Hellhole Lable Gone

Edwardsville Intelligencer
Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Madison County is off the list of "judicial hellholes," a designation the American Tort Reform Association had branded it with for the past six years. The county had topped the list from 2002 through 2004 and dropped to No. 4 a year later.

The Illinois Trial Lawyers Association was quick to criticize the report as sensational and misleading. "You have to consider the source and you have to consider the work product," Bruce M. Kohen, president of the ITLA, said Tuesday. "It's nothing more than a public relations stunt put out by a front group for big business to further their political and legislative aims."

The Center for Justice & Democracy issued a press release calling the list dishonest and unfair with "apparently no other point than to undermine the independence of judges and juries."
"This report is complete nonsense filled with anecdotal stories and media quotes, perpetuating myths that ATRA itself creates," Jason Held, the group's staff director, wrote. "What ATRA really seems to hate is our system of government where judges and juries cannot be wined, dined and bought off by corporate lobbyists like them. So they try instead to issue bizarre reports like this, throwing jurisdictions in and out for their own political reasons, attacking judges and juries who are doing their jobs on behalf of average hard-working Americans."

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