Friday, November 04, 2011

Akin Gump: How Did My Illness Affect My Ability to Get Along with Others?

I was employed as a paralegal at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld during the period March 1988 to late October 1991.  I was socially-isolated at Akin Gump.  On several occasions I went to lunch with agency-supplied temporary employees, but on no occasion did I go to lunch with any Akin Gump employees.  I believe I was a victim of mobbing behavior at the firm; mobbing is a subtle form of job harassment that features shunning of the targeted victim by coworkers.

Akin Gump filed a sworn statement with the D.C. Department of Human Rights on May 22, 1992 alleging that I had difficulty communicating with my peers at the firm: that my social isolation was the product of an intrinsic emotional disturbance and not the product of mobbing behavior by other employees.

Dennis M. Race, Esq. wrote: 
  • "In the course of questioning Claimant's supervisor, former supervisor and co-workers, it was even more evident that the Claimant had emotional problems which adversely affected his work and his co-workers. Claimant was uncomfortable communicating with his peers and required work that ensured total isolation. During the investigation of his concerns, it was also brought out that his behavior had been disruptive, with occasional violent outbursts, and frightening to co-workers."
I had previously worked as a paralegal at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson from mid-September 1985 to late February 1988.  I had formed relationships with employees at Hogan and continued to socialize with them throughout my employment at Akin Gump.  In fact, the D.C. Corporation Counsel admits that it was common knowledge that I had a close friend at Hogan during my tenure at Akin Gump.  The Corporation Counsel's Reply Brief filed in D.C. Superior Court and the D.C. Court of Appeals states: "The other legal assistants also made references to Freedman’s supposed relationship with an attorney with whom Freedman had worked at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson. R. 340."  That individual was Craig W. Dye.  In fact, I spoke to Akin Gump's senior attorney managers Dennis Race and Malcolm Lassman about Mr. Dye on October 24, 1991.  The Government of the District of Columbia made a specific finding of fact about Mr. Dye (Finding 4(d)): "Shortly after, complainant was moved to the sixth floor office space shared with agency-supplied temporary legal assistants, Stacey Schaar and Gwen Lesh. On March 20, 1989, they began repeated references to Complainant’s friendship with Craig Dye with whom Complainant had worked at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson.  Complainant expressly recalls having mentioned Mr. Dye; a reference to Mr. Dye would only have arisen in the context of a discussion of harassment based on perceived sexual orientation." 

I filed Akin Gump's sworn statements about my emotional and work-related difficulties at Akin Gump with the Social Security Administration in April 1993 in support of my disability claim.  A claimant's ability to get along with coworkers is a material factor considered by SSA in the awarding of disability benefits based on a claim of mental illness.  Akin Gump's knowingly false or incorrect statements based on a legally-defective investigation of my harassment charge either constituted a fraud on the Social Security Administration or misled the agency via the firm's gross negligence in failing adequately to investigate my harassment charge.  But see Freedman v. D.C. Department of Human Rights, D.C. Superior Court no. 95-MPA-0014 (June 10, 1996) (a Court need not "determine whether or not defendant adequately investigated the charges of . . . discrimination before discharging plaintiff") (citing legally-inapposite case law).

[Emendations to the following letter added as of this posting are highlighted in yellow:]

April 29, 1996 (rev’d 4/30/96)
3801 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20008-4530

D. Georgopoulos, M.D.
Dept. Psychiatry
GW Univ. Med. Ctr.
Washington, DC  20037

Dear Dr. Georgopoulos:

Per your request I have prepared a chronology that details the onset of various ideas that comprise that portion of my belief system that you have termed symptomatic of the psychotic disorder paranoid schizophrenia.

As you know, the diagnosis paranoid schizophrenia is confirmed by a marked disturbance in the patient’s work and social functioning.  Therefore, in  order to assist your evaluation, I have included in the following chronology facts relating to my work and social functioning in the period before and after the onset of the disorder, in late October 1988.


1.  August 1987:  I prepare a brief creative piece, set in the early 1950’s, about a suspected Communist who tries to become an FBI agent; the suspected Communist is subjected to FBI surveillance.  I give a copy of the piece to a few co-workers (including Craig Dye and Daniel Cutler) at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson, where I am employed at the time.

2.  February 26, 1988: Long-term temporary assignment at law firm of Hogan & Hartson is terminated.

3.  March 3, 1988: begin assignment at the law firm of Akin Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld as an employee of a temporary agency.

