Illinois Civil Justice League: Lawsuit Lollapalooza

March 14, 2005

Lawsuit Lollapalooza

I've heard many names for Madison County, but "Lawsuit Lollapalooza" is a new one. According to Wikipedia, Lollapalooza means "something unusual," which is probably an apt description for Madison County.

From the American Enterprise article:

Two years ago, 73-year-old Judge Nicholas Byron, the dean of Madison's judiciary, interrupted a defense attorney who moved that the trial ought to be held where the events occurred--three states and 700 miles away in Pennsylvania--rather than in Madison County. "You know, as a result of certain events that have occurred, and most of them concern me, I have come to certain revelations," said Judge Byron. "I want this on the record...I am not a Madison County judge.... I am concerned with all Americans. And you know what? ...I am going to expand the concept that all courts in the United States are for all citizens of the United States.... Motion denied." Judge Byron's advertising of his willingness to entertain suits from anywhere was no idle boast. At that point he was presiding over 25 percent of the national docket for cases of mesothelioma, the most deadly form of asbestos lung disease.

This argument is nothing new. Madison County personal injury lawyers and their spokespeople have barked the complaint that "this is the ONLY place in the country for plaintiffs to get a fair hearing" many times over.

This would seem rather insulting to EVERY OTHER jurisdiction in Illinois and America. Are they suggesting that no other judges in America are fair?

According to this month's ITLA's "Vested Interest" column, ITLA is "marshaling resources so that we can continue to counter dishonest attacks on trial lawyers, judges and the system of justice."

I guess we'll see if any of the mounting resources are spent defending the honor of any of the other Circuit judges in Illinois (you know, the ones that the trial lawyers have insulted by moving cases out of their courtrooms to the Madison County courtrooms), or if they'll only go to defend "America's Courthouse," the Lawsuit Lollapalooza that Madison County taxpayers are paying for in Edwardsville.


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