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AHRMA Dissolution?

Discussion in 'WERA Vintage' started by 83BSA, Oct 30, 2006.

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  1. 83BSA

    83BSA Well-Known Member

    Many of you WERA Vintage members are also AHRMA members, so I post this to advise you of disturbing happens in our other organization. This also appears here beacuse the unofficial AHRMA bulletin board, administered by AHRMA Trustee Mark Hatten, is not a friendly place to comments objectively critical of AHRMA. It seems some of AHRMA's most outspoken proponents only want to hear one side - their side - and if an alternative view is expressed, or if a controversial subject is raised, it is squelched immediately.

    Two Sundays ago, October 22, at Barber, the AHRMA Trustees gathered for a "town hall meeting" at which ostensibly any questions could be propounded with the promise of answers. Sounds good. However, that promise did not take long to go unfullfilled. I asked the first question: "How much money has AHRMA spent in its litigation with Rob Iannucci and Team Obsolete?" Answer: "We will not answer that question on advice of counsel." I asked the second question: "I understand AHRMA'a attorneys have filed a motion to withdraw their representation of AHRMA in the Iannucci/Team Obsolete litigation. Why is that?" Answer: "We will not answer that question on advice of counsel." I was not permitted to ask the third question: "If AHRMA's current attorneys seek to fire AHRMA as a client, who represents AHRMA in that effort?"

    This weekend I learned Dave Lambreth, AHRMA's Executive Director resigned. Last month Rusty Lowery resigned as Secretary. Matt Benson has announced he is leaving the organization. Rumors abound Dave Janic (sp?) is about to resign. People I spoke with at Barber are reticent to run for trustee for fear of personal liability.

    More to follow to avoid space limitations . . . .
  2. 83BSA

    83BSA Well-Known Member

    AHRMA is alive, but I'm not sure it is well. Litigation is never a good thing, and the dispute with Rob Iannucci/Team Obsolete has been particularly mean spirited. While I don't know how much AHRMA has spent on its attorneys in that dispute (see above), I suspect it is nearly, if not more than $1,000,000. If so, that is criminal.

    As an AHRMA member, I understand AHRMA to be a member owned and run organization (unlike WERA which is a privately owned and run organization). How is it that the members (me and others) are not entitled to know how our money is being spent? How is it that the members are not entitled to know the most basic and fundamental fact: who represents their interests in a lawsuit ostensibly brought to protect their interests? How is it that the members are not entitled to be fully advised about what should be a business dispute, and have the opportunity to decide if buying a result, rather than paying attorneys, is the economical and prudent thing to do?

    I suggest the answer to the foregoing is rooted in Jeff Smith's (and other's) absolute loathing for Rob Iannucci and Team Obsolete. Hence, that litigation became/is a personal vendetta, not a business dispute. My problem with that? It is my (and the other memebers') money that is being used to fund Mr. Smith's (and other's) lawsuit. That is simply wrong.

    There is ample room in this world for WERA Vintage and AHRMA. The future of WRA Vintage is in the V5, V6, V7, etc classes. AHRMA provides a place for Class C bikes and handshifters, etc. WERA Vintage provides a regional program that allows for a lot of track accessibility and time. AHRMA is a national program; if you can't take weeks off from work and travel around the country, forget about contesting a national title (or if your good enough like Mr. Joyce, have folks provide you with bikes and fly in and out:up: ).
  3. YamRZ350

    YamRZ350 Nicorette Dependent

    Over what kind of time-frame do you guess that the $1,000,000 was spent?

    I'm surprised there would be that kind of money available to be spent. How many members does AHRMA have?

    I'm in the wrong line of work.
  4. mikek

    mikek Well-Known Member


    I've heard snippets about that legal action since I joined AHRMA a year ago, but have never tried to understand what its all about.

    I faxed the necessary form requesting a refund for entry fees from the Barber race, after my BMW was consumed by mechanical demons at the GNF. Haven't heard anything from AHRMA in reply, not surprising when the people in charge are stepping down in droves......
  5. Mongo

    Mongo Administrator

    Wow. If it's a million then I'm in the wrong business too, we couldn't spent 10 grand on lawyers much less a million.
  6. phantom 309

    phantom 309 Well-Known Member

    Barbers was a no refund race so don't hold your breath.David,if I can do it with my shitty little salary then I know you can do it.:up:
  7. Shyster d'Oil

    Shyster d'Oil Gerard Frommage

    Me love you long time for $10k. :D
  8. Shyster d'Oil

    Shyster d'Oil Gerard Frommage

    The likelihood of the AHRMA spending $1 million on legal fees for one lawsuit is virtually nil.
  9. 83BSA

    83BSA Well-Known Member

    Let me emphasize that I do not know how much has been spent . . . BECAUSE THEY WON'T TELL THEIR MEMBERS! But I am a commercial litigator, and having directed Home Depot's commercial litigation efforts for over 7 years, I know how easy it is to have one's attorneys rack up big bills if not closely and carefully directed. Given the personal vendetta nature of the litigation, I suspect those two words, "closely and carefully" were conspicuously absent.

