Thursday, June 10, 2010

Akin Gump Case Note

"[T]he court quoted from the Lewis Carroll poem, “The Hunting of the Snark”: “I have said it thrice . . . What I tell you three times is true.” “This comes perilously close to suggesting that whatever the government says must be treated as true,” the court said. This was too much even for the D.C. [Circuit] Court of Appeals." Kafka Comes to America: Fighting for Justice in the War on Terror--A Public Defender's Inside Account, by Steven T. Wax (April 2009).

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If ever the "not worthy of credence" standard of McDonnell Douglas applied to an employer's stated reasons for a job termination, the case of Freedman v. D.C. Dept. of Human Rights is it. McDonnell Douglas v. Green, 411 U.S. at 804-05 (1973).

I was terminated by my employer, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, in late October 1991 supposedly on the grounds that the employer had learned, after consulting a psychiatrist who never met me, that I was mentally disturbed and potentially violent based, in part, on information about my mental state from BEFORE the firm hired me in June 1988.

Yes, my friends, my disturbed mental state rendered me not fit for employment and potentially violent BEFORE they hired me -- indeed, on the very day I started my employment at the firm on June 13, 1988 -- applying Akin Gump's own evidence and employment criteria. But the firm didn't figure out that I was mentally disturbed and potentially violent till three-and-one-half years later, after I had accrued an exemplary employment record at the firm, with no record of violence. According to the courts, Akin Gump's stated reasons for my job termination made perfect sense! And, of course, whatever the government says must be treated as true: an unemployable employee is fully employable until it is discovered that he is unemployable, at which time he will become officially unemployable!

But how can that be, you ask? How could a law firm shamelessly expose its pretext to the world for all the world to see? Oh, it be! Am I angry about that? No. Shameless exposure of an employer's transparently ridiculous pretext appeals to my sense of the absurd. Besides $500,000 is flowing into my bank account, not out of it. Yes siree, Bob. You see, the government pays me to be mentally disturbed.  It used to be that I had to work a 40-hour work week to get paid to be employably unemployable.  Now, since I became officially unemployable, I get paid to do nothing at all.  You know why?  I am now officially unemployably unemployable.  So held the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Oddly enough, I started working at Akin Gump on Monday June 13, 1988, the anniversary of Franz Kafka's bar mitzvah. I should have known there was already a problem!

1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

And the money keeps rolling in. Thanks Lanny!

U.S. Marshal Service: "How dare you expose to the world that crimes may have been committed!"

Psychosis by Estoppel! Hahahahahaha!