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Act of bad faith vs. a good faith interpretation

Discussion in 'Employment, Labor, Work Issues' started by Chaz B, Jul 12, 2019.

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  1. Chaz B

    Chaz B Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    I'm trying to understand a decision from the Court of Appeals for the DC circuit. At one point during the decision the court finds that “Appellant misreads Defries, arguing that a union officer necessarily breaches his fiduciary duty if he acts in bad faith notwithstanding his good-faith interpretation of his constitutional authority. The argument fails.”


    This was one of two citations to our briefs, but from what I can tell this does not represent the argument that was actually made. The section of our brief that was cited states that “this court directed that on remand, the district court consider appellant's evidence of bad faith in determining whether the in-town expense allowance was authorized by the union's constitution and governing documents. In particular, the Court referred the district court to Defries, which held that evidence that union officers had concealed the details of the severance plan was sufficient to support a jury verdict that the severance payments were unauthorized and thus violated the criminal provisions of section 501(c) of the LMRDA. The district court characterized the concealment evidence as probative of intent in Defries. But the evidence of concealment in Defries was probative that the payments were not authorized by the union’s constitution and governing documents. Defries makes this explicit when, after holding that the concealment negated authorization, the court ‘shifted from the authorization element of a section 501(c) violation to the question of intent to embezzle.’ Based on this misconstruction, the district court improperly distinguished Defries on the ground that, unlike the union officials in Defries, -redacted- is not a defendant in this case. As a result, the court dismissed as not probative the evidence that -redacted- denied the existence of the in-town expense allowance to union membership at the 1976 convention and misrepresented that officers could not be reimbursed without the itemized receipts required by articles 6 and 11 of the union's constitution.”


    Am I missing something? Did our lawyers argue that the officers acted in bad faith despite their good faith interpretations, or does that sound completely made up? The idea of a bad faith act coupled with a good faith interpretation seems nonsensical. I don't even understand how that would work, much less how that's what we argued.
     
  2. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    You seem to be asking for comment on a case decision we haven't read based on a single quoted sentence. That's not going to be very productive.

    Wanna tell us the name of the case or provide us a way to look it up here?
     
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  3. Chaz B

    Chaz B Law Topic Starter New Member

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  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Yes, you are missing the fact that you lost and you need to give up this Quixotic tilting at windmills and get on with your life. The phrase "kicking a dead horse" also comes to mind.
     
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  5. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Active Member

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    What your attorneys argued in the final brief to the court was that the evidence of denials of the in town payments by Executive Council members (and specifically some members not parties to the case), coupled with the lack of receipts by the union officers getting the reimbursement when there would appear to be a tax incentive to provide the receipts, was clear evidence the that payments were not authorized and that the district court could not reasonably think otherwise. The discussion of Defries that you bring up was not big factor in the outcome here, but I'll explain what that's about anyway.

    The issue in Defries turned on whether the defendant in that criminal case in good faith thought the payments he was receiving was authorized even if they were not permitted. In other words, the defendant would win if the jury concluded that either the payments were permitted or, even if they weren't, the defendant in good faith thought they were. The Defries case then goes on to discuss the intent of the intent and specifically whether the advice of counsel he received might have been good enough to provide the good faith.

    Your lawyers, though, didn't discuss the good faith (or lack of it) by the actual defendants in the case much. Rather, your lawyers pivoted to spend most of the time arguing that these supposed acts of bad faith by persons other than the defendants help prove that the payments were not authorized. They didn't really argue the intent of the defendants who received the payments other than to say that their own claims that they thought was authorized weren't really believable.

    Although not written as clearly as I would like, my impression reading the court opinion as a whole, the brief you submitted, and Defries is that the court read the brief as basically saying that the denials, etc., (the acts of "bad faith" as the court put it) necessarily means that the defendants must lose notwithstanding any good faith interpretation they had that the payments were authorized. Remember, even if they payments were not authorized — and you brief spends much time arguing they weren't, if the defendants who got the payments thought in good faith they were entitled to them that would be enough to win on § 501 claim under Defries. Your brief didn't really say much to address the good faith aspect here.

