David Coppedge v. Jet Propulsion Lab

In the ongoing case of David Coppedge who alleges that he was harassed, then alleges that he got demoted with the end result of being fired because he was expressed his personal views on intelligent design at work in a non-disruptive manner.

In April 2009, David inquires to his boss this…

“Per our meeting this afternoon, I just wanted to be sure I didn’t misconstrue what you told me. Is it correct to say that the allegation of harassment was limited to the activity of my handing out DVDs on intelligent design to coworkers, and that if I had not done that as to anyone here in the building, I would still be in good standing? (i.e., I would not have been investigated or gotten the written warning)? Or would you word it some other way? I just want to be crystal clear I was not being investigated/reprimanded for some other activity, personal flaw or deficiency in job performance.”

His boss, Clark Burgess responded with this…

“I believe the investigation was triggered by the discussion you had with Greg [Chin] on April 13th, when he demanded you stop passing out DVDs and discussing them in the workplace. When I first conversed with HR, they mentioned they were going to conduct an investigation based on that encounter. Whatever else they may have found, I do not believe entered into their decision to generate the written warning. It’s my belief, if that incidence had not happened HR would not have been contacted and the written warning would not have been generated.”

I have been in workplaces where people were told to pipe down by their bosses unless it’s work related and let me tell you, HR did not conduct investigations as a result of those encounters and written warnings were not handed out because in every situation the employee complied with his or her boss’s request. In this case, JPL has presented no evidence that David Coppedge continued to pass out DVDs on intelligent design or discuss it in the workplace after he was told not to do it anymore!

Also, there is no evidence that David continued and repeatedly over a course of a period of time keep discussing intelligent design or attempted to pass out DVDs to his co-workers in the workplace who told him to stop!

There are workers at JPL who are afraid of intelligent design and would like to see it outlawed because it threatens their religion (evolution).  Can you imagine a person handing out cheeseheads at work and talking Packers, and a Chicago fan who works there gets upset over the cheeseheads being passed out and all the pro-Packer talk, tells his boss who then tells the person to stop. HR gets involved to investigate the incident.  The person complies to his boss’s request, he no longers talks about the Packers at work nor passes anymore cheeseheads out then two years later the person giving out cheeseheads gets fired.

The only way a person who was passing out cheeseheads and talking up the Packers at work would get fired in that situation if  he was being discriminated against and that is precisely what David went through and why his employer JPL is in big trouble!

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21 thoughts on “David Coppedge v. Jet Propulsion Lab

  1. Wow, Michael, you’ve done it again, disproving evolution with your brand of Arm Chair Creationism.

    (Sarcasm, for those who had their sarcasm meters removed from birth)

  2. In the ongoing case of David Coppedge who [sic] alleges that he was harassed, then alleges that he got demoted

    with the end result of being fired because he was [sic] expressed his personal views on intelligent design at work in a

    non-disruptive manner

    Coppage v JPL is not about discrimination against creationism. Coppedge was disrupting his workplace. Not just one,

    but a number of his coworkers complained about his unwanted foisting of personal views on them. And not just once,

    but over an extended period of time. And not only about intelligent design, but also about gay marriage, the company

    holiday party, and other subjects.

    This is a straight case of an employee harassing his coworkers on the job.[1] Coppedge was a team leader, who

    should be held to a higher standard, because of his power relationship. This is a basic tenet of employment law.

    It is ridiculous to suppose that JPL gives a rat’s patootie about creationism or intelligent design. Michael’s

    conspiracy obsession is showing when he accuses JPL or its employees of wishing to see creationism outlawed.[2]

    Coppedge was annoying his coworkers. Coppedge will not be calling any of his coworkers as witnesses

    for him.[3] He could not find a single supporter among them.

    Coppedge and his attorney want to make the trial about intelligent design. They proposed an expert witness on this

    question. But the judge has already ruled that no religion or ID expert witness will be

    permitted.. The status of intelligent design—and the entire question of whether or not religion is involved—

    will not be an issue in the case, and will not be decided. This is a pure employment-law case: Did or did not

    Coppedge disrupt his workplace?[4]

    It is humorous to note that the Discovery Institute seems to be backing off from full-bore support for Coppedge.

