Friday, December 18, 2009

A George Washington University Connection?

Sheldon S. Cohen, Esq. used to be a tax partner at the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Mr. Cohen is also a trustee of The George Washington University. In the 1990s I sent Mr. Cohen several letters about my difficulties with the GW Department of Psychiatry, where I was an outpatient. My letters discussed my suspicion that GW was transmitting confidential mental health information about me to my former employer, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, in violation of the D.C. Mental Health information Act.

In 1999 I sent the following job application to an attorney at Mr. Cohen's law firm that refers to Mr. Cohen (see bold type). I wonder if Mr. Cohen made any telephone calls about me.

April 13, 1999
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW #136
Washington, DC 20008-4530

Stephanie Naidoff, Esq.
Of Counsel
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
2000 One Logan Square
Philadelphia, PA 19103-6993

Dear Ms. Naidoff:

I am an attorney licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and qualify for consideration for a position as associate with the firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Preliminary to forwarding a copy of my resume to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius I believe I have a legal duty to advise the firm of the following facts regarding concerns about my potential for armed violence or homicide, intent to purchase firearms to commit a felony, and the illegal transport of a deadly weapon: concerns placed in controversy and affirmed, by the District of Columbia Office of Corporation Counsel (Charles F.C. Ruff, Esq.), as relating to genuine fears about my criminal intent.

The Government of the District of Columbia has affirmed that my former employer, the Washington, DC office of the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld ("Akin Gump") terminated my employment in October 1991 on the basis of genuine concerns about my mental health and stability, including the potential for violence. The employer's termination decision was made following an ex parte consultation with a psychiatrist who did not examine me personally. Freedman v. D.C. Department of Human Rights, D.C. Superior Court no. MPA 95-14 (final order, June 10, 1996), affirmed by the D.C. Court of Appeals (Terry, Reid, and King, associate judges), No. 96-CV-961 (Memorandum Opinion and Judgment filed Sept. 1, 1998).

As of the filing of the complaint in the Superior Court proceedings, in October 1995, and at all times thereafter, it was unlawful under the laws of the District of Columbia for a psychiatrist to offer a professional psychiatric opinion about an individual without benefit of personal examination as is strongly recommended by the American Psychiatric Association's Principles of Medical Ethics. The D.C. Code in its latest revision makes it unlawful for a physician to "[fail] to conform to standards of acceptable conduct and prevailing practice within a health profession." See D.C. Code 2-3305.14(26). This provision was added to the District of Columbia Health Occupations Revision Act by D.C. Law 10-247, enacted on March 23, 1995. The Court of Appeals expressly found that the professional psychiatric opinion offered by the psychiatrist to the employer amounted to the diagnosis of a "disorder." See No. 96-CV-961 at 4.

The District of Columbia Superior Court as well as the Court of Appeals did not find that the action of my Akin Gump supervisor in stating to employees that she feared that I might have had plans to kill her, and the action of the supervisor in arranging to have her office secured against such a homicidal assault, see record on appeal at 41, was invidiously motivated. The supervisor (Robertson) is designated by the employer as one of the three decisionmakers who terminated my employment, see record on appeal at 167, which termination decision was based in part on the above-referenced psychiatric evidence that tended to show that I posed a risk of violence. Robertson's termination decision was made in consultation with Dennis M. Race, Esq., a senior Akin Gump partner, see record on appeal at 138 and 167.

Mr. Race has expressly affirmed, under penalty of D.C. Code 1-2529 (D.C. Human Rights Act of 1977: false documents or testimony), that (unspecified) acts of "violence," see record on appeal at 140, that I committed during my tenure at the firm coupled with the firm's reasonable fear that my future conduct might expose the firm to tort liability, see record on appeal at 148 (possibly including tort damages for wrongful death, cf. record on appeal at 41), justified the firm's decision to terminate my employment.

