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 The USAPA attorneys finally recognized a conflict of interest and have withdrawn from representing the LMRDA defendants.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.