Roy L Pearson Update

roy l pearson - AP photo

If you're not familiar with Roy L Pearson (photo right) and his frivolous case, I explain it in detail in my previous post Roy Pearson is an Idiot. Because I wrote that this was a race issue, Black vs Asian, I received a flurry of accusations of being racist in the comments section, in response to which I wrote a blogpost reply: Blacks are more Racist than Whites.

In addition, I have had similar experiences with whack-jobs in the past in my post Judge Roy L Pearson - Sometimes the Customer is dead wrong.

Here's are the Updates since then:

June 6, 2007

Roy L. Pearson, who filed a $67 million lawsuit against the dry cleaning business that lost his pants, has lowered his demand. Now, he's asking for only $54 million, according to a May 30 court filing in D.C. Superior Court.

The case is still scheduled to be tried before Judge Judith Bartnoff on June 11, 2007 and June 12, 2007 beginning at 9:30am each day at the District of Columbia Superior Courthouse, courtroom 415.

Previously the cleaners had offered $12,000 to settle the case which Pearson turned down, prompting D.C. Superior Court Judge Neal Kravitz to complain that "the court has significant concerns that the plaintiff is acting in bad faith."

Back in May 2, 2005, Pearson was appointed as an administrative law judge for Washington D.C. And was scheduled to be re-appointed to the same position on May 2, 2007 for another two years, but was demoted to only doing paperwork as he is no longer hearing cases. On the same day Pearson's biography was removed from the DC Courts' homepage.

But lowering the claim amount to $54 million still hasn't quieted down the anger from other attorneys:

Tampa Bay Personal Injury Lawyer,
Judge Decreases Demands in Infamous Dry Cleaning Lawsuit

By now, the entire personal injury world is well aware of the infamous dry cleaning pants lawsuit. Things took an ugly turn last week when Judge Roy L. Pearson finally lowered his $54 million! Judge Pearson's lawsuit has put a black eye on the personal injury profession and knocked down a wall of defense that respectable trial attorneys and organizations such as InjuryBoard and the American Association for Justice (AAJ) have sought to fortify for the last several years.

June 13, 2007

roy pearson courtJudge Pearson breaks down crying at trial just thinking about his precious pants.

Baltimore Sun,
13, Jun 2007,
Judge reduced to tears by million-dollar pants

WASHINGTON // A judge had to leave the courtroom with tears running down his face yesterday after recalling the lost pair of trousers that led to his $54 million lawsuit against a dry cleaner.

Administrative law judge Roy L. Pearson had argued earlier in his opening statement that he is acting in the interest of all city residents against poor business practices. Defense attorneys called his claim "outlandish."
Pearson, representing himself, said in opening statements that he wanted to examine the culture that allowed "a group of defendants to engage in bad business practices for five years."

An attorney for the Chungs portrayed Pearson as a bitter man with financial troubles stemming from a recent divorce who is taking out his anger on a hardworking family.

"This case is very simple. It's about one sign and the plaintiff's outlandish interpretation," attorney Chris Manning said.

The Chungs were to present their case today. Manning asked D.C. Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff to award them reimbursement for their legal costs if they win.

Pearson called several witnesses yesterday who testified they stopped going to Custom Cleaners after problems with misplaced clothes.

Pearson also called himself as a witness, saying his problems began in May 2005 when he brought in several suits for alterations. A pair of pants from a blue and maroon suit was missing when he requested it two days later. He said Soo Chung tried to give him a pair of charcoal gray pants.

Explaining that those weren't the pants for the suit, he choked up and left the courtroom crying after asking Bartnoff for a break.

Trial lawyers are worried:,
12 Jun 2007,
Judge Tries Suing Pants Off Dry Cleaners

The case of the judge’s pants, which opened for trial in a packed courtroom here on Tuesday, has been lampooned on talk radio and in the blogosphere as an example of American legal excess. And it has spurred complaints to the District of Columbia Bar and city officials from national tort reform and trial lawyer groups worried about its effect on public trust in the legal system.

Jin Chung, left, with his legal team Chris Manning, and Mendi Sossamon, display the contentious pair of pants while delivering a statement to the media after the first day of Jin and Soo Chung's trial
Jin Chung, his legal team Chris Manning and Mendi
Sossamon, and the contentious pair of pants
AP Photo
"I don’t know of any other cases that have been quite this ridiculous,” said Paul Rothstein, a professor of law at Georgetown University.

The trial, laced with references to inseam measurements, cuffs and designer labels, got off to a rocky start. Judge Judith Bartnoff of District of Columbia Superior Court limited Judge Pearson’s last-minute bid to broaden aspects of his case and cut short his efforts to portray himself as a "private attorney general” championing the rights of every Washington consumer.

"You are not a we, you are an I,” Judge Bartnoff said in one of several testy exchanges with Judge Pearson, 57, who is representing himself. "You are seeking damages on your own behalf, and that is all.”

Later, while recounting the day he says the cleaners tried to pass off a cheaper pair of pants as his, Judge Pearson began to cry, asking for a break and dabbing tears as he left the courtroom.

The lawsuit dates back to spring 2005. Mr. Pearson, a longtime legal aid lawyer, was appointed to a new job as a District of Columbia administrative law judge.

Judge Pearson says in court papers that he owned exactly five suits, all Hickey Freemans, one for each day of the workweek. But the waistlines had grown "uncomfortably tight.” So he took the suits to Custom Dry Cleaners, in a strip mall in gritty northeast Washington, for alterations.

