Sunday, September 12, 2010

Akin Gump's Continuing Duty to Correct Misrepresentations of Fact? Did the U.S. Marshal Commit a Felony?

In April 1993 I applied for Social Security (SSA) Disability benefits.  In support of my application I submitted to SSA two sworn documents prepared by my former employer, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld that detailed facts pertinent to my employment experience and my suitability for employment.  In August 1993, SSA issued a Notice of Award advising that I had been determined to be disabled effective October 29, 1991, the date I was terminated by Akin Gump by reason of severe mental illness.

Under federal law any person who has knowledge concerning the eligibility for benefits of an SSA claimant may have a duty to advise the agency of such facts.  If any facts have come to light to Akin Gump's managers since October 1991 that tend to show that I was not unfit for employment as of October 29, 1991, Akin Gump may have a duty to disclose those facts to the SSA.  If any third parties have made false representations about the nature of my illness or my employment history, Akin Gump may have a duty to correct those misrepresentations of fact.

The D.C. Corporation Counsel advised the D.C. Court of Appeals that my coworkers had genuine fears that I was armed and extremely dangerous as of August 1989; and unilaterally expanded my complaint of harassment (and by implication, grossly exaggerated the severity of my illness) to include numerous incidents that I never complained of to the employer.  Akin Gump was aware of the Corporation Counsel's misrepresentations and its action in grossly exaggerating the nature and severity of my mental illness.  Did Akin Gump have a duty to disavow those misrepresentations?  Perhaps.

The pertinent provision of Title 42 of the U.S. Code states:

(a) In general

Whoever—

(3) having knowledge of the occurrence of any event affecting—

(A) his or her initial or continued right to the benefits; or

conceals or fails to disclose the event with an intent fraudulently to secure the benefit either in a greater amount or quantity than is due or when no such benefit is authorized; or

shall be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

On January 15, 2010 I stated to the U.S. Marshal under penalty of prosecution for making false statements to a federal officer that my Social Security disability claim was a "total fraud."  Did the U.S. Marshal have a duty to provide SSA a copy of the tape recording of my interview under Title 42?   Did the U.S. Marshal commit a felony in failing to comply with Title 42 (see above)?

4 comments:

Gary Freedman said...

"Whoever" means whoever. It means everybody and anybody. (For those persons who have a problem with the English language.)

Gary Freedman said...

USMS: "What is your motivation in writing a blog?"

Aren't I discharging my duty under Title 42? Do you have a problem with me discharging my legal duties under federal law?

Gary Freedman said...

Did Akin Gump have a duty to disclose to SSA facts re: McNeil v. Akin Gump -- federal court litigation in which Akin Gump admitted that the work environment in the firm's litigation support department was grossly unprofessional and disruptive as I had complained to the employer in October 1991?

Gary Freedman said...

Pat McNeil, a black employee supervised by Chris Robertson (my direct supervisor at Akin Gump), was terminated by Personnel Director Laurel Digweed in early April 1992 in consultation with the firm's then managing partner, Laurence J. Hoffman, Esq.

Robertson's direct supervisor was R. Bruce McLean, Esq., head of the firm's litigation practice group. McLean is now Akin Gump's managing partner. Dennis M. Race, Esq. practiced in the litigation group headed by McLean. Race, Digweed, and Robertson were designated by the firm in an Akin Gump interrogatory response filed with the DHR as the 3 decisionmakers who terminated my employment effective 10/29/91.

Akin Gump's senior managers (Hoffman, McLean and Race) had direct knowledge that my allegation that Robertson's employees engaged in disruptive and unprofessional behavior were valid and not the product of mental illness as of early April 1992.

After her termination in early April 1992 McNeil filed an unlawful job termination complaint with the D.C. Department of Human Rights; it was Dennis Race who prepared Akin Gump's response to the complaint filed by DHR. McNeil later filed a lawsuit against Akin Gump; the firm retained Robert Higgins, Esq. (Dickstein Shapiro) to defend Akin Gump's termination decision.