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MANGO v. COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS

June 11, 1991

LOU MANGO, DENIS HURLEY, DIANE ZICCARDI, DIANA MASCIONI-SHANAHAN, KAAYRN JOHNSON, MICHAEL BRACHULE, BOBBIE RICHARDSON, THOMAS TOLAN, LILLIAN BIANCO-PEREIRA, DON ARATA, MARILYN COLES, LEE BOOKER AND VINCENT GALELLA, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 1105, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sweet, District Judge.

OPINION

Plaintiffs Lou Mango ("Mango"), Denis Hurley, Diane Ziccardi, Diana Mascioni-Shanahan, Kaaryn Johnson, Michael Brachule, Bobbie Richardson, Thomas Tolan, Lillian Bianco-Pereira, Don Arata, Marilyn Coles, Lee Booker and Vincent Galella (collectively referred to as "Mango") have moved for an award of attorney's fees in the underlying action, pursuant to Section 102 of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, 29 U.S.C. § 412 (the "Act"). For the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted, except with respect to those items as set forth below.

The Parties

Plaintiffs are members of the defendant Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO, Local 1105 ("Local 1105" or the "Union"), a labor organization located in New York City. Since 1985, Local 1105 has been affiliated with the Communications Workers of America ("CWA") and has been the collective bargaining representative for approximately 7,200 commercial, public communications, sales and headquarters employees working for NYNEX, the New York Telephone Company, and American Telephone and Telegraph Company.

Facts and Prior Proceedings

On October 12, 1990, Mango filed this action pursuant to §§ 101(a) and (b) of the Act to compel Local 1105 to hold a special meeting of its membership to permit the membership to decide (a) whether to use the American Arbitration Association ("AAA") in conducting the Union's 1990 election of officers, and (b) whether each candidate for office should be permitted to designate a member of the Union's election committee (the "Committee").

The action arose from the alleged refusal of Local 1105 to call special work locations meetings of its members upon the receipt of a petition of approximately a quarter of its members requesting the Union to determine if the majority of its members want the Union to (a) engage the services of the AAA as described above and (b) to include members of good standing, designated by each candidate running for elective office, to be equal participants in the Committee.

By Order to Show Cause returnable October 19, 1990, Mango moved for a preliminary injunction ordering the Union to hold the meeting sought in the complaint. On October 25, 1990, following a hearing spread out over several days, the Court indicated that it would grant injunctive relief. When the Union heard that the Court was inclined to grant injunctive relief, the Union stated that it would use the AAA and that it would consent to the placement on the election committee of an individual designated by Mango. The Union's commitments having obviated the need for a special meeting of the membership concerning the elections, the Court dismissed the motion as moot. Prior to or during the course of the several days of hearings the Union agreed to augment the Committee by some one designated by the Mango slate.

By Order to Show Cause dated November 5, 1990, Mango moved for a second preliminary injunction. By this second motion, Mango sought to enjoin the Committee and the AAA from conducting any further election procedures pending a hearing and determination by this Court of the names of persons eligible to participate in the election. Mango's position in the hearing of November 8 was that there were 1,945 names of members in good standing of Local 1105 that did not appear on the Committee's membership list and 2,283 names on the Committee's membership list that were not members in good standing of Local 1105.

On the return date of the motion, Mango learned from the Committee that it had added approximately 600 names to the Membership list from the 1,945 names that Mango sought to include as eligible to receive a ballot from the AAA. The Committee apparently added the names after a review of the mailing list for the election and a comparison of the list with the membership cards in file in the Union's office. That review took place over several days beginning November 5.

In a hearing of November 9, 1990, the Court ruled from the bench to deny Mango's motion:

  Based upon the representation of the [Union] that the
  membership list will be made available and upon the authority
  of Crowley, in the absence of irreparable injury prior to the
  denial of a ballot to a union member, the motion is denied.

Under the court's reading of Local No. 82, Furniture & Piano Moving v. Crowley, 467 U.S. 526, 548, 104 S.Ct. 2557, 2569-70, 81 L.Ed.2d 457 (1984), it had no subject matter jurisdiction of Mango's claim at that time.

Mango's initial fee application sought attorney's fees of $35,890.50, based on a total number of service hours of 184.66. The fee request is based on the number of hours multiplied by the rates of the several attorneys working on the matter. In his reply affidavit, however, counsel for Mango revised this figure downward to $29,240.50 to reflect the inadvertent inclusion in the request for attorney's fees of work that had been done for the same client on other matters, either prior ...


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