The District of Columbia Office of Corporation Counsel expressly affirmed to the D.C. Superior Court and to the Court of Appeals in pleadings filed in the above-referenced proceedings, relying on legally-irrelevant "after-acquired" evidence, see McKennon v. Nashville Banner Publishing Co., 115 S.Ct. 879, 885 (1995), that my coworkers had formed genuine fears (i.e., not motivated by discriminatory animus) that I might have been armed and dangerous and poised to carry out a homicidal assault on the firm's premises. See Brief of Appellee District of Columbia Department of Human Rights and Minority Business Development at 9, Freedman v. D.C. Department of Human Rights, D.C. Court of Appeals No. 96-CV-961 (citing record on appeal at 276). The District implicitly asserted that my coworkers' concerns about my potential for armed violence were relevant to the employer's decision to terminate my employment.

I stand by the "Statement of Gary Freedman to the Office of U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Regarding Intent to Commit Crime of Violence as Determined by the Law Firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld," ("Statement to the U.S. Attorney") dated April 24, 1995, and made under penalty of criminal sanctions (D.C. Code 22-2514).

I want to advise, however, that representations made by the District of Columbia Office of Corporation Counsel (M. Justin Draycott, Esq.) to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals at oral argument in December 1997 that I "admitted" in pleadings that I filed with the D.C. Department of Human Rights that my "coworkers" were genuinely "afraid" of me (specifically with regard to my potential for armed violence or homicide) conflict with the prior Statement to the U.S. Attorney, and that said conflict may give rise to the appearance that the exculpatory representations that I made in the Statement to the U.S. Attorney were knowingly false, misleading, or perjurious.

Additionally, the Court of Appeals has affirmed, see D.C. No. 96-CV-961 at 3 n. 1, that the Department of Human Rights had legally-valid concerns that a document I submitted to the agency (which purports to have been written by the psychiatrist consulted by Akin Gump) may have been inauthentic (i.e., forged or fabricated), see record on appeal at 8. Presumably, according to the agency, I submitted the possibly inauthentic document in order to deny forensic psychiatric evidence filed by Akin Gump with the agency: forensic psychiatric evidence that related to my mental health (specifically relating to a psychiatric "disorder" that my employer had attributed to me, see D.C. No. 96-CV-961 at 4) and stability (specifically relating to my potential for violence). But see Namerdy v. Generalcar, 217 A.2d 109, 111-112 (D.C. 1966) (circumstantial evidence, such as evidence that a letter is written on the author's letterhead, is sufficient for authentication).

For your additional information I forward a document submission that I made to the Federal Protective Service (Jerry McGill, S.A.) under cover letter dated Sept. 8, 1997 under penalty of a criminal investigation.

Robert Chapman, Esq., Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, is familiar with this matter. The telephone number of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington is (202) 514-7566. Also, I have had several written communications with Sheldon S. Cohen, Esq., a partner at the Washington, DC office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

I am confident that defamatory statements about me that may raise substantial concerns about my mental stability and fitness to practice law, even acts of defamation committed by the law partners of a close friend of the President of the United States (Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Esq.) and acts of defamation committed by the current chief White House counsel to President Clinton (Charles F.C. Ruff, Esq.), will in no way impair my chances for fair consideration for employment by your firm.


Gary Freedman

1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

I was attracted to Stephanie Naidoff's connection to the arts in Philadelphia. I am a Phila. native and used to love to see performances of the Phila. Orchestra. In fact, I used to live at 1324 Locust Street in Phila when I was in law school, across the street from the Acad. of Music, where the Phila. Orch used to perform. I would have gotten higher law school grades if I didn't spend so much time going to Phila orch concerts!

MARCH 3, 2009

Stephanie W. Naidoff, Esq., Joins Penn Medicine Board

PHILADELPHIA – Stephanie W. Naidoff, Esq., former director of Commerce and City Representative for the City of Philadelphia, has been elected to the Board of Penn Medicine.

Ms. Naidoff is the Founding President of the Philadelphia Women’s Forum, an Honorary Director of the Mann Center for the Performing Arts and a member of the Board of Directors of the Avenue of the Arts Inc. She has served in leadership roles in many Philadelphia organizations including the William Penn Foundation, Free Library of Philadelphia, African American Museum in Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation. In recognition of her extensive community leadership, Ms. Naidoff was named a Distinguished Daughter of Philadelphia in October 2008. In addition to her civic leadership, Ms. Naidoff also served as Vice President and General Counsel for Thomas Jefferson University from 1981 through 1994.