Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Akin Gump Idea of Reference: Twenty-Two Years Later!

I worked as a paralegal at the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld from March 3, 1988 to October 29, 1991. The firm fired me days after I lodged a harassment complaint against my supervisor and coworkers. The firm later told the District of Columbia Department of Human Rights, which was investigating my termination, that I was not suitable for employment because I suffered from mental illness that rendered me potentially violent. According to the firm, my harassment complaint was actually evidence of a "disorder," ideas of reference, that caused me to attribute a negative meaning to trivial events.

Be that as it may.

In my Reply to Akin Gump's pleadings filed with the Department of Human Rights I stated that Akin Gump had discriminated against me by, among other things, making employment promises that it never acted on.

The firm had hired me as a full-time legal assistant during the summer of 1989, then later demoted me to a position in the litigation support department in March 1990, without cause:

"At the time Complainant was hired as a full-time legal assistant on August 1, 1989 (See Attachment B), Complainant was given, on about July 31, 1989, a legal assistant orientation by Legal Assistant Administrator, Maggie Sinnott. Ms. Sinnott asked the Complainant about his availability for travel and advised Complainant that Respondent would issue him a firm credit card. Ms. Sinnott's actions at the time of Complainant’s legal assistant orientation were inconsistent with Respondent’s assertion that Complainant was hired to work as a document coder on Eastern Airlines or that he would be assigned to the Litigation Support group upon the completion of his assignment for the client Eastern Airlines."

Just today, after 22 years, I succumbed to the irresistible impulse to attach a negative meaning to Maggie Sinnott's promise to issue me a firm credit card. Odd, that a psychotic -- and make no mistake, I am a severely disturbed individual -- would have an idea of reference decades after the instigating event.

It so happens that in July 1989, just prior to the firm's granting me full-time status, The Washington Times reported that a male attorney in the firm's Dallas office had had a homosexual tryst with a male prostitute. The incident caused a hubbub at the firm; managing partner Larry Hoffman even went so far as to issue a memo to all personnel stating that the incident was still under investigation and employees should not jump to conclusions.

What's interesting is that the male attorney in the firm's Dallas office had used his Akin Gump credit card to pay for the sexual liaison. I now believe, as of 4:30 PM, Wednesday March 23, 2011, that Maggie Sinnott's offer of a firm credit card at my legal assistant orientation was a cynical reference to the Dallas incident.

Make no mistake, I am a truly demented individual!

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