Chapter 2, Section 1

Chapter 2 – 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Case Against Lucent Technologies

Below is the twenty-page May 7, 2011, court case decision that I won in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals against Lucent Technologies. Lucent was the spin-off company of AT&T in 2011. To give background, I will present a running interpretation of each page of the court decision.  But I am getting slightly ahead of myself. I first brought this case to the United States Superior California State Court in Los Angeles, but Lucent petitioned to move the case from state to federal court, and it was brought in front of Judge Christina A. Snyder. (I believe Lucent thought cases of individuals against large corporations are less successful in federal courts compared to state courts, so Lucent wanted this case in front of a federal court.) When I brought this case, I had no attorney (I had no money because I put all of my money into my new house), so I brought the case Pro Se, which means meaning “for oneself” or “on behalf of themselves” which, in modern law, means to argue on one’s own behalf in a legal proceeding. This was not my first Pro Se case against them. I sued AT&T in 1989 (a predecessor company to Lucent) Pro Se when they fired me after I returned from Air Force Officer Candidate School in 1987.

The first page of the case document below reflects a case I brought against Lucent Technologies and CIGNA (Connecticut General Life Insurance Company) and was on appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California Christina A. Snyder, District Judge, Presiding. In the lower District Court that denied my case and thus caused this appeal, the first time I was before her in court, I got the feeling that judge Christina A. Snyder was looking for me when she entered the courtroom. She entered the room and before she sat down, Judge Snyder searched around the courtroom as if she was looking for someone. When her eyes settled on me, she sat down.  Sometime during my conversation with Judge Snyder, she straightened her right index finger of her hand and rubbed or tapped it against her nose and purposely looked me in the eyes, as if the signal meant something. The expression on her face, as she looked me in the eyes, was unsettling. I know the Masons have all kinds of secret hand signals. One interpretation of this is a metaphor of ‘sniffing out trouble,’ but when I’ve seen it, I always interpreted it as trouble was about to happen because the person was uncomfortable with my presence and they were about to lie. It appeared as a nervous reaction. “So it can be used as a way of signaling knowledge, that someone is clever, or a threat (as in, I’ll sniff out whatever trouble you’re up to).” It can also mean ‘secret,’ the most common. “It comes from an idea that we’ve both sniffed out what’s really going on here, and no one else has.” This is probably the safest interpretation for me because the person who used the signal is too nervous to verbalize what he sees as forbidden knowledge. (Another time I saw someone use this signal of rubbing the nose with the straight index finger with the right hand, was Chevy Chase the “Saturday Night Live” comedian, who I made eye contact with at the Coffee Bean (which is now closed) in Manhattan Beach, California, around 2010. Hell, I recall seeing a nun do this.) The nose tap looks like the following:


Nose tap

Because of the nervous nose tap, I was not sure I would get a fair hearing with Judge Snyder. It is not good when the case you bring before a judge makes them nervous. The United States is rising as a National security state, and my case shines light on a state secret: people are poisoned with LSD. (Many people caught up in the War on Terror have made this claim, including Jose Padilla.) During my first encounter with this case in the lower court, Judge Snyder allowed me, as a Pro Se litigant, leave to amend my complaint (allowed to rewrite and resubmit it). One initial point of contention was if the two-year statute of limitations barred my complaint. I had researched my case and found that a little used “1866 Civil Rights Act” allowed four years statute of limitations for African Americans in work retaliation suits. I was sure to use the 1866 Civil Rights Act in my amended complaint.


The 1866 Civil Rights Act was the first law to define citizenship, and the law protected all citizens; African Americans like: “All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, penalties, taxes, licenses, and exactions of every kind, and to no other.” It was created to protect African Americans at the end of the Civil War from abuses like lynching (this law later helped create the 14th Amendment, which was more often used to produce the citizenship of a new person type, the corporation, e.g., railroads  (See the 1886 “County of Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific Railroad).) The 14th Amendment was later enacted to make sure no later Congress could later repeal or alter the Act. The 1866 Civil Rights Act was opposed by the Klu Klux Klan.


The Civil Rights Act was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson (When earlier, when he was a Congressman from Tennessee, Andrew Johnson supported the 1862 Homestead Bill that gave land to farmers but excluded African Americans. As President, Andrew Johnson was instrumental in reducing federal protection for formerly enslaved people in the South and starting the Jim Crow Era.) With the South’s secession at the start of the Civil War, Andrew Johnson was the only senator from the South who did not resign his seat. Andrew Johnson was the Vice President during Lincoln’s second term when Lincoln was assassinated via America’s first coup. Lincoln ran with Johnson to unite the country. Johnson was a Democrat, was against protecting the Constitutional Rights of recently emancipated African Americans, and was in conflict with the Republican-led Congress. This led to his impeachment, which failed by just one vote.). In April 1866, Congress passed another bill that supported the 1866 Civil Rights Act, and President Andrew Johnson again vetoed it. Still, a two-thirds majority in the House and the Senate overrode the veto.


After several months I returned to Judge Snyder’s court for a second hearing on my amended complaint. This time Judge Snyder was constantly hunched over, did not scan the courtroom when she entered, and refused to make eye contact when I was in front of her; honestly, she looked drunk. Finally, she declined my case via a “Summary Judgement.” A Summary Judgement is “a judgment entered by a court for one party and against another party summarily, i.e., without a full trial.”  I instinctively jumped up and yelled out at Judge Snyder, “This is bullshit.” I was not thinking but was reacting. The courtroom was silent. She looked me in the eye and sheepishly said, “You can appeal.”


The appeal below was heard on March 7, 2011, in front of judges Betty B. Fletcher, Stephen Reinhardt, and Kim McLane Wardlaw, but Betty B. Fletcher wrote the decision filed on August 4, 2011. Judge Fletcher wrote in my favor concerning my interpretation of the 1866 Civil Rights Act, but she died one year later, on October 22, 2012 at the age of 89. Her death changed the trajectory of my case, but not in a good way. “”She had experienced discrimination herself in her life, and her perspective included looking out for the downtrodden, the little person, but always within the framework of the law,” explained Seattle U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik of Fletcher.”


I initially brought this case Pro Se, but I found out that the court could appoint a lawyer Pro Bono (for free) on appeal. So on appeal, the court appointed William J. Kelley, III, and Pamela A. Kelley, of Kelley & Kelley, Irvine, California, to represent me. For the defense were Adrienne C. Publicover, Russell H. Birner, and Lawrence J. Rose, of the law firm Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, San Francisco. Russell H. Birner handled most of the defense. He contracted colon cancer and received a colostomy during this court case. I also got colon cancer during that time, but I fully recovered. Russell Birner commented on the coincidence of our first names being the same and that forced mental disability for twenty-five years might be better than working for a soulless corporation for twenty-five.


Judge Fletcher Opinion, first page 

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