    They’re already talking about “bringing the case to the court of public opinion.” With the issues restricted, the DI

    can;t win, But they could still lose—wasting time and resources on an issue that the court will not even address.

    We’ll see.[5]

    =============

    [1] Michael’s statement above that Coppedge was “non-disruptive” is something Michael merely made up, because

    he wishes it to be true. It is yet more evidence of his reckless disregard for truth in the pursuit of his faith. (That

    statement also shows a reckless disregard for English grammar, but we ascribe that to his religious schooling.)

    [2] This humble commenter worked for Honeywell Aerospace on the Apollo moon-rocket program. To think that an

    aerospace contractor cares about creationism—or has any interest in promoting evolution—is pure fantasy.

    [3] The Sensuous Curmudgeon has obtained a witness list for the trial.

    [4] The suit also will revolve solely around Coppedge’s demotion. His termination was strictly a staffing decision, well

    within JPL’s power to decide arbitrarily.

    [5] The DI stayed out of the Freshwater case in Ohio, after losing in the Guillermo Gonzales decision and getting

    trounced in Kitzmiller v Dover.

  3. In the ongoing case of David Coppedge who [sic] alleges that he was harassed, then alleges that he got demoted with the end result of being fired because he was [sic] expressed his personal views on intelligent design at work in a non-disruptive manner

    Coopage v JPL is not about discrimation against crarionism. Coppedge was dfisrupting his workplace. Not just one, but a number of his coworkers complained about his unwanted foisting of personal views on them. And not just once, but over an extended period of time. And not only about intelligent design, but also about gay marriage, the company holiday paqrty, and other subjects.

    This is a straight case of an employee harrassing his coworkers on the job.[1] Coppedge was a team leader, who should be held to a higher standard, because of his power relationship. This is a basic tenet of employmernt law.

    It is ridiculous to suppose that JPL gives a rat’s patootie about creationism or intelligent dedign. Michael’s conspiracy obsession is showing when he acuses JPL or its employees of wiishing to see creationism outlawed.[2] Coppedge was annoying his ncoworkers. Coppedge will not be calling any of his coworkers as witnesses for him.[3] He could not fiind a single supporter among them.

    Coppedge and his attorney want to make the trial about intelligent design. They proposed an expert witness on this question. But the judge has already ruled that no religioyus or ID expert witness will be permitted.. The status of intelligent design—and the entire question of whether or not religion is involved—will not be an issue in the case, and will not be decided. This is a pure employment-law case: Did or did not Coppedge disrupt his workplace?[4]

    It is humorous to note that the Discovery Instritute seems to be backing off from full-bore support for Coppedge. They’re alreqady talking about “bringing the case to the court of public opinion.” With the issues restricted, the DI can;t win, But they could still lose—wasting time and resources on an issue that the court will not even address. We’ll see.[5]

    =============

    [1] Michael’s statement above that Coppedge was “non-disruptivce” is something Michael merely made up, because he wishes it to be true. It is yet more evidence of his reckless disregard for truth in the pursuit of his faith. (That statement also shows a reckless disregard for English grammar, but we ascribe that to his home schooling.)

    [2] This humble commenter worked for Honeywell Aerospce on t6he Apollo monnr ocket program. To think that an aerospace contractor cares about creatyionism—or about evolution—is pure fantasy.

    [3] The Sensuous Curmudgeon has obtained a witness list fior the trial.

    [4] The suit also will revolve solely around Coppedge’s demotion. His termination was strictly a staffing decision, well within JPL’s power to decide arbitrarily.

    [5] The DI stayed out of the Freshwater case in Ohio, after losing in the Guillermo Gonzales decision and getting trounced in Kitzmiller v Dover.

