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Leonidas Update April 29, 2016

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On February 15, 2016, the West Mediation Group reached a Global Settlement [View Here] with USAPA and the 14 individual defendants in the consolidated LMRDA and DJ cases pending on North Carolina, and the fee claim in the Addington class action in Arizona. As previously stated, the proposed settlement agreement, accompanied by a Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval and various required supporting documents, was then sent to Judge Conrad for review and preliminary approval subject to final approval after a Fairness Hearing. 

 

The Court reviewed all of the materials submitted by the parties supporting the Joint Motion, and the Court granted the motion on April 22, 2016 [Doc 117: Order]. Most importantly, the Court (1) preliminarily approved the settlement; (2) approved two settlement classes (an East class and a West class) and approved counsel for each; (3) provided a timetable of events for notices to be distributed to all affected pilots and comments/objections to be submitted [Page 13 of Doc. 117]; and (4) scheduled a Fairness Hearing on August 30, 2016, at 9:30am in U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division. 

 

The Court’s Order [Doc. 117] requires that any comments or objections to the Settlement Agreement must be submitted by July 11, 2016, in conformance with the requirements set forth in the Q&A No. 9, which can be found in the Notice of Settlement. These requirements can also be found on the Leonidas website at cactuspilot.com. 

 

The Court is taking appreciable care to assure all relevant legal procedures are properly executed in finalizing the settlement agreement, hence the length of time between the initial settlement in February and the Fairness Hearing that will take place August 30, 2016. Therefore we must take particular care to point out to all class members the warning issued by the Court on Page 11 of Doc 117: 

 

DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT WITH QUESTIONS, OBJECTIONS, COMMENTS, AND/OR ANY OTHER CORRESPONDENCE REGARDING THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT OR THE RELATED PROCEEDINGS. THE COURT WILL NOT RECEIVE OR RESPOND TO ANY SUCH COMMUNICATIONS. 

 

Because this is a class action in Federal Court that affects persons residing in multiple states, the Court also exercised its discretion to require the parties and class counsel to provide notice of the proposed settlement to all Attorneys General of the states where legacy US Airways pilots reside. After reviewing USAPA records, Class Counsel decided to provide notice to all state Attorneys General, and this was sent April 29, 2016. 

 

You are encouraged to review all of the documents associated with the settlement. 

 

Sincerely, 

 

 

Leonidas, LLC. 

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West Mediation Group Update Regarding Pending “Global Settlement” February 15, 2016

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Today we reached a Global Settlement with USAPA and the individual defendants in all outstanding litigation between East and West pilots. (Attached) We are pleased with the agreement and believe it represents the best, most realistic, and timely outcome possible for all parties. It is the result of intense mediated negotiations over the last several weeks. 

 

A few steps are yet required and Judge Conrad’s approval is needed before the agreement becomes a final judgment, but there is a reasonably high probability that the necessary steps will be successfully completed soon. One of those steps is called a “Fairness Hearing” which will be held before Judge Conrad wherein he will determine whether or not the agreement is fair. 

 

We are now in the process of preparing for the soon to be scheduled Fairness Hearing before the judge in order to convert this settlement into a final order. As such, all former US Airways pilots will be receiving various forms of notification of the process and the steps that will be taken to obtain Judge Conrad's approval of the settlement. 

 

Remember, no money will change hands until Judge Conrad’s final order. In the meantime, Leonidas, LLC will continue making monthly payments to satisfy various financial obligations incurred on behalf of the former AWA pilots that have led us to this point. Though it is more likely than not that the settlement will be approved with little or no modification, it is not guaranteed so please continue your Push for Justice contributions so we can meet those obligations. 

 

 

Thank you for your support, 

 

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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 West Mediation Group Update January 31, 2016

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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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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