Believe it or not, the case of Judge Roy Pearson and his lost pants, widely covered here and at many other outlets ten years ago, continues to drag on in peripheral legal proceedings. “Disciplinary Counsel began this investigation eleven years and one name change ago,” declares the District of Columbia Board on Professional Responsibility in an opinion rejecting a lesser sanction and ordering a 90-day suspension for the former administrative law judge, who had “sued his dry cleaners for $67 million for allegedly losing his pants.” The court said that although the definition of frivolous litigation in Washington, D.C. practice was so strict that few lawsuits went over the line, Pearson’s did. He had also unreasonably delayed and multiplied proceedings in the disciplinary case itself. [Mike Frisch, Legal Profession Blog; ABA Journal] “Throughout the proceedings,” the board said, Pearson “failed to conduct an objective appraisal of the legal merits of his position. He made, and continues to make, arguments that no reasonable attorney would think had even a faint hope of success on the legal merits.”
“A former D.C. administrative judge who in 2005 filed a $54 million lawsuit against a dry-cleaning business over a pair of missing pants, becoming a national symbol for frivolous litigation, could face disciplinary action by the D.C. Court of Appeals for alleged misconduct in the case.” [Washington Post, Kelly Phillips Erb/Forbes, earlier] “As to the seven year delay in prosecution, the usual response: No harm, no foul” [Mike Frisch, Legal Profession Blog] More: Lowering the Bar.
BLT has the latest update on litigation we have been following for a good long while.
No longer a Washington, D.C. administrative law judge, Roy Pearson, Jr. continues to pursue an appeal in his wrongful-termination case, and Kevin Underhill has fun with that.
- Wronged wife loses suit under California “Drug Dealer Liability Act” (DDLA) against mistress who supplied crack cocaine to husband [OnPoint News]
- “D.C. Circuit to Former Judge in Pants Lawsuit: Follow the Rules” [NLJ, more, earlier]
- “Law firm demands retailer destroy all copies of Olivia Munn comic, retailer refuses” [BoingBoing, HeavyInk, earlier on TJIC]
- Can’t find jury for tobacco trial: “Lawyers excused a woman who said people have no right to sue over diseases that are disclosed on the warning label of a package.” [Russell Jackson, Chamber-backed W.V. Record]
- Despite widespread misconception to the contrary, editing comments generally does not open blogger to liability over what remains [Citizen Media Law]
- To heck with HIPAA, introduce your patients to each other if you think they’ll get along [Musings of a Dinosaur]
- Devoted daughter vs. RSPCA: epic will contest in Britain over family farm bequest [Times Online]
- Woman found guilty after planting dead rat in meal at upscale restaurant [Appleton Post-Crescent via Lowering the Bar and Obscure Store]
- Pants litigation still not over; Roy Pearson takes wrongful termination suit to D.C. Circuit [NLJ, FindLaw “Injured”, my WSJ piece two years ago]
- Microsoft wins stay of “alter Word or stop selling it” ruling [Bloomberg, earlier] More: WSJ Law Blog, Legal Ethics Forum, American Lawyer]
- Masry & Vititoe, law firm of Erin Brockovich fame, files for bankruptcy (she’s no longer with them) [NLJ, background]
- One blogger turns thumbs down on Google Books settlement [Patrick at Popehat] “Laundering orphan works legislation through a class action lawsuit”? [James Grimmelmann, ACS Blog via Mass Tort Lit] Much more: Lynn Chu/Writer’s Reps (who, I should note, has represented my literary interests on matters unrelated to this); WSJ Law Blog; Pasquale/ConcurOp; Kennerly.
- Dire lesson for lawyers in how not to do social media marketing [Mark Bennett/Defending People, Scott Greenfield, Patrick at Popehat, Carolyn Elefant/Legal Blog Watch]
- Tab-divider scam? For a million bucks? Against a big, sophisticated law firm? [ABA Journal, WSJ Law Blog]
- Lawyer who filed “splashy-dolphin” slip-fall action against Chicago-area zoo is heard from [On Point News, earlier]
- Turnabout fair play? “A Doctor’s Plan for Legal Industry Reform” [Richard Rafal, WSJ]
- Federal judge throws out wrongful-termination suit filed by pants suit judge Roy Pearson, he’ll probably appeal [D.C. Examiner] More: Lowering the Bar.
- Sebelius signs documents providing lawsuit immunity for swine flu vaccine developers [Orato]
- How Sacha Baron Cohen keeps from getting sued, part umpteen [The Frisky]
- More on British Chiropractic Association’s defamation suit against skeptic Singh [Citizen Media Law, Orac/Respectful Insolence; earlier here, here, and here]
- Next round of lawsuits against Dov Charney’s American Apparel may allege “looks discrimination”, though that’s probably not actually a relevant legal category [Gawker, Business Insider, earlier here, etc.]
- Demand that Chicago set aside municipal contracts for gay-owned businesses [Sun-Times]
- “Grandstanding anti-Craigslist politicians still not satisfied” [TechDirt, TG Daily]
- Judge Kozinski: this is America, behaving disrespectfully toward a cop isn’t a crime [Greenfield]
- Chemerinsky, other critics should apologize to Second Circuit chief judge Dennis Jacobs over bogus “he doesn’t believe in pro bono!” outcry [Point of Law and update]
- New York high court skeptical of ultra-high contingency fee in Alice Lawrence v. Graubard Miller case [NYLJ; earlier here and here]
- Panel of legal journalists: press let itself be used in attack on Judge Kozinski [Above the Law]
- Unfree campaign speech, cont’d: South Dakota anti-abortion group sues to suppress opponents’ ads as “patently false and misleading” [Feral Child]
- Even if you’re tired of reading about Roy Pearson’s pants, you might still enjoy Carter Wood’s headlines on the case at ShopFloor [“Pandora’s Zipper“, “Suit Alors!“]
- Rare grant of fees in patent dispute, company had inflicted $2.5 million in cost on competitors and retailers by asserting rights over nursing mother garb [NJLJ]
- Time to be afraid? Sen. Bingaman (D-N.M.) keen on reintroducing talk-radio-squelching Fairness Doctrine [Radio Equalizer]
- “Yours, in litigious anticipation” — Frank McCourt as child in Angela’s Ashes drafted a nastygram with true literary flourish [Miriam Cherry, Concurring Opinions]