By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Patreon
SDNY COURTHOUSE, August 3 – An on again off again Wall Street employee who sued Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation for discrimination and retaliation had a day in court on April 22, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York courtroom of Judge J. Paul Oetken. Opposing her, as for Qatari royals in the same courtroom, was the Proskauer Rose law firm, which has moved for her to have to pay attorneys fees. The pro se plaintiff Maureen Ottoson said her prior lawyer sold her out, only wanted to settle on the cheap after Proskauer asked for $160,000 in fees before now deceased Judge Robert Sweet.
Judge Oetken who now has the case said he would consider a motion for attorneys fees occasioned by Ottoson dropping and then reinstating a discrimination claim. He set a final pre-trial conference for June 19 and a trial, jury or bench, for July 8. The conference, apparentlynot captured by any official SDNY court reporter and with only Inner City Press as media present, ended with Proskauer again saying they would drop the attorney's fees request only if Ottoson dismisses the discrimination complaint "with prejudice." The index number and more and on Patreon, here. We said we'd continue to follow that case, and we have.
On July Ms. Ottoson was awarded payback, apparently of $21,250, by the jury. As one observer said, God bless the jury system. We'll have more on this - and this: the Qatar ruling family's abuse of employees and laws was exposed in an off the record initial conference at in the SDNY on February 14; Inner City Press was the only media present. Inner City Press wrote an exclusive story that day, February 14, then more in the following few days as more sources contacted us. Now it has learned that the UK's Daily Mail days later on February 21 false claimed an exclusive on the story, here.
By contrast, we credit and link to this potentially relatedly story that "Mahamoud Ahmed, 79, was found to have been racially abused by medical attache Abdullah Al Ansari while working at the Mayfair embassy as a night security officer. Somalian-born Mr Ahmed was called a “black slave”, “donkey” and “dog”, and was pushed by the Qatari diplomat during an incident in 2013. An employment tribunal in London last month found Mr Ahmed had then been dismissed by Mr Al Ansari on the basis of his race and he was awarded £8,000 in damages. Mr Ahmed’s local member in parliament, Greg Hands, requested that the government consider stripping diplomats of their immunity or expelling them from the country if they breach employment laws. Mr Ahmed was originally unable to have his case heard until 2019 because the Qatari embassy tried to claim diplomatic immunity against his complaint. But a 2017 Supreme Court ruled that claiming immunity from employment laws was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, allowing the case to go ahead. Mr Hands wrote to Jeremy Hunt, the UK Foreign Secretary, to look again at the Supreme Court ruling and whether legal action could be taken to punish diplomats in such cases. As it stands, embassies in the UK are protected from claims of unfair dismissal through the State Immunity Act." On April 10 we reported that these Qatari royals, stating that they are diplomats, are seeking to further extend the case, writing that "Defendants Sheikh Jassim Abdulaziz Al-Thani and Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani (“Sheikh and Sheikha”) are Qatari residents and diplomats, and as a result, frequently travel to Doha for reasons pertaining to their diplomatic duties and their participation in other civic engagements. At the moment, Sheikh and Sheikha (and members of their staff, many of whom are anticipated to be document custodians in the litigation) are scheduled to be in Qatar for the remainder of the month of March, through the beginning of April to prepare for and attend the formal opening of the Qatar National Museum (as Sheikha is the Chairperson of Qatar Museums). The parties have actively participated in written discovery thus far; they have already exchanged document requests and interrogatories, and they are in the process of negotiating a confidentiality stipulation. However, as a result of Sheikh and Sheikha’s (and their staff’s) travel schedules, Defendants anticipate some subsequent delays in the upcoming stages of discovery, especially pertaining to data collection of ESI from custodians (as requested by Plaintiffs) and the scheduling of their depositions (which are currently noticed for April 16, 2019). In order to ensure that Defendants are able to collect, process, review and produce ESI responsive to Plaintiffs’ document requests, and schedule mutually agreeable dates for depositions to take place in New York thereafter, Defendants respectfully request that the current discovery deadlines be modified as follows: Current Deadline Proposed Deadline Deposition Completion Date May 1, 2019 July 1, 2019 Completion of all Fact Discovery June 10, 2019 August 9, 2019 Status Conference June 14, 2019 August 16, 2019 (or any other date that is convenient for the Court)." Back to August? Since its exclusive report that day, Inner City Press has been contacted by more employees and whistleblowers and a range of apparent legal violations by the Qatar royal family has come to light.