Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Akin Gump: Gary P. Zanfagna, Esq.

Gary Zanfagna is Associate General Counsel and Chief Antitrust Counsel at Honeywell International Inc. Before joining Honeywell, Mr. Zanfagna was Assistant Director for Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. At the Commission, he was one of the principal authors of the Antitrust Guidelines for Collaborations Among Competitors issued by the Commission and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Zanfagna was an antitrust attorney with Jones Day in Washington, D.C. Currently, Mr. Zanfagna is a member of the Council of the ABA Antitrust Section. Mr. Zanfagna received his J.D. from the University of Virginia (1993) and his B.A. from the College of William & Mary (1988).

While I worked at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld (1988-1991) Mr. Zanfagna worked at the firm as a paralegal assigned to the Labor Practice Group; his time was devoted to Eastern Airlines litigation. He started working at the firm following his college graduation in 1988 and left the firm in the spring of 1990 in anticipation of entering law school in the fall.

Mr. Zanfagna was a friend of another paralegal at Akin Gump named Jesse Raben who also started law school in the fall of 1990. Both Zanfagna and Raben left the firm at the same time in the spring of 1990 to embark on a world tour together prior to continuing their education in the fall.

Zanfagna and I had very little contact. I remember sitting at the same table with him at the All-Attorneys dinner held on May 3, 1989 at the Westin Hotel, together with paralegals Raben, Clay Bailey, Jennifer Meader and Anthony Parchment. He seemed like a serious-minded chappie.

It was at the firm dinner on May 3, 1989 that Jesse Raben confirmed that there was a rumor at the firm that I was homosexual. See District of Columbia Reply Brief, Freedman v. D.C. Department of Human Rights, D.C.C.A. no. 96-CV-961 (Sept. 1, 1998).

In the late summer or early fall of 1989 I asked Zanfagna (in a second floor conference room) if he would go to lunch with me. He said, "Is this a date? Do you consider this a date? Because if it's a date I'm not going." Call me paranoid, but I saw homosexual implications in Zanfagna's questions. Both Zanfagna and Akin Gump Legal Assistant Coordinator J.D. Neary were graduates of William and Mary College. In the spring of 1988 I had formed the paranoid opinion that Mr. Neary had told another paralegal Jeffrey Wertman that I was homosexual.

In a sworn declaration Akin Gump attorney manager Dennis M Race filed with the D.C. Department of Human Rights (May 22, 1992) in a wrongful termination complaint I had filed with the agency, Mr. Race vehemently denied that the issue of my sexual orientation was ever raised by anyone at the firm: "B. Until the filing of this Charge, the subject of Claimant's sexual orientation was never brought up by Claimant or anyone involved directly or indirectly with Claimant's employment. While Claimant raised concerns about sexual and religious harassment, he never stated that it was based on his sexual orientation -- nor was it ever interpreted as such by anyone involved in this matter."


Gary Freedman said...

During the summer of 1988 Anthony Parchment worked in an office adjoining mine on the firm's fifth floor in the vicinity of partner David Hardee.

I vaguely recall that on one occasion in 1988, Eastern billing partner Jack Gallagher sent legal assistant Antony Parchment to the home of Judge Barrington Parker (U.S. District Court) to deliver a box of documents re: Eastern Airlines litigation. Judge Parker had a conniption fit. "Don't ever come to my house again!!" This incident may say something about Akin Gump's culture of intimidation.]

Gary Freedman said...

In mid-July 1989 I worked all night with Clay Bailey on a document production task for Frontier Airlines.

I was granted the day off at about 9:00 AM. It was that morning that I saw Bob Strauss on an elevator at the firm. He was talking to someone and said: "He came into town like the Music Man." I didn't know who Strauss was talking about.

It was that early evening that I saw former Akin Gump paralegal Jeffrey Wertman walking up Connecticut Avenue wearing earphones.

This was around the time of the French Bicentennial July 14, 1989. I remember all this, because my heart starts to race at the thought of the French Revolution!

Gary Freedman said...

Gary Freedman said...

Jeffrey Wertman: