Breaking the Law From the Inside
“I want it to be known – that we’re going to work with grim and bold determination – to gain justice…And we are not wrong. We are not wrong in what we are doing. If we are wrong – the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong. If we are wrong – God Almighty is wrong!…If we are wrong – justice is a lie.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This article reveals how corruption has entered the courtrooms of our federal judicial system. When a husband and wife hold property together in New Castle, Pennsylvania, and both are attorneys — the woman works as an executive in a forum that adjudicates adversary proceedings, and the male is representing a client who is in that same forum — can the wife place her thumb on the scale of justice to tilt it in favor of her husband, who she holds dear to her heart and owns property with, at any time she wishes and no one would ever know or be the wiser, except that husband and wife?
And, what about if this wife, was previously employed at the same law firm where her husband is currently employed, as indicated on, her social media page, would the wife, not place her thumb on the scale of justice to benefit her former employer, as well? No one would ever be the wiser, except the client being represented in the adversarial proceeding, the husband and wife, but certainly not the adversary.
Wouldn’t the entire process be compromised and nullified by the failure of the attorneys to make full and appropriate disclosure about their relationship?
On March 10, 2014, CounterPunch published an article I wrote, about the inequities and injustice which occurred in the landmark anti-trust and discrimination case, Rowe Entertainment v. The William Morris Agency, which was filed in the year 2000, in Federal Court, Southern District of New York. The corruption and racial injustice that occurred to Mr. Leonard Rowe, in that case, was something that had not been witnessed, since the earlier years in the Deep South.
So, now I would like for you to take a close look at another case which also exemplifies David vs. Goliath. It involves the same defendant and law firm that was involved in the corruption in Mr. Rowe’s case. This case, like the Rowe case, is overflowing with racial injustice and corruption — it is the Marcus Washington v. William Morris Endeavor, discrimination case. This case gives another clear example of how racial injustice and arrogant corruption has become woven and embedded into the fabric and body of our Federal Judicial System.
I became familiar with Leonard Rowe and Marcus Washington’s lawsuits, when I read in the Black Agenda Report, an article, elaborating on both cases, written by former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. I called both parties and invited them to appear on my radio show. I was very intrigued by the courage and perseverance of these two individuals.
The idea that executives at these giant entertainment agencies would call black people “niggers”, “spooks”, “coons”, “monkeys”, “Uncle Toms”, ” spades”, etc… And a federal judge by the name of Robert P. Patterson didn’t think this was a problem, led me to believe that Judge Patterson must involve himself with people who use those same type of words when describing black people. With that said, I personally feel that this Judge, Robert P. Patterson, should no longer be allowed to sit on our nation’s federal bench.
As I began focusing and reviewing the record of both cases, I could not help but lose respect for our federal judicial system. What I saw and interpreted was arrogant corruption at an historical level. Mr. Rowe had been grossly mistreated by our federal justice system and now Mr. Washington was being handed the same fate.
Mr. Rowe and Mr. Washington are both dealing with a highly corrupt incestuous system, with power players involved in the corruption. The problem for these two individuals, as I’ve closely observed, is not proving the fraud and violations of the law, but rather finding someone who is willing to enforce the law. Mr. Rowe contacted, the Chief Judge, Loretta Preska, of the New York Federal Court Southern District, whose job is to make sure that the law is administered properly. Both Rowe and Washington submitted complaints to the New York Departmental Disciplinary Committee (DDC), The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for The Southern District of New York, all with the evidence of collusion, fraud and corruption in their possession, but to no avail. These corrupt attorneys, judges and law firms were all being protected by these agencies.
We are talking about our judicial system, which must remain colorblind – it must also maintain integrity. But in addition, we are also talking about the difficulty in getting these cases highlighted in the media. A well-known quote from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, that refers to the benefits of openness and transparency is, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” Without freedom of press, which is the 1st Amendment, we have no democracy. That’s why freedom of press is not the 2nd, 3rd, or, 4th amendment, it is the 1st. When those who control the press want to protect those who have violated the rights of others, that information is suppressed. And, democracy is lost.
The one question that kept coming to my mind as I continued to closely examine these cases was if these two individuals were not African Americans would this type of fraud and injustice be allowed to happen to them? The answer always returned to me as “No.”
I became teary eyed as I read where Mr. Rowe stated that he grew up fatherless, due to the fact that at the age of 13 his father was sent thousands of miles away to a foreign land to fight for America in Vietnam, where his life was taken. His body was returned to Mr. Rowe and his mother in Georgia severed in half by a bomb. Mr. Rowe stated that his father didn’t have any problems with going to war and fighting for America, because he always thought it would create a better and more decent life not only for him and his mother but for all Americans.
This story about Mr. Rowe’s father, resonated with me, because my father fought in World War II, only to return to the United States and be called boy. Despite this country having its first black president, things haven’t changed much, only on the surface.
The question that persists is: Is it right for Americans of any race, to gladly pay their taxes and go abroad when asked and put their life on the line for this country, and only to return, or in the case of Mr. Rowe’s father not to return, and then themselves or their family members be denied equal protection under the law? Again I was delivered the answer “No.”
On December 21, 2010, Mr. Marcus Washington filed his racial discrimination case against William Morris Endeavor Entertainment. His lawsuit, like Mr. Rowe’s, was also filed in federal court, Southern District of New York.
Mr. Washington had been employed by William Morris, in their New York office, as an agent trainee, from September 2, 2008 to April 9, 2010. In that capacity, he alleged that he had been discriminated against based on the fact of their failure to hire and/or promote African Americans to the position of agent. In his complaint, Mr. Washington alleged that William Morris had discriminated against Blacks for more than a century, by denying qualified African Americans equal employment opportunities, specifically excluding them from higher-status, higher paying positions, thus giving the Hollywood talent agency a race-based monopoly in representing Black talent in all areas of the entertainment industry - from the concert stage to the box office.
Upon hiring, Mr. Washington had executed an Arbitration Agreement, in which Federal Judge P. Kevin Castel upheld and ordered on July 20, 2011 that his federal action be stayed and that he seek remedy with the Arbitration Association of America (AAA).
On July 15, 2012, Mr. Washington filed his complaint with the AAA and he actively arbitrated his case, with renowned law professor David L. Gregory presiding as arbitrator. Washington was pursuing his claim as a pro se (without an attorney) litigant preparing a voluminous amount of documentation in his case. Now think about this, Mr. Washington has no legal training, he wasn’t qualified to be an Agent (says William Morris), yet he was capable of fighting these well trained and educated attorneys from one of the world’s most prestigious law firms, Loeb and Loeb, LLP and come out victorious.
On December 17, 2013, arbitrator David L. Gregory, a professor of law, with a 30 year illustrious and unblemished career, with vast experience in employment discrimination cases, explicitly stated in his Partial Final Award that William Morris had discriminated against Washington in violation of pertinent federal, state and local laws prohibiting discrimination in employment on the basis of race.
Despite this Partial Final Award being issued by arbitrator Gregory, William Morris’ attorneys moved to have arbitrator Gregory disqualified – ignoring the rule that an arbitrator can’t be removed after a Partial Final Award had been issued. And, just as egregious, the AAA complied with their request. Attorneys Michael Zweig and Christian Carbone, of Loeb and Loeb, LLP, who represented William Morris, explicitly stated that arbitrator Gregory was incapable and that he exhibited erratic conduct.
Now, let me tell you how arrogantly corrupt these folks are. Not only, do they not abide by their own rules/guidelines and canons that they themselves established, but when asked specifically and repeatedly by Mr. Washington about these specific canons or procedures, being violated, they don’t even bother to offer an explanation, they simply and completely ignore him.
Should violating the AAA Review standards bother an attorney, who is duty bound to uphold a code of ethics? Well, it certainly didn’t bother former District and Appellate Court Judge of the 3rd Circuit, attorney and arbitrator Timothy K. Lewis, because right after arbitrator David L. Gregory was wrongfully disqualified, in walks new arbitrator Lewis. Just by accepting the role of being the new arbitrator, arbitrator Lewis has instantly violated the standards and rules of the AAA.
Arbitrator Lewis’ first inquiry on the docket in this matter was to overturn the Partial Final Award issued by wrongfully dismissed arbitrator Gregory. Are we to assume that arbitrator Lewis is complicit in the corruption and in deceiving Mr. Washington?
After some due diligence and a thorough investigation, Mr. Washington learned that one of the vice presidents of the AAA is married to Christian Carbone, who just happens to be lead counsel for William Morris Endeavor, in Mr. Washington’s case. Mrs. Sasha A. Carbone, wife of Christian Carbone, is the Associate General Counsel for the AAA and also the Chair of the AAA’s Diversity Committee. Mr. Washington was never informed of this conflict of interest, or made aware that the lead counsel for William Morris and vice president and Associate General Counsel for the AAA are literally in bed together.
Now, despite the Code of Professional Ethics that all of these attorneys must uphold, when Mr. Washington raised these issues and asked for clarity, none of them even bother to give him an answer. The Code of Ethics in the legal profession insists that all judges, who are officers of the court, and arbitrators, avoid even the appearance of impropriety and must remain impartial.
Mr. Washington’s entire arbitration case, has been a giant matrix of hypocrisy and blindness to the Code of Ethics, as well as, the hand of justice. Is it not a glaring omission for the AAA not to disclose this conflict of interest to Mr. Washington? And, what about Christian Carbone’s duty to disclose to Federal Judge Castel that he was married to one of the vice presidents of the AAA when this case was argued before him. Christian Carbone should have acknowledged to Judge Castel that this case should not be conducted under the supervision of the AAA and should be done by another arbitration authority. Didn’t Christian Carbone violate his duty at that juncture, by concealing the important fact that his wife is employed by the AAA?
At a minimum, Mr. Washington should have been given this meaningful information from the beginning, not to mention that Mrs. Carbone used to work at the same law firm, as her husband, Loeb and Loeb, LLP. No wonder, the AAA so easily violated their own rules and dismissed arbitrator Gregory – the cards where stacked against Mr. Washington from the get go — he definitely deserves his day in court.
Again, I would like to reiterate: the problem for Mr. Washington, as well as for Mr. Rowe, is not proving the violations of the law, but finding someone who is willing to enforce the law.
*The standard for granting summary judgment according to the United States Supreme Court and the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure is that the non moving party (Rowe) merely had to show that there are specific facts demonstrating that there are genuine issues for trial. Further, the non moving party’s (Rowe) evidence, must be viewed in the light most favorable to him.
Kathleen Wells is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall) and the host, The Kathleen Wells Show heard on KCAA (AM1050) (http://www.kcaaradio.com/wednesday.html)