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Pants lawsuit could cost D.C. judge his $100,000 job

‘Pants Judge’ on Suspension

Remember the curmudgeonly Washington DC judge that sued a South Korean dry cleaner for millions when his pants went missing?

Don’t worry. No one else remembers Roy L. Pearson either. With the way his life has gone since 2005 when his wife filed for divorce, Pearson probably prefers the anonymity. At the time the case garnered global attention and triggered renewed calls for litigation reform.

Pearson claimed he was entitled to the legal jackpot when the cleaner, according to Pearson, did not live up to his anticipations of the “Satisfaction Guaranteed” sign in the shop window.

Sorry Judge, You’re Out

After Pearson had lost his civil suit, a judicial committee told Pearson that they might not reappoint him. They followed through with their promise and bounced Roy from his $100,052 a year job.

In 2007, Pearson worked as a judge for two years and was next in line to serve a 10-year function at the Office of Administrative Hearings in Washington.  The committee told Pearson that it had evaluated Pearson’s legal decisions and determined the judge had not demonstrated “appropriate judicial temperament.”

A Reasonable Judge Puts an Unreasonable One in His Place

Pearson fought a lengthy legal war on Custom Cleaners. He claimed that the service on Bladensburg Road NE in Washington lost the judge’s pants when he brought them in for $10 worth of changes.

Pearson sued for $54 million. And lost. District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff ordered Pearson to cover the court costs of the defendants — just a little over $1,000.

Pearson claimed the shop lost a pair f trousers from a blue and maroon suit and later attempted to give him a pair of charcoal gray pants he claimed were not his. Pearson, in court, said he came up with the multi-million figure by adding up years of law violations and tossed in about $2 million in common law claims for fraud.

Bartnoff ruled that Pearson had failed to prove the trousers the dry cleaner attempted to return were not the same ones he took in for adjustments and modifications.

“A reasonable customer would not render  ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’ to imply that a retailer is required to gratify a buyer’s unreasonable call to accede to demands that the service provider has a reasonable foundation  to dispute,” said Bartnoff when she issued her findings.

Where is He Now

Pearson, a litigation attorney before he was a judge, appears to be back at his old job — being a run-of-the-mill lawyer. But his troubles aren’t over.

In June 2016, the Washington DC bar held a hearing and found Pearson guilty of violating two of three charges. Since it was a disciplinary hearing, Pearson wasn’t looking at time behind bars. Instead, he had to watch his ego get smashed and shredded again like old sheets in a hurricane.

On June 3, 2016, Pearson’s ability to practice law in Washington was suspended for 30-days.  The suspension was put on hold pending two-years of problem-free living.

Today, Pearson is watching his step.

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