HIDDEN WEB ANALYTICS SOFTWARE RECORDED DETAILS OF JUDGE’S VIEWS OF PLAINTIFF’S WEBSITE.
by R. Norland March 30. 2018
Last Tuesday, former Digital VP Somers filed a Motion in Federal District Court in San Francisco asking the Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore to recuse herself from his case or be disqualified. Somers is suing Digital Realty for retaliation after his employment was wrongfully terminated following his reporting of his manager for violations of US Securities laws and discrimination.
In the publicly available Motion to Recuse, Somers accuses Chubb Insurance Group, Digital Realty and Seyfarth Shaw of engaging in ex parte (secret) communications with Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore to fix the outcome his case. Somers based some of his motion on evidence from web analytic software embedded on his website, somersdecison.com. The tracking log, using “cookies” from software maker “Statcounter,” indicates the Magistrate Judge has been a frequent visitor to Somers’ website. Her views of the website are strictly prohibited under a judicial canon forbidding judges from investigating the facts of a case outside of the judicial process.
Somers’ motion also implicates Digital Realty’s lawyer, Brian Ashe of Seyfarth Shaw, accusing him of influencing the judge to allow the REIT to withhold evidence. In the motion, Somers explains that the Court even protected Seyfarth Shaw from prosecution for alleged fraud and forgery.
Linda M., an employment lawyer in San Jose, California, indicated she was pleased to see a pro se exposing corruption. She wrote, “We can’t necessarily do what [Somers] is doing because lawyers won’t risk taking other lawyers to task for ethical violations let alone a federal judge,” she added, “Over the years I’ve had to look the other way when it comes to misconduct. If you go atfter a federal judge, you won’t be practicing law for very long.”
The magistrate judge can either step down on her own or refuse to do so, in which case a random judge will be selected to decide on the matter.
Richard S. a lawyer in San Francisco said that the judge will fight the recusal. “I don’t know much about cookies but I do know judges don’t go away easily. Somers picked a fight that is rarely won by attorneys, let alone by a pro se. His evidence had better be solid. The court will not want Somers to succeed on this motion.”
Mr. Somers is not a lawyer, appearing pro se in the matter of Paul Somers v. Digital Realty, Inc. & Ellen Jacobs.