Committee, followed by AAPSIC. The parties may opt for a second round of rebuttal, known as sur-rebuttal, however, each committee may only spend 20 hours of hearing time on their combined rebuttal & sur-rebuttal cases.

 

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Leonidas Update September 28, 2015

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We are on the eve of the long anticipated matter of the seniority integration involving the Pilots of New American Airlines. By now most if not all the participants have arrived in Washington D.C. to begin this historic hearing in front of the panel of esteemed arbitrators Dana E. Eischen, Ira Jaffe and M. David Vaughn. 

The East Pilot Seniority Integration Committee will be the first of the three committees to present their case in chief beginning tomorrow September 29, 2015. Here is the list of witnesses to testify for the East Committee this week: 

Dean Colello
Rick Brown
Pete Gall 
Kelly Ison
Dr. Brian M. Campbell, PH.D. 

We are primarily providing this information as a courtesy since the West Merger Committee is busy with last minute preparations. Don’t forget to go to www.west-merger-committee.com for the latest updates if not already subscribed to receive updates via E-mail. 

Sincerely, 

Leonidas LLC 

We would like to provide an errata to the September 27, 2015 Leonidas Update. The fifth paragraph, first sentence should read, “Additionally, the Court JOINED the Allied Pilots Association as a defendant...” We apologize for any confusion this may have caused our subscribers. 

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Leonidas Update December 2, 2015

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Today, the attorneys for the West pilot Class submitted its Motion for Attorney fees and non-taxable costs under the “common benefit doctrine.” Click here to read the motion and Harper Declaration. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Judge Silver’s DFR decision and ordered that she “... should consider the West Pilots’ claim for attorneys’ fees.” The Total amount requested under the “common benefit doctrine” is $3.5M. Compiling the eligible fees required a lot of effort as the fees were expended over eight years, Addington I, II, & III, and three law firms, prompting our attorneys to request an extension until December 2, 2015. USAPA now has an opportunity to respond. Any fees awarded to the west plaintiffs are planned to be held in trust to cover all fees and expenses until no further action is required to protect West pilot seniority rights. 

 

The LMRDA case in Judge Conrad’s court is ongoing. The USAPA attorneys finally recognized a conflict of interest and have withdrawn from representing the LMRDA defendants. Lee Seham is stepping in to represent most of the LMRDA defendants, except for Diorio, Nelson and Frear. Diorio, Nelson and Frear just filed a Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Reconsideration today. The preliminary injunction remains in place against USAPA to prevent spending funds on seniority related issues. Discovery for this case is in process including forensic accounting. USAPA has approximately $7.5M in its treasury and there appears to be another $2.5M that may have been misspent. USAPA officers were operating under the assumption that they were insulated from personal liability by an AIG insurance policy. AIG has denied their claim leaving the USAPA officers personally exposed and responsible for their spending. 

 

Your contributions continue to fund West legal activity and the West Merger Committee. The expenditures for the West Merger committee, from the beginning, were estimated to total $2.5M. This was based on the amount spent by the West’s merger committee in 2005-2007. APA funded AAPSIC before the merger. USAPA funded their merger committee from general funds until withdrawing from the SLI arbitration and then handed over their work product to the EPSIC in July along with APA’s $1.3M advance untouched. In contrast, USAPA’s withdrawal from the seniority arbitration cost the West Merger Committee nearly $200K in additional expenses. West pilots continue to battle enormous disadvantages, and we are able to fight because of the generosity of our contributors. 

 

Sincerely, 

  

Leonidas LLC 

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Leonidas Update September 27, 2015

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Recently an Order was issued regarding a Motion for Joinder and Permanent Injunction by Arizona Federal District Court Judge Roslyn O. Silver in the Addington III case based on the 9th Circuit Judgment issued on June 26, 2015 finding that USAPA breached its Duty of Fair Representation (DFR) to the West Pilot Class. 

 

While the West Pilots sought to exercise our rights to a broad injunction to include the recently formed East Pilot Merger Committee, the Court felt otherwise based on the evidence that was available at the time. The West Pilots chose not to seek discovery as that would have the potential effect of further delaying the SLI process already slowed by various USAPA and the East Pilots actions in their attempts to evade a long-standing obligation to honor the 2007 Nicolau Arbitration Award. 

 

Our desire to seek a broad injunction was diminished when the American Airlines Pilot Seniority Integration Committee (AAPSIC), representative of over 10,000 American pilots, made a equitable argument in favor of using the Nicolau Award integration methodology for the US Airways pilots. In the AAPSIC September 19, 2015 proposal to the arbitration board the American Committee states, 

 

The Ninth Circuit’s holding, that the denial of the Nicolau Award in Paragraph 10.h. of the MOU breached USAPA’s duty of fair representation, is effectively the tie-breaker on this [East/West] question. With the Ninth Circuit’s affirmation of the West Pilots’ reasonable expectation of the Nicolau Award, the AASPIC acknowledges it as the starting point for ranking the East and West Pilots on the ISL. As part of the ISL, the US Airways Pilots (East and West) should be ordered based on the Nicolau Award.

Additionally, the Court joined the Allied Pilots Association as a defendant, and issued a stern warning to the new East Merger Committee by stating, “Members of the new committee working in concert with USAPA who advocate something other than the Nicolau Award will be subject to contempt sanctions. The new committee members and their counsel must decide, at their substantial peril, whether they are subject to the injunction.”

In closing, we want to thank all of the West pilots who have tirelessly supported this legal effort for over the past eight years. You should be very pleased and proud as our collective persistence and resolve have been rewarded. Now seniority is right back to the arbitration venue from which it started. We are going into the arbitration with a conclusive determination from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that firmly repudiates the East pilots’ discriminatory actions through their USAPA “stalking horse.” The litigation team is very excited to pass the torch to the very capable West Pilot Merger Committee, led by attorney Jeff Freund and Captain Russ Payne. 

 

One final note: the litigation against the officers of USAPA will continue unabated and we will continue to report developments from Judge Conrad’s court. 

 

Sincerely, 

 

Leonidas, LLC.