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Weighed in the Scales of Justice and Found Wanting


In the continuing saga of the DC judge who tried to sue the pants off his dry cleaners, Roy Pearson will likely lose his job.

Within the commission, the discussion about Pearson's future has focused on when and whether it is right to measure a judge's performance by his behavior outside the courtroom. The panel looked specifically at whether Pearson's extraordinary zeal in pursuing the case against the Chungs was so frivolous and embarrassing to the judicial system that it should be taken as evidence of his lack of judicial temperment. "A judge has a right to bring a lawsuit like any other citizen," said a source close to the commission, "but he doesn't have a First Amendment right to bring a frivolous lawsuit."

The commission is expected to address the Chung case specifically in its letter to Pearson, pointing out that his no-holds-barred pursuit of mega-millions in a case stemming from a $10.50 alteration on a pair of suit pants raises serious questions about his judicial temperment and raises public questions about judicial ethics and standards. Following receipt of the letter, Pearson would then have the right to a hearing before the commission. Only after that hearing would the commission formally move to end Pearson's tenure as a judge. Pearson has not been sitting as a judge since the end of April, when his first term on the bench expired. Rather, he is now technically considered an "attorney advisor" to the Office of Administrative Hearings. Asked what Pearson does in that position, a high-ranking city official said, "Zippo."

And even if he loses his job, the Chungs probably won't have to look for an unemployed Pearson to help them recover the legal fees since they recently received donations to help offset the costs.

It's nice to see justice happening in this case. It's restoring my faith in the legal system.


Tags: legal reform
by Brett Rogers, 8/2/2007 11:56:02 PM


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