- It’s still not over: Judge Roy Pearson of lost-pants fame returns to court with appeal against Custom Cleaners owners, the Chung family [WJLA]
- Columbus cops’ class action: dept. shouldn’t have asked us what our ailments were when we took sick leave [Dispatch]
- Culture Warrior Jeff Bell hopes Palin will reverse trends that have “legitimated a contraceptive ethic” [Weekly Standard] Better not count on it [York, NRO “Corner”]
- RIAA has now filed 30,000 lawsuits against file-sharing music fans [Wired “Threat Level”, Ambrogi]
- Recently at Point of Law: Ohio’s Supreme Court in the balance this November; Biden vs. legal reform; guestblogging by Peggy Little and Jane Genova; Lilly Ledbetter at Democratic convention; big Peter Angelos cellphone-cancer case strikes out; call for Australian no-fault cerebral palsy fund; and more;
- Massachusetts high court ruling that docs can be sued over their patients’ medication-impaired behavior is predictably leading to new suits [Globe, Brockton hospital crash; earlier]
- What Alinsky-style “community organizers” do [York, NRO via Bookworm Room] “Organizers break laws if they have to.” [Thomas Geoghegan @ Slate — and he’s being admiring]
- California trial lawyers successfully gut original Schwarzenegger plan to reform award of punitive damages [four years ago on Overlawyered]
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).
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.
- Pearson Pants update: dry cleaners offered to drop their fee demand if Pearson would end case, but he declined [Marc Fisher, other Washington Post coverage, Beldar]
- Check your oil, ma’am? On second thought, if it’s going to get us sued, never mind [Reiland/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]
- “Surprising and uncommon” resolution of med-mal case: Nebraska Methodist Health System admits error, cooperates with family on video memorializing victim and educating other hospitals about aortic dissection [Omaha World-Herald, Chamber reprint]
- Heated email exchange between perennial Overlawyered favorite Jack Thompson and Take Two game company exec [Ambrogi]
- Putting her image on a Hallmark card? Now that’s degrading and exploitative enough to make Paris Hilton want to sue [K.C. Star]
- Uncle sues nephew over season tickets to Chicago Bears at 40-yard line [Crain’s Chicago Business]
- Hurt her teeth on McDonald’s cherry pie, hurt her teeth on cheeseburger soon after — and what’s this about forged dental-work receipts? [Seattle Times]
- Wisconsin snuff users may soon be rolling in coupons following settlement of antitrust class action, lawyers to pocket $17 million [AP/Green Bay Press-Gazette]
- New at Point of Law: fiasco of UC Irvine’s withdrawn offer to Chemerinsky; judge says $500/hr is enough for lawyers in Northwest bankruptcy; law firm advertises for heart attack victims to sue over lack of defibrillators in public places; Astroturf detected in Washington-state insurance-suit referendum fight; NY Times takes skeptical look at Mount Sinai’s Selikoff Center; Jerry Brown sure fooled us, says San Diego paper; Ted expands his empire; and much more;
- A topic on which we’ve had a lot to say over the years — to what extent does the Americans with Disabilities Act apply to websites? — may be heating up again [Corporate Counsel]
- Thanks for the incoming links from, among others, Instapundit (on Ted’s reclining-car-seat post, which has drawn a bodacious number of comments), Patterico (on Jarek Molski), Bainbridge (on animal welfare laws), and Adam Smith Institute (on lawyers suing each other: “Such a pity that only one side can lose”.)
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.
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)
(AM post bumped for PM update.)
A judicial panel is still deciding whether the Great American Pants-Suit plaintiff will keep his job as an administrative judge. A delayed decision is expected early next week.
Update to the update: Marc Fisher is reporting that the decision will be to start the bureaucratic process of firing Pearson. Amazingly, the chief ALJ recommended reappointing Pearson&mdash:until Pearson showed his typical good judgment by blasting the chief ALJ in an internal email as “evil,” causing his target to change his mind. Pearson will be entitled to a hearing (and who knows how many rounds of appeals) before he is officially fired; since April, he has been in a fully-paid no-work position as an “attorney-advisor.”