4.  March 25, 1988: Take Cindy Rodda (former Hogan co-worker) out to dinner to Italian Restaurant on upper Wisconsin Avenue.  We later return to my apartment and chat.  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

5.  May 13, 1988: Lunch with Daniel Cutler and Craig Dye at Pershing Park.  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

6.  June 13, 1988: Hired by Akin Gump as a temporary employee.  I provide to Akin Gump’s then legal assistant administrator Margarita Babb a copy of a Letter of Recommendation prepared by Seymour J. Rubin, one of my former law professors at American University and an internationally-recognized expert in the field of international trade law.  Akin Gump founding partner Robert Strauss specializes in international law and served as U.S. Trade Representative in the administration of President Jimmy Carter.

7.  June 16, 1988: Lunch with Daniel Cutler at Pershing Park.  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

8. July 1988: Impromptu lunch with Michael Wilson (former Hogan co-worker) and his friend June (German Club friend) at Kramer’s Bookstore on Connecticut Avenue.

9.  August 16, 1988: Lunch with Craig Dye and Michael Wilson at Thai Restaurant.  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.  Wilson and Dye stop up to my office at Akin Gump;.  David Callet (an Akin Gump partner) and another attorney are leaving the building as we enter (Eastern’s asset transfer case before Judge Barrington Parker began on 8/15/88);  Callet sees me with Craig Dye and Michael Wilson.

["1. In mid-June 1988 I was hired as a temporary legal assistant at Akin Gump.  At about the time of my hiring I stopped into the office of David Callet, a partner, and introduced myself. I did no more than introduce myself. On his own initiative, David Callet asked me to sit down. He asked me a few questions about my background. He offered some advice, telling me that instead of working at Akin Gump, I should be out “pounding the pavement” looking for a job consistent with my educational background."  David Callet, like Earl L. Segal and myself, was a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University.]

10.  Early September 1988: Cindy Rodda cancels dinner date that we had scheduled.  I HAD ATTEMPTED TO ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

11.  mid-September 1988: lunch with Craig Dye, Wilson, and Cutler at Zorba’s on Connecticut Avenue.  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

12.  October 10, 1988: I write my autobiography and mail a copy to Craig Dye, Daniel Cutler, and Michael Wilson.  The autobiography betrayed certain confidential information about my sister.

134.  mid-October 1988: Above-average or outstanding Performance Evaluation at Akin Gump for work and professional conduct in previous 6-month period.  The evaluation, prepared by Constance Brown, recommends that I be considered for a permanent position at the firm.

14.  mid-October 1988: Lunch at Café Mozart with former Hogan co-workers Mary Jane Coolen, Cindy Rodda, and Daniel Cutler (Craig is on vacation).  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.  I tell Daniel Cutler that Akin Gump is planning to offer me a full-time position with benefits (which is a gross exaggeration), and I provide Cutler the name and telephone number of Akin Gump’s legal assistant administrator (Maggie Sinnott) in case he’s interested in applying for a position at Akin Gump.

Late in the afternoon, as I approach an elevator at Akin Gump to leave the office, I happen to see Earl Segal (the partner in charge of the legal assistant program) who is chatting with Amy Cohen, an associate.

(As of mid-October 1988, I did not know the identity of Earl Segal; I noticed, however, that the individual later identified ass Segal seemed to be unaccountably curious about me whenever he saw me.  I wondered who he was.)

When Segal sees me, his demeanor suggests that he's having the following thought “Man, you are such an idiot, Freedman!”  This seems confirmed by a comment that Amy Cohen makes when she and I get on the elevator.  She first said “I forgot my umbrella.”  Then she says to me: "Are you stupid?”  I respond:  “I’m not the one who forgot his umbrella.”

LATE OCTOBER 1988--ONSET OF PARANOID SCHIZOPHRENIA (Be mindful of evidence of gross deterioration in work and social functioning, typical of this mental illness):

15.  Late October 1988:  Routine telephone conversation with sister in New Jersey; sister seems unaccountably agitated; she asks two times during the conversation in a hostile manner, “How’s your job?”  I form the belief that my sister is reacting to the autobiography, which had mentioned her in an unfavorable way.  I had not provided a copy of the writing to my sister.

16.  November 1988: During routine telephone conversations with sister, she seems unaccountably interested in, and curious about every trivial detail that I talk about.

17.  November 1888: lunch with Craig Dye and Daniel Cutler at Café Mozart.  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

18.  Thanksgiving 1988: I spent with Daniel Cutler and Axel Martinez at Daniel’s apartment on MacArthur Boulevard.  I SELF-INVITE.

19.  December 8, 1988 (approx.):  In the evening, in the elevator area on the 5th floor, I happen to see the Akin Gump attorney who always seems curious about me.  I introduce myself.  He identifies himself as Earl Segal.  I was surprised; but his identity confirmed in my mind that my previous speculation about Segal--that he had seemed unaccountably curious about me--was correct, and implied that my speculative interpretations about other persons’ demeanor were reliable.