    [SORRY for the formatting problem previously]

  4. Olorin,

    You say, “Coopage v JPL is not about discrimation against crarionism. Coppedge was dfisrupting his workplace. Not just one, but a number of his coworkers complained about his unwanted foisting of personal views on them. And not just once, but over an extended period of time. And not only about intelligent design, but also about gay marriage, the company holiday paqrty, and other subjects.”

    Who are these co-workers and are they going to take the stand during the trial? Coppedge was under a gag order by his boss who wouldn’t tell him who his accusers were and then reminded him to keep his personal views about intelligent design to himself which he did but felt single out because JPL employees have the freedom to mock intelligent design in the workplace like using stickers on their office doors to make their point about what they think about intelligent design. You know what? I think that is foisting their personal opinions on Coppedge and about intelligent design in the workplace, not once but several times including informal discussions.

    You don’t know David, but he’s a quiet guy, he only feels comfortable with certain people to be outgoing. He is not a loud mouth person! His character does even fit your profile. JPL thought they could step all over him like a bug, but now find themselves in hot water.

  5. As I said, The Sensuous Curmudgeon has obtained a list of witnesses, including Coppedge’s co-workers. So, yes, obviously, they will take the stand.

    Also as I said, it seems strange that none of them will appear as witnesses in support of Coppedge. The guy is at JPL for 14 years, much of it as a leader of others. Yet he can’t find a single present or former employee to support him.

    No, I don’t know David Coppedge. But neither do you. Unless you cite some neutral sources, I do not credit your assessment of his personality. On what basis? On your long history of shading the truth. Don’t you ever wonder why people dismiss creationists as “Liars for Jesus”?

    Coppedge may be under a gag order, but JPL isn’t saying anything either. So stop wishing things into existence. (As me sainted mither used to say, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.”)

  6. Quoth Michael—

    You don’t know David, but he’s a quiet guy, he only feels comfortable with certain people to be outgoing. He is not a loud mouth person! His character does even fit your profile

    It’s not my profile. It’s JPL’s. Here is what their Answer has to say—

    It is important for SAs to work effectively, and maintain positive relationships, with the mission scientists, engineers and administrators. … Chin received complaints from at least fifteen project members about Coppedge, focusing on his uncooperative attitude and poor listening and interpersonal skills, which contributed to issues about his technical performance. Webster, Welod, and Linick—the leaders of Cassini’s Spacecraft Operations and Science & Uplink Offices, the two largest components of the project—were among those who complained. Indeed, Webster was so unhappy with Coppedge that she refused to work with him as early as 2005. Weld was so unhappy that she persuaded the Project Manager, Bob Mitchell, to let her hire her own SA, Chris Cordell, to do most of her group’s work.

    This is what JPL alleges. However, this document was filed in court. Therefore every fact in it will be established by sworn testimony at trial..

    I’ll take that any day over your personal assessment of David Coppedge gathered from a Fox News interview.

  7. Olorin,

    “As I said, The Sensuous Curmudgeon has obtained a list of witnesses, including Coppedge’s co-workers. So, yes, obviously, they will take the stand.”

    Here is the thing Olorin…Some years ago, a co-worker of mine was having intense arguments with other co-workers. In fact, I had to retrain them because they felt he was holding back, making them look bad. They always had arguments beyond my presence(we are talking intense yelling), and also with no bosses around. Seven different people complained about him (and they were not the only ones he had a problem with). Eventually he was transferred out of that dept. Eventually he quit and found another job. A guy who I discovered drunk at work was promptly fired! All those incidents were recorded and placed in his file, each employee has a file and has a right to request to see that file. It would reveal a lot in a case like this like when and by whom complaints were filed against him and also if there was any paperwork like written warnings…I’m sure Coppedge accessed his work file.

    You say, “Coppedge may be under a gag order, but JPL isn’t saying anything either. So stop wishing things into existence. (As me sainted mither used to say, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.”)”

    You using circular reasoning, if your boss tells to be quiet and your co-workers are allowed to mock your belief that you were told not to talk about in the workplace, of course that means something!

    Now why would the attorneys for Jet Propulsion Laboratory argue to exclude media coverage from certain aspects of David Coppedge’s religious discrimination case?

