Wednesday, January 11, 2012

One Big Happy Extended Family: Who is Sally Gonzalez?

Sally Gonzalez was employed as a senior computer specialist at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson during my temporary assignment at that firm, which extended from mid-September 1985 to late February 1988.

My supervisor at Hogan, Sheryl Ferguson, who created and managed the firm's Computer Applications Department, reported directly to Sally Gonzalez.  I believe that Dennis Payne and Joel Dorow -- two computer specialists -- also worked for Sally Gonzalez.  Joel Dorow is married to Miriam T. Chilton, who assumed the position of director of the Computer Applications Department in May 1987.  It was Miriam Chilton who terminated my long-term temporary assignment at Hogan in late February 1988.  In early March 1988 I started work as an agency-supplied paralegal at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.

Coincidentally,  Sally Gonzalez was employed as Chief Knowledge Officer at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld in the year 2000 and earlier as chief information officer (1999) at the firm, years after my termination in late October 1991.

In the spring of 1987 my supervisor at Hogan & Hartson, Sheryl Ferguson, obtained employment at ATLIS, a litigation support company (and continued to do consulting for Hogan).  In the spring of 1988 I submitted to Akin Gump the name of Sheryl Ferguson as a job reference (see Attachment B), in hopes of securing employment with the firm.  Akin Gump hired me directly from my temp agency effective June 13, 1988.  In the summer of 1988 Akin Gump hired Sheryl Ferguson, as an ATLIS consultant, to assess Akin Gump's litigation support department.  As part of her assessment Sheryl Ferguson interviewed David Callet, Esq. (senior partner for the client Eastern Airlines), Jack Gallagher, Esq. (billing partner for Eastern Airlines), Chris Robertson (director of Akin Gump's litigation support department), David Tobin, Esq., at that time an associate in the firm's litigation group (and a member of the firm's hiring committee, chaired by Dennis M. Race, Esq.).  In February 1989, my direct supervisor at Akin Gump, Constance Brown (who was in charge of Eastern Airlines litigation support) loaned me a copy of Sheryl Ferguson's technical report (stamped confidential), prepared under contract by ATLIS for Akin Gump.

In June 1988 I had met with Akin Gump's then legal assistant administrator Margarita Babb in connection with the firm's decision to hire me.  I gave Margarita Babb a list of Hogan & Hartson references (see Attachment B) which named Sheryl Ferguson, Miriam Chilton, Elliot Mincberg, Esq. and Maree Sneed.  On her initiative, Margarita Babb said she would telephone Freddie Rios, Hogan's then legal assistant administrator.  At Hogan Freddie Rios had general jurisdiction over the Hogan Computer Applications Department's employees; in fact, I learned after my termination by Miriam T. Chilton (February 1988), that Miriam had consulted Freddie Rios before ending my long-term assignment at Hogan.

In 1992, after Akin Gump fired me, I submitted a job application to Freddie Rios, who was then legal assistant administrator at Skadden Arps.  Freddie Rios apparently had a professional or personal relationship with Margarita Babb at Akin Gump and may have spoken with Margarita Babb about what had happened with regard to my employment at Akin Gump.


Gary Freedman said...

"I continue to believe that certain legal assistants made invidious references to my friendship with a male employee (Craig W. Dye) with whom I had previously worked at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson. At an Akin Gump dinner held in May 1989, another legal assistant (Raben) acknowledged to me that he had heard a rumor that I was homosexual. See Brief of Appellee District of Columbia at 8. 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."

Gary Freedman said...

Snap Shot: Sally Gonzalez

VITALS: Undergrad: B.A. in Art History and Technical Theater, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, N.Y. 1972. Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University Executive Program, Management of Technology 1996.

CURRENT POST: Co-founder, with Stanley M. Wasylyk, of Michael Farrell Group Ltd., a technology management consulting group. We help law firm leaders align technology strategy and investments with business goals, especially in the areas of knowledge management and e-business.

RECENT JOBS: Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P.: Chief knowledge officer (2000) and chief information officer (1999). PricewaterhouseCoopers: Principal consultant, law firm/law department group, (1998-99). Covington & Burling: Director, information technology services (1996-98). Jones, Day, Reavis & Poque: Manager of practice systems (1993-96); manager of information systems, D.C. office, 1990-93 KEYNOTES: "Best Practices in Knowledge Management," LegalTech Atlanta 2000.

BAR ACTIVITIES: I am active in LawNet and have attended every conference since 1984. Mid-Atlantic regional vice president in the mid-'90s; conference track chair in 1997.

OFFICE TECHNOLOGY: Dell Inspiron 4000 laptop; Windows 98; ZoneAlarm firewall; Office 2000; Vizio 2000; Lotus Notes. Lexmark and HP deskjet printers; UMAX scanner.

FAVORITE GADGET: Headset for my cell phone, followed closely by headset for my desk phone.

HOME SYSTEM: Home? Work? Hotel? They're all the same. I live on my laptop, wherever I am.

ISP: AT&T Global Network

PAGER? Not if I can help it.

PDA: Palm Pilot Vx.

FAVORITE COMPUTER GAME: Freecell (I'm really not into computer games.)

FAVORITE PDA SOFTWARE: Time and expense tracking.

CELL PHONE: Nokia 8860.

FAVORITE NON-TECH MAGAZINES: People, Time and Newsweek for mind-junk-food, followed closely by CondeNast Traveler for fantasy.

LETTERMAN OR LENO? Leno, I'm ashamed to say.

FAVORITE TV SHOW: West Wing for drama, Frazier for laughs (or is it the other way?)

CAR: Honda Accord LX (my third one...)

LAST BOOK READ: The Trusted Advisor, by David Maister

WATCH: The one that matches my earrings today.

WHERE WOULD WE FIND YOU ON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON? At the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia shopping for Saturday night's gourmet meal.

APPOINTMENT I NEVER MISS: The Philadelphia Flower Show.

MOST IMPORTANT LEGAL TECH TREND: Application of artificial intelligence tools to litigation support, knowledge management, and more.

MOST IMPORTANT TECH ACCOMPLISHMENT IN LAST 12 MONTHS: Building client-facing systems (i.e., Extranets) that linked lawyers with clients in true collaborative environments beyond document and information sharing.


LAST VACATION: Driving tour of the "Four Corners" region of the U.S. Arriving in Monument Valley at sunset after a brief shower to see a full double rainbow stretching horizon to horizon. Shopping for silver jewelry at a tiny roadside tent pitched by a Navajo family in the middle of nowhere, only to be handed a business card with a Web site on it, in case I wanted to order more later.

AIR MILES: Continental Platinum Elite for eight years straight.

QUOTE: "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

Gary Freedman said...

My personal impression of Sally Gonzalez.

I had no interaction with Sally Gonzalez of any kind, but I would sometimes pass her in the corridor.

She seemed like a very high IQ type. She never betrayed that she had any knowledge about me or emotional reaction to me. I found that striking.

She always had an enigmatic Mona Lisa-like smile when she saw me.

Gary Freedman said...

I used to pick up a negative or hostile vibe from Dennis Payne. But then, I'm psychotic.

Gary Freedman said...

Robert Bennett, Esq. and Freddie Rios.

Robert Bennett was a poker buddy of Bob Strauss.