20.  Friday December 9, 1988 (approx.): At about 6:00 PM Daniel Cutler called me at work.  He asked why I work so much overtime Cutler’s call was unusual and not goal-directed.  I linked Cutler’s telephone call to my action the previous evening of introducing myself to Earl Segal.  (I formed the belief that Cutler’s telephone call was Segal’s offer of thanks “by proxy.”  I have no evidence that Segal and Cutler ever communicated at any time, however.)

21.  December 1988:  Akin Gump legal assistant Christmas party at the Ritz Carlton.

22.  December 1988:  Akin Gump firm Christmas party at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown.  I chat with Jesse Raben, an Akin Gump legal assistant.  Later that evening I telephone my sister and tell her that I think the sister of the legal assistant administrator (who was employed as a legal assistant at the firm) is sexually attracted to me.  The next day at work, Larry Tanenbaum, an Akin Gump partner and former husband of the legal assistant administrator, sees me, has a look of horror, then turns away quickly.

23.  December 1988: During telephone call to my sister’s family I make a disparaging remark to my 13-year-old niece, comparing her to Ivan Boesky.  The comparison arises in the context of my niece’s attempts to extract an expensive Christmas present form me.

24.  December 25, 1988:  I spend Christmas at Craig’s; Daniel Cutler is there.  While I smoke a cigar, Daniel Cutler says I look like Ivan Boesky.  I notice that Craig shakes his head at Daniel Cutler, as if to communicate “Don’t say anything more about that.”

25.  January 1989:  Go out dancing at Kilimanjaro (Restaurant-Night Club) with Daniel Cutler & his girlfriend; Cindy Rodda is there with her friend Vera.  I dance with Vera.

26.  February 1989 (approx.): Lunch with Craig Dye and Daniel Cutler at Café Mozart.  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

27. March 8, 1989: I spend the evening at Craig’s house.  Daniel Cutler is there.  I had not talked to my sister by telephone since January 1989.  Cutler asks me if I had telephoned my sister recently; I view Cutler’s question as peculiar.

28.  March 1989 (approx.)  Lunch with Cindy Rodda at Café Mozart.  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT,

29.  March 20, 1989: I am moved from private office on the fifth floor to a desk on the sixth floor in an open, common area that I share with two agency-supplied temporary employees: Gwen Lesh and Stacey Schaar.  At lunch time on numerous occasions Schaar, Lesh, and another legal assistant Adrianne Clarke, discuss details than seem to describe my personal life and the contents of my apartment.  I form the belief that the manager of my apartment building, Elaine Wranik, has been inspect my apartment and reporting her findings back to someone at Akin Gump.  Schaar was later reportedly terminated for gross misconduct in about Maty 1990.

30.  April 1989 (approx.): Lunch with Daniel Cutler at Café Mozart. Last time I see Cutler.  I HAD ARRANGED THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

[Cutler started law school in the fall of 1989 at Seton Hall in New Jersey.  Doug Rosenfeld, Esq. had written a letter of recommendation for Cutler for law school.]

31.  April 28, 1989:  Lunch with Craig at Pershing Park.  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.  When I mention certain incidents that have occurred at Akin Gump, Craig asks insistently:  “Who said that to you?  Who was it that said that?”  I immediately draw a connection with my sister’s demeanor in my conversations with her: whenever I state even a trivial incidents, she asks, “Who was that who did that?  Who said that to you?”  My sister seems unaccountably curious about even trivial details relating to my experiences at Akin Gump.

Cf. Freedman v. Akin, Gump, Hauer & Feld, Complainant’s Reply at 15: “Complainant had to explain [on October 24, 1991], in response to repeated questions by Messrs. Race and Lassman, that the incident had occurred on the second day of his assignment with the Respondent and that Complainant did not know the identity of many of Respondent’s employees as of March 4, 1989.  Messrs. Race and Lassman appeared to want to gather the names of as many harassers as Complainant could possibly name.”  The insistent questioning manner of Race and Lassman, which I witnessed on October 24, 1991, matched the earlier insistent questioning of my sister and Craig Dye.

[On one occasion in 1990, during a psychiatric consult with Stanley R. Palombo, M.D., after I said I was being harassed at Akin Gump, Dr. Palombo said: "Who is harassing you.  Name names!"  I thought the phrase "Name names!" was peculiar.  Why would a psychiatrist be so interested in the identity of people who were harassing me at work?]

