In late October 1991 Dennis M. Race, Esq. (202 887 4028), a management partner at the Washington, DC office of the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, my former employer, consulted a psychiatrist named Gertrude R. Ticho, MD (deceased) (then Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, The George Washington University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry) who advised him that my complaint of job harassment appeared to be the product of a psychiatric "disorder" that might be associated with a risk of violence, rendering me a direct threat in the workplace. Freedman v. D.C. Department of Human Rights at 4, D.C.C.A. no. 96-CV-961 (Memorandum Opinion and Judgment, Sept. 1, 1998) ("the firm . . . learned [upon consulting a practicing psychiatrist] that [Mr. Freedman's] behavior was indicative of a disorder known as 'ideas of reference,' which is sometimes accompanied by violent behavior.').
Dr. Ticho did not assess me in person and thus her professional
opinion was a violation of the American Psychiatric Association's
(APA's) so-called Goldwater rule which prohibits a psychiatrist from
offering a professional psychiatric opinion about an individual without
benefit of a personal exam and without obtaining the individual's
consent for the opinion. Dr. Ticho's psychiatric opinion,
upon which the U.S. Social Security Administration relied in making its
disability determination that I became disabled and not suitable for
employment effective October 29, 1991 (the date of Akin Gump's job termination), lacked any medical reliability and was defamatory.
The D.C. Department of Human Rights (DHR) admits that it considered but rejected my argument that Akin Gump's disability determination was invalid because Dr. Ticho's psychiatric opinion was made without examining me personally, thereby violating the APA's Goldwater Rule and rendering the opinion medically worthless. (The DHR implicitly also exonerated the action of Akin Gump partners, licenced professionals, in soliciting an unethical act from a psychiatrist, also a licensed professional.)
The DHR concluded in its Initial Determination (June 30, 1993): "Complainant submitted a 45 page response plus attachments as well as
other correspondence in response to Respondent’s submission. . . . [Among other concerns h]e . . . contended that Respondent’s reliance
upon the advice of the mental health professionals as conclusory and
reached without personally examining him, was flawed. . . . We do not believe it is necessary to analyze and respond to each of
them to reach a determination in this matter" (emphasis added).
What is the legal significance of the action of a District human rights agency in expressly exonerating a psychiatrist of her ethical infraction which was the sine qua non of the employer's determination that an employee was potentially violent and therefore posed a "direct threat in the workplace," denying that employee of his right to future employment under The Americans with Disabilities Act?
What is the legal significance of a District human rights agency in expressly exonerating District-licensed attorneys of liability for their action in denying an employee of his right to future employment under The Americans with Disabilities Act by soliciting an unethical act from a psychiatrist whose opinion that the employee was potentially violent (and therefore a direct threat in the workplace) was the foundation of the employer's termination decision?