  8. Now why would the attorneys for Jet Propulsion Laboratory argue to exclude media coverage from certain aspects of David Coppedge’s religious discrimination case?

    Simple. Becuses the ID aspect of the case is irrelevant to Coppedge’s demotion and layoff. But it is an inflammatory issue that has been blown out of proportion. And his attorney has been seeking to make it an issue in the popular media.

    If you read the papers, you will see that Chin and Burgess protected Coppedge from the coworkers whom Coppedge irritated with his inability to listen, his controlling relationships, and his strong personal views on a number of subjects.[1] This is not allegation. Cioppedge himself admits that Chin and Burgess sheltered him, and instructed him in the basics of getting along with others, over a period of many years, in fact.[1]

    The librarian’s complaint about the unwanted attention was the straw that finally broke the dromedary’s back Management had to do something. Even then, the situation probably would not have come to a head except that Chin went to HR when Coppedge accused him of illegal behavior.

    Besides the specific reasons to limit media coverage, there is a generic reason that applies to all such suits. Individual employees who feel wronged by their (supposedly) large and impersonal employers have an inherent appeal to the public as an underdog.[3] Regardless of the merits of their case.

    Some years ago, a co-worker of mine was having intense arguments with other co-workers. In fact, I had to retrain them because they felt he was holding back, making them look bad. They always had arguments beyond my presence(we are talking intense yelling), and also with no bosses around. Seven different people complained about him (and they were not the only ones he had a problem with). Eventually he was transferred out of that dept. Eventually he quit and found another job

    So how does your example differ from Coppedge v JPL? An employee who can’t get along gets counseled, trained, but can’t learn, and gets demoted/transferred and laid off or quits. Intelligent design, creationism, religion are not relevant to the case.[4].

    =============

    [1] We can get an idea of the Coppedge’s contentious nature by reading his “Creation Evolution Headlines” blog. This guy doesn’t just disagree—he routinely derides and insults those with different views.

    [2] Coppedge did ask to see his file history, but only after the written warning had been given.

    [3] Although my 30 years at IBM was spent in intellectual property, we shared an office and staff with the general legal folk. Thus we patent attorneys had a continual exposure to the employment-law cases that cropped up occasionally. I’ll lay that experience against Michael’s experience with one coworker for credibility. (The drunk doesn’t count. That’s a whole different category.)

    [4] Look up Defendant’s Motion in Limine #5 to exclude testimony concerning intelligent design from the trial.

  9. Olorin,

    David Coppedge had been lending intelligent design DVDs to co-workers for years, well before he was investigated for passing out DVDs in the workplace and there were no incidents! JPL employes 5,000 people! If there was an incident, they would have told him to stop lending and talking about it years ago, not just in 2009. As far as the media, people on your side are claiming he was let go because of budget limitations (like the NCSE claims) or tried to get fired on purpose. David said this on national tv…

    “There were only two of us let go at that time of a team of six, and I was the most senior in the group, with the most experience and history on the team, and the other was near retirement.”

    You should take a in-depth look at the situation that includes e-mails written by JPL management almost three years ago (April 2009) that talked about getting rid of him. No, they were not trying to protect him rather Burgess met with Huntley and HR generalist Nancy Aguilera. They wanted Coppedge off the mission. Like I said before JPL allowed workers to mock ID and if you consider ID a religion, that is religious discrimination. Would JPL workers be allowed to express there dislike over certain aspects of evolution or Islam?

  10. David Coppedge had been lending intelligent design DVDs to co-workers for years, well before he was investigated for passing out DVDs in the workplace and there were no incidents!

    You just demonstrated my point. Coppedge’s “demotion”[1] and firing had nothing to do with intelligent design.

    The only way ID was even a possible factor was that, among the large number of continuing complaints about his behavior, one of them happened to involve foisting an ID DVD on a coworker.[2] It could have been a DVD about animal rights or climate change. The point is the disruptive behavior, not the subject matter of the disruption.