32.  April 29, 1989:  Saturday evening--Party at Cindy Rodda’s house in Virginia.

33.  May 3, 1989: Attend Akin Gump All-Attorney’s dinner, at the Westin Hotel.  Akin Gump legal assistant Jesse Raben is seated next to me.  I say to Jesse Raben: “Did you hear the rumor about me at the firm?”  He replied: “You mean the rumor that you’re homosexual?”  Yea, I heard about that.”

[See D.C. Corporation Counsel Reply Brief at 8 filed in Freedman v. D.C. Dept. Human Rights, D.C. Court of Appeals: "-- According to Freedman, at a firm dinner in May 1989, another legal assistant acknowledged hearing a rumor that Freedman was gay.  R. 329, 341."]

34.  May 1989: Above-average or outstanding Performance Evaluation at Akin Gump for work and professional conduct in previous 6-month period.

35.  Early June 1989:  I visit my sister’s family in New Jersey to attend my niece’s 8th grade graduation.  I said to my sister and brother-in-law “June 7th is Earl Segal’s birthday.”  They responded:  “Who is Earl Segal?”  Upon my return to the office, Earl Segal walked by my desk (which was located in an open, common area on 6th floor); he simply said “Hello” then walked on.  See paragraph 20, above (“Segal’s offer of thanks”).

[Oddity that might have been pure coincidence: Immediately prior to my departing the firm to visit my sister and her family, the firm distributed a copy of the firm's client list, listing the names of all the firm's clients and the names of the billing partners.  The client list was stamped "Confidential."  When I saw my sister and brother-in-law, they both asked me the names of the firm's clients.  "I guess they represent some big name clients," they said.  I refused to divulge the names of clients.

Compare the following incident in which I was made the involuntary recipient of confidential information: 

"[Craig] Dye's supervisor at Hogan & Hartson during the period October 1986 to March 1987 was an individual named Sheryl Ferguson, a computer specialist. Ferguson left Hogan in the spring of 1987, and in about mid-year 1989 Dye assumed Ferguson's former supervisory position in that firm's Computer Applications Department. In 1988 Akin Gump hired Ferguson, who by that time worked at ATLIS, a litigation support company, to perform, as a consultant, a study of Akin Gump's litigation support operation. Ferguson completed the consulting task in early 1989, and submitted a lengthy written report in February 1989. The report acknowledged the cooperation of Christine Robertson, Akin Gump's litigation support administrator, as well as several Akin Gump attorneys including John ("Jack") Gallagher and David Callet, senior partners who represented Eastern Airlines (the major client to which I was assigned), as well as an associate named David Tobin, who subsequently left the firm. Ferguson had been my direct supervisor at Hogan & Hartson during the period September 1985 to March 1987. Brown, on her initiative, supplied me with a copy of Ferguson's written technical report, despite the fact that the report was stamped confidential and despite the fact that, according to Akin Gump, I was, as of February 1989, a dispensable temporary employee who had been hired to perform a specific time-limited clerical task for the client Eastern Airlines. I continue to believe that Brown supplied me with a copy of the report knowing that the report was confidential, knowing that Ferguson had been my supervisor at another law firm, and anticipating that I would supply a copy of the report to persons I had worked with at Hogan & Hartson, which would have been an act of gross misconduct on my part. Eastern Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection a few weeks later, on March 9, 1989."]

36.  June 17, 1989: Saturday--Craig says I can stop over to his house to watch videotape of the movie Wagner, starring Richard Burton; he cancels at last minute (big surprise there!) I ATTEMPTED TO ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

37.  July 1989 (approx.):  I take Gwen Lesh (Akin Gump temporary) to lunch at Thai restaurant.  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

38.  August 1, 1989: Akin Gump hires me as full-time employee with benefits.

39.  August 4, 1989 (approx.): Lunch with Craig (Shops at National Place).  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

40. August 10, 1989 (approx.): Akin Gump Happy Hour at Stetson’s in Adams Morgan.  Go out to dinner later with Jesse Raben and his roommate Franz Wisner (and a female friend).

[Early August 1989: Stacey Schaar states to me: “We’re all afraid of you.  We’re all afraid you’re going to buy a gun, bring it in, and shoot everybody.”]

41.  September 28, 1989:  In the evening, I telephone Jesse Raben at home to ask if he wants to go to lunch next day; he declines, explaining that he’s going to North Carolina next day.

[See paragraph 15 of The Dream of Greensboro.]

42.  September 29, 1989:  Lunch with Craig Dye and Michael Wilson (former Hogan co-workers); and John Falk and Dexter (Akin Gump temporary employees) at the Café Mozart.  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

[During lunch I asked Craig about our former supervisor at Hogan & Hartson, Miriam Chilton. Craig said that Miriam had moved to Boston.  He mentioned also that Joel Dorrow had moved to Boston.  When I asked what Joel Dorrow was doing in Boston, both Craig and Michael Wilson said simultaneously: "Fucking Miriam!"  Craig was a sexually-obsessed young man.]

