March 6, 1998
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW #136
Washington, DC 20008-4530
Larry G. Massanari
Office of Disability & Intl. Operations
Social Security Administration
Baltimore, MD 21241-0001
RE: Social Security Disability Claim no. xxx xx xxxx
Dear Mr. Massanari:
This will advise the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) that I continue to hold the following unsubstantiated, or paranoid, belief concerning goings on at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld (Akin Gump), my former employer. The following unsubstantiated belief appears to be consistent with a paranoid mental disorder.
I formed the belief in mid-year 1992 that the act of the employer in November 1991 in approving my application for unemployment benefits was intended as a "quid pro quo" to, in effect, buy my silence about goings on at the firm.
The following is a chronology of facts and personal impressions that, in my mind, support the above paranoid inference.
1. October 29, 1991. Attorney manager Dennis M. Race, Esq. terminated my employment. He advises me that he is willing to serve as an employment reference for me, and he expressly asks me what "story" he should give a prospective employer in the event he is contacted.
(Race has no formal connection with the legal assistant program. The two attorney managers with direct connection to the legal assistant program are Malcolm Lassman and Earl L. Segal. I do not kow why Race was assigned the role of liaison with prospective employers, rather than Lassman or Segal.
On November 4, 1991 Segal directed me, during a telephone conversation that I placed to him, not to contact him again: that any future communications with the firm should be directed to Race.)
2. October 30, 1991. I telephone Race at the office shortly after 9:00 AM. Race states that the firm will not oppose my application for unemployment benefits; however, he cautions me not to "put down" any statements on the benefits application that might embarrass the firm.
3. Mid-year 1992. I am advised by the D.C. Department of Employment Services that I have been approved for extended unemployment benefits. Per the requirements of extended benefits I am required to submit evidence that I have been engaged in a job search. I am specifically required to submit to the Department of Employment Services the names of no less than three persons per week to whom I have directed employment inquiries.
4. June 1992 - November 1992. Per the requirements of extended benefits, I forward resumes to six employers (all law firms) every two weeks. The cover letter attached to the resume inquires about the availability of paralegal (legal assistant) positions. The cover letter directs the prospective employer to contact Race, and includes the direct telephone line of Race (887-4028). I recall that I routinely posted six letters bi-weekly on Friday. Most of the employers to whom I directed inquiries were located in Washington, so that the employer would have received the inquiry from me on the following Monday.
5. In the weeks after I begin the routine of mailing out resumes, with the attached cover letter that refers to Race, I begin to form the following beliefs, based on words and phrases used by my sister in telephone conversations with her and based on words and phrases used by librarians and staff persons at the Cleveland Park Branch of the D.C. Public Library, which I visit each day:
I formed the specific belief that Race was being contacted by a sizable number of the employers to whom I directed employment inquiries;
Race was having temper tantrums, or verbally-disruptive outbursts, that centered on anger about being called upon to respond to inquiries from prospective employers pursuant to my employment inquiries. My belief was based in part on what might be termed a pronounced nervous "flutter," or agitation, among staff persons at the Public Library on alternate Monday mornings, and that this response was becoming increasingly pronounced with the passage of time;
Race made the specific statement emphatically, or angrily: "I want my name taken off that letter! "I WANT MY NAME TAKEN OFF THAT LETTER!!"
Race contacted the Department of Human Rights (DHR) case investigator Donald M. Stocks to advise Stocks that he (Race) wanted DHR to direct me to cease my action of including Race's name and telephone number to prospective employers. I believe Stocks advised Race that DHR would take no such action.
I interpreted the following phrases used by my sister in contexts unrelated to my job search as a symbolic reference to my supposed ingratitude about being approved for unemployment benefits by Race and my subsequent act of "aggressing" on him. On occasion my sister would use the phrase: "He bites the hand that feeds him." Also, on occasion my sister used the phrase, "He was nice enough to help him out, and look what he does. . ." I found it peculiar that my sister routinely seemed to sympathize with the employer and its interests against the interests of her own brother. My sister expressly and routinely supported the employer's decision to terminate my employment; her posture seemed consistent with her having forged some kind of personal bond with one or more persons associated with Akin Gump.
I formed the belief that several of Race's partners (possibly including Segal and Lassman) had rallied around Race, and that these persons wanted to find out why I included Race's name and telephone number on employment inquiries.
Contemporaneous evidence that I had formed the above beliefs is a letter that I faxed to my sister during the late summer of 1992 (in about September) that discusses my rationale in including Race's name and telephone number in employment inquiries. The letter is page 17 of a document submission that I made to SSA psychiatric consultant Paul G. Yessler, M.D., dated June 14, 1993. The seeming reactions by library staff persons and my sister abated with my sending of the referenced letter to my sister. I formed the belief that the legal rationale I presented in the letter satisfied the attorney managers at Akin Gump that my actions, though annoying, were nonetheless consistent with the rule of law.
In sum, I formed the belief in 1992, and I continue to believe, that the action of Dennis M. Race, Esq. in approving my claim for unemployment benefits, following my job termination effective October 29, 1991, was intended as a "quid pro quo" arrangement to buy my silence about goings on at Akin Gump. I recognize that my beliefs are consistent with a psychotic mental disorder.
cc: Kenneth W. Starr, Esq. (Office of Independent Counsel)