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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  2. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  3. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  4. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  5. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

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