Dispatches from the Creation Wars

An Even Worse Judge

While we’re busy bashing the Supreme Court, let’s take a look at someone far worse: Judge Roy Pearson, the nut who filed the $54 million lawsuit against a dry cleaners because they lost a pair of his pants. His case has rightly been dismissed and he has been ordered to pay court costs and, hopefully, legal bills for the defendants as well. As if the suit itself wasn’t bad enough, look at his courtroom claims:

In his opening statement, Pearson came out swinging, telling the court, “Never before in recorded history have a group of defendants engaged in such misleading and unfair business practices.”

I’ll take ridiculous hyperbole for $1000, Alex. Worse yet was his behavior:

He became visibly emotional when he reached the point in the story in which he recounted a confrontation with Soo Chung from the dry cleaning store.

“These are not my pants,” he testified, and said he told her, “I have in my adult life, with one exception, never worn pants with cuffs.”

Pearson testified that Chung insisted, saying, “These are your pants.”

Pearson then rushed from the courtroom, overcome with emotion.

The next motion to be filed should be for a mental competency hearing for Mr. Pearson.

Comments

  1. #1 Kevin W. Parker
    June 26, 2007

    Actually, Pearson is up for reappointment to his administrative law judge position. Any bets on how that’s going to go after all this?

  2. #2 Robert
    June 26, 2007

    Wow, I hope this incident stays in people’s minds long enough for them to remember his name when voing time comes. This doesn’t sound like anyone I would want with any power in the courtroom.

  3. #3 RAM
    June 26, 2007

    “The next motion to be filed should be for a mental competency hearing for Mr. Pearson.”

    That was the first thing I thought also Ed. This man is a judge??? What a joke.

  4. #4 mark
    June 26, 2007

    As if the suit itself wasn’t bad enough,…

    Was it bad because the pants didn’t match? This guy has been ridiculed since his suit became known, and rightly so. He had better recuse himself from any cases where any of the participants are wearing trousers.

  5. #5 llDayo
    June 26, 2007

    I think the presiding judge in this case should have held him for contempt when leaving the courtroom for his “emotional distress”. Hell, Paris Hilton showed more resolve for her jail time!

  6. #6 John Horst
    June 26, 2007

    Frivolous lawsuits should hereafter be called “Pearson suits”. Or, for the more trivial torts, simply “Pearson pants”. Heh.

  7. #7 lauram
    June 26, 2007

    Whaddya wanna bet that he was put up to this nonsense by the “no frivolous lawsuits” crowd so that they could rail for years on one instance of gross stupidity?

  8. #8 MartinM
    June 26, 2007

    Whaddya wanna bet that he was put up to this nonsense by the “no frivolous lawsuits” crowd so that they could rail for years on one instance of gross stupidity?

    I was wondering if it was entirely on the level myself. Although I was thinking maybe he lost a bet or something.

  9. #9 decrepitoldfool
    June 26, 2007

    He does seem to have an obsessive quality, like a stalker or someone with OCD. I bet his cingulate nucleus would show up hot on an FMRI.

  10. #10 Raging Bee
    June 26, 2007

    I also think there was a racial component: Pearson felt (rightly or wrongly) victimized by some earlier events, and found a Korean in his neighborhood to take his resentments out on; and he beat up on the Korean laundry guy simply because he seemed to be the one guy in his life he COULD beat up on.

    He had better recuse himself from any cases where any of the participants are wearing trousers.

    What, you think he’d be any more sensible with women in the room?

  11. #11 Philip T.
    June 26, 2007

    “What, you think he’d be any more sensible with women in the room?”

    Or Scotsmen. Dinna ferget the poor bonny Scotsmen…

  12. #12 doctorgoo
    June 26, 2007

    Here’s Anthony Sebok from Findlaw’s Writ on both Pearson’s and Bork’s infamous lawsuits. The title starts as “Judges Behaving Badly”. How true.

    http://writ.news.findlaw.com/sebok/20070619.html

  13. #13 Bill Poser
    June 26, 2007

    Part of the problem here is that, even if the Chungs are successful in obtaining an award of legal fees, it will only be a moral victory since Judge Pearson is reported to be nearly broke and there is a good chance that he will not be reappointed as an administrative law judge, which will leave him unemployed. The Chungs’ legal expenses are said to exceed $100,000. This exemplifies why making it easier for defendants in frivolous lawsuits to obtain legal fees is an imperfect solution. We need either to find ways of cutting off such suits at an earlier stage and/or of providing compensation for legal expenditures out of public funds rather than relying on the filer of the frivolous suit to have sufficiently deep pockets.

