The Volokh Conspiracy

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Tip: when you're suing an employer for religious discrimination, don't launch "vitriolic anti-Semitic rant[s]" against judges


From Alatraqchi v. Metro Cab (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 12, 2014) (paragraph breaks added):

Apparently Alatraqchi was a taxi driver with Metro Cab and was terminated at some point. He filed a "Civil Rights" complaint against Defendants on December 5, 2011…. On July 22, 2013, the matter was assigned to trial before Judge Ernest Goldsmith. Alatraqchi did not demand a jury, and Defendants waived jury on October 16, 2013. Defendants' trial counsel indicated that the only causes of action remaining for decision after the earlier summary adjudication ruling were "Causes No. 3 and 6, harassment on the basis of national origin and religion, and intentional infliction of emotional distress." Judge Goldsmith, with the benefit of a complete record, agreed.

Alatraqchi presented only his own testimony in support of his claims. He stated that he had been terminated by Hybels after a traffic accident, and that Hybels said that he did not like Alatraqchi or where Alatraqchi was from [footnote: Trial testimony indicates that Alatraqchi is a Shiite Muslim originally from Iraq.], calling Alatraqchi a "[f]ucking Muslim" and a "[f]ucking Arab[]." … The Defendants called Metro Cab taxi drivers who were Muslims of Middle Eastern descent, all of whom testified that they had known Hybels for many years and never observed him engage in any discriminatory conduct. Hybels testified that he owned Metro Cab, leased a cab to Alatraqchi, and terminated Alatraqchi's contract because Alatraqchi had too many accidents. Hybels denied making any derogatory comments to Alatraqchi about either his religion or his national origin, and denied yelling or using any profanity in speaking to Alatraqchi. The case was taken under submission, and neither party requested a statement of decision.

On October 21, 2013, Judge Goldsmith issued a "Decision and Order Re: Court Trial." The court found that "Plaintiff has failed to prove both causes of action by a preponderance of the evidence." Judgment was entered in favor of Defendants on October 30, 2013. Alatraqchi filed his notice of appeal on December 17, 2013….

Alatraqchi fails utterly to meet his burden [of showing the lower court erred] here. "To demonstrate error, appellant must present meaningful legal analysis supported by citations to authority and citations to facts in the record that support the claim of error. Alatraqchi does neither…. Moreover, to the extent that Alatraqchi contends that the evidence was insufficient to support the judgment against him, he does not even attempt to set forth in his brief all material evidence, and not merely his own evidence….

Alatraqchi fails utterly to present any coherent or cogent argument showing error. He cites to nothing in the meager record provided, and he cites no relevant authority. In asserting that he did not receive a fair trial, Alatraqchi engages in what is largely a vitriolic anti-Semitic rant against Judge Goldsmith (and Judge Peter Busch).

Much of Alatraqchi's briefing argues that he was an employee of Metro Cab, rather than an independent contractor, but he provides no inkling of why this was relevant to any issue at trial. Similarly, he cites several fraud statutes without suggesting what bearing they might have in his case. He does not discuss the requisite elements of either cause of action before the court, nor does he discuss what proof he offered as to any element of either claim. He does not explain why the court erred in accepting the evidence offered by Defendants and rejecting his. While it is not the responsibility of this court to search through the record seeking evidence in support of a party's position, we find none to support Alatraqchi's.