The Madison County Record Nov. 20, 2014, 4:06pm

Did attorneys violate the law with the shoddy tactics that were used to try to prevent the retention of State Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier in the recent election?

That's a question that state election officials should be asking. If illegal acts can be documented, the perpetrators should be prosecuted.

Whether they are held accountable or not, any lawyer proven to be behind the $2 million smear deserves to be scorned by members of their profession and by the public at large.

Whether they're capable of feeling shame or not, they should be shamed, and ostracized. If there's such a thing as polite society left anywhere, they should be expelled from it.

State Sen. Dave Luechtefeld has shown the way by publicly denouncing a last-minute, $2 million negative television campaign financed by the anti-Karmeier clique as “immoral.”

The scurrilous campaign concocted by some plaintiffs attorneys also included outrageously false or misleading robocalls designed to tarnish the reputation of a well-respected jurist.

One lawyer even held a press conference the week before the election in a ridiculously transparent effort to smear Karmeier.

“I’m just telling you the facts I have,” the attorney claimed. “I’m not here to cast any aspersions.”

What do these lawyers have against Karmeier? Early in his first term, the state supreme court justice participated in decisions overturning class action judgments against State Farm and Philip Morris of roughly $1 billion and $10 billion, respectively. The attorneys behind those cases have had visions of dollar signs dancing in their heads ever since. They hoped to get closer to the cash by replacing Karmeier with a “friendlier” judge.

Fortunately, they failed. Had they succeeded, they would have set a “terrible” precedent, Luechtefeld lamented. “What they did, I have never seen anything quite like it.”

The best way to prevent a recurrence is to treat such lawyers as the pariahs they are.

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