Friday, May 09, 2008

A Hole in His Pants

The legal definition of barratry is the offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones. Because it is rarely prosecuted, the term has become fairly archaic. However, I think the concept should be resurrected and renamed in honor of the the man who defines barratry, Roy Pearson.

Roy Pearson. The man who sued this dry cleaners after they lost a pair of pants, pursuing his $54 Million lawsuit with the zeal of a man on a mission to save the world from clean pants. Hell Hath No Fury . . . Not only did he lose his pants, he lost the case. See They Beat the Pants off Him. Although I had lots of fun making jokes about the pantless Pearson, in the end, although Pearson eventually lost his job, the Chungs also closed their dry cleaner's shop.

He's back with another example of a Pearson. As the AP reported, 'Pants Suit' Judge Suing for Job, $1M in Damages:

In the suit filed in federal court, Roy Pearson he was wrongfully dismissed for exposing corruption within the Office of Administrative Hearings, the department where he worked. In court documents, Pearson said he was protected as a whistle-blower and that the city used the fact that he was being 'vilified in the media' to cut him out of his job.
Claiming that he was fired for exposing corruption, Pearson brought his newest complaint against his former employer (while his original case against the cleaner's is still pending appeal), Roy Pearson's Latest Lawsuit:
In 52-plus pages, Pearson claims he suffered 'humiliation and 'physical illness' as a result of his former employer's 'wrongful actions.' He asserts that he was 'protected as a whistle-blower' but that the city used the fact that he was being 'vilified in the media' as an excuse to sack him. 'Confident that the media storm would provide cover for a retaliatory demotion,' he writes, 'the defendants made little effort to mask their retaliatory motive.'
Of course, his termination had nothing to do with the fact that he embarrassed himself -- and lawyers everywhere -- with his silly suit. Much as you'd like to think that was the reason for his termination, the reality is that it had very little to do with it. As Marc Fisher, the man for all things Pearson, notes, in Pants Update: Pants Man Sues City:
Actually, as those involved in the decision not to renew his tenure on the court told it at the time, the notoriety around Pearson's pants adventure was what made it harder to oust him. The decision makers said that they had plenty of cause not to renew Pearson's contract based just on his behavior at the office, but that the pants suit, while enormously embarrassing to the court and the District, took a relatively simple matter and made it very complicated, mixing in all sorts of questions about whether a judge could or should be punished for exercising his right of access to the courts (even if his original suit against the dry cleaners was wildly abusive.)
In the end, Pearson likely will not prevail. Until then, it's the perfect Friday night funny. Former Administrative Law Judge Pearson took his pants off in front of everyone, exposing his ass to the world.

However, I suppose his experience did teach him something. His original case against the dry cleaners who lost his pants was $54 million dollars. The case against the city for the loss of his job is only $1 million.

While the Pearson may live on as the epitome of a frivolous lawsuit, hopefully Roy Pearson will eventually find a new pair of pants and fold his crease -- and his cases.

(Via How Appealing)

1 comment:

Michael L. Gooch said...

Wrongful termination is one of those phrases that is often simply wrong. In fact, actual wrongful termination is extremely rare however greedy, vengeful people continually use this phrase as they seek so-called justice and revenge against their enemies. In my book, Wingtips with Spurs, Lessons From the Ranch, I title one of the chapters Firing. In it, I detail wrongful termination and what an organization must do to fortify against the turks(that is, the barratry boys) coming over the wall. Michael L. Gooch, SPHR www.michaellgooch.com