43.  September 29, 1989 (evening): I visit my sister and family in New Jersey.  As soon as I enter the house, my brother-in-law asked me what I’ve been up to, and simultaneously stares at my genitals.  I had never seen this body language from him before and assume that his behavior is related to secret communications with Akin Gump attorneys.  My sister stares at my genitals several times, a behavior that I assume to be related to her communications with sister and brother-in-law about these communications with Akin Gump attorneys.  I get into argument with sister and brother-in-law about these communications; they deny any such communications

In a conversations with my 14-year-old niece, she refers repeatedly to a boy in her school named “Jesse,” then asked me “are you a faggot Uncle Gary?”  I had not told my family about my interaction with Jesse Raben.

Upon leaving my sister’s house to return home, I said to my sister: “I know who you’ve been talking to at Akin Gump.  It’s Malcolm Lassman.”  My sister said:  “You are smart!”

44.  October 1989: Lunch with John Falk and Sandy Jones (Akin Gump temporaries) at Mexican Restaurant.  I arrange THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

[Sandy Jones and Jesse Raben knew each other from their days at Tufts University (class of 1988).]

45.  October 1989: Lunch with John Falk, Dexter, and Conleth (Akin Gump temporaries) at Thai restaurant.  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

46.  November 14, 1989: Lunch with Craig at DuPont Circle (Mexican take-out); I had arranged to have Jesse Raben join us--he backs out at last minute.  I say to Craig in a disparaging way “Jesse weaseled out.”  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

47.  November 1989:  Above-average or outstanding Performance Evaluation at Akin Gump for work and professional conduct in previous 6-month period.  The evaluation refers to my having trained and supervised a number of temporary employees for a specific project, and states that I inspired the employees to adopt my sense of commitment to the project.

48.  December 6, 1989: Akin Gump legal assistant Christmas Party at Westin Hotel.  I learn identity of Malcolm Lassman.  J.D. Neary is seated next to me; also at that table is Jack Gallagher, an attorney, and Phil Feigen, a legal assistant (who used to share an office with Jesse Raben).  Phil Feigen states the phrase “He weaseled out” while looking at me.

[Jack Gallagher was the billing partner on Eastern Airlines.  The entire time we were seated at the luncheon table at The Westin Hotel, Jack Gallagher did not look at me -- though he was seated across from me at a circular table.]

49.   December 14, 1989:  Akin Gump firm Christmas party at Westin Hotel.

[See D.C. Corporation Counsel Reply Brief at 9, Freedman v. D.C. Dept. Human Rights, D.C. Court of Appeals: "-- Freedman claims that at the firm’s 1989 Christmas party, one of the firm’s attorneys glanced at his genital area.  R. 344.  In the summer of 1990, the same attorney glanced at Freedman’s genital area during an elevator ride.  R. 330, 344."]

50.  December 15, 1989: Lunch with Cindy Rodda (Shops at National Place);  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT,.

51.  Late December 1989 (wk. of 12/25/89): Plan to have dinner with Craig he cancels at last minute (big surprise there!)  I ATTEMPTED TO ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

52.  Late December 1989 (wk. of 12/25/89): one-week vacation from Akin Gump.  I clean my apartment, which had been a mess.

53.  January 2, 1989:  I return to work.  In the following days I notice that legal assistants, in conversations among themselves which I overhear, seem to refer to titles and subject matter of books in my apartment.  (I form the tentative belief that Elaine Wranik had admitted, without my consent, someone to my apartment on January 2, 1990: that the individual(s) had inspected the books in my apartment, especially passages that I had underlined, in an attempt to learn more about my personality.)

[See Brief of Appellee District of Columbia at 9, Freedman v. D.C. Dept. Human Rights, D.C. Court of Appeals: "-- Freedman believes that in early January 1990 “employees or members of the firm gained access to [his] apartment without [his] knowledge or consent.  These individuals, [Freedman] believes, inspected many of the books in [his] apartment and, armed with a video camera, took a video film of [his] apartment.  [Freedman] believes that a copy of that video film was sent to [his] sister.  R. 344.  Freedman claims that the unlawful entry into his apartment was done with the knowledge and consent of the firm’s management committee.  R. 344."]

