I majored in journalism at Penn State.  In my senior year (1974-1975) I took a course on Journalism and the Law.  We read landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases relating to the First Amendment and defamation (libel).  One of the cases we read was Goldwater v. Ginzburg, upon which the American Psychiatric Association later based its so-called Goldwater Rule forbidding a psychiatrist from offering a professional opinion about someone she had not seen in private consultation.

So I knew about the Goldwater case since I was a 20 year old college student — before I went to law school, long before I was embroiled in a controversy with my former employer about its use of an ex parte psychiatric consult to rationalize an unlawful job termination.

This matter always rankled me at a gut level.  If I knew about Goldwater since I was 20 years old, how could Akin Gump’s “very able counsel” not know about Goldwater?  How could a federal judge not know about Goldwater?

If Dennis Race had said to me at the termination meeting, “we spoke to a psychiatrist about you and she said . . . ”  — I would have responded “What about Goldwater?”  But he never said he spoke to a psychiatrist.  He simply said that he had spoken to “two consultants.”

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