Stack faces asbestos motion back-up

Steve Gonzalez Sep. 21, 2004, 11:12am

EDWARDSVILLE- Madison County's new 'asbestos judge' was nursing a sore throat last week.

But Judge Daniel J. Stack knows he doesn't have time to be sick.

"We're going at this every week until we get caught up," Stack said.

That's caught up on Madison County's asbestos motion docket, now 5,700 pages long. It was once less than 1,000.

From now until further notice, Stack says he will hold standard hearings for asbestos motions every Friday rather than the traditional every other Friday. Judge Nicholas Byron, for whom Stack took over on September 8, typically stuck to an 'every other week' schedule.

Emergency motions will also be heard weekly, on Wednesdays rather than Fridays.

Attorneys have to file written motions whenever they want the court to do something, like dismiss the case or move it to a court somewhere else. Over the summer months, attorneys kept filing motions but Madison County Court stopped keeping up.

Stack says the transition from Byron to himself caused much of the back-up.

"Things were dormant for a while (after Judge Byron stepped down as asbestos judge on July 21)," Stack said. "And August is when people take their summer vacations."

Stack isn't making any predictions as to when the Madison County asbestos docket will get back to normal. Until then, he won't be working government hours.

"I'm working on four motions Sunday," he said.

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