1. Yet another Roy Pearson update: the Washington Post, confirming a previous rumor, reports that he’s closer to losing his job. The Commission on Selection and Tenure of Administrative Law Judges (CSTALJ?) has voted to start the process of terminating him, by sending him a letter notifying him that he may not be reappointed to his job. Of course, the procedure alone makes the story a perfect fit for Overlawyered. Pearson can’t just be fired; that would be too easy. First, his boss had to make a formal recommendation. Then, the Commission had to decide to send that letter. And now?
Pearson is not out of work yet. The letter is a key step, though, alerting him that his reappointment is in jeopardy. He has 15 days to file a rebuttal and could push for reappointment by appearing before the commission at its next meeting in September.
The wonders of public employment. And then if he’s turned down, of course, he can sue!
Apparently trying to destroy a business by using the legal system to extort millions from the owners isn’t his big sin; his big sin is being rude to his boss:
Concerns about Pearson’s temperament as an administrative law judge preceded the publicity about the lawsuit this spring. The letter from the commission focuses on those concerns, addressing the lawsuit only briefly.
In e-mails sent to his fellow judges and cited in the letter, Pearson’s contempt for Chief Administrative Law Judge Tyrone T. Butler was evident. In one of the missives, he spoke of protecting himself from any attempt by Butler “to knife” him. In another, he questioned Butler’s competence and integrity.
Incidentally, he was serving a two year term, but if he wins reappointment, it will be for a ten year term.
Cooper said it was never easy to balance the interests of wildlife with those of national security. But in this case, she said, environmental lawyers have made a persuasive case that the potential harm to whales and other marine life outweighs any harm to the Navy while the court case proceeds.
Because, clearly, a bunch of lawyers are in the best position to design United States naval strategy.
3. Remember the Kentucky Fen-Phen scandal? The one in which the class action attorneys were accused of misplacing $60 million of their clients’ money into their own pockets? (We’ve covered it May 20 and earlier) Well, a federal judge has now ruled that they need to repay $62.1 million to their clients. So far. Still to come: a ruling on punitive damages, a criminal trial, and the suit against Cincinnati attorney Stan Chesley, who’s accused of the same wrongdoing. (AP/Forbes)