Friday, February 25, 2011

Akin Gump: Notice of Membership in Protected Class

The following are pages 482-483 of the record on appeal in Freedman v. D.C. Department of Human Rights, D.C.C.A. no.96-CV-961 (Sept. 1, 1998).

May 11, 1993
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 200008

Mr. Donald M. Stocks
Case Investigations
D.C. Dept. of Human Rights &
Minority Business Development
2000 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009

       RE: Docket No.: 92-087-P(N)
             Gary Freedman v. Akin, Gump, Hauer & Feld

Dear Mr. Stocks:

I offer the following notarized letter in support of the above-referenced matter.

The following statement contained on page 5 of Respondent's Response to Particulars (Attachment A), paragraph 3B, executed May 22, 1992, is hereby denied.  Respondent's statement reads: "Until the filing of this Charge, the subject of Claimant's [sic] 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 (emphasis added)."

At the meeting on October 24, 1991 between Dennis Race, Malcolm Lassman and me, I can expressly recall that Mr. Lassman made the following statement to me: "We don't care what your sexual preference is; we don't care whether you like men or women."

Mr. Lassman's statement could only have been made in the context of a discussion that at least implicitly raised the issue of my sexual oritentation.  Mr. Lassman's statement only makes sense if one infers that he interpreted my allegations of harassment at the meeting on October 24, 1991 as relating to the issue of my sexual orientation.  The assertion to the contrary in  Respondent's Response is disingenuous to say the least.

Further, I expressly recall relating Mr. Lassman's statement to Ms. Margie Adams of the D.C. Department of Human Rights during a meeting with her in early 1992 before I was to be apprised on December 23, 1992, upon my receipt of Respondent's Response, that Respondent had implicitly disavowed Mr. Lassman's comment made at the meeting on October 24, 1991.

I, Gary Freedman, having read the above letter to Mr. Donald M. Stocks of the D.C. Department of Human Rights and Minority Business Development dated May 11, 1993 affirm that the statements herein are true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

[signed] Gary Freedman

Washington, D.C.
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to me this 11th day of
May, 1993.

[signed] Janet Courtney
Notary Signature

My Commission Expires: 1/31/96

The agency made a specific finding that I did in fact discuss the issue of sexual orientation with Race and Lassman on October 24, 1991.  To be polite, Akin Gump's sworn declaration to the D.C. Department of Human Rights dated May 22, 1992 is erroneous. 

Neither the D.C. Department of Human Rights nor the D.C. Court of Appeals attached any legal significance to the fact that Akin Gump clearly lied about its knowledge of my membership in a protected class. 

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