    But ultimately it wasn't the Defries issue that did you in. That was a minor quibble. Rather, it appears that the district court held, and the appeals court affirmed, that the payments were in fact authorized. If the payments were authorized then the intent issue in Defries doesn't matter. The meat of the § 501 part of the Court of Appeals decision is this:

    This brings us back to where we were a decade ago: the resolution of Noble’s section 501 claim turns on the interpretation of the NALC constitution and Noble has given us no reason to second guess the Union’s own interpretation thereof. See Noble II,525 F.3d at 1242 (Kavanaugh, J.,concurring in part and dissenting in part)(“Our precedents and the statutory text and structure establish a basic principle of judicial restraint in these cases.... [W]e afford even greater deference to union officials when the union convention has approved the officers’ interpretation of the union constitution.”). We believe, then, that the district court correctly determined on remand that the evidence supported the defendants’ assertion that they simply preferred to pay taxes on their expense allowances rather than document their expenditures. Their choice may not be a model of administrative efficiency but it violates neither the Union constitution nor the LMRDA.
    Your lawyers in the brief spent much of their effort trying to rebut the notion that the payments were not authorized notwithstanding that the Executive Council and a majority of the national convention had on several occasions approved the payments. And given the district court opinion that was where they needed to focus their attention. Nevertheless, the arguments failed to convince the Court of Appeals that the District Court got it wrong. There was nothing nonsensical or illogical in the arguments in your brief. But you had an uphill battle because you had a high burden to prove not just that the evidence could be read to support your position but that it was the only way to read it. Because if the evidence could be viewed as supporting the the decision of the District court the appeals court is not going to overturn the district court. The district court heard the evidence and is the one that gets to determine what the facts of the case are and the appeals court will only overturn factual determinations if they are clearly erroneous.

    It appears that this 23 year long legal battle with the Union is over. It seems to me that it's time you let this one go and move on. It's not worth continuing to go over this now a year later wondering if you might have won if something had been argued differently. Even if a different approach might have won, you can't go back and change history to get a different result.
     
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Res judicata.
     
  7. Chaz B

    Chaz B Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks for the reply Tax Counsel. I probably should have clarified that this is not my case per se. This lawsuit started when I was four and had continued for essentially my whole life. The case played a large role in my house growing up so I feel a need to understand how things concluded.

    Your reply gave me some insight into what the 2018 panel might have been saying about Defries but it also raised many questions. But rather than try to voice all these questions it's easier for me to address their base: last year's decision greatly contradicts the COA's 2008 decision without any indication that it is doing so, to the point where it seems the 2018 panel was deliberately trying to be misleading. I'd like to know if I'm reasonably suspicious or if I'm just misunderstanding the decision or how our courts work so I've put together a list of my problems with the decision. I may just make a new post out of the list but as the only person to reply to my original questions I'm interested in your thoughts. I tried to include links to the decisions and the briefs but was told the content I wanted to post was not allowed.


    1. The 2018 decision ends with the COA finding that:

    Over the 23 years of this litigation, Noble has failed to adduce any evidence of wrongdoing by the defendants.​

    This stands in stark contrast with the COA's 2008 finding that:

    Noble presented about as much evidence as one could hope a § 501 plaintiff could gather​

    The beginning of the decision 2018 reads a little differently when given the context of the 2008 decision:

    A decade ago one of our colleagues urged an end to “this 14-year litigation odyssey.” Noble v. Sombrotto (Sombrotto II), 525 F.3d 1230, 1242 (D.C. Cir. 2008) (per curiam) (Kavanaugh, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part). But as in the original Odyssey, there was still a ten-year ordeal to endure—and Noble’s arguments, like Penelope’s tapestry, have tended to unravel.​

    I find it hard to believe many appellants would be accused of causing an "ordeal" for pursuing an appeal after being told they had as much evidence as one could hope for. It took the district court nine years to decide the two narrow issues that were left on remand; if anyone is responsible for creating an ordeal it is the lower court. Like the decision that follows, the COA's literary reference leaves much to be desired. Penelope's death shroud was unraveled nightly as a means to deceive her suitors, a metaphor that seems more appropriate for this decision than the appeal it's deciding.


