What do you want to hear?

The Madison County Record Sep. 27, 2004, 1:59am

Words speak louder than actions

As opinion polls- rather than a moral compass- have become the predominant force driving our elected officials these days, it never ceases to amaze us how committed politicians are to telling we voters what we want to hear.

Case in point: wanna-be Illinois Supreme Court Justice Gordon Maag's shiny new television ads citing his commitment to fighting for doctors and against "frivolous lawsuits."

According to published reports, Maag spent some $180,000 to run the ads on St. Louis stations. In a race like this one, that's a ton.

That said, doing our best Bill O'Reilly imitation we'd like to make something clear.

Maag is a bona fide trial attorney formerly with the Lakin Law Firm in Wood River, one of most litigious and infamous in Metro East, Illinois, and even America.

Lakin files more class action lawsuits than any other firm in the area.

Last year, name partner Brad Lakin told reporter Andrew Harris of the National Law Journal that medical malpractice cases are part of the "bread and butter" of his firm. "They keep the lights on and everybody going," Lakin said.

From our vantage point, it doesn't seem that the Lakins have much difficulty keeping their offices adequately lit. But that's another story.

In Maag's case, we're wondering what's next. Is he coming out for medical malpractice damage caps?

Long tobacco road

Stephen Tillery is hoping for a happy Thanksgiving.

Philip Morris' appeal of Tillery's biggest verdict ever--$10.1 billion for allegedly fradulent marketing of "light" cigarettes-- is set to be the Illinois Supreme Court's main event in November.

"There's a very good chance it will be ready for oral arguments by then," said Illinois Supreme Court spokesman Joseph Tybor.

Judge Nick Byron handed down the judgment, which generated more than $1.7 billion in attorney fees for Tillery and a few others.

Philip Morris has a reply brief due on Monday, October 4.

Email: Not a fad

Madison County lawyers need to get (and check) email, or pay up.

Monday, September 20 marked the first day that receiving paper notices from the Madison County Clerk's Office would cost lawyers more. That's $6.00 to be exact, versus getting them free via email.

More sensible? More efficient? More taxpayer savings?

What's not to like?

Well, we're still waiting to see whether any litigious local luddites file a lawsuit.

Playing armchair plaintiff's attorney, we think the measure might prove 'discrimination' against paper lovers. And $6.00 for a few pieces of paper and a stamp could be 'unjust enrichment' if spun correctly to a jury.

Lawyers can send their email addresses to jlnelson@co.madison.il.us to join Madison County's digital revolution.

While we're on the subject

Speaking of email, here's a shamless plug for our free weekly email newsletter.

Just go to our web site (www.madisonrecord.com) and type your email in the box in the upper right hand corne to subscribe. We'll send the latest news from our print edition (the one you're reading) straight to your email inbox every Monday.

We won't sell or use your email for any other purposes, promise. Just the Madison County Record news and views you crave and love.

Slip slidin' away...

The Illinois Coalition for Jobs, Growth, and Prosperity reported its monthly job index this week, and it wasn't pretty for Metro East.

Madison, St. Clair, Clinton, Jersey, and Monroe Counties collectively lost 1,133 jobs during the month of August. That's a Metro East job decrease of 0.52%, the worst in the state.

Chicago, Kankakee, and Peoria also saw small job losses in August while Bloomington-Normal, Champaign-Urbana, the Quad Cities, Decatur, Rockford, and Springfield all saw job growth.

Springfield was the fastest growing market, gaining 2,934 jobs.

Overall, Illinois gained 700 jobs for the month.

Want to be a Judge?

Applications for 3rd Circuit Associate Judge are due to Chief Judge Edward Ferguson by 4:30 p.m. on Thursday October 7, 2004.

The vacancy to-be-filled was left by Judge Lola Maddox, who is retiring on November 30 after twenty-five years on the bench.

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Organizations in this Story

Illinois Supreme Court
200 E Capitol Ave
Springfield, IL 62701

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