Wednesday, July 27, 2011

D.C. Corporation Counsel -- Questionable Ethical Conduct

December 19, 1997
3801 Connectcicut Avenue, NW #136
Washington, DC 20008-4530

Robert S. Bennett, Esq.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
1440 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20005-2107

RE: Freedman v. DHR, D.C. Court of Appeals 96-CV-961

Dear Mr. Bennett:

Enclosed, in connection with the above appeal, are three letters that concern the professional conduct of Charles F.C. Ruff, Esq., current White House counsel to President Clinton. The above appeal was defended in the Superior Court proceedings below by Mr. Ruff ex officio in his capacity as Corporation Counsel for the District of Columbia.

I have no evidence that any of the actions described in the enclosed letters were prompted by an improper motive by Mr. Ruff or persons employed in the Office of Corporation Counsel headed by Mr. Ruff or that the apparent pattern of conduct described in the letters is more than coincidental.

1. Letter dated July 31, 1997 addressed to Robert S. Bennett, Esq. that details the improper reliance in pleadings filed in Mr. Ruff’s name ex officio on so-called “after-acquired” evidence: evidence of a nature that was deemed legally-irrelevant in Title VII employment actions by the U.S. Supreme Court in McKennon v. Nashville Banner Publishing Co., 115 S.Ct. 879 (1995).

2. Letter dated December 16, 1997 addressed to Charles L. Reischel, Esq. that details attributions contained in pleadings filed in Mr. Ruff’s name ex officio relating to my mental health and stability (including the potential for violence) that my impose a constitutionally-impermissible burden on my ability to obtain employment in violation of my civil rights under federal law.

3. Letter dated December 18, 1997 addressed to Charles L. Reischel, Esq. concerning the affirmative condonation in pleadings filed in Mr. Ruff’s name ex officio of prior professional conduct concerning a physician of a nature that was deemed unlawful by the Government of the District of Columbia as of the time of Mr. Ruff’s defense of the Superior Court proceedings below.

I have no evidence that Mr. Ruff was prompted by an improper motive to defend a civil rights action that he knew or should have known rested on evidence relating to professional conduct of a nature that was deemed unlawful as of the time of Mr. Ruff’s defense; or that Mr. Ruff was prompted by an improper motive in failing to advise the Superior Court [name of judge redacted] that his defense made use of evidence of professional conduct concerning a physician of a nature that was deemed unlawful as of the time of the proceedings.

You may find it appropriate to forward this communication to the Board on Professional Responsibility.

Sincerely,

Gary Freedman

cc: Mitchell F. Dolin, Esq. (partner, Covington & Burling)

2 comments:

Gary Freedman said...

July 31, 1997
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
#136
Washington, DC 20008-4530

Robert S. Bennett, Esq.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
1440 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20005-2107

RE: Freedman v. D.C. Dept. of Human Rights, D.C. Court of Appeals no. 96-CV-961

Dear Mr. Bennett:

Enclosed for your information is a copy of my reply to the District's opposition to my petition for review that I filed in 1996 in the D.C. Superior Court in Freedman v. D.C. Dept. of Human Rights, now on appeal as D.C. Court of Appeals no. 96-CV-961.

The pleadings show unequivocally that the District (Charles F.C. Ruff, Esq.), in its opposition, made extensive use of so-called "after-acquired evidence" that was deemed legally irrelevant by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1995 opinion, McKennon v. Nashville Banner Publishing Co., 115 S.Ct. 879 (1995).

One might, generously, attribute the District's position, in the Superior Court proceedings below, to inadvertence. Unfortunately, the D.C. Office of Corporation Counsel (Charles L. Reischel, Esq.) in the reply brief filed by the District on July 25, 1997 in the appeal of this matter before the D.C. Court of Appeals has once again--now, without any doubt, intentionally--resorted to extensive use of legally-irrelevant after-acquired evidence.

While it is true that in determining the scope of advocacy, account must be taken of the law's ambiguities and potential for change, the law relating to the use of after-acquired evidence in Title VII actions is clear. The District's knowing reliance on legally-irrelevant evidence exceeds the limits within which the Office of Corporation Counsel may proceed, and may constitute unprofessional conduct.

Incidentally, it would take little ingenuity for certain segments of the media to draw a possible parallel between Mr. Ruff's apparent desperation to conceal Title VII violations committed by a law firm managed by one of the President's friends, and Mr. Bennett's conduct of his defense of the President in the Title VII matter instituted by Paula Corbin Jones.

Sincerely,

Gary Freedman

cc: Charles L. Reishel, Esq.
Charles F.C. Ruff, Esq. (The White House)
bcc: L. Patrick Swygert (President, Howard University) (8/2/97)

Gary Freedman said...

Oral argument before the D.C. Court of Appeals in Freedman v. D.C. Dept. Human Rights was held on December 16, 1997.