Re Pearson

Full title: IN RE ROY L. PEARSON, JR., RESPONDENT

Court: DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS

Date published: Jun 4, 2020

Facts

The allegations of misconduct arise from the litigation culminating in Pearson v. Chung , 961 A.2d 1067 (D.C. 2008). In that case, Pearson sued three defendants (Soo Chung, Jin Nam Chung, and Ki Y. Chung) who jointly owned and operated Custom Cleaners, a dry cleaning business. Id. at 1069. The dispute originated with Pearson’s allegation that the Chungs lost a pair of pants that he had brought to Custom Cleaners for alterations. Pearson initially demanded $1,150 in compensation. He then filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court claiming that the defendants had violated the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act, D.C. Code §§ 28-3901 to 3913 (2013 Repl. & 2019 Supp.) (“COPPA”), and committed common law fraud, negligence, and/or conversion. Pearson’s claims rested on his interpretation of three signs in the Chungs’ store: “Satisfaction Guaranteed,” “Same Day Service,” and “All Work Done on Premises.” In his initial complaint, he sought at least $15,000 in compensation for emotional distress and $15,000 in punitive damages from each defendant.

Issues

Court Judgment

There is substantial evidence in the record to support the Board’s factual conclusions. Even if the respondent’s “actions were heartfelt … that does not mean that they were innocuous.” Yelverton , 105 A.3d at 427. For the reasons stated above, we conclude that the respondent violated District of Columbia Rules of Professional Conduct 3.1 and 8.4(d) and imposed the sanction of a ninety-day suspension without a stay. Accordingly, it is ORDERED that Roy L. Pearson, Jr., is suspended from the practice of law in the District of Columbia for ninety days. See D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14(f) (“an order of … suspension shall be effective thirty days after entry”). For purposes of reinstatement, the period of respondent’s suspension shall not begin to run until he files an affidavit in compliance with D.C. Bar R. XI, § 14(g). See D.C. Bar R. XI, § 16(c).

So ordered.

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