Where do Madison County courts go from here?

May 9, 2013 

Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis is stepping down from her post as chief judge to run for Congress in the 13th District.

Her departure, though, raises some questions about the future of the judiciary in Madison County. The county's courts have been the stuff of legend. They have a well-deserved reputation as a magnet for frivolous lawsuits and as a plaintiff's paradise where personal injury lawyers flock from all over the country to win big playing the notoriously plaintiff-friendly lawsuit lottery here.

In fact, Madison County is currently ranked the nation's fifth worst "judicial hellhole," and that well-earned reputation for unfairness in our courts is important because new businesses are unlikely to set up shop in a place where the legal climate is unfair and where they are much more likely to get sued.

Judge David Hylla has been named Callis's replacement and he definitely has his work cut out for him. According to the "Judicial Hellholes" report of 2012, "Madison County had managed to work its way off the Judicial Hellholes list in 2007. But progress has seemingly stalled, and the jurisdiction's truly troubled past appears poised to repeat itself."

Hopefully, Chief Judge Hylla will take up the mantle of reform and end Madison County's status as a "Judicial Hellhole" once and for all.

Travis Akin

Executive director

Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch

Marion

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