TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Southwestern Law School

Monday, August 6, 2007

DC Pants-Suit Plaintiff May Lose Administrative Law Judgeship

Roy Pearson, the administrative law judge who sued his dry cleaners for $54 million over a pair of lost pants (prior posts here, here and here) may next lose his job.   Pearson's initial ten-year term expired in April, in the midst of the pants law suit.  (Since that time, Pearson has not been sitting as a judge, but rather working as an "attorney adviser" at the Office of Administrative Hearings).  The Washington Post reports that the DC Commission on Selection and Tenure of Administrative Law Judges has "doubts" about granting Pearson another 10-year term on the bench, and plans to issue a letter to Pearson explaining their concerns next week.  According to the Post,

The panel's discussion about Pearson's future has focused on what role a judge's behavior outside the courtroom should play in assessing his qualifications. Was Pearson's extraordinary zeal in pursuing the case against the Chungs so embarrassing that it amounts to evidence of poor judicial temperament?

The commission is expected to address the Chung case in its letter to Pearson, pointing out that his no-holds-barred pursuit of mega-millions in a case stemming from a $10.50 alteration on a pair of suit pants raised public doubts about the court system. After receipt of the letter, Pearson would have the right to a hearing before the commission. Only after that hearing would the commission formally move to end Pearson's tenure as a judge.


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