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‘Pants suit’ judge faces iffy future

Wed., Aug. 8, 2007

WASHINGTON – The Washington D.C. judge who sued his dry cleaners for $54 million over a pair of pants may want to begin looking for a new job.

A city commission has voted to formally notify Administrative Law Judge Roy Pearson that he may not be reappointed to the bench, according to a government source.

In a letter sent to Pearson on Tuesday, the Commission on Selection and Tenure of Administrative Law Judges cited not only Pearson’s infamous failed lawsuit against Custom Cleaners, but also his work as a judge the past two years.

Pearson is not out of work yet. The letter is a key step, though, alerting him that his reappointment is in jeopardy. He has 15 days to file a rebuttal and could push for reappointment by appearing before the commission at its September meeting.

Pearson has not responded to recent efforts to reach him for comment, including e-mail and telephone messages this week.

If Pearson appears before the commission, he probably will face questions about far more than his lawsuit, which generated jokes around the world and made him a target of the tort reform movement.

Concerns about Pearson’s temperament as an administrative law judge preceded the publicity about the lawsuit this spring. The letter from the commission focuses on those concerns, addressing the lawsuit only briefly.


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