RAAM, LLC threatening to sue UMCA members

Mavis Irwin is the spokeperson representing the UMCA members wanting answers about the UMCA's actions. On February 23rd, she got a letter from RAAM, LLC's attorney. This kind of threat is known as SLAPP suit: http://www.nolo.com/definition.cfm/term/1264241E-6BCC-41DE-88FB065B11543680

(Click on the image to view it full-sized in new window.)

More threats from RAAM, LLC:

E-mail sent to Mavis Irwin from Fred Boethling on March 9th, 2008 at 8:14 PM


I feel compelled to share with you some personal observations regarding your present situation. From what I gather, you are a bright young woman. I know being at the center of things and getting a great deal of attention is intoxicating. But, you may be getting in way over your head.

I strongly encourage you to consider very carefully what is going on here.

Judging from both the response you sent (clearly not crafted by you) and the time it took to respond, it’s clear you’ve spoken with other members of your little “Save the UMCA” group. I’d expect that your response was written by the lawyer amongst you, or perhaps, a lawyer retained by another group member. In any case, I’m reasonably certain that they’ve explained to you exactly what you did wrong.

I also hope they explained to you exactly why we responded the way we did. We really had no other reasonable course of action. This is the way the dance works. You should know it’s serious.

What I wonder is, did they fully explain to you the position you’re in. Have they explained what the consequences could be? Have they explained that if push comes to shove, you’ll have to get your own lawyer?

You may not believe this … but, you are being manipulated. You also may not believe this … but, I truly do not want to see you get in the middle of something which you’ll regret for the rest of your life.

Riding bicycles is supposed to be fun.
Fred (Boethling)


Don R. said...

It sounds like RAAM got the junior member of their law firm's legal team to construct that letter. If the act were indeed tortious, not "tortuous" they would have likely addressed the exact reference rather than veil it. As a life member of the UMCA, seeing things like this make me wish that I could terminate my membership in such an organization as it has become. My experience prior to these incidents of late has been an enjoyable and educational one. John Marino and RAAM sparked my involvement in my state bicycling community to a very great extent. I had always looked upon the UMCA and RAAM as a group of serious bicyclists with one purpose: competitive bicycling (not fighting each other in the court rooms of this land). I hope their attorneys find something better to do with their time than hassle you. Don

Anonymous said...

don r: "It sounds like RAAM got the junior member of their law firm's legal team to construct that letter."

That "law firm legal team" is actually a one-man show -- and that one man is a personal injury lawyer.


Yeah, gotta love the "tortuous" interference, along with the "liable" (um, when I went to law school, that particular tort was called "libel") and "damages my client's suffer."

Bruce Moore said...

I am not a UMCA member. However, after reading numerous news stories and blogs regarding the current UNCA over the past several months it seems to me that it may very well be time to let the UMCA alone. Perhaps instead of spending so much time and resources trying to fix an organization that clearly has no intention of allowing itself to be fixed; the process of planning and incorporating the Amarican Ultracycling Association should begin. This and other news letters and blogs cantain clear evidence that the participants, promoters, and fans of untracycling posses the intelegence knowledge and fairmindedness required for such a task. I for one would be proud and happy to be a charter member of the A.U.A.

SaveUMCA Team said...

We do discuss starting a new organization for over a year now, but we still have four good reasons to give UMCA time first. The main reason is that there are still good people in the UMCA government doing everything they can. Let's all of us be patient.


Anonymous said...

In order to resolve any conflict, both sides need to be willing to be 100% transparent, admit fault if any (we are all human), agree to work towards resolution, and make commitments so that history is not repeated.
I fail to see why information requested by ANY MEMBER of the UMCA from the elected, compensated or voluntary leaders of the UMCA is not immediately forthcoming. If the information is not available, explain why...if it cost money to make copies, tell them how much and money will be forwarded. Dont let things fester in a total vacuum of silence like a saddle sore on a long event, communicate your thought process of why information requested is not or will not be made available.
The silence, posturing and legal threats of the parent organization to one or any member of the organization speaks volumes and perception is reality.
If mistakes were made, if fault is found (on any side of a conflict) explain it and bring it to the light of day for all to see and I think you will find that most if not all of us are willing to forgive and move on for the sake of the sport and the reputation of the organization.
Yes, I am a UMCA member in Boulder, CO and I value the intents of all sides of this conflict and it is time to move on folks....either provide a full accounting of any events or data requested or refuse to and let the chips fall were they may...do we really want another International Randoneurs - RUSA split?

SaveUMCA Team said...

Thank you, Anonymous. I personally agree with your comment and I forwarded it to the UMCA government.


XO-1.ORG said...

Like Mavis, I live in the United States of America, where freedom of speech is still not only legal, but encouraged and celebrated.

We'll continue to beat the drum for sportsmanship, fairness, integrity, and transparent democracy within the ranks of the UMCA government until the end of the time. Somewhere, along the way, we can only hope that the Board of Directors of the UMCA will wake up and realize that two things need to happen without delay and without any gray areas or secret back room deals:

1) Remove John Hughes from any position of authority within the UMCA, subsequently abolishing the paid Managing Director's position. (RUSA runs its ship quite well and without controversy, back-stabbing, or back room deals, while overseeing significantly more events than the UMCA does and publishing a far better publication - and they do that without paying anyone a dime for their time!)

2) Sever all ties with RAAM and treat it, and all other ultracycling events and their organizers, with equality. (The current situation, where the UMCA owns RAAM and promotes it and supports it, and spends thousands of dollars and man hours on its behalf, would make as much sense as the UCI owning the Tour de France.)

Chris Kostman

Sean Cuddihy said...

Hi Mavis,

As a citizen of the United States, continue to voice your opinions as you see fit.

I will not renew my UMCA membership until the UMCA board displays competence in the management and use of such membership fees as well as discretion and dignity when communicating with its members.

Good luck, take care, and hold strong!

Sean Cuddihy

Kathy R. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathy R. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mavis Irwin said...

(Comments from "Kathy" were random spams.)