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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
“LAWSUIT ABUSE AWARENESS WEEK” TOUR FOCUSES ON THE IMPORTANCE OF JUDICIAL ELECTIONS AND HOW JUDGES CAN RESTORE FAIRNESS TO METRO-EAST COURTS AND CREATE JOBS I-LAW joins with mayors and civic leaders to sponsor statewide public education tour
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By TRAVIS AKIN
Oct. 4, 2012 10:25 a.m.

Following on the heels of the release last month of a report that ranked Illinois' lawsuit climate the fifth worst in the country and Madison County's the sixth-most unfair and unreasonable jurisdiction in the nation, Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch (I-LAW), a grassroots, non-partisan legal watchdog group, is joining with mayors and community leaders this week for a statewide public education tour to promote "Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week" and this year's theme of "Good Judges Matter."



Dozens of mayors across Illinois have issued official proclamations declaring the first week of October "Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week" and are joining with I-LAW to encourage voters to become educated about the positions, backgrounds and backers of judicial candidates on the ballot this Fall. I-LAW will also be driving a "Good Judges Matter" billboard truck across the state and will distribute "Good Judges Matter" voter education guides in front of courthouses.



"The Metro-East economy continues to suffer from the region's costly reputation for unfair courts and jackpot justice," explained Travis Akin, Executive Director of I-LAW, "but the judges and judicial candidates on the ballot this November can play a big role in restoring fairness to our courts, which will in turn create jobs here."

"Too many judges have allowed the personal injury lawyers to turn our courts into their own personally profitable playground," continued Akin. "Good judges matter, and during 'Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week', we are calling on voters to ask judicial candidates if they will stand up to the personal injury lawyers and restore fairness to our courts."



The lawsuit abuse rankings were published last month in a report compiled by the non-partisan global market research firm Harris Interactive, and Madison County was ranked the most unfair and unreasonable jurisdiction in the country. Illinois ranked 46th out of all 50 states for legal fairness, placing the state beneath every bordering state including: Indiana (14), Iowa (10), Kentucky (38), Missouri (34), and Wisconsin (15).

With Election Day rapidly approaching, and with so much attention focused on the presidential and congressional races at the top of the ballot, I-LAW is urging people not to skip the oft overlooked but vitally important judicial races at the end of the ballot.

"Electing good judges who apply doctrines of common sense and fairness will help Illinois shed its image as a 'lawsuit magnet' and 'personal injury lawyer's paradise,'" Akin said. "In these difficult economic times, Illinois needs to be a magnet for jobs, not lawsuits."

Added Godfrey Mayor Michael McCormick, "Being ranked the fifth worst state in the country for lawsuit abuse makes it harder for me to attract employers and the jobs they would bring to Godfrey. We need judges who will restore fairness to our courts so we can begin to create jobs, not lawsuits. I strongly support I-LAW's efforts during 'Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week' to spread the word that good judges matter."

For more information about "Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week" and the "Good Judges Matter" initiative, visit www.ILLawsuitAbuseWatch.org.



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Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch (I-LAW) is a grassroots watchdog group of concerned citizens, community leaders and small business people dedicated to educating the public about the widespread costs of lawsuit abuse. I-LAW has more than 12,000 supporters throughout Illinois. Anyone interested in becoming a supporter of I-LAW or learning more about stopping lawsuit abuse in Illinois can visit www.ILLawsuitAbuseWatch.org.

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