|(Not Alan Konig)|
There’s a 1999 movie called “Galaxy Quest,” in which actor Tim Allen, doing a comedic parody of Star Trek’s James T. Kirk, has a signature line: “Never give up! Never surrender!”
Alan Konig’s apparently adopted that motto in the face of all-out defeat.
Earlier today, the former State Bar prosecutor vowed to appeal a San Francisco judge’s three-day-old ruling that tossed out the last remaining claims from a suit he filed against his ex-employer at least four years ago.
“It’s a decision that has so many errors in it,” Konig said. “It’s a bad message to be sending to employees who work in government offices.”
Well, you can’t mention “State Bar” and “controversy” without mentioning Philip Kay … after the jump.
Konig was talking about two orders issued Monday by Superior Court Judge John Munter that threw out defamation claims Konig brought after being demoted in 2004 for what his bosses viewed as bad job performance. He was accused of refusing to follow his superiors’ orders and clashing with State Bar Court judges.
Munter’s orders granted summary judgment for the State Bar, after finding that the internal memos and statements that Konig found offensive were “absolutely privileged,” “constitutionally protected opinion” or had “no tendency to injure” Konig’s reputation.
Konig, now employed by the U.S. Department of Education in San Francisco, had sued the State Bar, as well as some of its prosecutors and officials, on several grounds, including defamation and retaliation — the latter for allegedly having been placed under supervision for complaining about supposedly unethical practices by State Bar Court judges.
But over the years, Konig saw his complaints get severed limb from limb. In 2005, an identical federal suit he filed against the State Bar was dismissed, around the same time as most of his claims in state court.
In 2007, San Francisco’s First District Court of Appeal allowed Konig to go back to superior court only on the defamation claim. Now that’s gone, unless Konig follows through on his vow to appeal.
He said today that Munter’s rulings suggest that employers can make false allegations against employees without consequence.
Michael von Loewenfeldt, a partner with San Francisco’s Kerr & Wagstaffe who represented the State Bar, said Monday’s orders affirm that supervisors and co-workers “are entitled to discuss work and personnel issues freely, without fear that every small disagreement or criticism will be turned into a defamation lawsuit.”
“Mr. Konig’s latest claims should never have been brought and all of his claims have now been rejected by every court to review them,” he said. “Mr. Konig left his job with the State Bar in 2005 and we hope that these latest court orders will finally allow the parties to put these matters behind them.”
Ironically, Konig’s failed federal claims were resurrected by San Francisco lawyer Philip Kay recently in an attempt to defeat misconduct charges he’s currently on trial for in State Bar Court. He’s using Konig’s defunct arguments to portray the State Bar Court and the entire discipline system as one-sided and unfair to lawyers caught up in it.
Coincidentally, on Wednesday San Francisco-based U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton denied a request by Kay that the State Bar proceedings against him and Dalton be stayed.
— Mike McKee