Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Persistent Pant-a-Loon Pearson

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Of course, this maxim wasn't necessarily meant to apply as a litigation strategy, but apparently Roy Pearson didn't quite make the connection.

Pearson was an ALJ in DC, who first sued his dry cleaners over a lost pair of pants, then sued over the job he lost because he sued over the pair of pants. I've followed his saga for some time, gleefully chronicling his tale of legal woes. See Never Can Say Goodbye.

As Lowering the Bar explains the latest loss, in Judge Who Lost Pants Loses Another Suit:

It seems that our old friend Roy L. Pearson, Jr., he of the $65 million pants, has recovered sufficiently from losing that case to get on with losing another one. This one was a wrongful-termination lawsuit against the District of Columbia, his former boss (Chief Administrative Law Judge Tyrone Butler), and other alleged miscreants.
As the Boston Globe reports, Judge who sued over lost pants loses bid to keep job:
A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit brought by Roy L. Pearson Jr., the former District of Columbia judge whose previous $54 million lawsuit against a dry-cleaning business generated international headlines.

Pearson filed the later suit in May 2008, alleging that the District of Columbia government broke the law in refusing to reappoint him to a 10-year term as an administrative law judge. The decision came after news reports about Pearson’s lawsuit against Custom Cleaners, which he said had misplaced a pair of his pants.

The district’s Commission on Selection and Tenure of Administrative Law Judges cited Pearson’s temperament and prudence on the bench in not giving him the job.

Once again, Pearson was left holding his pants. The Court rejected his retaliation claim:

In a 37-page opinion issued last Thursday, US District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle rejected all of Pearson’s arguments. She called Pearson’s lawsuit against Custom Cleaners a “personal vendetta.’’
No wrongful termination here, said the Judge, The Pants Lawsuit: Still Not Over:
But the federal court was not buying it. Retaliation claims are only viable where an employee has been disciplined or fired for so-called "protected speech." To succeed in his case, Pearson would have to show that his speech (the pants lawsuit) involved a matter of public concern. The fact that he sued in part to compel enforcement of D.C.'s consumer-protection laws (going so far as to characterize himself as a "private attorney general" for doing so) did not impress the judge.
Looks like we won't have Pearson around to mock for much longer. But there's always someone new to fill the spot.

Speaking of lawyers behaving badly, a receptionist has sued her former law firm -- an employment law firm -- claiming that they wouldn't let her take a potty break. Her revenge: she wants to relieve the firm of some money for not letting her relieve herself. Claiming that she was fired for complaining about the lack of breaks, she's asking for $1.59M in damages, no less.

As the Washington Business Journal reports, Former receptionist sues Littler Mendelson over bathroom breaks:

Enter Rebecca Landrith, the now-former receptionist in the McLean office of employment law giant Littler Mendelson PC.

According to the July 27 lawsuit the receptionist filed — with no help from a lawyer — Littler provided no substitute receptionist, and “had no consistent policy or procedure as to when or how Landrith could take a restroom break.”

Need we go on? Oh, if we must. “Impromptu requests” for cover by employees — like attorneys — elicited mostly resentment and condescension, she alleges.

On two separate occasions, Landrith claims, she had to “wet her pants” at the desk because nobody would, well, relieve her.

The incidents caused Landrith depression, stress, anxiety and helplessness — ergo, her claim for $1.59 million for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

I think the best comment about the case came from Above the Law:
Littler is one of the leading employment law defense firms in the country. It's really not surprising that a firm well-known for 'defend[ing] many of the world's leading corporations' told this lady to leave before she dripped anything on the stationery.
I think this one may be known as the case of the Potty Potty.


James said...

And dry cleaners everywhere breathe a sigh of relief!

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It was a Tort claim. Not an employment case. The idiot who wrote this evidently does not know the facts nor has seen the Original complaint. They also probably are not aware of that the company's General Counsel CUSSED out the Process Servers and CHASED them for over 2 blocks. This "law firm" is very hostile and needs to Practice what they teach. Simple as that.

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Anonymous said...

I have had the pleasure of meeting Rebecca Landrith. On the first meeting she is quite charming but once you spend some time with her you realize she's kind of insane.
Her new career is a model, and I wish her well. but I would not want her anywhere near my company.
I am curious though if she won this case or not. Does anyone know?