54.  Early January 1990:  Lunch with Craig (Shops at National Place).  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

55.  Late January 1990:  I begin psychotherapy with Stanley R. Palombo, M.D. I notice something during the morning before my first consultation with Dr. Palombo, which strikes me as slightly peculiar.  While I was walking in an elevator area in the firm, I happened to see Malcolm Lassman.  His gaze fixed on me for a moment; the look was expressionless but intense.  At that moment I had the following thought:  “He’s looking at me the way a bettor would look at a horse before a race; a horse on which the bettor has placed a large bet.”  I form the belief that if the paranoid scenario is going on, it has something to do with Malcolm Lassman’s political position at the firm.

56.  In the period after my therapy with Dr. Palombo commences, I begin to notice that the legal assistants stand near my desk and seem to review among themselves the content of my sessions with Dr. Palombo, in the form of double entendres.

[See Brief of Appellee District of Columbia at 10, Freedman v. D.C. Dept. Human Rights, D.C. Court of Appeals "--  During 1990, it appeared to Freedman that his coworkers were using words and phrases that he had used during private sessions with his psychiatrists.  From this, Freedman infers that the psychiatrist was discussing his case with firm management.  R.  The psychiatrist denied that he had any communication with members of the firm.  R. 345."]

57.  Early March 1990: Legal assistant Happy Hour in the fifth floor conference room.  I notice two peculiarities.  As soon as I enter the crowded room, Malcolm Lassman spots me and smiles, as if with a look of pride and satisfaction.  Earl Segal, on the other hand, who is also there, seems to treat me as if I were invisible.  Segal seems to see me but will not look directly at me, as if he were responding to some kind of humiliation.  I have the thought “I think I won the race for Lassman.”  (I attribute the respective demeanor of Lassman and Segal to favorable things that Dr. Palombo has reported back to firm management.  My observations confirm for me that if anyone is having surreptitious communications concerning me, it has to be Malcolm Lassman.)

I ask Jesse Raben if he wants to go out to dinner--as we did after the Happy Hour in early August 1989; he declines.

58:  March 1990: Lunch with Craig (Shops at National Place).  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

59.  Friday April 13, 1990:  I get into an argument with Dr. Palombo.  I tell him that I believe he is providing confidential information to my employer (which he denies), and that the information is being leaked to co-workers who use the information to harass me.

60.  Monday April 16, 1990:  Late in the afternoon, supervisor Chris Robertson holds a previously unscheduled staff meeting.  She seems agitated.  She talks about how Larry Hoffman, the firm’s managing partner, is concerned about the messy condition of the firm’s offices.  That Hoffman and others had inspected the firm’s offices recently, and had videotaped the office spaces that were in the worst condition, and displayed the tape to the firm’s senior supervisors and managers to illustrate the problem.  I noticed that she kept looking at me.  The staff meeting, held as it was on a Monday afternoon and concerning as it did a largely unimportant issue, seemed peculiar to me.  Also, Robertson’s agitated demeanor did not seem to fit the subject matter of the meeting.  It was at this meeting that I first formed the belief that perhaps if Akin Gump personnel had gained admittance to my apartment on January 2, 1990--three months earlier--they had brought a video camera with them and had videotaped the contents of my apartment.  I inferred that Robertson’s statement "They went all over the firm, into every room, and videotaped everything--all the boxes, all the junk, everything!”  (manifestly relating to Akin Gump’s offices) might symbolically refer to the videotaping of my apartment any Akin Gump personnel.

On the afternoon of Monday April 16, 1990 (the afternoon of the peculiar staff meeting held by Robertson), I see J.D. Neary, who looks totally washed out.  I also see former legal assistant administrator Margarita Babb, who smiles at me admiringly.  I think: “something had to have happened this afternoon. What could it possibly be?

61.  Tuesday April 17-20, 1990:  In succeeding days, I hear words and phrases by co-workers that suggest an explanation of the events on the afternoon of Monday April 16, 1990.  I hear legal assistants Stacey Papa and F. Robert Wheeler engage in loud and childish banter: Wheeler--”I’m going to start calling you ‘Stan.’  Papa--”No, Stan is an ugly man’s name! ‘Stan’ is an ugly man’s name!”  At other times I hear repeated references to anality: “He has an anal personality.”  I form the belief that firm management had arranged to have J.D. Neary meet with my psychiatrist, Dr. Stanley Palombo, on Monday afternoon April 16, 1990, and that the peculiar behaviors and statements by co-workers could be attributed to such a consultation.  I form the belief that if there had been such a consultation, Neary would have told Dr. Palombo that he believed that I had serious mental problems, evidence for which was the condition of my apartment (See the content of Robertson’s agitated comments at the staff meeting on the afternoon of Monday April 16, 1990).  I formed the tentative belief that Dr. Palombo told firm management that Neary had a markedly anal personality, and that Neary’s possible comments about the messy condition of my apartment were a projection of Neary’s own anality.  I noticed that my relations with Dr. Palombo began to improve in late April-early May.  I inferred that Dr. Palombo must have had some reason to conclude that the problem was my co-workers and not me.