    A portion of the litigation, which stretches over at least 5 years of which I am aware, was funded by AHRMA's insurer, Reliance Insurance Company. However, Reliance went bankrupt, and the Wisconsin insurance fund took over. However, I believe those funds may now be exhausted. If so, perhaps this is one of the undisclosed bases for the legal rats seeking to leave AHRMA's sinking ship?

    I want AHRMA to survive. I want WERA Vintage to survive. I simply do not want AHRMA to continue its wasteful, stupid ways. I emplore AHRMA members to get involved, ask the hard questions, demand real answers and hold their "elected officials" accountable.

    Now I've got to go back to making sinful amounts of money as an attorney . . . . :rolleyes:
  10. Mongo

    Mongo Administrator

    Lawyers scare me :D
  11. Shyster d'Oil

    Shyster d'Oil Gerard Frommage

    Reliance went belly up and left a bunch of insureds in the lurch here in NY, too. As in Wisconsin, the State Insurance Fund took over. Given the bean counters at Reliance and at the Fund, I bet a relatively tight rein was held on defense costs. Also, I bet the great bulk of defense costs (probably 100%) were borne not by AHMRA but by Reliance and the Fund, at least until now. Each case is different though. You could always have a low level associate do a Lexis/Westlaw search for docs filed in the case. . .

    And oh yeah, if "Mr. Green" leaves town your counsel will drop you like a lead weight. :D
  12. hinshaw929

    hinshaw929 Well-Known Member

    No truer words have ever been written........:D
  13. Yamaha Fan

    Yamaha Fan Well-Known Member

    Running up a $1,000,000 legal bill is one thing, Paying it (or not paying it) is another :D

    Creating a potential liability for the members out of a personal vendetta then refusing to disclose it is unforgivable.......

    Just another example of what happens when the leadership puts their personal interest above that of those they supposed to serve... in the end it is just plain sad.....
  14. Can-am

    Can-am Well-Known Member

    I am a long-term AHRMA member (since 1991) as well as a long-term WERA member (since 1975). I would like to see AHRMA survive into the future to showcase older bikes in real competition. This litigation stretches back to the mid – 1990’s. Team Obsolete tried to sponsor some races. AHRMA pulled the sanction late in the process. Then they disputed who owned the BEARS trademark. Meanwhile Team Obsolete and Barber we putting on a great races all over the country. The press covered it. Spectators even came! Then AHRMA banned Team Obsolete.
    Fast forward to Mid-Ohio in July. I attended “Vintage Days” this year as I have for the past few. Each year they have a grand marshal and a featured brand. Last year it was Paul Smart and Ducati. This year it was Agostini and MV. AHRMA advertised this for months. I heard in May that Ago was going to ride the Team Obsolete MV at Mid-Ohio. Of course I could not believe it was true. When I arrived the announcer hyped Ago’s featured ride every few minutes. When the time came Ago rode the Team Obsolete MV (with stickers on it) wearing his Team Obsolete leathers! The announcer continued to hype the event. It seems to me that the Team Obsolete ban is really an ego dispute. I don’t know if they have spent $1 million over the past decade but it is a lot. Unlike AHRMA, Iannucci is spending his own money. It seems to me that the real state of the Team Obsolete ban is that they are only banned when it is not in AHRMA’s financial interest to have them present. Am I missing something or is this crassly hypocritical?
  15. Mongo

    Mongo Administrator

    Isn't Ianucci a lawyer?
  16. footwork

    footwork Honda Research Analyst

    yea- he is. I think his plan has always been to drag out the lawsuit with AHRMA long enough to deplete all of their money. Seems to be working so far.
  17. Yamaha Fan

    Yamaha Fan Well-Known Member

    Blow fish defense
  18. Shyster d'Oil

    Shyster d'Oil Gerard Frommage

    I don't think so. But I interviewed with his brother back in 1991 who is/was the Bronx County Deputy District Attorney.
  19. Mongo

    Mongo Administrator

    I think Rob is too, my main reason for asking that is if so, he hasn't necessarily put a lot of money into this issue, just his own time.

    And so far everyone I know no matter which side they are on feels it's a pissing match and not based in any form of reality.
  20. Shyster d'Oil

    Shyster d'Oil Gerard Frommage

    Oh crap. If he is his own attorney he would have relatively little out of pocket expense, actually.

    I met him back in the 1980s when I was thinking about buying one of his BOTT bikes and he seemed like a nice guy.
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