Q & A with asbestos docket Judge Daniel Stack

Steve Gonzalez Nov. 23, 2004, 7:21am

Circuit Judge Daniel Stack

Q: You’ve been on the asbestos docket for approximately two months now. Do you believe you have a good command of the pace?

A: I believe that I have some command of the asbestos docket, although, after only two months, there are probably issues which have not yet arisen.

Q: How are things moving along?

A: The docket seems to be moving along at a fair pace, especially since I had given this docket several extra days for motions. It had been every other Friday and we went every Friday and every Wednesday for about six weeks. We are now down to every other Friday and any Wednesday for any type of emergency or lengthy motion hearing which requires a special setting. It appears that all of the attorneys involved are utilizing those days only for such emergencies or special settings.

Q: Is there still a backlog of motions?

A: I am informed by all of the attorneys that we have no backlog of motions anymore.

Q: What, if any, significant changes have you implemented in handling the docket?

A: Besides giving everyone the Wednesday settings, I have made it clear that forum non conveniens motions will be heard and ruled upon as soon as they can be filed and set.

I have also let it be known that we can revisit the Standing Order, should any party wish to do so.

Probably the most significant change was the issuance of memoranda style of orders in some forum motions which should have made it more clear as to the court’s view of that case law and what factors are considered.

But, I have also made it clear, I believe, that I will not allow such motions to be used as a mere delaying tactic.

Q: Some have suggested that Appellate Court Judge Gordon Maag not being retained signaled that voters are fed up with judicial abuse. What are your thoughts?

A: While I have my own personal theories about the recent judicial elections, I believe that I am not at liberty to publicly discuss politics. I consider both of those men to be my good friends and I believe them both to be honorable and decent men.

So, let us just leave it that I am certain that there are many theories about what was in the minds of the voters and whether those thoughts were accurate on either side. My personal theories shall remain personal.

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