    2. The appeal was based entirely on the district court's failure to do as the COA had directed in 2008. The COA's first instruction was in response to the district court's 2006 finding that we had provided no evidence:

    The district court may have been under the misapprehension that proof of personal use may only be made by direct evidence. Under circumstances closely analogous to those before us, the Second Circuit did imply a requirement of direct proof for such an allegation in Morrissey v. Curran, 650 F.2d 1267, 1283–84 (2d Cir. 1981). There, the Second Circuit rejected for insufficient evidence a district court’s finding “that all of the weekly allowances paid to the officers were used for their personal expenses” supported by the fact that the officers lacked receipts showing the expenses were made for union business. Id. Though Morrissey is unclear on whether those union officers were under an obligation to retain receipts as the NALC officers were here, if the Second Circuit has indeed adopted a requirement that allegations of personal use are susceptible of proof only by direct evidence, then we must part ways with our sister circuit on this point. A union member complaining of personal use of union funds by its officers will hardly ever be able to put on direct proof of such use unless an officer confesses to such. Here, Noble presented about as much evidence as one could hope a § 501 plaintiff could gather—that the union had disbursed far more funds for purportedly union-related expenses than officers responsible for the payments could account for. On remand, the district court must reach the issue of how the union’s money was actually used, weighing Noble’s circumstantial evidence of misuse against any evidence the officers present to the contrary.​

    The 2008 majority further elaborates on this order in mooting the manifestly unreasonable argument:

    As to the in-town expense allowances, the district court will resolve on remand whether the officers used any portion of the allowances for their personal benefit rather than on legitimate union expenses. If so, it would be unnecessary for us to decide whether their actions also violated other duties under § 501. If not, then the officers received no personal benefit that we could review for manifest unreasonableness. The outcome of the remand will moot the issue either way.​

    Our brief argued that the district court had failed to determine if any portion had been used for personal benefit as the court had ordered. In his separate opinion, Williams pointed the district court to Morrissey suggesting that the burden of proof was now on the defendants to prove the propriety of each expenditure.

    But rather than acknowledge the 2008 decision and the arguments that it birthed, the 2018 panel claims to be reviewing the same argument from 10 years before:

    Noble nonetheless continues to press the argument he has been making since 2008; and the defendants respond that the reimbursement policy is authorized by the Union constitution...This brings us back to where we were a decade ago: the resolution of Noble’s section 501 claim turns on the interpretation of the NALC constitution​

    The court pivots from the factual question of how the money was used to a question regarding the constitution's interpretation. The defendants never argued that the payments were authorized as it had nothing to do with the question the 2008 panel had set up. It should be clear that arguments based on the 2008 decision cannot be the same arguments that were before the 2008 panel.


    3. After moving to the question of the constitution's interpretation, the 2018 panel quotes from Kavanaugh's dissent regarding the union convention's vote on the allowances. But Williams had responded to that line of thought directly in his separate opinion:

    Judge Kavanaugh does not address these additional allegations [of personal use], see Kavanaugh Op. at 3, but the subsequent interpretive votes are surely irrelevant here. The convention delegates voted only on whether the expense allowance program was constitutional, not whether the officers had actually used the money as the program required. The latter is a question of fact, not interpretation.​

    Nonetheless, the 2018 panel finds that because the convention had approved the allowance the district court correctly determined that the officers simply preferred to pay taxes on their expenses rather than document them. Williams actually spent several pages explaining the errors in Kavanaugh's dissent, but it's hard for me to determine what is and isn't concurring with the majority's decision. On the other hand, none of Kavanaugh's separate decision can be read as concurring with the majority, at least not in regard to the 501 issue.


    4. In finding that the officers simply preferred to avoid the hassle of keeping receipts, the district court and the 2018 panel miss a crucial fact: the resolution that authorized the allowance specifically required the officers to keep receipts. In fact, it was this requirement along with the officers financial incentive to keep receipts that was considered "as much evidence as one could hope for":

    In finding the Executive Council’s repeated authorization of the “in-town” expense allowance reasonable, the district court relied on a clearly erroneous factual finding: that Noble produced “[n]o evidence” that officers had used the allowance for “purely personal reasons, unrelated to union business.” To the contrary, Noble presented ample circumstantial evidence that officers were using the allowance for personal use. The officers had a direct financial incentive to keep receipts for all union-related expenses… Additionally, the 1980 Executive Council resolution authorizing the challenged allowance specifically charged each officer with retaining receipts for all expenses incurred and to keep them for a “reasonable period” of up to five years. The fact that the vast majority of allowances paid to Executive Council members during the pertinent period were not supported by receipts is thus considerable circumstantial evidence suggesting that much of this money went to officers’ personal use.​

    In his separate opinion, Williams explains that failure to keep receipts was a violation of the LMRDA on its own:

    I join the per curiam opinion's finding of clear error as to the historical fact of how the union’s money was used. Such misuse represents a violation of § 501’s independent duty to “account to [NALC] for any profit received . . . [in] transactions . . . on behalf of the organization,” § 501(a), as well as the more general fiduciary duties the statute imposes​

    It seems odd that the defendants could decide that keeping receipts was too much of a burden when the LMRDA and the union's constitution both impose a requirement to keep receipts.


