ALPA v. Alaska Airlines Lawsuit Status

Serial Smiler

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I know that information has been scarce with regard to the ALPA lawsuit filed against Alaska Airlines in May. But here's the scoop.

Initially, Alaska Airlines was supposed to file a responsive pleading (Answer, Motion to Dismiss, etc.) by July 18, 2005. I think this is fairly common knowledge. What is not commonly known is that on July 15th the attorneys for both parties filed a Stipulation extending the deadline to file a response to Thursday, July 21st and also modifying the briefing schedule. In the papers filed, Alaska indicated that it intends to file a Rule 12(b) Motion. Fed R. Civ. P. 12(b) says this:

Rule 12. Defenses and Objections--When and How Presented--By Pleading or Motion--Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

(b) How Presented.

Every defense, in law or fact, to a claim for relief in any pleading, whether a claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, shall be asserted in the responsive pleading thereto if one is required, except that the following defenses may at the option of the pleader be made by motion: (1) lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, (2) lack of jurisdiction over the person, (3) improper venue, (4) insufficiency of process, (5) insufficiency of service of process, (6) failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, (7) failure to join a party under Rule 19. A motion making any of these defenses shall be made before pleading if a further pleading is permitted. No defense or objection is waived by being joined with one or more other defenses or objections in a responsive pleading or motion. If a pleading sets forth a claim for relief to which the adverse party is not required to serve a responsive pleading, the adverse party may assert at the trial any defense in law or fact to that claim for relief. If, on a motion asserting the defense numbered (6) to dismiss for failure of the pleading to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, matters outside the pleading are presented to and not excluded by the court, the motion shall be treated as one for summary judgment and disposed of as provided in Rule 56, and all parties shall be given reasonable opportunity to present all material made pertinent to such a motion by Rule 56.

Basically, this means that Alaska intends to file a Motion to Dismiss or a Motion for Summary Judgment. ALPA must respond by August 17, 2005, Alaska can then file a reply in support of their motion by August 25, 2005 and the motion will be set for consideration by the Court on August 26, 2005. The Court, on August 26, 2005 will determine whether oral argument is necessary and, if they deem it necessary (which they usually do on motions for summary judgment, etc.) they will set it for a hearing. An Order will not likely be signed (whether granting or denying the motion) until some time in early or mid September. If Alaska files a Motion for Summary Judgment (or a Motion to Dismiss) and, after reading all of the court filings (pleadings) from both parties, the court rules in favor of Alaska Airlines, the case is dismissed, Alaska Airlines wins and that's the end of the lawsuit. If, however, the Judge denies the Motion, the case moves forward. It will also be interesting to see how ALPA responds to any motion filed today - they can file a Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment (if they have the legal grounds to support it) and if they do and they win, the case will be over but since ALPA would have won, presumably the Kasher Award would be thrown out and either Alaska Airlines would file an appeal (if they had the legal grounds to support it) OR negotiations on a new contract would begin all over again because there's no way Alaska management will allow the pilots to continue under their pre-Kasher contract.

Anyway, just some info. for those who were wondering. Any motion filed today will likely not be filed until the last possible minute so I wont be able to find out what it says until tomorrow at the earliest. But all of this information is public record. All you have to do is go down to the court and request a copy - you have to pay some small per-page fee (something like 8 cents per page) but you can have the entire file copied if you want it. All you need is the case number and that is CV 05-897 RSL. The court is the United States District Court, Western District of Washington at Seattle.
 

AK737FO

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Never Happen

This law suit doesn't have a snow flakes chance in LAS. At a recent council meeting, the question was asked, "what's our chances of winning this lawsuit?" The lawyer's response went like this - "Though not highly probable, these types of lawsuits have been overturned by specific judges in the past and although statistically unfavorable, we should proceed."

Translation into pilot language - there is virtually no chance of winning this thing, but since it has happened once or twice about 20 or 30 years ago, I have a leg to stand on and since I'm a lawyer and I can still suck some more money out of ALPA, so I think we should go for it!

Sorry boys. Get a part time job if you have to, sell off some toys, put the wife back to work, do whatever you have to do - its going to be a long ride.
 

Ty Webb

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Here's another translation of the same quote, "How much justice can you afford?".
 
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