July 21, 2006
Judicial "Hellhole" Gets New Chief Judge
Citing declining public confidence in the way lawsuits are handled in Illinois' Madison County Circuit Court, Chief Judge Ann Callis has removed Judge Nicholas Byron from his postition as chief judge of the civil division. Madison County has developed a reputation among defendants as one of the country's worst "judicial hellholes." Judge Dan Stack, who how presides over the county's asbestos docket, has been named to replace Byron. At its peak under Judge Byron's administration, asbestos litigation in Madison County grew into a multibillion-dollar industry for plaintiff's attorneys. According to a 2004 newspaper investigation, the SimmonsCooper firm of East Alton alone had collected at least $1.2 billion in settlements in the previous four years. See Paul Hampel's story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
July 21, 2006 | Permalink
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