The Madison County Record Sep. 25, 2005, 6:40am

State Rep. Dan Beiser

Fresh meat

Madison County Democrat trial lawyers looking for a scalp as payback for their betrayal over medical malpractice reform have one in mind, Dicta hears.

That’s recently appointed State Rep. Dan Beiser (D-Alton).

Beiser, appointed to fill the spot of longtime Rep. Steve Davis (D-Bethalto), who resigned earlier this year, was a staunch supporter of tort reform and a featured guest at Governor Rod Blagojevich’s bill signing ceremony at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Alton last month.

Among local Democrat legislators, Beiser wasn’t alone in his support of the bill, which included much-despised caps on pain –and-suffering damage awards. Sens. Bill Haine (D-Alton) and James Clayborne (D-Belleville) and Rep. Tom Holbrook (D-Belleville) also backed the measure.

But Beiser, 48, is the new guy. And next November’s legislative election will be his first.

At least one rumored primary challenger, longtime plaintiff’s attorney John Hopkins, says he won’t be a candidate but hints he is game to help whomever takes on Beiser. Stay tuned.

Timely exit

Dicta reports that Judge Phillip Kardis was dead on time for his two o’clock farewell bash last week at the Madison County Courthouse.

Judges, lawyers, and courts personnel attended the party, drinking punch, eating cake and ice cream while reminiscing with Kardis, who handled cases in Granite City and wasn’t exactly an Edwardsville regular.

Judge Ralph Mendelsohn will move to the second floor to make room for Kardis’ successor, who will take his third floor courtroom in the Main Street courthouse.

Speaking of…

Dicta has learned that at least four associate judges in the Third Circuit have formerly applied with the Illinois Supreme Court to fill Kardis’ vacancy.

They are Judges Clarence Harrison, Ellar Duff, Barbara Crowder, and Ralph Mendelsohn. All are Democrats hoping to be slotted by Republican Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier.

Harrison has already announced that, appointed or not, he’ll run for the spot in November 2006.

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Illinois Supreme Court
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Springfield, IL 62701

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