The American Association for Justice (formerly the American Trial Lawyers Association) has called for a disciplinary investigation of District of Columbia Administrative Law Judge Roy Pearson Jr., who brought a $65 million lawsuit against a family-owned dry cleaning business for losing his pants.
The Association’s members are U. S. lawyers who file lawsuits on behalf of clients. Its President, Lewis S. “Mike” Eidson, stated: “Our court system has no place for those who abuse the instruments of justice for personal gain or the intimidation of others.”
In addition to the call for investigation, Eidson added: “As attorneys who are committed to helping Americans receive justice throughout courts, we are outraged by the very idea of a $65 million claim over a pair of pants. It is not only ridiculous – it is offensive to our values.”
“This case is clearly atypical and we cannot allow those who oppose us on fundamental issues of access to the civil justice system to turn this case into an indictment of that system,” Eidson continued. “Our mission continues to be to ensure Americans have a level playing field in our courtrooms – even when it means taking on the most powerful corporations.”
Insurance companies, drug companies and other large corporations are spending huge sums to fund media advertisements hyping “frivolous” lawsuits and lobbying lawmakers to reduce liabilities on corporations, while decimating the rights of ordinary Americans. Meanwhile, almost no publicity is afforded attorneys’ efforts to set the record straight or even to denounce unwarranted cases such as this.
Special interest groups rant about rich lawyers yet, according to Forbes, only one of the 400 richest Americans made his or her fortune practicing law (Joe Jamail of Houston). Meanwhile, many of the other 399 richest Americans are the very ones paying for adverse publicity of lawyers. Studies demonstrate as well that the average lawyer earns less than $100,000 per year – less than stockbrokers, engineers, doctors and many other professionals.
Many members of the American Association of Justice have already personally pledged contributions to a defense fund established to support the dry cleaners.