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Leonidas Update September 24, 2013

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September has been an extremely busy month for the West Pilots and our attorneys. Written discovery was issued by both our side and USAPA, resulting in the production of nearly 400,000 pages of documents. Fifteen West pilots were deposed for up to 4 hours each, with USAPA asking questions focused on opposing class certification, Leonidas finances and SLI fairness. Last week, our attorneys deposed 10 USAPA officers, BPR representatives and committee members over 4 days in Charlotte. The depositions in Charlotte were quite fruitful providing additional evidence to make our case. There is currently a protective order in place that prevents the release of certain documents and transcripts to the public. 

By now, most know that the Addington III trial date was moved to October 22 to meet the needs of the court (Doc 174). There have also been a number of legal filings in recent weeks, which are discussed in detail below. Of most importance is Judge Silver’s Order on September 18, 2013, (Doc 194), which resolved the following issues pending before the Court: (1) class certification; (2) the Company’s Motion to Intervene; (3) two motions to quash subpoenas issued to Leonidas relating to USAPA’s request to obtain Leonidas’ financial records; and (4) USAPA’s Motion for Reconsideration. 

Class Certification 

In a prior order (Doc 122), “the Court instructed USAPA that if it planned on opposing certification in this case, it should present ‘substantially better arguments’ than what it presented in the past.” In Judge Silver’s words, Unfortunately, USAPA did not listen.” (Doc 194). 

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Leonidas Update August 18, 2013

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On Thursday, August 15th, a status conference was held before Judge Silver per her August 6th order (Doc 141). The parties had requested the hearing as part of their proposed Scheduling Order (Doc 132-1). Our attorneys have been busily preparing for the September 24th – 25th trial, and they anticipated that the conference would be very helpful in resolving a number of disagreements with USAPA counsel. Fortunately, much was resolved from the status conference because Judge Silver issued an order (Doc 160) yesterday, which is exactly what we had hoped for. USAPA counsel desperately tried to turn the status conference into an impromptu motion to dismiss hearing, arguing that the DOJ anti-trust suit was a changed circumstance that divested Judge Silver of her jurisdiction over the case. West attorneys rebutted those arguments, as did US Airways counsel. The complete transcript can be found here, and we highly recommend reading them because the dialogue is informative as to the real issue of our case.

We have a busy schedule ahead as we press on towards our September 24th date with justice. This has been an incredibly long road to get to where we are, and it never would have happened had it not been for the thousand-plus pilots who have each contributed thousands of dollars individually to this legal effort. Now we are on the final push. We have set up a special website called “The Push For Justice” and its purpose is to meet our funding requirement for the trial and post-trial phases. We ask that each captain subscribe for $100 a month and each first officer $50 a month, until the Nicolau is implemented. Fellow pilots, this is it: fund now or forever hold your peace.

Sincerely,

Leonidas, LLC

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Leonidas Update July 20, 2013

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Late yesterday afternoon, Judge Roslyn Silver issued a comprehensive order that on balance is favorable to the West Pilots. We will comment in greater detail soon, but here is a summary. You can download and read the order here.

To begin, Judge Silver denied USAPA's motion to dismiss and held that the case is now ripe for adjudication. Ripeness has eluded the West Pilots so far, but now our wait is over. We will have our day in court, our trial is scheduled to start September 24th, 2013. On that day USAPA can explain how a labor union is free to abandon the result of an arbitration when the majority does not approve of the result, yet still be in compliance with their Duty to Fairly Represent the West. USAPA has desperately avoided having to answer this question for nearly six years, but now there is no more delay.

Also in yesterday’s order, US Airways’ motion to dismiss our complaint was granted. In addition, Judge Silver denied AMR’s request to join this litigation and she denied bringing the Allied Pilots Association in as well. While we are disappointed in a sense that US Airways was dismissed, the reality is that the East-controlled USAPA is the root cause of the troubles for the West.

The sooner we get to a judicial conclusion, the better for all – West, East, and even American pilots. This will be the world’s largest airline and with it, the combined AMR-AWA-USA pilot group will be in a position to join our UAL-CAL and DAL-NWA brothers and sisters in regaining what has been lost by pilots since 9/11.

Finally, we want to once again thank all those who have contributed to this legal cause. Leonidas was formed nearly six years ago with the stated objective of preserving the West Pilots’ seniority rights. Nobody gave the West a chance to stand up against the East-controlled USAPA. Well, the West did stand up, and three million dollars in legal fees later – we’re still here.

Have a great weekend.

Sincerely, 

Leonidas, LLC 

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Leonidas Update July 25, 2013

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Today, our attorneys filed an amended complaint in our lawsuit against USAPA which is before Judge Silver. You can read the amended complaint here.

The amended complaint is identical to the original complaint except for the addition of a fourth claim. Although the Amended Complaint retains Count II, which was the claim against the Company, it does so only to avoid waiving our right to appeal Judge Silver’s ruling dismissing the Company.

This additional claim asks for Judge Silver to declare that, pursuant to McCaskill-Bond, the West Pilots are entitled to have party status, and the right (but not the obligation) to participate fully (with counsel of their own choice) in the MOU Seniority Integration process. The basis for this request is the demonstrated inability of USAPA, or any merger committee that it forms, to fairly represent the West pilots in a seniority integration. Now we are beginning another merger; one which will create the world’s largest airline with the world’s largest pilot workforce. Two seniority lists are going to have to be integrated via the McCaskill-Bond process. Implicit within McCaskill-Bond is the fundamental assumption that each bargaining agent can freely and adequately represent its respective members’ interests. For USAPA, that is simply not possible. Since prior seniority integrations have provided for third party representation, the West is requesting separate and equal standing in this seniority integration. We are confident that the Nicolau will be the list which is used for the McCaskill-Bond process. Separate West presence will help insure that the Airways-American seniority integration is not corrupted by lingering prejudices within USAPA.

Thank you for your continued support. Please keep an eye on your email inbox for Leonidas Updates which will be sent frequently as we approach September 24th. If you have not registered to receive our updates via email, you can join our mailing list by visiting cactuspilot.com. All are welcome; not just US Airways pilots.

Have a great evening.

Leonidas, LLC

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Leonidas Update May 15, 2013

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On April 17, 2013, the Court issued an order setting a preliminary injunction hearing for May 14, 2013. Before the hearing, the Court handed our counsel a new order. This document can be found here [Doc. 84]. The transcript of the May 14, 2013 hearing can be foundhere. At the end of the hearing, Judge Silver ordered that the parties do several things: (1) submit additional briefing on the McCaskill-Bond process, including whether or not everyone has the right to be at the table for purposes of determining seniority, based on CAB precedents from before 1978; (2) whether the parties can stipulate to the relevant facts for the Court to determine whether or not there has been a violation of the duty of fair representation; and (3) briefing on what the remedy could or should be if she found a violation of the duty of fair representation. Briefs on these issues are due on Friday May 17, 2013 with responsive briefs due on May 24, 2013. Finally, the Court strongly recommended that USAPA and the West Pilots negotiate the seniority issue, with the assistance of counsel for US Airways, Bob Siegel. The parties are required to submit a report to the Court regarding the status of settlement negotiations no later than May 21, 2013. 

As a result of the recent developments and the expedited briefing schedule set forth by Judge Silver, the meet and greet originally scheduled for May 17, 2013 will be postponed to a later date yet to be determined. 

Sincerely, 

Leonidas, LLC 

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www.cactuspilot.com