Legal Ethics

$54M Pants Suit Takes Judge to the Cleaners

Uproar over a Washington, D.C., judge’s unsuccessful $54 million lawsuit against his local dry cleaner for allegedly losing a pair of suit trousers is apparently going to cost Roy L. Pearson Jr. his job.

In a story today relying on unnamed sources, the Washington Post says a city commission voted last night not to appoint Pearson to a 10-year term as a judge in the Office of Administrative Hearings. He was appointed to a two-year term on the bench there in 2005.

“Sources familiar with the deliberations said the panel hasn’t drafted a letter formally notifying Pearson of its decision. Until that is done, the sources said, the decision is not final,” the newspaper reports. “The letter could be sent early next week, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the case.”

The 57-year-old jurist did not respond to Post requests for comment. The newspaper says the Commission on Selection and Tenure of Administrative Law Judges took not only the so-called pants suit but Pearson’s judicial work and temperament into account in its decision-making.

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