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Disciplinary investigation into $65,000,000 dry cleaner lawsuit?

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Jon Haber, CEO of the American Association for Justice has written a letter to the District of Columbia Bar, asking that it open an investigation into Judge Roy Pearson, for his pursuit of the $65,000,000 dry cleaner lawsuit.

We have previously commented on this lawsuit and posted some of actual pleadings.

Jon Haber letter to District of Columbia Bar Association

May 8, 2007

Mr. James Sandman
District of Columbia Bar Association
1250 H St. NW, Sixth Floor
Washington DC 20005

Dear Mr. Sandman:

As a member of the District of Columbia Bar, I believe that the widely reported actions of Mr. Roy Pearson, Jr. in pursuing a $65 million dollar lawsuit against a local dry cleaning business appear to constitute a serious abuse of the civil justice system and warrant a disciplinary inquiry from the Bar.

Media reports indicate that Mr. Pearson, an administrative law judge and member of the District of Columbia Bar has relentlessly pursued his lawsuit against Custom Cleaners, a family-owned dry cleaner, for temporarily misplacing a pair of his suit pants. Despite an apparently generous settlement offer that includes the return of the once-missing suit pants, news reports indicate that Mr. Pearson has maintained his action over a two-year period, filed thousands of pages in documents and made damage claims that appear to be farfetched and unjustified. Moreover, it appears that Mr. Pearson’s actions in this matter are consistent with his behavior in prior legal disputes, where he has followed courses of action both that appear both vexatious and disproportionate to any legitimate claim.

The American civil justice system ought to be a point of pride, both to the public and the profession. It enables those who, in good faith, believe that they have been wronged to pursue justice and have an impartial tribunal resolve responsibility. Only in such a courtroom can everyone – regardless of wealth, connections or political clout – stand on a level playing field of justice.

Our court system has no place for those who abuse the instruments of justice for personal gain or the intimidation of others, rather than just compensation. That Mr. Pearson occupies a position of public trust as an administrative law judge, in addition to his membership in the Bar, further intensifies the dishonor that his apparent actions have cast on both the system and the profession. As attorneys, we have a special obligation to preserve the integrity of our civil justice system.

Our commitment must be to strengthening the civil justice system so that deserving individuals can get justice, wrongdoers are held accountable, and efforts to weaken basic legal protections are repelled.

For actions inconsistent with the oath and office of our learned profession, I urge that the District of Columbia Bar investigate this matter and take appropriate disciplinary action.


Jon Haber

Chief Executive Officer, American Association for Justice