[Compare Kernberg, O. Ideology, Conflict, and Leadership in Groups and Organizations at 8-9 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998):  Under the pressure of group life, infantile sexual features will be activated and will be projected onto the scapegoat outside.  In large groups such defensive efforts will manifest in the eruption of crude, anally tinged, or sadistically-infiltrated sexual allusions.]

[Drawing on his biopsychic and prenatal theory of narcissism, Bela Grunberger (1997) has described specifically Christian anti-Semitism as a grandiose narcissistic aspiration to purity, as the rejection of an anality unintegrated into the self and its projection onto Judaism, which, being an authentic moral system underpinned by the oedipal paternal principle, has done away with the narcissistic maternal principle.]

62.  May 1990:  Lunch with Craig (Pershing Park).  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

63.  May 1990: Above-average or outstanding Performance Evaluation at Akin Gump for work and professional conduct in previous 6-month period.

64.  Late July-early August 1990:  I ARRANGE tentative plans to go to lunch with Akin Gump summer research assistant Matthew Erskine; he backs out at last minute.  Erskine’s father is an FBI agent, assigned to Headquarters.

[I don't know if Erskine's father was in fact an FBI agent; that's what he told people.]

65.  August 1990:  I form the belief, based on words and phrases by co-workers that firm management had asked a local psychoanalyst, Dr. Ernst Ticho, to comment on my autobiography, and that he said: “He did a good job.”  In pleadings filed by Akin Gump with the D.C. Department of Human Rights, in May 1993, Akin Gump states that Malcolm Lassman, an Akin Gump partner, is a friend of Gertrude Ticho, M.D., the wife of Ernst Ticho.  See Akin Gump Response to Additional Interrogatories and Request for Documents, filed May 17, 1993 at 2: "In addition, we spoke to Dr. Gertrude Ticho, a practicing psychiatrist in Washington, D.C. who is a personal friend of Mr. Lassman.”

This relates to what is probably the most extraordinary fact concerning my delusional system.  Out of approximately 4 million people in the Washington Metropolitan Area, I developed psychotic fantasies, in August 1990, about a psychoanalyst whom I had never met, Ernst Ticho.  Nearly three years later, in May 1993, Akin Gump reveals for the first time--and I had no prior knowledge of this--that an Akin Gump manager, Malcolm Lassman, is actually a personal friend of Ernst Ticho’s wife, Gertrude Ticho.  Now that’s extraordinary!  See Appendix to this letter.

66.  August 1990: Lunch with Craig (DuPont Circle).  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

67.  September 1990: Akin Gump Litigation-Practice Group Dinner at local restaurant déjà vu.

68.  September 18, 1990:  Lunch with Craig (Shops at National Place).  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.  Craig invites me to a picnic and to watch videotape of his favorite TV series (Twin Peaks) at his house (I never hear any more about picnic or visit to his house--big surprise there!)

69.  November 1990: Above-average or outstanding Performance Evaluation at Akin Gump for work and professional conduct in previous 6-month period.

70.  Early December 1990:  Lunch with Craig (Shops at National Place).  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

71.  December 1990:  Akin Gump legal assistant Christmas party.

72.  April 1991:  Three consultations with Lewis Winkler, M.D., a psychiatrist.  Both Winkler and Lassman are Jewish, and from Brooklyn, New York; there’s a four-year age difference between them.  Dr. Winkler asked me a number of questions that concerned the possibility that my work difficulties at Akin Gump were related to anti-Semitism: “Did your mother cook Jewish?  Did your mother buy matzo?”  (Cf.  Freedman v. Akin, Gump, Hauer & Feld, DHR Letter of Determination at 6:  “Mr. Lassman requested [on October 24, 1991] that Complainant provide additional anecdotes that might suggest an anti-Semitic bias by employees.  In response to Mr. Lassman’s question, and not on Complainant’s initiative, Complainant mentioned that the mascot of the Litigation Support group was a pig.  (At this point Mr. Lassman turned to Mr. Race and said, ‘Dennis you’re not Jewish.  Jews aren’t allowed to eat pork.'")

Harassment by employees in the Litigation Support group becomes unbearable while I am seeing Dr. Winkler; I cancel my work with Dr. Winkler.  Harassment abates somewhat after I stop seeing Dr. Winkler.  I happened to see Malcolm Lassman (and another attorney, Mark Goldberg) get off an elevator in the firm’s lobby the day after I canceled with Dr. Winkler.  Lassman had a look of agitation and marked anger when he saw me, which I connected with my having canceled my work with Dr. Winkler.  I had no dealings with Lassman of any kind that might account for his demeanor upon seeing me.

