November 15, 2007

First His Pants, Now His Job

It has been confirmed that the judge who sued a small, family-owned dry cleaning company for $67 million for losing his pants is no longer a judge according to the AP:
“Roy Pearson's term as an administrative law judge expired May 2 and the D.C. Commission on Selection and Tenure of Administrative Law Judges has voted not to reappoint him, Lisa Coleman, the city's general counsel, wrote Nov. 8 in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from The Associated Press.”

Obviously, the commission’s refusal to reappoint Mr. Pearson, who cried about his lost trousers on the witness stand, has something to do with the fact that he has a become a poster boy for frivolous lawsuits and the need for tort reform.

This is a laughable case, though I’m sure it is no joking matter to the Chungs, a family of South Korean immigrants who own the business Mr. Pearson sued. If there is a silver-lining in this story it is how people have rallied to the Chungs’ defense. This past July there was a fund-raiser for the Chungs hosted by The American Tort Reform Association and the Institute for Legal Reform of the United States Chamber of Commerce at which it was announced that $64,000 had been raised up to that point.

Unfortunately, this case is not over for the Chungs, as Pearson is expected to appeal the decision.

November 14, 2007

Congrats to the new AG

Congratulations to Michael Mukasey, who was sworn in as the nation’s 81st attorney general by Chief Justice John Roberts today. At the ceremony, President Bush praised former AG Alberto Gonzales and acknowledged that many of the most senior positions at DOJ are vacant. The President promised to announce nominations to fill several of those positions tomorrow.

Last week, when Mukasey was confirmed by the Senate, CFJ issued a press release discussing the new AG’s potential impact on the ongoing battle over judicial nominations. As I noted in the release, Mukasey is in a unique position to effectively argue for the confirmation of the President’s judicial nominees:
"Even the Democrats concede that Mukasey is non-partisan and was one of the nation’s best trial judges during eighteen years of service. When he says that a particular judicial nominee would make an outstanding judge, it will be difficult for Senate Democrats to argue with his assessment.

We’re calling on the new attorney general to make the confirmation of the President’s judicial nominees a top priority. . . . Mukasey has the reputation and moral authority to make a difference on this important issue. He needs to be personally involved in persuading Senate Democrats that each and every nominee deserves, at very least, an up-or-down vote by the full Senate."