No shame

The Madison County Record Dec. 25, 2005, 2:39am

Serving since 1977, George Moran, Jr. isn't running for judge next year, and it has nothing to do with Spanish classes or skinny-dipping.

That the Madison County Democratic Party, aka the plaintiff's bar, which controls such things, might spin as much makes for a convenient dodge. Or even call it a grand distraction from the real reason—and the real problem--they have with the judge they once called "Buddy."

After nearly thirty years on the bench, Judge Moran has become unpredictable.

Once a reliable cog in the Madison County litigation machine, Moran recently dismissed two class action lawsuits filed by the powerful Lakin Law Firm of Wood River against out-of-state companies —one against Cincinnati Insurance and another versus Ford.

That Third Circuit judges like Moran once blindly allowed such cases to proceed—baseless as they typically are— is precisely what creates the courthouse cash register that is Madison County.

Pick your metaphor; it's the power that fuels our lawsuit machine.

Talent-less plaintiff's attorneys—you know who you are—just needed the ability to dream, cut, and paste. They file the complaints, and our local judges would help them exert the leverage they needed to squeeze out tasty big cash settlement from some of the largest corporations in the U.S.

The system has made countless local lawyers rich beyond any of our comprehension. But the system depends on reliable judges. They need to make defendants believe these lawsuits are here to stay. They cannot grant their "motions to dismiss."

That Moran did—and that trial lawyers suddenly want him out—is hard to avoid among this imbroglio.

For public consumption, of course, the reason has been has recast as "embarrassing." The judge, thrice divorced, needs to go because he's used a dating site popular with some 15 million Americans. Moran is shaming us, assert the local powers-that-be.

Shaming you? Shaming the Madison County plaintiff's bar?

As if that were possible.

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