When the owners, Korean immigrants who came to America in 1992, could not find one pair of pants, Judge Pearson demanded $1,150 for a replacement suit. The owners did not respond; he sued.

Using a complicated formula, Judge Pearson argues that under the city’s consumer protection law, the owners, Soo and Jin Chung and their son, Ki Chung, each owe $18,000 for each day over a nearly four-year period in which signs at their store promised "Same Day Service” and "Satisfaction Guaranteed.” In opening statements, Judge Pearson cast himself as a victim of a fraud on a historic scale, perpetrated by malicious business owners who had no intention of delivering on those promises.

"You will search the D.C. archives in vain for a case of more egregious or willful conduct,” he told the court. He called a series of witnesses who complained of rude or unresponsive treatment at Custom Dry Cleaners.
Judge Pearson’s future as an administrative law judge is in limbo. His two-year term expired on May 2, and a judicial panel has yet to decide on his reappointment.

In the meantime, Judge Pearson remains on the city payroll as an attorney adviser to the Office of Administrative Hearings, at a salary of $100,512.

Does anyone believe this cash-strapped moron bought 5 pairs of $1,150 pants?

After drying his eyes the trial continues:

Washington Post,
Pearson v. Custom Cleaners: The Plaintiff Testifies

After a five-minute break to dry his eyes, Roy Pearson came back to the courtroom. A hush came over the crowd, though it was probably due more to fatigue than to suspense.

When the trial resumed, Pearson continued to describe how this incident occurred. Then he began to break down again. Then he paused and collected himself. Then, clearly having difficulty speaking, he asked if he could submit this part in writing. Defense counsel objected, and the judge assured Pearson he was doing fine.

Pulling himself together, Pearson continued with his exhaustive description of how he -- or, in his telling, Custom Cleaners -- lost his pants. He testified that he is not a person given to threats, and so gave a lot of thought to this lawsuit. He did not want to litigate, he said, but he felt that D.C. consumer protection laws gave him no choice. At 3:55 p.m., he mercifully wrapped up the narrative part of his testimony.

He then proceeded to dive into the exhibits. I'll save readers the yawns and post the next time something significant happens. But given the mood in court -- and of the judge? -- I am guessing that the end is near.

Administrative law judge Roy Pearson, left, is questioned by a member of the media as he leaves court after the second day of his lawsuit in Washington in this Wednesday, June 13, 2007 file photo.
Administrative law judge Roy Pearson,
left, is questioned by a member of the
media as he leaves court after the 2nd
day of his lawsuit in Washington
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

June 25, 2007

Thankfully, Reason and Justice prevailed:

Fox News
25 Jun 2007,
Judge Says No Pants Are Worth $54 Million, Rules in Favor of Dry Cleaner

A judge ruled Monday that no pair of pants is worth $54 million, rejecting a lawsuit that took a dry cleaner's promise of "Satisfaction Guaranteed" to its most litigious extreme.
Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff ruled that the owners of Custom Cleaners did not violate the city's consumer protection law by failing to live up to Pearson's expectations of the "Satisfaction Guaranteed" sign once displayed in the store window.

"A reasonable consumer would not interpret 'Satisfaction Guaranteed' to mean that a merchant is required to satisfy a customer's unreasonable demands" or to agree to demands that the merchant would have reasonable grounds for disputing, the judge wrote.

Bartnoff wrote that Pearson, an administrative law judge, failed to prove that the pants the dry cleaner tried to return were not the pants he took in for alterations.

Bartnoff ordered Pearson to pay the court costs of defendants Soo Chung, Jin Nam Chung and Ki Y. Chung. The court costs amount to just over $1,000 for photocopying, filing and similar expenses, according to the Chungs' attorney.

A motion to recover the Chungs' tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees will be considered later.
Manning, the Chungs' lawyer, said he expected Pearson to appeal.

Although this has somewhat restored one's faith in our Justice system, the Chungs will never be able to retrieve the time they lost over this frivolous case. I hope they get some sort of payback against this idiot Pearson.

Update 15 Aug 2007:

The Chungs have offered to drop their request for Pearson to pay for their legal fees if he will drop the case altogether and quit the appeals. But this moron, lowlife bastard has rejected this generous offer and filed an appeal anyway: Is there no end to the Roy Pearson Affair


Joint pre-trial statement [PDF]

Roy L Pearson [Wiki]

$65 Million Pants Judge Could Still Keep His Job

Fisher brings word that though at first it seemed as though Judge Pearson, whose 10-year appointment to the bench was up for renewal on May 1, would likely be losing his job over the lawsuit when his bio was removed from the city's Web site, he's actually still on the payroll for now. An unidentified senior city official told the columnist Pearson was currently "doing administrative work" and drawing a paycheck from the city. And he's likely to continue doing so.

You can donate to the Chungs Legal Defense Here.

For more detail about the facts of the case, visit this page created by the Chungs' attorneys, Manning & Sossamon law firm.

And yes, I realize I could have titled this Post: "Judge lowers his pants suit" or "Dry Cleaners Taken to the Cleaners" or "Judge sues pants off of businessman" or "Judge Steamed over Dry Cleaners" or even "Lawyer Alters Suit."

A man leaves Custom Cleaners, in Washington on Wednesday, May 2, 2007. A customer who believes he was mistreated by a dry cleaner has dropped the pants from his suit. Roy L. Pearson, who filed a $67 million lawsuit against the dry cleaning business that lost his pants, has lowered his demand. Now, he's asking for only $54 million, according to a May 30 court filing in D.C. Superior Court.
A man leaves Custom Cleaners in Washington DC
Photo Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

### End of my article ###

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