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Roy Pearson

BLT has the latest update on litigation we have been following for a good long while.

No longer a Washington, D.C. administrative law judge, Roy Pearson, Jr. continues to pursue an appeal in his wrongful-termination case, and Kevin Underhill has fun with that.

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February 6 roundup

by Walter Olson on February 6, 2010

  • Wronged wife loses suit under California “Drug Dealer Liability Act” (DDLA) against mistress who supplied crack cocaine to husband [OnPoint News]
  • “D.C. Circuit to Former Judge in Pants Lawsuit: Follow the Rules” [NLJ, more, earlier]
  • “Law firm demands retailer destroy all copies of Olivia Munn comic, retailer refuses” [BoingBoing, HeavyInk, earlier on TJIC]
  • Can’t find jury for tobacco trial: “Lawyers excused a woman who said people have no right to sue over diseases that are disclosed on the warning label of a package.” [Russell Jackson, Chamber-backed W.V. Record]
  • Despite widespread misconception to the contrary, editing comments generally does not open blogger to liability over what remains [Citizen Media Law]
  • To heck with HIPAA, introduce your patients to each other if you think they’ll get along [Musings of a Dinosaur]
  • Devoted daughter vs. RSPCA: epic will contest in Britain over family farm bequest [Times Online]
  • Woman found guilty after planting dead rat in meal at upscale restaurant [Appleton Post-Crescent via Lowering the Bar and Obscure Store]

September 9 roundup

by Walter Olson on September 9, 2009


July 30 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 30, 2009

  • Federal judge throws out wrongful-termination suit filed by pants suit judge Roy Pearson, he’ll probably appeal [D.C. Examiner] More: Lowering the Bar.
  • Sebelius signs documents providing lawsuit immunity for swine flu vaccine developers [Orato]
  • How Sacha Baron Cohen keeps from getting sued, part umpteen [The Frisky]
  • More on British Chiropractic Association’s defamation suit against skeptic Singh [Citizen Media Law, Orac/Respectful Insolence; earlier here, here, and here]
  • Next round of lawsuits against Dov Charney’s American Apparel may allege “looks discrimination”, though that’s probably not actually a relevant legal category [Gawker, Business Insider, earlier here, etc.]
  • Demand that Chicago set aside municipal contracts for gay-owned businesses [Sun-Times]
  • “Grandstanding anti-Craigslist politicians still not satisfied” [TechDirt, TG Daily]
  • Judge Kozinski: this is America, behaving disrespectfully toward a cop isn’t a crime [Greenfield]

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Unless the U.S. Supreme Court will help him out, his chances are not good to get the Korean dry cleaners to pay him $54 million for his lost pair of pants. [WTOP]


Roy Pearson loses again

by Walter Olson on December 18, 2008

At the D.C. Court of Appeals level, in the Chung missing-pants dry cleaner case (Volokh, ShopFloor).


October 24 roundup

by Walter Olson on October 24, 2008

  • Chemerinsky, other critics should apologize to Second Circuit chief judge Dennis Jacobs over bogus “he doesn’t believe in pro bono!” outcry [Point of Law and update]
  • New York high court skeptical of ultra-high contingency fee in Alice Lawrence v. Graubard Miller case [NYLJ; earlier here and here]
  • Panel of legal journalists: press let itself be used in attack on Judge Kozinski [Above the Law]
  • Unfree campaign speech, cont’d: South Dakota anti-abortion group sues to suppress opponents’ ads as “patently false and misleading” [Feral Child]
  • Even if you’re tired of reading about Roy Pearson’s pants, you might still enjoy Carter Wood’s headlines on the case at ShopFloor ["Pandora's Zipper", "Suit Alors!"]
  • Rare grant of fees in patent dispute, company had inflicted $2.5 million in cost on competitors and retailers by asserting rights over nursing mother garb [NJLJ]
  • Time to be afraid? Sen. Bingaman (D-N.M.) keen on reintroducing talk-radio-squelching Fairness Doctrine [Radio Equalizer]
  • “Yours, in litigious anticipation” — Frank McCourt as child in Angela’s Ashes drafted a nastygram with true literary flourish [Miriam Cherry, Concurring Opinions]

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After losing below, he’s now hauled the dry cleaning Chung family before an appeals court in his seemingly never-ending litigation over the pair of lost pants he said should be worth $54 million (WSJ law blog, Oct. 22).


September 17 roundup

by Walter Olson on September 17, 2008


September 11 roundup

by Walter Olson on September 11, 2008


Another lost-pants case

by Walter Olson on September 6, 2008

Unlike Roy Pearson in the celebrated D.C. case, Charleston, W.V. lawyer Richard D. Jones isn’t demanding $67 million from the dry cleaner, nor is he a sitting judge (his practice is in civil defense). About the only visible angle that distinguishes the case from the entirely ordinary: Jones wants punitive damages from defendants Pressed For Time and Lisa Williams. (W.V. Record, more).


You knew it was coming dept.: Roy Pearson wants $1 million for being deprived of his District of Columbia judgeship. (Emil Steiner blog/Washington Post, Kerr @ Volokh, Laconic Law Blog; earlier).


National Journal’s The Gate has the story on the latest setback for the pants judge (Nov. 14). A committee concluded that he did not demonstrate “appropriate judgment and judicial temperament,” but apparently did not specifically invoke the Breeches of Doom affair. Our coverage is here.

Latest Pearson Pants update

by Walter Olson on September 19, 2007

A press release from their lawyers, Manning & Sossamon, announces that the Chung family of Washington, D.C is closing Custom Cleaners, their dry cleaning establishment. They continue to operate a separate location under the name of Happy Cleaners and last year closed one known as Parks FabriCare. According to the release, the family decided to close Custom Cleaners “due to the revenue losses and emotional toll resulting from the Pearson v. Chung lawsuit”. More: Marc Fisher @ WaPo, WSJ law blog, Betsy Newmark, Joe Gandelman, Mark Steyn.

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September 13 roundup

by Walter Olson on September 13, 2007

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Pearson appeals

by Ted Frank on August 15, 2007

Are you really surprised? The D.C. Court of Appeals’ average time for appeal is 575 days, implying a wait until 2009 for a decision, but one would hope a simple case like this could be disposed of faster.

Updates – August 8

by David Nieporent on August 8, 2007

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.

2. Updating a story from Mar. 25, a federal judge has banned the navy from using sonar in training exercises:

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.

(Other whale-sonar lawsuit coverage: May 17, Jul. 2006)

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)