    This is—and should be–strictly an employment-law case. But Coppedge’s attorney is trying to drum up popular opinion for his client with a diversion, bringing in a religious-persecution innuendo.[3] This accounts fully for the gag order.

    The Dishonesty Institute is also trying to manipulate the situation for its own gain. It will be interesting to watch what happens when the attorney wants them to actually put some boots on the ground. Then, just as in Freshwater, , Cobb County, California Assn of Christian Schools,—and even Guillermo Gonzales, their one-time favorite martyr (who???)

    =================

    [1] Actually, it wasn’t a demotion. Coppedge lost no pay, benefits, seniority or standing in 2009. His designation as “lead” SA merely meant that he had an additional duty to communicate information to his fellow SAs. As to the firing, with Coppedge’s long history of disruptive behavior and horrible relationships, why would anyone be surprised that he would be on the top of the list to go?

    [2] Some of the court papers contain parts of depositions of witnesses. If you read them, it turns out that a number of them were actually sympathetic toward ID, and had no problem with loans or gifts of the DVDs. Michael claims that all his fellow employees mocked him about ID. Sorry, Michael; given the state of your credibility, I’d have to see some proof of that.

    [2] We lawyers have an aphorism: “If you have the facts on your side, piound the facts; if you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither, pound the table.” Coppedge’s attorbnet is punding the table.

  11. Olorin,

    First you say one thing than another using circular reasoning with bumper sticker conclusions. Which is it? Your all over the map with this. Was he fired in January 2011 because of budget limitations so they let go those like David who were closer to retirement? By the way, David was the first to be let go, then months later the rest were let go! Or was David fired because you believe he annoyed people with passing out pro-intelligent design DVDs? How many times did David go up to a particular person over the years who kept refusing to watch the DVDs?

    And another thing, why is JPL trying to exclude their guidelines on religious exercise? Why don’t they want to Judge to hear about those guidelines after all this is a religious discrimination lawsuit! Surely if they thought those guidelines would have helped their case, they would have not motion to exclude it from evidence. You mentioned complaints people made but have no idea when those complaints took place or how many were there, the only public complaints were in 2009 and shortly after the lawsuit was filed.

    What happens when your beloved JPL looses the case? Will the judge be dishonest too?

  12. Apparently nothing has made it past your blinders yet.
    (a) Coppedge was let go when staffing was reduced.
    (b) Coppedge was at the top of the chopping-block list because of his disruptive behavior and his inability to get along with his coworkers.
    (c) One complaint—but only one of dozens of complaints—about Coppedge concerned harassment about an ID DVD.

    Clear now? Please stop putting words in my mouth as to what I said. You don’;t have to agree, but you should at least try to comprehend it. You seem to be incapable of understanding any viewpoint but your own.

    why is JPL trying to exclude their guidelines on religious exercise? Why don’t they want to Judge to hear about those guidelines after all this is a religious discrimination lawsuit!

    Just because Coppedge’s attorney says this is about religious discrimination does not make it about religious discrimination. He has to produce some evidence of discriminatory acts by management. Which so far, he has not even alleged in court. You can go read the papers for yourself on this point. Then you can stop making things up.

    If I should get fired over filing a false expense-account, should I be allowed to introduce my employer’s civil-rights policies? Not relevant to the issue.

    You mentioned complaints people made but have no idea when those complaints took place or how many were there

    Well, you could try reading the court papers. That night be a first step. He worked for 15 different project heads, all of who complained about Coppedge over a period of a decade—three of them to the point where they refused to work with him anymore.

    Those were just the project leaders; I don’t know how many others complained. It is strange, however, that not a single present or past coworker will testify for Coppedge. Apparently he made not a single friend there in 14 years.

    What happens when your beloved JPL looses [sic] the case? Will the judge be dishonest too?

    Why do you think that the judge is dishonest if JPL loses? Makes no sense, Michael.

  13. One more thing you may perceive from the court papers:
    (a) Coppedge claims that intelligent design is not religion.
    (b) Coppedge alleges religious discrimination for his belief in intelligent design.