    5. After using the union's vote as a scapegoat, the 2018 panel very briefly touches on the topic of how the money was actually used. They find that we may have won had we shown that an officer had received funds for nonexistent expenses, but that the district court correctly found that the existence of receipts bolsters the conclusion that none of the unreceipted portion of the allowance went to personal use.

    Having found that we had provided "as much evidence as one could hope for" and that union members would hardly ever be able to provide direct evidence of personal use outside of confession, it seems to me that the 2008 majority was saying the burden of proof was now on the defendants. Indeed, the allowance required receipts, the COA said that any amount would be a violation, and Williams specifically pointed to Morrissey suggesting that the defendants bear the burden of proving the propriety of each expenditure.

    The district court was ordered to determine if any money was used for personal gain because the COA found that the lack of receipts was as much evidence as one could hope for, but the 2018 panel finds the exact opposite, that the receipts that existed outweighed the officers lack of receipts. The 2018 panel does not address Morrissey or the burden of proof issue, nor do they address the other evidence of personal use. As Williams explained:

    Given that Sombrotto encouraged the officers to apply for $500 monthly even when it exceeded their actual expenses, the district court clearly erred by finding “no evidence” of this practice.​

    Further, the 2018 panel fails to address our arguments regarding the receipts:

    To qualify as a legitimate union expense, the Fiscal Committee, the DOL, and the IRS all require a record or notation on the receipt of a union purpose… virtually none [of the receipts] …itemize a union purpose​

    Sombrotto testified that every month, resident national officers applied for and were paid “$500 on the dot” during Sombrotto’s 24-year term and for the “ten, 12, 16, 20 years before” he became president. With only one exception, there are no in-town expense checks issued for under $500 to Young and Hutchins covering six-and-one-half years of monthly checks at issue here. For all nine officers for whom we have receipts, covering 339 months of monthly statements, there is only one other check under $500--$499.98 as requested. The assertion of NALC Defendants-Appellees that all resident officers incurred expenses equal to or exceeding $500 each month is not credible and cannot support the decision below. Even a cursory review of the receipts belies the farcical assumption that all officers, going back as far as 1958 if Sombrotto’s testimony is to be believed, had in-town union expenses of $500 each month, whether they were ill, on vacation, or working outside DC for significant parts of the month. If any receipts were attached to the monthly request, the request would commonly contain two lines: one line had the amount purportedly equal to the attached receipts (“receipted”) and the other line, labeled “N.R.” (no receipt) expenses would invariably be equal to the difference between $500 and the amount on the “receipted” line. On occasion, the receipts did not add up to the amount on receipted expenses line, but the officer received the full $500. Other times, the officer made mistakes adding up his receipted expenses. In such cases, the president or his assistant would alter the officer’s submission by correcting the typed receipted amount and then crossing-out the amount typed for non-receipted expenses and handwriting a new “N.R.” amount so that the lines would total $500. In other instances, the officer nominally requested $500, but his receipted and non-receipted expenses fell short of that total. The officer was nevertheless paid $500, after a reviewer increased the N.R. amount by hand so that the mathematical total was $500. These third-party alterations of the non-receipted amount, simply to produce a $500 total, cannot represent actual expenses incurred by the officer submitting the request.​

    Given that the 2018 panel and the district court rely on the receipts as proving that none of the allowance went to personal use, it seems odd that the COA makes no mention of the arguments against the receipts’ credibility.


    6. The COA's second order was for the district court to review the evidence of bad faith in light of Defries:

    We note as well that the district court’s memorandum opinion made no mention of Noble’s evidence of bad faith regarding the “in-town” expense allowance. The evidence Noble presented showing that NALC presidents twice misleadingly denied the allowance’s existence when challenged on the issue at National Conventions is troubling…On remand, we would refer the district court to our decision in United States v. DeFries, 129 F.3d 1293 (D.C. Cir. 1997), which suggests that courts should closely scrutinize self-serving courses of conduct when union officers conceal vital information from union members. See id. at 1307 (holding that when union executive committee concealed information on challenged severance payments from its members, it was not “reasonable to say that the severance payment was authorized’” despite union bylaws expressly empowering the executive committee to set its own compensation).​

