Advocates for Labor and Progressive Institutions

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Court of Appeals Ruling on Benefit Plans Favors Union

December 2010

Bredhoff & Kaiser lawyers successfully defended the National Education Association in Daniels-Hall v. NEA, No. 08-35531 (9th Cir. Dec. 20, 2010), a case brought by two public school teachers claiming that the NEA violated ERISA in the selection and monitoring of mutual funds available to participants in a nationwide benefit plan established under Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code.

American Federation of Musicians Negotiates Collective Bargaining Agreement Covering Musicians on the New Conan O’Brien Show

September 2010

In September 2010, Firm lawyers led the negotiations for a new musicians’ collective bargaining agreement covering the band and guest musicians on the new Conan O’Brien Show. Among other terms, the agreement provides enhanced protections and benefits for musicians when their performances are exploited on “new media” platforms.

Fourth Circuit Affirms RICO Dismissal in Pilots’ Dispute

July 30, 2010

Affirming a judgment in favor of former America West Airlines pilots now employed by US Airways following the 2005 merger of the two airlines, the Fourth Circuit held that a lawsuit filed against a number of individual pilots and their advocacy organization by the leadership of the union now representing the pilots of the merged airline failed to state a claim under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”).  Bredhoff & Kaiser represented the America West pilots in this litigation, which grew out of disagreement between the former America West and US Airways pilots about principles to be applied in integrating the two airlines’ seniority lists.  US Airline Pilots Ass’n v. AWAPPA, LLC et al., ___ F.3d ___, 2010 WL 2979322 (4th Cir. July 30, 2010).

Second Circuit Rejects Challenges to Agency Fee

June 2010

Largely affirming a judgment entered by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, the Second Circuit held that public-employee unions may lawfully charge objecting nonmembers for expenditures the union incurs in attempting to organize nonunion workplaces that compete with the nonmembers’ public-sector jobs. 

SEIU and SEIU–UHW Achieve Victory in the Northern District of California

April 2010

In two related proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, one tried to a federal jury and one tried to the Court, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and one of SEIU’s largest local unions, SEIU – United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW), were able to obtain favorable judgments with the help of attorneys from Bredhoff & Kaiser.

American Federation of Musicians Enters Into New Collective Bargaining Agreement With Advertisers

March 2010

In March 2010, Firm lawyers led the negotiations for a new musicians’ collective bargaining agreement with the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies Joint Policy Committee on Broadcast Talent Union Relations for a new three year collective bargaining agreement covering musicians who record television and radio commercials. The agreement increases musicians wages, pension and health benefit contributions and clarifies how musicians are compensated for commercials made in the first instance for use in new media and for commercials made for traditional media that are later used in new media.

Two RICO Lawsuits Dismissed

March 2009

The firm recently has obtained the dismissal, under FRCP 12(b)(6), of two lawsuits brought by employers under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), alleging that the defendant unions violated RICO by engaging in a “pattern of racketeering activity” the purpose of which was to “extort” an agreement concerning union recognition from the employer. The two lawsuits are: Cintas Corporation, et al. v. UNITE HERE, et al., slip op., 2009 WL 604099 (S.D.N.Y. March 9, 2009); and Wackenhut Corp. v. SEIU, 593 F. Supp. 2d 1289 (S.D. Fla. 2009).

Ninth Circuit Ruling on Public Employee Free Speech Rights


Interpreting a recent Supreme Court decision on the extent to which the First Amendment protects public-employee speech, the Ninth Circuit reinstated the First Amendment retaliation claim of an Idaho school employee who contended that he had lost his job for bringing to the attention of top school administrators his principal’s failure to follow school district policies concerning school safety and security.

Smithfield RICO Litigation Settled on Eve of Trial

October 27, 2008

Scheduled for a six week trial beginning October 27, 2008, Smithfield Foods, Inc. and the UFCW (and other defendants) settled the case on the morning the trial was to begin.