Some of our members are experienced in participating and representing clients in quasi legal actions in administrative proceedings dictated by the RAILROAD LABOR ACT which has application to Airlines as well as initially Rail Roads.
FAA CERTIFICATION INCIDENTS
This is a vastly oversimplified explanation. Pretend the FAA is the highway Patrol who police compliance with the FAA Rules of the road as that pertains to flying. For every alleged violation of FAR the FAA may cite a pilot. Depending upon how serious the violation is the penalties vary from letters of reprimand, attendance at remedial schools, fines, Temporary loss of flying license for a defined period of time or ABSOLUTE revocation of flying privileges for ever. Just as in the court system a pilot is innocent until adjudged guilty so there is a set administrative then legal procedure that allows a pilot to defend himself. Many of the AIRLAWS attorneys handle these FAA disciplinary actions.
FAA MEDICAL SUSPENSIONS and REVOCATIONS
A pilot license is only half what a pilot needs to fly legally. The other half is a current medical. The government controls who may actively manipulate air vehicles as pilot by virtue of monitoring their medical condition. There are several varieties of medical certifications. The most stringent rules apply to pilots flying as Captain of Airline type equipment. Too fly captain in an Airline operation one must have a current category one certificate. Lesser equipment requires slightly lower medical standards and slightly greater time between Check ups. Captains are checked every 6 months. The medical certifications are overseen by a group of Civilian medical examiners and archived by the FAA. The minimum medical standards determine whether a certification issues.
Several varieties of illness and several varieties of accidents may result in temporary loss of flying privilege while recovery takes place and the pilot again passes the physical or qualifies for some variety of waivers. The process of returning to flight status is often expensive, time consuming, requiring of expert medical testimony and legal help. Many of the Airlaws consulting attorneys have participated in or litigated the process.
The type and variety of such actions stem from Labor Law and Union Collective Bargaining Agreements. The most common is a grievance filed by a worker for alleged violations of the then in effect contract agreement. Airline Union contracts called Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) are very all encompassing documents that delineates Scope of employment, work rules, pay and benefits, Retirement, disability, sick time and temporary sick leave, insurance benefits, Vacation, seniority and seniority disputes, Training, failure to train, hours of duty and rest requirements, termination of service, and much much more. It is often that the easy disputes are settled through a union managed grievance process. Often in more serious disputes involving certain discipline problems the Union will refuse to represent a client and at that juncture the defendant should employ qualified out side representation. A union member may also always hire co counsel beyond the union representation.
AIRLINE and UNION COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
Several of our members have been elected members of Contract Negotiating teams working full time for periods of several years working to complete Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBAs) with the airline covering work rules, benefits and pay for a 8,000 pilot work force. Several have attended union sponsored contract negotiating courses. Many have held Union elective offices and still others have served on Union Committees to include but not be limited to:
Union contract negotiating committees,
Union seniority list merging committees,
Union Grievance committees,
Union Safety Committees,
Union Accident committees,
Union Incident Committees,
Union All Weather Flying Committees,
Union FOQUA committees,
Union Two man/Three man cockpit committees,
Local elected office holders
Union Master elected positions (BOD)
Union Strategic Planning Committees
Union Public Spokesperson committees.
The most common labor complaints of employee against employer is a retaliation in the form of discipline or discharge after the employee has participated in some
Variety of action protected by law. These WHISTLEBLOWER actions result when an employee has participated in some act or action protected by some Federal or State Law. In the airline industry an often occurring situation is when an employee discloses corporate safety violations. Other common labor problems result from discrimination concerning Age, Race or other protected situations. Often such problems may stem from a company wrongfully attempting to curtail protected union activities. Such instances may first be addressed in grievance actions before initiating legal actions in a court of law.
Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower provisions Dodd-Frank Act
Railway Labor Act, 45 USC §151
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 - Retaliation, 29 USC §660(C)
Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 USC §621, et. seq.
Civil Rights Act 42 USCA §1983.
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), 38 USC §4301, et. seq.
You will note one of Airlaw’s Captains is board certified in employment law.
8 of the members have done Airline Union grievance work
8 members have worked FAA certification or discipline matters.
AIRCRAFT TRANSACTIONS The acquisition of aircraft, the ownership of aircraft, the maintenance of aircraft, the leasing of aircraft all include very specific knowledge and documentation. The transactions described above require special experience and talent. “Honest John the not so honest the Used Car dealer” exists in aircraft transactions as in automobiles. In fact the serious nature of the hazard of flight makes airworthy aircraft mandatory. Unlike automobiles, the rules of maintaining and licensing aircraft for use in the United States is not a state matter. Rather it involves the FAA in ownership documents, liens on the aircraft and in maintenance and airworthiness criteria for the aircraft. When one buys an aircraft it is advisable to get professionals involved in safety audits, license and title registration and if liens exist. Lease back agreements are full of legal language that should be reviewed by a professional as well.
Whether the transaction involves the change of Hands of an American Owned and operated aircraft, whether the transaction is the purchase and importation of a foreign made aircraft, or whether the transaction is purchasing a surplus military machine and converting it to civilian use…One should always employ professionals to help them with these very unique and tricky transactions.
EUROPEAN, MIDDLE EAST and AFRICAN
OZTURK & PARTNERS
The Airlaws Group membership is situated and connected to help clients in most of the world. Our recent members Yasar Ozturk and OZTURK & PARTNERS are known internationally and throughout Europe and the Middle East. They provide the full range of aviation law services required by businesses and individuals. They have acted in co-operation with colleagues from United States, Italy, Germany and The Netherlands counseling on Turkish law related to the claims of the victims’ relatives. They also have expertise in maritime and transport law since the establishment of the firm in 1973. We have been giving legal and business services to both Turkish and foreign ship-owners, brokers, insurance companies, banks, cargo interests, freight forwarders, P&I Clubs, charterers and all parties to a maritime dispute .In this electronic age they are but a Call away.
Dr. SOFIA MATEOU and CAPT ANDREAS MATEOU
The Airlaws Group membership is situated and connected to help clients in most of the world. Our recent members Sofia and Andreas Mateou are known internationally and throughout Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. They provide the full range of aviation law services. They were born and brought up in regions of the world that American attorneys are ill equipped to understand let alone practice in. Their specialty areas are in consultation concerning Aviation Law, Aviation Safety and Flight safety in the region
Dr Sophia Mateous A Doctorate degree from the UK, A Law degree from South Africa, A law practice in South Africa, A professor of Law at Nicosia Law School. Both are guest lecturers at Cranfield University, UK
Captain Andreas Mateou holds a Doctorate from the University of Middlesex, UK, an MSc in Aviation Management from the University of New South Wales, Australia and a law degree (LLB) from the University of London Both are guest lecturers at Cranfield University, UK
In addition Many Lawyer -Airline Pilots of the AIRLAWS GROUP have flown international routes thereby exposing them to many different cultures, customs and laws. They include:
Captain Troy Avera, Captain Charles Barnett, Captain Glenn Cook, Captain Sid Cook
Captain Mark Goodrich, Captain Jim Hourin, Captain J.D. Johnson, Captain Mike Jones (inactive) ,Captain Andreas Mateou, Captain Paul McCarthy, Captain Doug Moss, Captain Myron Papadakis, Captain “T” Thompson, Captain William Wirth