Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Akin Gump: Intentional Interference with an Economic Relationship

The following are pages 494-497 of the record on appeal in Freedman v. D.C. Dept. Human Rights, D.C.C.A. no.6-CV-961 (Sept. 1, 1998):

March 22, 1993
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Apt. 136
Washington, DC 20008

Mr. Donald M. Stocks
Case Investigations
Government of the District of
Department of Human Rights and 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:

Enclosed are materials for your general information, in connection with the above-referenced matter, regarding the common law tort, intentional interference with an economic relationship: (1) Petrocelli, W. and Repa, B.K. Sexual Harassment on the Job, at 8/16-8/17 (Nolo Press: 1992); (2) Sack, S.M., The Employee Rights Handbook (Facts on File: 1991); (3) and a copy of the cover page of the Akin, Gump "Long Term Disability [Income] Plan."

The actions of various employees of the Respondent, particularly my supervisor, Chris Robertson, in providing knowingly false information to management regarding my conduct while an employee arguably constitute the tort of intentional interference with an economic relationship. (Although I was technically an at-will employee, there are grounds to impute the existence of an implied contract relationship between me and the Respondent. The District of Colombia recognizes language in personnel manuals as establishing an implied contract.)

While this tort falls outside the purview of the Complaint, I wanted to draw your attention to the fact that the specific actions of my supervisor and other employees of the Respondent are deemed by the courts sufficiently egregious so as to be remediable. Also, the Respondent's continued refusal to mediate the Complaint and its apparent failure to take appropriate action against employees whose conduct constitutes prima facie evidence of the commission of a tort indicates the Respondent's lack of good faith.

Thank you.


Gary Freedman

[enclosures omitted.]

1.  On October 23-24, 1991 Akin Gump management was placed on notice that Litigation Support manager Chris Robertson may have harassed me in violation of the D.C. Human Rights Act of 1977.  The firm had actual or constructive knowledge that information about me contained in a memo dated October 25, 1991 from Robertson to Dennis Race, Esq. was false and defamatory.

2.  My employment was terminated by Akin Gump effective October 29, 1991 by Dennis Race, Esq.; Chris Robertson; and Personnel Administrator Laurel Digweed.

2.  In early April 1992 Personnel Administrator Laurel Digweed (in consultation with managing partner Laurence J. Hoffman) terminated the employment of litigation support employee Pat McNeil, a black woman supervised by Robertson.

3.  On May 22, 1992 Akin Gump (Race and managing partner Laurence J. Hoffman) filed the firm's Response with the D.C. Department of Human Rights in Freedman v. Akin, Gump, Hauer & Feld.  Akin Gump's Response failed to disclose that I had lodged a harassment complaint against Robertson, my direct supervisor, in October 1991.

4.  In 1993 Pat McNeil filed a Title VII lawsuit against Akin Gump alleging that Digweed colluded with Robertson (a known racist) in her unlawful job termination.  Akin Gump denied that Robertson colluded with Digweed in terminating McNeil, and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted a summary judgment in favor of Akin Gump.  It is clear that Akin Gump concealed its knowledge of Robertson's tortious and allegedly unlawful conduct in relation to me, in October 1991.

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