    It is not easy to suffer religious discrimination over something that is not a religion. Believe me, I’ve tried it :-)

  14. @Olorin

    It is not easy to suffer religious discrimination over something that is not a religion. Believe me, I’ve tried it :-)

    More like impossible ;)

  15. Olorin,

    This is a circular response…“One more thing you may perceive from the court papers: “Coppedge claims that intelligent design is not religion. (b) Coppedge alleges religious discrimination for his belief in intelligent design.”

    If his former employer JPL fired him for his belief in intelligent design which JPL deemed “a religion” it’s religious discrimination and a court in another state ruled wrongly that ID was a religion back in 2005. There were other things too involved with this case.

    Coppedge alleges that JPL created “a hostile work environment” because of his expressed disagreement about evolution. In the trial on March 19, 2012…David said…

    “I had seen cartoons mocking intelligent design, mocking conservatives, mocking President Bush and mocking traditional marriage,”

    So various political and religious views were being presented in the workplace. JPL allowed such things while gagging David. That is not the way you conduct business. As far as my question about JPL making a motion to exclude their guidelines on religious exercise from evidence, you say…

    “Just because Coppedge’s attorney says this is about religious discrimination does not make it about religious discrimination.

    First of all, Coppedge’s attorney has absolutely nothing to do with the motion. It’s JPL’s motion! Have you ever studied law? You like to brag about such things like having 50 years of experience in science but yet what about law? Second of all, this is a religious discrimination lawsuit, the judge decides if there is merit to the lawsuit one way or the other at the conclusion of the trial, not during hearings on motions concerning evidence.

    JPL claimed David was also fired for “sloppy” work…However, numerous performance evaluations have been entered as evidence that show praise for his work as a systems administrator and for his technical skills. Also, the reviews began to change their tune in 2009 following the March 2009 incident with his boss Chin, around the time Coppedge brought the suit. That is damaging evidence against JPL.

    Then another thing you say, “He worked for 15 different project heads, all of who complained about Coppedge over a period of a decade—three of them to the point where they refused to work with him anymore.”

    These witnesses haven’t even testified plus David was promoted! Over a decade you say, well that would have appeared on his work reviews over ten years, now wouldn’t it? Rather than changing its tune shortly after the confrontation with his boss back in 2009. And lastly, David wouldn’t have never been promoted if “project heads” couldn’t work with him.

  16. Have you ever studied law? You like to brag about such things like having 50 years of experience in science but yet what about law?

    Michael first it was reading comprehension. Now your memory is failing. As I have noted many times here, I am a lawyer, and have been for more than 40 years. I graduated summa cum laude, second in my class of 130, and was editor of the law journal. In 1967 and 1968 I wrote lengthy papers on subjects that would eventually become important, but at that time had had no legal analysis whatever: (a) legal considerations for in-vitro fertilization, and (b) the patentability of computer programs.[1]

    First of all, Coppedge’s attorney has absolutely nothing to do with the motion. It’s JPL’s motion!

    First of all, that’s absolutely wrong. Coppedge’s attorney had everything to do with it. He alleged it in the complaint. No “motion” is involved in this aspect.

    Second of all, this is a religious discrimination lawsuit, the judge decides if there is merit to the lawsuit one way or the other at the conclusion of the trial, not during hearings on motions concerning evidence

    Second of all, this is absolutely wrong. The judge will NOT decide whether there is merit to the lawsuit in this case.

    These witnesses haven’t even testified…

    The witnesses hav not yet testified, because the trial just started. Coppedge is the only person who has testified—although he seems to be incapacitated with migraines and unable to complete his testimony. However, many of the potential witnesses have been deposed; if you read the court papers, you will find a number of excerpts from these depositions.

    David wouldn’t have never been promoted if “project heads” couldn’t work with him.

    Coppedge was not promoted. He began as a contract system administrator (SA), and was later hired as an employee in that position. There were a number of other SAs on the project. Coppedge was given the additional task of coordinating all the SAs with management. This was called a “lead”; however, he did not receive any extra pay, benefits, or other perks. Likewise, when he was “demoted,” he lost no pay, benefits, or other perks.