    But the 2018 panel approaches Defries from another angle. Having found that the 501 issue turned on the union's interpretation, and that the union convention had already affirmed the officers interpretation, the 2018 panel frames the bad faith argument as one of bad faith acts versus good faith interpretation. In reality our argument was that the concealment was evidence of a bad faith interpretation. Williams elaborates on Defries in response to the per diem issue from the 2008 decision:

    Under our precedent in United States v. DeFries, 129 F.3d 1293 (D.C. Cir. 1997), these allegations state a violation of § 501(a). Payments to the officers are invalid if made without informed consent, for “authorization secured ‘without disclosure of . . . material information’ is a nullity.” Id. at 1307 (omission in original). DeFries’s “nullity” phrase comes from United States v. Butler, 954 F.2d 114 (2d Cir.1992), a case with facts strikingly similar to those here. The Butler court upheld the embezzlement conviction under § 501(c) of a union official who had secured approval for “fixed expense payments for attending trustee meetings” without revealing that he and other recipients “were already being fully compensated for actual expenses.” Id. at 119. The Second Circuit held that approval given under these circumstances was worthless. The Fourth and Fifth Circuits have agreed, holding that when union officers benefit directly from an expenditure, they must prove “that the funds . . . were obtained with the valid authorization of the union after adequate disclosure.”​

    Here the 2008 panel is saying that bad faith interpretation negates authorization but the 2018 panel inverts this conclusion, finding that authorization negates bad faith.


    7. After finding that we had misread Defries, the 2018 panel addresses the question of bad faith interpretation, quoting the district court's finding that there was only evidence of concealment from a prior administration. The problem here is there was evidence of concealment from two administrations. Below is the full quote from the district court with the parts the COA left out in bold:

    At most, then, the in-town allowances had been concealed by a prior administration, and described by the administration with which the individual defendants are affiliated as if they required “accounting,” when in fact they did not. This differs enough from DeFries that the Court cannot say that these individual defendants... sought to conceal the existence of the challenged payments. At the same time, the history of prior concealment and the confusion about accounting in 1986 paint a picture that counsels in favor of a more careful review of how the individual defendants used their in-town allowances.

    This omission is significant. The 2008 panel ordered the district court to review the evidence of bad faith in light of Defries because they believed the concealment was both troubling and striking. Even the district court found that the evidence warranted a more careful review of the allowance. But for some reason the 2018 panel only discussed the prior administration's concealment.

    The prior administration's concealment presented on its own lends itself to the theory of bad faith acts vs good faith interpretations. Without considering the element of authorization, it makes sense that the bad faith acts of a prior administration would not trump the good faith interpretations of the defendants. But it's the defendants' concealment that gives context to the prior administration's acts, and it should go without saying that it's the defendants that are the subject of the appeal. It seems a little ironic that the 2018 panel glosses over the defendants' actions while discussing concealment.
     
  8. flyingron

    flyingron Active Member

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    You need to tone down your rhetoric. Using hysterical speech won't get you anywhere here and it certainly will not in court.

    Your statements are nonsequiturs. The fact that he "introduced all the evidence he could" is not inconsistent with the evidence not supporting wrongdoing. People often present tons of evidence that doesn't lead to a finding (even if it were complete and believed).
     
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  9. Chaz B

    Chaz B Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say. The 2008 panel said he had presented as much evidence as one could hope for. They found that short of confession, he had the best case a 501 plaintiff could have. The 2018 panel ends their decision by finding he had never provided any evidence ever. This finding isn't even consistent with their own decision, let alone with what the 2008 panel found.
     
  10. flyingron

    flyingron Active Member

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    I don't understand why you think what happened in DeFries has any bearing to Noble. The court as much says that Noble is misapplying DeFries. This has nothing to do with panels but the fact you are dealing with disparate cases.
     
  11. Chaz B

    Chaz B Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I believe that Defries has a bearing on the case because the 2008 panel ordered the district court to consider the bad faith evidence in light of Defries (see items 6 and 7 from the list above.)

    I originally posted about Defries because it's the only time the 2018 panel cites one of the briefs. I didn't understand how what the court said was related to the arguments they cited because they didn't seem to match. After reading Tax Counsel's reply, it seemed that the court was saying that because the convention had affirmed the officer's good faith, the argument was one of bad faith acts versus the defendant's good faith interpretation. But if this is the case, as I explained in items 6 and 7 above, then they are contradicting the 2008 panel which discussed Defries as holding that bad faith negates authorization.

