There have been recent filings in two of the legal fronts.
In the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, our attorneys filed a cross appeal brief, the brief can be read here. There is an optional reply brief due within 14 days by USAPA, which we expect Usapa to file. Judges and schedule at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals have yet to be determined, which we will inform you when we have a response from the 9th.
Monday, as expected, USAPA filed its Motion to Remand the NC DJ suit against Velez and Leonidas for dues disgorgement from Federal District Court back to North Carolina State Court. You can read their filing here. A response from defendants is due by December 4, 2014
Thank you for staying informed and your financial support.
There have been recent filings in two of the legal fronts.
Yesterday, attorneys for the West pilots filed a Motion to Dismiss Leonidas, LLC from USAPA's civil action in North Carolina. You can read the motion here. The purpose of the motion to dismiss is to ask the court to decide that the claim which USAPA filed against Leonidas, even if true as USAPA has alleged, is not one upon which the law offers a remedy.
With any motion to dismiss, there are several possibilities why the law cannot provide a remedy. Here, the West attorneys are arguing that: (1) the court lacks jurisdiction over Leonidas; and (2) that USAPA's complaint fails to show that USAPA is entitled to any sort of relief from Leonidas. Recall that last week the West attorneys removed USAPA's suit from North Carolina's state trial court to the Federal District Court, and shortly thereafter the case was assigned to a federal judge - the Honorable Robert J. Conrad. The effect of the removal was to take the entire case that USAPA originated in the state court, and transplant it to the federal court. USAPA's case now belongs entirely to Judge Conrad, and it is he who will adjudicate this Motion to Dismiss Leonidas, LLC, as well as USAPA's complaint and all other motions in the case. We do anticipate that USAPA will attempt to have their case remanded back to the state court, but again the decision to remand or not would belong to Judge Conrad.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014, USAPA was terminated as the Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA) for the US Airways pilots – West and East, and the APA was certified as the exclusive bargaining agent for all New American pilots. Within hours of this announcement, USAPA filed yet another lawsuit (click here) against West pilots and in particular, Roger Velez who was officially “served” on Saturday.
USAPA left the world of certified collective bargaining agents exactly as it arrived - by filing a lawsuit against West Pilots. This is the fifth time USAPA has brought a lawsuit against West pilots in a little over six years. In May of 2008, less than six weeks after it was certified by the NMB, USAPA sued 24 “named” West pilots and 100 “John/Jane Doe” West pilots under the Federal RICO statute (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act). This lawsuit was promptly dismissed “with prejudice.” Undeterred, USAPA then appealed and the dismissal ruling was upheld. Subsequently, USAPA initiated another lawsuit (accompanied by a smear and misinformation campaign) against three West pilots for alleged identity theft. This lawsuit (and related efforts to have any and every state Attorney Generals take action on USAPA's behalf) did not progress, as the allegations were clearly baseless and aimed at illegally silencing dissent within USAPA. Later, USAPA filed another lawsuit in American’s bankruptcy court in an attempt to stop West pilots from pursing their seniority rights. This lawsuit was promptly dismissed as well. Now, USAPA has expressly named Roger Velez, the Certified West Pilot class, and Leonidas, LLC in another lawsuit asking the court to determine USAPA’s responsibility for dues disgorgement to all USAPA Members.
As mentioned in our previous update, on September 16, 2014 USAPA filed a Complaint for Declatory Judgement with the Superior Court of North Carolina, naming Leonidas and West pilot Roger Velez as Defendants. USAPA is asking the court for declarations stating that:
1. The National Officers' decision to defer dissolution upon USAPA's loss of NMB certification was within their constitutional authority and consistent with the USAPA Constitution and Bylaws
2. The National Officers' decision to defer distribution of assets to its members upon USAPA's loss of NMB certification was within their constitutional authority and consistent with the Constitution and Bylaws
On October 16, 2014, our legal counsel filed a Notice of Removal in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, asking to have the case moved to Federal Court based on diversity grounds, since neither defendant nor any of the managers of Leonidas are North Carolina residents as well as on federal law question issues, since issues pertaining to the Railway Labor Act (RLA) and the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) are triggered by the complaint. You can read the document here.Some of you might remember this District Court as the venue that heard the Cactus 18 RICO lawsuit initiated by USAPA in 2008.
Today, the NMB certified the Allied Pilots Association as the exclusive bargaining agent for all flight deck crewmembers of US Airways. You can read the NMB determination here. Effective immediately, USAPA no longer has the legal status of a collective bargaining agent.
USAPA is still in possession of a substantial amount of dues monies, collected from US Airways pilots for the purpose of collective bargaining - a purpose which they cannot fulfill anymore. A demand letter was sent on Friday September 12th to USAPA officers and counsel which notices USAPA for the remittance of all funds in excess to concluding USAPA's business as a exclusive bargaining agent required under the law. You can read the demand letter here.
Additionally, a Litigation Hold Letter was sent to USAPA attorney Brian O’Dwyer for the retention of all USAPA records.
Finally, we encourage all West pilots to apply for membership to our new collective bargaining agent. The APA has a convenient online application, which you can access here.
Thank you all for your continued support.