$54 Mill Pants Trial Wraps, Judge to Rule Next Week
June 13, 2007 05:29 PM
At noon precisely on Day Two of the $54 million pants case, we saw The Pants. Defense attorney Christopher Manning unveiled the suit trousers that Roy Pearson says are not his and that the owners of Custom Cleaners say are indeed the ones that Pearson submitted for a $10.50 alteration back in 2005.
The dramatic moment in Courtroom 415 at D.C. Superior Court revealed that yes, the pants look like they are part of a suit, and yes, the dry cleaners attached to these pants a tag with the same numbers that appeared on the receipt Pearson got for his suit. But Pearson still denies these are his pants, and still demands $54 million, though he has not yet wept today...
Courtroom Drama! He did weep yesterday, and needed a break to regain his composure.
But like most trials, this one is really about the boring details:
[Judge] Bartnoff has handled Pearson with a disarming and delightful mix of humor and stern direction. Sometimes incredulous, sometimes gently joshing, she has repeatedly lured Pearson out of his tendency to go off on long, incomprehensible recitations about the minutia of the District's consumer protection law. But Bartnoff has been careful to let Pearson state his odd notions of law with few limitations.
This is known as giving someone all the rope they need to hang themselves.
"Your position," Bartnoff said to Pearson this morning, "is that 'Satisfaction Guaranteed' means they have to satisfy whatever you demand, with no limitations, absolutely unconditionally?"
"That's correct," Pearson replied.
"I have grave doubts about that," said the judge.
This means he's nutty enough to appeal, that Judge Bartnoff knows this, and that she's making sure the record is immaculate before she thwaps him, so her judgment will be affirmed. Good judge.