    I'm not sure that that's what the 2018 panel is saying but it's the best I can come up with. The reading they claim was presented doesn't seem like an accurate portrayal of what the argument actually was, I originally made this post to see if anyone could explain if it is or isn't.

    I feel I should mention that I didn't post the entire argument on Defries, only what was cited by the court. The brief goes on to explain how the defendants concealed the nature of the allowance.
     
  12. flyingron

    flyingron Active Member

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    You need to stop addressing things as the "2008" panel. You will not win ascribing things to conspiracy theories. How valid the Devries findings were was immaterial. The decision (and this stands) in Noble was that the principles of that decision were misapplied in Noble's case.

    I've lost the thread of what point you're trying to make. Where are you in all this litigation?
     
  13. Chaz B

    Chaz B Law Topic Starter New Member

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    The case is well past the point of appeal. How valid the Defries findings were is immaterial to this conversation. This isn't based on concerns with winning or conspiracy theories.

    As I explained in the last post, this thread was originally about the difference between what the COA said they were citing and the argument that was actually in the brief. As I explained in the first post you responded to, I expanded the conversation to a list of things I thought were contradictory.

    I'm looking for responses that address the substance of the appeal. Specifically, as a layman, I've come here with what I see as contradictions and I'm asking if they are, or why they aren't contradictions. That the COA found that the principles of Defries were misapplied in Noble doesn't address how the reasoning is or isn't contradictory with the principle of Defries.

    The COA found that “Noble misreads Defries, arguing that a union officer necessarily breaches his fiduciary duty if he acts in bad faith notwithstanding his good-faith interpretation of his constitutional authority. The argument fails.”

    Can you explain how this does or does not accurately portray the argument that was cited? As I explained above it seems that the COA's framing is based on the convention's vote. Can you explain why you do or do not disagree? It seems to me that the COA was saying that authorization negates bad faith, but the 2008 panel introduced Defries as saying that bad faith negates authorization, when the COA said that Noble misread Defries were they really saying that the COA had previously misread Defries? These are some of the questions that relate to the Defries issue.

    But Defries makes up less than a third of the list of (what I see as) contradictions. My point is not to say that these are contradictions, but to try and understand. It's been well established what the court decided and that the case is over, I'm trying to have a conversation about the reasons they gave and how it relates to the context of the case.
     
  14. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I am capable of explaining anything, but this requires more effort, than I care to expend.

    I am capable of explaining anything, but this requires more effort, than I care to expend.


    Who knows, mate?
     
  15. flyingron

    flyingron Active Member

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    No, it doesn't say that at all. It doesn't invalidate or change anything about the previous decision. It just says Noble's attempt to invoke that decision isn't valid, most likely that the points he is claiming are made by the previous decision aren't what the decision states or they are somehow otherwise misapplied.
     
  16. Chaz B

    Chaz B Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'm not sure why you're responding as if there's much ambiguity on the subject. The court explained what the misreading was and cited the relevant part of the brief. Whether it was a misunderstanding of what the court had previously said or if it was somehow otherwise misapplied makes little difference.

    I'm not saying the conversation around Defries is contradictory because they found it doesn't apply, it's that the reason they gave seems to contradict the reason Defries was brought up in the first place. As the COA explained in 2008:

    Under our precedent in United States v. DeFries, 129 F.3d 1293 (D.C. Cir. 1997), these allegations state a violation of § 501(a). Payments to the officers are invalid if made without informed consent, for “authorization secured ‘without disclosure of . . . material information’ is a nullity… when union officers benefit directly from an expenditure, they must prove “that the funds . . . were obtained with the valid authorization of the union after adequate disclosure.”​

    So when the COA implies Defries was misread because authorization negates bad faith, it seems like a pretty clear contradiction with what they had previously said, at least based on the reasons given in 2018.
     
  17. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    The overall consensus on this forum is that you are wrong, but it really doesn't matter. This forum is not where you'll need to argue this. You need an attorney...arguing here does no good because you've already made up your mind, other opinions be danged!
     
  18. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Thank you fellow forum member, so to avoid further angst and discord, this thread is closed.

    To the OP: Don't open another thread relative to this topic.
    This forum is not a legal debate society or the online arm of any moot court organization.
    Thank you.
     

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