Status Report 1/4/12
Happy New Year
We are negotiating a new contract with our lawyers to cover our appeal. There are a few terms that should be of interest to you. Money is the major problem. Our lawyers want a $75,000 flat fee for the appeal and we have only $40,000. We are willing to commit what we have and promise best efforts to raise the balance by March 1, 2012. If we canŐt meet that deadline, there may be other options but they will not be as beneficial to us and may be unacceptable. We are being asked to discuss those options if we fail to raise enough money. The Orange County decision has made us much more optimistic about winning our appeal so we are much more enthusiastic about collecting funds. We hope you are more enthusiastic as well. In case you have forgotten, instructions for donating are as follows:
Make checks out to:
UCLRG Legal Defense Fund
Send Donations to:
UCLRG Legal Defense Fund
C/O Barbara Sokoloski
1144 Xavier Way
Livermore, CA 94550
We are talking about what our strategy will be in pursuing the appeal. Since that should remain lawyer-client privileged, we canŐt talk about it in our status reports. When we reach agreement, we will see what, if anything, we can tell you without risking our case.
The contract allows our Attorneys to petition the Court for Common Fund Recovery. That means that if a pot of money is generated by our winning our case, the Attorneys can ask the court to pay our legal costs, including services written off, at their customary rates rather than the discounted rates we are paying. For example, the Court could make UC pay for the difference between UC rates and LLNS rates for the period LLNS supplied our medical coverage and allocate a portion of those funds to compensate our lawyers. Agreeing to common recovery is kind of like allowing case to be taken on contingency except that the Judge must determine that Common Fund Recovery is fair to both the Attorneys and us.
LLNS Censors Livermore Retiree Association:
LLNS sponsors the Livermore Retiree Association through LLESA (Livermore Laboratory Employee Services Association). LLESA has sent the Association a letter specifying they are a social organization subject to several restrictions. They are not allowed to:
1. make negative comments about the Laboratory to the press,
2. be a Retiree advocacy association,
3. have controversial political speakers,
4. give advice on health benefit coverage.
LLESA admits that there may be a need for a retiree advocacy group but asserts the existing Association is not it. This reinforces our conviction that our group is needed to look out for the interests of Lab retirees, particularly in the field of health care and pensions.
We have posted a copy of the letter on our web site under News Articles. We have had some help from the Association in the past, but it looks like there will be none in the future.
Better Late than Never?
In late June, we sent a message to the Secretary of State of California, via a link promising 3 day turn around, asking how to find when the filing for our revised Articles of Association would be processed. On December 29, we got a response back containing a link to a web page that was supposed to provide the requested information. If it was there, it was invisible.