By NICK MARIANO
MT. VERNON —
The city of Mt. Vernon joined a dozen other cities across Southern Illinois to proclaim this week as Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week.
The proclamation was sought by Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch, a grassroots non-partisan legal watchdog group. The organization is going statewide seeking the proclamation to raise awareness among voters about the importance of judicial races.
“Too many judges have allowed the personal injury lawyers to turn our courts into their own personally profitable playground,” said I-LAW Executive Director Travis 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 proclamation comes on the heels of a report that ranks Illinois as 46 out of 50 states for legal fairness. The report was released in September and was conducted by the non-partisan global market research firm Harris Interactive, Akin said.
Akin said I-Law encourages voters to make informed decisions about who they elect as judge, looking at their background and positions on issues. He suggested using the Illinois State Bar Association ratings, based on attorney surveys of judicial integrity, knowledge of the law and handling of the courtroom.
“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 a magnet for jobs, not lawsuits.”