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April 28, 2007


"As I understand it, an Administrative Law Judge is a fairly low-level judge, which is a relief."

Not so fast. I'm not familiar w/ Pearson's job, but ALJ's frequently have to be deferred to by higher courts b/c they are allotted great discretion in their fact-finding. (Immigration ALJ's have become a scandal in recent years.) So this guy has a great deal of potential to make others' lives miserable.

Trivial suggestion: the post might be slightly clearer with this included, since this key fact isn't otherwise evident, absent clicking the links:

By the way, Pearson is a lawyer. Okay, you probably figured that. But get this: He's a judge, too -- an administrative law judge for the District of Columbia.
Absent this info, readers don't know who Pearson is, and that he isn't some random joe.

Gary: OK, will update.

"So this guy has a great deal of potential to make others' lives miserable."

Not just potential.

[...] "This case shocks me on a daily basis," Manning says. "Pearson has a lot of time on his hands, and the Chungs have been abused in a ghastly way. It's going to cost them tens of thousands to defend this case."
I tangentially, as is my wont, wonder how often this law is enforced:
[...] The District's consumer protection law provides for damages of $1,500 per violation per day.
My extremely limited experience has been that often consumer protection laws, like many laws, sound good on paper, but even when well justified on the facts (as this case doesn't seem to be so much), aren't always effectively, let alone rigorously, enforced (at least, until one brings in a politician, or media publicity).

Can some lawyer please explain this. Why doesn't the judge, on the first day, tell the dry cleaner to reimburse Pearson for his lost pants and then tell Pearson to shut up?

"Why doesn't the judge, on the first day, tell the dry cleaner to reimburse Pearson for his lost pants and then tell Pearson to shut up?"

IANAL, but I know they wouldn't be getting to the substance of the case on the first day, it not being either Small Claims Court or the People's Court. There appears to be a basis in fact for a complaint, even if many portions of it are ludicrous, so no first-day dismissal of all motions, I would assume, even though IANAL.

OK, Gary. The second day then.

Because when there's a legitimate case, even if innumerable parts of it are insupportable, the court system has to do what it does, and first deal with all the preliminary motions, interrogatories, discovery, and so on; that generally takes a minimum of several months, and can be stretched out in many or most cases by one of the parties.

Situations vary considerably depending on what the court and jurisdiction are, of course, but all the major metropolitan courts that I'm remotely familiar with are drastically underfunded, which accounts for a lot of the delays in our present system, as a rule, is my impression (again, IANAL).

My highly tentative assumption about this case is that the judge can toss out any number of specific claims, or motions, that the judge doesn't find a sufficient basis for, but where there are grounds for the case itself to finally be tried, doesn't have the discretion to simply dismiss the entire case, since the claim itself isn't 100% baseless. I could be wrong, but that seems sufficient explanation to me, at least.

Loss of pantal consortium is a burden that no one should have to bear alone.

A judge can dismiss claims for which there is inadequate factual support, sure. Here, though, there are disputed facts. Which have to be resolved at trial.

I would hope that the cleaners have made an offer of judgment, and would further hope that people making policy would see in this case the perfect reasoning for including a defendant's attorneys fees in a Rule 68 award.

The dry cleaners have offered this guy $12,000 to go away, since they clearly will end up spending more on legal fees. This is the sort of thing that makes Americans hate lawyers.

This is the sort of thing that makes Americans hate lawyers.

And yet, Jeremy, please note that this guy is not an attorney with a plaintiff's personal injury practice, pursuing a claim on behalf of a client on a contingent fee basis. No lawyer who litigates cases for a living would bring cases like this--the lawyer would go broke

This is so stupid! The judge needs to get a life and grow up at the same time!

How did this guy get to become judge in the first place.. Unbelievable!

This is a great example of our hard tax dollars at work. DC tax payers are footing the bill for this Jerk-off. You gotta read about his divorce. The best part of his bio is that he gets canned then begins his stint as a ALJ. This is the same guy that is suing for financial support from his ex-wife----during a time when he couldnt be a man and find another job. Perfect example of a guy who got through law school and is a leech on society. The people he works for need to can his ass like his prior employers did.

This judge deserves a straight jacket to go with his pants.

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