WASHINGTON, D.C. — D.C. Administrative Law Judge Roy Pearson Jr. may be denied reappointment to the bench due to concerns about his temperament since pursuing the now-infamous $54 million lost-pants lawsuit against Custom Cleaners.
Pearson’s initial two-year term expired in May, but he continues to earn a $100,512 salary as an attorney adviser at D.C.’s Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). D.C.’s Commission on Selection & Tenure of Administrative Law Judges is expected to deliver a decision on Pearson’s appointment to a full 10-year term early this week.
“All the while, Mr. Pearson is still collecting his six-figure salary at taxpayers’ expense,” says Darren McKinney, director of communications for the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA). ATRA has called for Pearson to be removed from his position.
“The law that established [OAH] specifically requires judges to possess ‘judicial temperament,’ which surely includes a willingness and capacity to interpret the law reasonably,” McKinney says. “But when [D.C. Superior Court] Judge Bartnoff ruled against Pearson in his pants case, she made it clear that his interpretation of D.C.’s consumer-protection law was wholly ‘unreasonable.’
“Those rulings should make it clear to everyone that he has not acted in good faith while pursuing this seemingly vindictive lawsuit,” McKinney says, “and it should be equally clear that he’s not fit to serve as a law judge.”