|May/90: Ted Crump letter to Capital Translator, May 11, 1990. p. 4: "The most recent ATA Board communique, although cut to the bone as usual, contained some real screamers. First, after all the hoo-rah over the past six months, the 501(c)(3) idea was waylaid, at least for the time being." (censorship...) "The communique somehow failed to mention that ATA's attorney, Mr. Frank Patton Jr., between September 1, 1989 and the time of the Board meeting had been paid $16,344.25 in attorney's fees; that figure as of May 7, 1990 stood at approximately $22,000. ...this amounts to the annual dues of 44 members." (...) "...the newsletter (Translation News) frankly maintains that it was the action of three translation bureaus, AdEx Translations International, Inc. (Bernard Bierman, New York), AdEx Translations International/USA (Robert Addis, California), and William Gray Enterprises (Mark/Marc Masurovsky) of Washington, DC, which brought about this sudden turn in ATA policy and the scrapping of rate guidelines. The newsletter says that beginning in November 1989, Bierman, Addis and Masurovsky successively questioned the legality of the rate guidelines program to the ATA President, engaged an antitrust attorney, urged the president get Mr. Patton involved, and even sent him documentation on the rates guidelines program." [to say nothing of turning in an actual complaint to the FTC] (...) It's a black day for freelances, but it's just the logical succession of slamming the lid down on the Chronicle. (Capital Translator, May 11, 1990. p. 4)|
|Highlights of the October, 1991 Board meeting: Faced with information from ATA attorney Frank Patton that the FTC construes point 9 of our Code of Professional Conduct and Business Practices, which states that an ATA member "will not engage in unfair competitive practices," to mean "undercutting of fees," voted to delete the item from the Code as a gesture of good faith, notwithstanding that such an interpretation was never the intent of the authors of the Code or the Board. (Chronicle, Nov/Dec 1991)
Dec/92: From Translation News: ATA Discloses Significant Losses Over Past Two Years... $100,000 spent in connection with FTC investigation, or about 18% of all expenses incurred. (Translation News, p. 4) NAJIT also the subject of an FTC investigation; TAALS has history of rate recommendations. (Translation News, p. 5)
|Letter from Bernard Bierman p. 4: the present letter contains a statement made in the article [see above]. On page 6 Mr. Bukacek wrote: "subsequently I found out that the attorney in question was one Brian Moran of the Stamford (CT) law firm Chapman, Moran, Hubbard & Zimmerman. Attorney Moran was the same attorney engaged by Robert Addis, Bernard Bierman and Mark Mazurovsky in connection with possible legal action against the ATA." [heated denial...]
in summary, what occurred between November 1989 and the end of January 1991 was as follows: the November of 1989, I informed ATA officials of my believe that the organization's rate guidelines program might pose certain federal (and state) antitrust dangers. My communications to the ATA (which remained without response and/or action) were followed up by letter sent by Mr. Addis to the ATA Chronicle editor (Jane Zorilla) on December 30, 1989. That letter was not published; rather it was sent by Ms. Zorilla to Steven Sachs, Chairman of the Rate Guidelines Committee. Mr. Sachs responded to Mr. Addis by saying, among other things, that the ATA attorney (Frank Patton Jr.) was aware of the rate guidelines and found no objection to them.
At that point Messrs Addis, Masurovsky and I, at complete cost to ourselves, retained Mr. Moran to research the legal aspects of the ATA rate guidelines program, specifically for determining whether the program might be in violation of federal and state antitrust strictures. Mr. Moran submitted to his report to us around Jan. 20, 1990, which indicated that the rate guidelines program could very well run afoul of antitrust laws. Shortly after receipt of the report, Mr. Masurovsky had lunch with then-President Deanna Hammond and related to her the essentials of the report. Following clearance of certain client-attorney confidentiality is, the report was submitted to Ms. Hammond, coupon or around February 6, 1990 turned over to Mr. Patton. In March 1990, Mr. Patton recommended to the ATA Board Of Directors that the rate guidelines program be immediately terminated, and a strict antitrust policy formulated.
From the very outset, all three of us firmly believed that the rate guidelines program contained discernible legal flaws, a belief that was verified by Mr. Moran. We were confident and always remained confident that when reading the opinion of an attorney specializing in antitrust matters the ATA would act in a proper and judicious manner. There was never any thought about bringing a private antitrust action against ATA, and no such thoughts were ever entertained given the circumstances. Moreover, the cost to the three of us for these legal services was considerable, and at no time did we ever ask for reimbursement from the ATA or make any inferences in that respect. (Capital Translator October/93)
March/91: State Department rates, p. 7. Federal Trade Commission antitrust "update," p. 9. "The ATA attorneys submitted the materials requested by the FTC in late January. Should there be further news to report, we will keep you informed. Deanna Hammond, ATA President.