    The “promotion” did not involve any extra work or interaction with the project heads. It did not involve the project heads at all—only the other SAs. I don’t know, but could easily suspect, that the “demotion” came after it became apparent that Coppedge couldn’t work with the SAs either.

    No one denies that Coppedge is technically competent. Perhaps more than competent. His primary job was to keep the computer systems humming, and he did that. But his job also required ancillary interpersonal skills that he lacked.

    We’ll see from the testimony about the performance evaluations. JPL will have some explaining to do, and they know that. From the papers I’ve read, Chin and Burgess sheltered Coppedge for years from the onslaught of the project managers, and even coached him over a long period of time. Coppedge acknowledges this. Perhaps Chin inflated the evals in order to try to save Coppedge’s job until he could get him on the right track? Why did the evals tank in 2009? I don’t know. A possible explanation is that Chin no longer felt he could save Coppedge from himself, and stopped inflating them. Remember, this was when Coppedge started to accuse Chin of illegal acts, and of betraying him. .

    .

    Employment cases are always more complex than they appear. Rarely can they be narrowed down to simple situations such as being found drunk on the job. Those cases never make it to court.

    The general rule is employment at will,[2] subject to specific exceptions such as racial and religious discrimination[3] Therefore, Coppedge has the burden of going forward and the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence that he meets one of the exceptions to the general rule.

    Think of a long bar, black at one end, white at the other, with a huge slush-gray area in between. JPL does not have to adduce evidence placing them in the white area. Rather, Coppedge will lose unless he can haul the evidence firmly all the way over to the black end. This is why Becker is attempting to emphasize the discrimination issue, and to sell it to the media; this is why JPL resists bringing their guidelines into the fray.

    ===============

    [1] Another paper was less technical. Because I had taken Russian as an undergrad in 1957, I wrote on the nature of the person under Soviet law. You might be interested in the fact that Communism took a religious view of personal accountability in both criminal and civil law..

    [2] Except in the Civil Service. And we all know how well that works :-)

    [3] And even these have strict limitations.

  17. This is a circular response…“One more thing you may perceive from the court papers: “Coppedge claims that intelligent design is not religion. (b) Coppedge alleges religious discrimination for his belief in intelligent design.”

    Wrong again.

    If you think this involves circular reasoning, please point out specifically
    (a) What is the question I attempt to answer;
    (b) What is the answer I have assumed;
    (c) How is that answer used in reasoning back to the same answer.

    Michael, you seem to have no idea what circular reasoning is. It’s just a generic place-holder name for something you don’t like, such as “liberal” or “special-interest group.”

  18. However, numerous performance evaluations have been entered as evidence that show praise for his work as a systems administrator and for his technical skills. Also, the reviews began to change their tune in 2009 following the March 2009 incident with his boss Chin, around the time Coppedge brought the suit. That is damaging evidence against JPL.

    Ah, here it is. Cab Burgess’ proffered explanation for the good performance evaluations (“ECAPS”).

    Statement of Undisputed Material Facts to support CalTech’s motion for summary judgment, dated July 1, 2011). On page 13—

    24. Burgess did not document many criticisms of Coppedge’s annual performance reviews to maximize Coppedge’s chance to transfer to another project…. Q: Did you document these facts in the ECAPS? A. I don’t believe I did. Q: Why not? A. Part of the transfer scenario that I had imagined would be—one thing that would be involved in that would be the review of the documents by his prospective new customer, and I didn’t want to put too much negativity into the ECAPS.

    Nobody claims that inflated evals is the best way to handle a situation such as this. However, it is often seen as an expedient, and it happens all the time. Suppose you want to sell your old car. Do you take pains to point out its defects to prospective buyers, or do you emphasize its good qualities? You might even go so far as to not mention the three muffler replacements in the previous year, and the rust on the inside of the right rear wheel well….

