Susan Webber Wright (born 1948) is a United States federal judge, presently serving as the chief judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. She received national attention when she dismissed the sexual harassment lawsuit brought by Paula Jones against President Bill Clinton in 1998.
In 1999 I sent Judge Wright an inquiry into a judicial clerkship. She sent me a cordial reply.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN AND WESTERN DISTRICTS OF ARKANSAS
600 WEST CAPITOL AVENUE, SUITE 522
LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS 72201-3325
SUSAN WEBBER WRIGHT
August 26, 1999
Mr. Gary Freedman
3801 Conecticut Avenue NW, #136
Washington D.C. 20008-4530
Dear Mr. Freedman:
I have received your letter concerning your application for a clerkship. I do not have a vacancy at present and do not anticipate one in the near future as I recently filled the position to begin the term of 2001. It is my custom to hire law clerks who are recent graduates of law school.
Thank you for your interest and best wishes to you.
Susan Webber Wright
December 10, 1998
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW #136
Washington, DC 20008-4530
Hon. Susan Webber Wright
Little Rock, AR 72201-3323
Dear Judge Wright:
I am an attorney licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and qualify for consideration for a position as law clerk with the U.S. District Court of Arkansas. Preliminary to forwarding a copy of my resume to the court I believe I have a legal duty to advise the court 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 misleading, knowingly false, 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).
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.
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 the court.