I-LAW is freed from order

Ann Knef Nov. 1, 2004, 5:16am

Steve Schoeffel, pictured earlier in the month, in front of a portable billboard that was displayed throughout southern Illinois.

Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch is free to move forward with its voter education campaign after Williamson County Circuit Judge Phillip Palmer lifted a temporary restraining order that attempted to squelch it.

On Friday, Judge Palmer lifted and refused to extend the order that was based on a lawsuit filed by a personal injury lawyer representing a Marion labor group. The suit alleged I-LAW violated election laws.

Steve Schoeffel, I-LAW executive director, said the judge's decision, "deals a blow to those that wanted to turn what's already the Lawsuit Capital of the World into a 'no free speech zone'.

"Personal injury lawyers don't like the bright spotlight we've put them under in recent years, and they tried to use a court in southern Illinois to turn off the light."

The lawsuit against I-LAW demanded the watchdog group cease airing radio ads "Sick of Lawsuits," which stated in part: "Personal injury lawyers have given over $2 million to Illinois Supreme Court candidates because they want their friends on our court."

I-LAW was represented by John Ryan, of Feirich, Mager, Green & Ryan, based in Carbondale.

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Illinois Supreme Court
200 E Capitol Ave
Springfield, IL 62701

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