  14. #14 Bill Poser
    June 26, 2007

    I second Raging Bee’s comment. I have been surprised at the lack of mention in the press of whether there is a racial component to this dispute. Koreans, who now run many small businesses in big cities, including groceries, convenience stores, and laundries, are the new Jews, resented as successful outsiders. It is of course possible that there is no racial element to this particular dispute, but I have wondered whether it isn’t part of the pattern of Black animosity toward Korean small business people.

  15. #15 ben
    June 26, 2007

    I think it’s absurd to look for a societal, racial, or any sort of overarching general reason that this one individual acted in such a preposterous and destructive way. He is one man, one malicious weirdo, he is not an exemplar of your pet sociological theories.

  16. #16 Bill Poser
    June 26, 2007

    Ben,

    Calling animosity between Blacks and Koreans a “pet sociological theory” merely demonstrates your ignorance of the reality of American big cities. As I said, these tensions may not enter into this case, but I am surprised that the issue has not even been raised. All acts of individuals have an individual component, but that does not mean that they do not also belong to a larger picture.

  17. #17 Blake Stacey, OM
    June 26, 2007

    Bill Poser:

    Koreans [...] are the new Jews

    I hadn’t heard it, but this has been said before in explicitly snowclonish form.

  18. #18 Stillborn
    June 26, 2007

    Pearson is, by the way, an atheist.

  19. #19 michigander
    June 26, 2007

    “The Chungs’ legal expenses are said to exceed $100,000.”

    Any chance that a fund, PayPal or otherwise, could be started for these unfortunate folks? Certainly they have legal expenses, but I’m skeptical that the total bill approaches $100K. Using a perhaps naive estimate of $500 / hour for qualified lawlerly help (which seems steep, but I’m guessing), their attorney would need to spend 200 hours on this case, or working 40 a week for 5 weeks. It seems unlikely that this trivial matter would gobble up 200 hours, but then, I.M. Notalawyer.

    Anyone from the legal world want to comment?

  20. #20 Coin
    June 26, 2007

    Pearson is, by the way, an atheist.

    …is there a reason you are telling us this?

  21. #21 Keanus
    June 26, 2007

    “Pearson is, by the way, an atheist.” Interesting. I didn’t know. But he certainly behaved irrationally and had a fool for a client to boot.

  22. #22 AnneS
    June 26, 2007

    This guy is even crazier than this lawsuit would suggest. Links to his divorce case were included in another blog or article and the case was mentioned briefly in the D.C. decision. He drew out that case for a couple years, even arguing that his (ex)wife didn’t really intend to divorce him when they separated. His behavior was so egregious (which, in a divorce case, is saying a lot)that the court penalized him for it.

  23. #23 Alex, FCD
    June 26, 2007

    Pearson is, by the way, an atheist.

    Ummm…

    Pearson is, by the way, 5′ 11 3/4″ tall.

    Pearson is, by the way, an alumnus of Northwestern University School of Law.

    Pearson is, by the way, suffering from male pattern baldness.

    So what?

  24. #24 Scott
    June 26, 2007

    Pearson won’t have any trouble getting reappointed. Remember, he’s in the District of Columbia, where perpetual repeat offender Marion Barry is a hero to many and has little trouble getting re-elected to public office whenever he wants. People who don’t live in DC have no idea how foul this place is internally.

  25. #25 Greta Christina
    June 26, 2007

    “He does seem to have an obsessive quality, like a stalker or someone with OCD.”

    I’m betting on “personality disorder” myself.

    Admittedly, I tend to think that anybody I don’t like has a personality disorder. But this guy really sounds like a perfect candidate. Histrionic and narcissistic.

  26. #26 michigander
    June 26, 2007

    Ah, nuts. Note to self: get more facts before pressing the Post button.

    I was under the mistaken impression that this case had just appeared. Au contraire –it was started by Judge Fruitcake two years ago, when he got his pants back and threw a tantrum. Given that extra bit o’info, I can easily see where a $100K legal bill could accumulate.

    I rest my slightly under-informed case.