Thursday, July 27, 2006

Letter From The Three Stooges

I know I have many readers from big, fancy law firms. You can find a list of some of them here.

And I feel bad because I haven't given them much fun lately. So I thought it might be time for a legal post, to correct that.

First, let me say that, seriously, I have a lot of respect for Pfizer's law firm Epstein, Becker and Green. They are the ones defending Pfizer against my wrongful termination lawsuit.

So, of course, when it was time for Pfizer to reply to our written interrogatories, (simply means my lawyer asks them questions which they have to respond to), which is part of the discovery process, before trial, I couldn't wait to read EBG's responses. After months of delay and legal wrangling the responses finally came.

And then, I realized why it had taken them so long to respond.

They had hired the Three Stooges to write the responses.


Because it surely couldn't have been the famous EBG lawyers who wrote those responses.

But don't take my word for it, let's take a look at what the Three Stooges actually wrote. And let me give you some background on this.

Of course, no one who is a defendant at trial wants to be a defendant. So if there is any way to claim the defendant was simply an innocent bystander, of course this is what the defendant will claim.

So, of course, Pfizer's Chief Legal Officer, and Top Lawyer and General Counsel, Jeff Kindler, doesn't want to be a defendant, and so he will assert, if he can, that he had nothing to do with me or my termination. So this is what the Three Stooges wrote on his behalf, on EBG's stationary, and I think all the real lawyers will get a kick out of this:

"In the period from April 16, 2003 through December 1, 2005, Kindler played no role with regard to the hiring, job assignment, compensation or termination decision with respect to Rost, except in his capacity as the chief legal officer (General Counsel) for Pfizer."

OK, I added the italics.

What he is saying is very simple.

It's like me saying that I had no role in the marketing of Genotropin except in my capacity as Vice President of Endocrine Care.

Or perhaps, I could also say, I had no role in making my children, except in my capacity as their father.

I don't know if you think it is funny, but I do.

And if you had the opportunity to continue to read Pfizer's entire response you'd be howling on the floor in laughter. Virtually every second question we've asked is so "vague and ambigious" and "overbroad and unduly burdensome" that it makes it soooooooooooooo hard for Pfizer or their smart lawyers to reply to them. They just can't. They are exhausted by the burden.

I wonder if that's the reason so many brilliant people go to lawyer school. I mean, imagine going to a school where, if you don't like the question, you simply reply it is too "vague and ambigious" and "overbroad and unduly burdensome." And you get a passing grade! No wonder smart people love law school.

And Jeff Kindler is not the only one who claims he had very little to do with me. So does Pfizer's CEO Hank McKinnell. Let's see what he writes.

"In the period from April 16, 2003 through December 1, 2005, although McKinnell was informed on occasion about events involving Rost during his employment with Pfizer, he played no role with regard to the hiring, job assignment, compensation or termination decisions with respect to Rost." (My italics)

So let's look at this statement more carefully.

Anyone who has ever worked for a company knows that if you march into the CEO, especially the most powerful CEO in the entire drug industry, and you informed him about events involving a certain employee, you look at his face and you listen.

If he smiles after you have informed him, you are happy, if he frowns and shakes his head, you run out of the office and change your plans.

The only way you can avoid being influenced by this powerful CEO, is if he is sitting in front of you with a brown bag over his head.

And I expect that when we go to trial, Pfizer will indeed pull out the brown bag which McKinnell is using when he is not influencing decisions. I can't wait to see that brown bag.

So who was responsible for firing me, according to Pfizer?

I mean there has to have been someone who made that decision, right?

How about the person who signed my termination letter, could it be her?

This is what the Three Stoges writes about the person who signed that letter:

"Sainpy remained ultimately responsible for Rost's employment status and compensation, insasmuch as he was considered to be assigned to her department, but the actual decisions relating to Rost's employment were delegated to other persons."

So there you have it, not even the person who signed my termination letter was responsible. I just happened to be in her department.

We have some mysterious "other people" making that decision.

And of course, we've tried to find out who they are.

We asked Pfizer to identify the decision makers for my personnel status and compensation. In their reply to that question the Stoges write, among other things, all of them non-responsive, "Pfizer cannot determine plaintiff's intended meaning."

I would believe them if the Three Stoges had signed the letter.

But it wasn't them.

I found the names of the famous lawyers,
Ronald M. Green
Michael A. Kalish
John Houston Pope

And I know they aren't the Three Stoges. After all, FOX News anchor Bill O'Reilly, who hired Ron Green to defend himself against the sexual harassment lawsuit he later settled, would not hire one of the Three Stoges.

But what do I know.

Maybe Ron Green and his team is trying to get an offer from Saturday Night Live, based on this hilarious performance.

Oh, one more thing. Read my legal disclaimer. I'm not a lawyer, just a regular bloke applying common sense to what lawyers write. Maybe that's the problem. Common sense does not apply to lawyers.


insider said...


I once spoke to a Big Pharma lawyer about an issue and asked "What does your conscience tell you to do?"

His (true) reply:

"Sorry, that was removed as part of my terms and conditions of employment!"

All the best

Anonymous said...

Love it, love it, love it.

Too funny!

Doc you Rock!