    Why did the evals plummet in 2009? Staffing was being reduced to the point where there were no other projects that JPL could transfer Coppedge to in order to get him off Cassini. At that point, the only way to solve the personality problem was to get rid of Coppedge altogether. For this purpose, you don’t want a string of positive reviews—you need to document poor performance. Thus, the evals turned quickly negative.

    You may believe this scenario, or believe there was more or something else entirely. But the facts upon which it is based in the above Statement are not disputed by Coppedge. So it is at least plausible. If Coppedge’s attorney had thought it was not plausible, he would have filed a motion for summary judgment; but he did not.

  19. Olorin,

    You say, “Michael first it was reading comprehension. Now your memory is failing. As I have noted many times here, I am a lawyer, and have been for more than 40 years. I graduated summa cum laude, second in my class of 130, and was editor of the law journal. In 1967 and 1968 I wrote lengthy papers on subjects that would eventually become important, but at that time had had no legal analysis whatever: (a) legal considerations for in-vitro fertilization, and (b) the patentability of computer programs.[1]”

    And on the other hand you say this, “My career has been in science for almost 50 years. The past few years in biology. The more I know about it, the more I am convinced of the evidence for evolution. This is not a “belief”—it has nothing to do with faith..” Message #41 “Neanderthal Man Myth to Rest”

    What is it with you and Neanderthal man…haha…How many careers to you have? lol

    If there is merit in the case that proves religious discrimination the Judge will rule in favor of David.

    You say, “Coppedge was not promoted. He began as a contract system administrator…”

    He started working at JPL in 1997, he did not become a “team lead” till 2000 and that ended in 2009. He filed the lawsuit in 2010. He was let go in 2011. Now let’s start when he was a contract worker who became a full-time employee, in the year 2002 to 2003. His work review during that year was quite glowing, his boss put it this way…“great job supporting the Cassini Project,” and for his “special service.”

    In the year 2003 to 2004, his work review was full of more positives concerning his amazing work performance at JPL. Such language was used in the review, “effective working relationships” and “appropriate verbal and written communication skills.”

    Like I said, all your claims should have been contained in his work review throughout the years not confined to certain ones that were more present. If these witnesses were having such a problem back in 2004, why wasn’t in his work review? I would put his boss who wrote this review on the stand, this is great stuff!

    Very damaging evidence against JPL.

  20. How many careers to you have? lol

    As a patent attorney, I practiced law in the acquisition and exploitation of patents. All of my clients worked in research or high technology. Thus I dealt daily not only with the content of science, but also with the process of discovery and creativity. On the legal side, I am admitted to practice before the US Patent & Trademark Office, as well as several states and federal courts, including the Cour5t of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the US Supreme Cour5t.

    Clear now?

  21. If there is merit in the case that proves religious discrimination the Judge will rule in favor of David.

    How many times must I say it before it penetrates? NO! The judge does not get to rule on whether or not there was religious discrimination. This is the function of the jury.

    He started working at JPL in 1997, he did not become a “team lead” till 2000 and that ended in 2009.

    Again, you need to realize that there may be other viewpoints than yours. The designation as “team lead” was not a formal promotion within JPL. Coppedge got no extra pay or benefits, and the position was not recognized within JPLs matrix organization. Coppedge claims that the designation may have been equivalent to a promotion—but he will have to convince the jury with positive evidence that JPL treated it as a promotion..

    In the year 2003 to 2004, his work review was full of more positives concerning his amazing work performance at JPL. Such language was used in the review, “effective working relationships” and “appropriate verbal and written communication skills.”
    ……..
    I would put his boss who wrote this review on the stand, this is great stuff!

    Again, you have to admit that the reason Cab Burgess gave for the positive ECAP evals was at least plausible. If you don’t understand how a situation like this can arise, then you are hopelessly naive about how managers operate in large organizations. Witnesses for JPL will testify, and the jury will decide whether or not to believe them. This is what trials are for.

    Michael, you seem to lack even a basic understanding of how the legal system works. Did your home schooling curriculum not include civics or social studies?

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