Pants suit attorney back

February 1, 2010
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Roy Pearson Jr., famous for his $54 million suit over a lost pair of pants, has some issues and they aren’t just legal ones.

He either craves attention, believes everyone is out to get him, or has issues with reality based on his latest news-making endeavor.

Pearson shot to fame in 2005 as the Washington, D.C., administrative law judge who sued his dry cleaner for losing a pair of his pants. He wanted more than $50 million dollars for his pants. He lost the suit, and then wasn’t re-appointed to a full 10-year term as an ALJ.

That led to a suit in federal court, claiming that he was retaliated against for suing the dry cleaners. The judge in his retaliation suit, U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle, is now a target for an appeal in Pearson’s suit. She dismissed his suit, but in his appeal, he thinks Judge Huvelle should have recused herself from the suit because two of the defendants, members of the commission who voted to not re-appoint him, are on the D.C. Superior Court where she used to work before going to the federal bench. But she didn’t even work with one of the judges while on Superior Court.

He also bases his argument on a photograph. The photo shows Judge Huvelle in a "smiling, arm-in arm ‘sisterhood’" with Superior Court Judge Anita Josey-Herring, who was on the court for three years with Judge Huvelle before she moved on to the federal bench in 1999.

The photo in question was taken at an annual Law Day dinner program hosted by the Washington Bar Association after his suit was filed. He submitted the picture in his brief, and it’s a photo of six smiling women with their arms around each others shoulders. The two judges in question aren’t even standing next to each other.

But it could be a moot point because District attorneys want Pearson’s 89-page brief tossed because it’s too long. Pearson claimed this was his first brief filed in D.C. Circuit Court, it was a good faith mistake, and the city’s lawyers are attempting to wear him down and make it financially impossible to bring the case to trial. Did I mention Pearson filed the suit pro se?

Pearson is listed as an active member of the D.C. Bar Association and was admitted to the bar in 1978. According to the bar’s Web site, he’s never been disciplined.

Sure, on one hand, Pearson’s actions around the pants suit and subsequent claims in his new suit are amusing. Who sues for millions of dollars over a lost pair of pants, breaks down in court while talking about the emotional pain of receiving the wrong pair of pants from the dry cleaners, and wants attorney’s fees when representing himself in court? He allegedly wanted more than $400 an hour in fees! Now he’s claiming a photo at a legal organization event shows “sisterhood” between two judges and requires recusal.

But on the other hand, it troubles me how self-absorbed and vindictive he seems, as well as emotionally unstable. I hope he hasn’t had any clients beyond himself lately. To cry over a pair of pants seems a bit much. To question a judge’s impartiality based on one photo seems a bit much. Plus, as an attorney, he’s getting a lot of press for his suits and these suits may taint the image of attorneys or reinforce negative stereotypes some members of the public may have about attorneys.
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  1. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  2. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  3. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

  4. Well, I agree with you that the people need to wake up and see what our judges and politicians have done to our rights and freedoms. This DNA loophole in the statute of limitations is clearly unconstitutional. Why should dna evidence be treated different than video tape evidence for example. So if you commit a crime and they catch you on tape or if you confess or leave prints behind: they only have five years to bring their case. However, if dna identifies someone they can still bring a case even fifty-years later. where is the common sense and reason. Members of congress are corrupt fools. They should all be kicked out of office and replaced by people who respect the constitution.

  5. If the AG could pick and choose which state statutes he defended from Constitutional challenge, wouldn't that make him more powerful than the Guv and General Assembly? In other words, the AG should have no choice in defending laws. He should defend all of them. If its a bad law, blame the General Assembly who presumably passed it with a majority (not the government lawyer). Also, why has there been no write up on the actual legislators who passed the law defining marriage? For all the fuss Democrats have made, it would be interesting to know if some Democrats voted in favor of it (or if some Republican's voted against it). Have a nice day.

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