12 November 1997
Andrew J. Mohr, Esq.
Cohen and White
1055 Thomas Jefferson Street, N.W.
Washington, D. C. 20007
Dear Mr. Mohr:
I wish to acknowledge receipt of your letter, re. Associate Members; Translators Services Directory, dated November 4, 1997, at ATA Headquarters in Alexandria on November 5, 1997.
I learned of its existence when Mr. Pletka "served" me with a photographic copy during his mass distribution of this letter on Thursday, November 6, 1997, at the annual conference of the American Translators Association, Inc., in San Francisco.
Since my term in office ended on Friday, November 7, 1997, I have asked the new president of the Association, Ms. Muriel M. Jerome-O'Keeffe, to respond to it on behalf of the Association.
Peter W. Krawutschke
cc: Dr. Radovan Pletka
Ms. Muriel Jerome-O'Keeffe
Subj: ATA chickens coming home Section: Transl/Interpr MISC
To: all, Tuesday 19:01:13
From: Radovan Pletka, 74150,1532 #867513
November 4, 1997
Dr. Peter W. Krawutschke
American Translators Association
1800 Diagonal Road, Suite 220
Alexandria, VA 22314-2840
Re: Associate Members; Translators Services Directory
Dear Dr. Krawutschke:
I represent Radovan Pletka. Mr. Pletka has retained me to enforce his right to be listed in the Translators Services Directory ("TSD") published by the American Translators Association ("ATA").
Mr. Pletka is an Associate Member of the ATA. According to the ATA's bylaws, Associate Members have the same rights as Active Members, with a few specified exceptions:
Associate members have all the rights and privileges of active members except the right to vote, to hold Association office, and to serve on the board of Directors or standing committees.
ATA Bylaws, 1997 Membership Directory, at Art. III, Membership, #164# 3.c.
Since Active members are listed in the TSD, and since the exceptions applicable to Associate Members as listed in the ATA's bylaws make absolutely no reference to the TSD, Associate Members therefore have the same right and privilege as Active Members to be listed in the TSD. The ATA's failure to list Associate Members in the TSD violates its own bylaws, and is thus illegal and wrongful.
The ATA is undoubtedly aware of this illegality, as seen from the ATA's webpage. Under the heading "Membership," the ATA webpage states that Associate members "have all the rights and privileges of active members except the right to vote, to hold Association office, and to be listed in the Translation Services Directory." (emphasis added).
The ATA, however, cannot simply add at its whim the TSD as an exception applicable to Associate Members. Very much to the contrary, to add TSD as an exception applicable to Associate Members the ATA must first change its bylaws. This the ATA has not done. Therefore, the ATA's listing in its webpage of the TSD as an exception applicable to Associate Members is an illegal act beyond the ATA's corporate powers, and is of no force or effect.
The ATA's failure to list Associate Members in the TSD has wrongfully deprived Associate Members from the rights they should enjoy under the ATA's bylaws. As a result, Associate Members have undoubtedly lost revenue and business opportunities through their omission from the TSD. Moreover, since Associate Members' annual dues should have included their listing in the TSD, Associate Members have for years subsidized the listing of Active Members, to the detriment of Associate Members.
Mr. Pletka demands that the ATA immediately agree to list Associate Members in the TSD in compliance with the ATA's bylaws. In addition, Mr. Pletka demands that the ATA remove the statements in its webpage stating that Associate Members are not entitled to listing in the TSD. Finally, Mr. Pletka demands that the ATA waive one-half of Mr. Pletka's annual dues for the next five years in repayment of its subsidization of listing Active Members in past issues of the TSD.
I appreciate your attention to this matter, and expect your prompt reply.
Yours very truly,
Andrew J. Mohr, Esq.
Attorney for Radovan Pletka
Copy: Radovan Pletka