73.  May 1991:  Above-average or outstanding Performance Evaluation at Akin Gump for work and professional conduct in previous 6-month period.  Supervisor describes me as being as close to the perfect employee as it is possible to get.

74.  Late May 1991:  Plans to stop over Craig’s house on a Saturday; he cancels at last minute--he says he’s getting together with a friend from South Africa (big surprise there!)  I HAD ATTEMPTED TO ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.

75.  June 1991:  President Bush names Akin Gump founding partner Robert S. Strauss to the post of U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union.  The New York Times, in its report of the appointment, notes in front-page story that Strauss had started his career as an FBI agent, assigned to tracking down suspected Communists.  I had no prior knowledge of Robert Strauss’s background with the FBI.

76.  May-October 1991:  Psychotherapy with William D. Brown, Ph.D.  I accuse Dr. Brown of communicating with my employer.  He takes his glasses off and reassures me at some length that he has had no communications with my employer, he doesn’t even know who my employer is, and that in the 23 years he has been practicing psychotherapy he has never betrayed a patient’s confidence.  He then puts his glasses back on and resumed the session.  Dr. Brown literally could not look me in the face when he told me he was not in communication with my employer.

77.  October 29, 1991:  Akin Gump terminates my employment upon determining that for the previous three-and-one-half years, despite an outstanding job performance at Akin Gump, I actually suffered from a severe mental disorder that rendered me not suitable for employment and unable to communicate with my peers.

78.  November 4, 1991 (approx.)  I admit apartment manager Elaine Wranik to my apartment to oversee some routine maintenance.  We argue about the repairs to be performed.  At the height of the angry exchange, I threaten Elaine Wranik in a hostile manner with the following statement "My sister still has that video tape.”  Elaine Wranik responds "I have pictures of my own,”  apparently referring to Polaroids she had taken of my apartment on a previous occasion when my apartment was in a messy condition.

79.  November - early February 1992:  In conversations with my sister, my sister seems to continue to comment (in the form of double-entendres) about items in my apartment.

80.  Early February 1992:  I see Elaine Wranik.  She looks at me in a very hostile manner.  She seems to bore her head into my genital region.  After this encounter, I do not detect any further cues from anyone that relate to the contents of my apartment.  I form the belief that Elaine Wranik’s inspections stopped in early February, and that her hostile conduct was in some way related to the cessation of the inspections.

81. Early February 1992: Lunch with Craig (Shops at National Place).  I ARRANGE THIS SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT.  This is my last social interaction with Craig (other than telephone conversation on July 14, 1993).

82.  October 1982 - June 1994:  Psychotherapy with Suzanne M. Pitts, M.D. at the George Washington University Medical Center.  Dr. Pitts emphatically maintains that I suffer from severe social phobia: that I am incapable of initiating any social interaction, and that I require anti-psychotic medication to help moderate my social phobia.  In the opinion of Dr. Pitts, my social isolation at Akin Gump was attributable in full to my social phobia and no other reason.

83.  July 14, 1993:  I telephone Craig to ask if he wants to go to lunch.  He tells me to be friendly with dead people.  Craig refers to my having worked at the law firm of Arnold & Porter--an obviously disingenuous reference in view of the interaction on August 16, 1988 (see paragraph 9, above).  See Memorandum and attachment to Dr. Georgopoulos dated December 19, 1994, summarizing telephone conversation with Craig.


Gary Freedman


Gary Freedman said...

Gary Freedman said...

Mobbing Glossary:

Gary Freedman said...

Here are seven themes in the research literature on workplace mobbing:

(1) The nub of the problem is the ganging up of workers to demonize, humiliate, and scapegoat a target who has done little if anything wrong;

(2) Mobbers and targets may be of either sex, but women are often over-represented among mobbers, whether the target is male or female;

(3) The target of mobbing usually excels in his or her work, sets high standards for both self and others;

(4) Mobbing diminishes the quality of work;

(5) Most problems that arise in a workplace can be solved by workers themselves, without managerial intervention;

(6) The mob's attack has an informal aspect (like gossip and shunning), but consists mainly of official sanctions;

(7) The mobbing is defined not by anybody's personal feelings but by the facts of what happened.

Gary Freedman said...

The following document written in April 1993 refers to my delusional belief about Ernst Ticho -- before Akin Gump even revealed that it had consulted Ernst Ticho's wife, Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D. in late October 1991: