Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hogan & Hartson: Overtime Hours -- Week of December 29, 1986

I was employed as an agency-supplied paralegal at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson from mid-September 1985 to late February 1988.  In December 1986 I was assigned to assist attorneys working on Milwaukee Public Schools litigation to prepare an exhibit list.  It was a lengthy process and I ended up working about 83 hours during the week beginning Monday December 28, 1986.  I earned about $1,000 that week.  The temp agency's policy was to pay time and one-half after 40 hours and double time after 60 hours.  I foolishly bragged to coworkers in the Computer Applications Department that I had earned $1,000 dollars, which I believe probably aroused envy in the department.  Bob Ferguson, who is mentioned in the memo below, was a Hogan computer consultant.  I did not have any interaction with Bob Ferguson--he did not know me.  Though I believe Bob Ferguson and Craig W. Dye had some interaction.

A note about my memos to my supervisor Sheryl Ferguson.  I wrote numerous memos to her.  Some of the memos were somewhat bizarre, and seemed to be attempts to show off my intellect--such as the memo below.  Sheryl Ferguson never told me to stop writing memos so I assumed it was OK with her to write them.  By the time Sheryl Ferguson left the firm in early 1987, she had on file in her office a stack of my memos.  I had a paranoid suspicion that when Craig Dye assumed the administration of the Computer Applications Department, after Miriam Chilton's departure in January 1989, Craig Dye transmitted copies of all or some of the memos to Akin Gump management, which would have constituted a breach of Hogan's confidentiality on Craig Dye's part.

TO:   Sheryl Ferguson

FROM:  Gary Freedman

RE:  Time Sheet

DATE:  January 12, 1987

A word about my hours for Monday, January 5.  If you check the register in the lobby, you will note that I signed out at 9:00 PM, while the "time-finished" entry on the vendor time sheet states 7:00 PM.  After reviewing my work on Monday, I was dissatisfied with the quality of work that I spent approximately 2 hours on and decided to stay late to redo it and further decided that it would be improper to charge for those two hours, especially in view of the fact that I anticipated working double-time hours during the week.  This note will serve to explain what I was doing in the building during the hours of 7:00 to 9:00 PM.

With regard to Bob Ferguson's password, I'd like to add something that I failed to state on Friday.  At the very moment that I saw Espe's fingers key in the password, which I knew to be confidential, I said, "I just saw what you keyed in."  Her response was, "Well, never use it; it contains a lot of functions that no one else has access to--that's why no one is supposed to use it."  Her response explains my knowing nod of the head when you said essentially the same thing to me on Friday.

I feel the fact that I informed Espe, a supervisory employee, of what I learned--immediately upon having learned it--discharged my duty to the department; I did all that I could reasonably be expected to do.  It then fell upon Espe to take immediate and appropriate action (i.e., informing Dennis [Payne]).  Clearly, at no time was there any active concealment on my part or any effort to make use of what I had learned.  Further the fact that I informed Espe, a supervisory employee, of the security breach, should be considered an effective communication as to all supervisory or confidential employees in both CAD and ISD.  That is, there was no duty on my part to track down each and every potentially interested party and provide notice of the security breach.

To close, permit me to restate, in a more respectful and reasoned way, something I alluded to on Friday.  One should not confuse the essentially discrete, though potentially overlapping, issues of ability on the one hand and intent on the other.  For example, the fact that a scientist may possess the intellectual prowess, or ability, to decipher nature's secrets and make important discoveries in the field of, say, genetic engineering, does not presuppose that he has the intent to use that ability to create a Frankenstein-like monster.  Likewise, the fact that I may be unusually observant (see attachments) does not carry with it the necessary presumption that I have the intent to misuse the knowledge gained through my perceptiveness.  For perceptiveness is an ability rooted intellect while an intent to use or misuse that ability is determined by character.  The fact that I told Espe immediately of what I saw when I saw it attests to my character and lack of intent to misuse what I learned.

1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

The memo refers to "Monday January 5." It should read "Monday January 4, 1987."