Weber delivers

The Madison County Record Jun. 11, 2006, 4:14am

Now we know why the Lakin Law Firm was so worried about Third Circuit Judge Don Weber.

From the bench, he's apt to have bouts of common sense.

We don't know how else to take in the case of Jeffrey Hicks, a Lakin client who sued United Parcel Service (UPS) in Madison County court, alleging a package he sent "overnight" didn't arrive on time. UPS offered a refund of his $14.95, but Hicks wouldn't have it, because accepting the company's money back guarantee would have deprived him of his chance to really hit it big.

Instead, the Lakin Firm asked the court to refund Hicks just $5.00, while also deeming him the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against the delivery giant, "representing" thousands or even millions of similarly wronged "overnight" customers. The suit's goal: secure a $5.00 refund from UPS for each and every one of them.

The irony of this proposed "justice," another brainstorm by ex-Lakin partner Gary Peel, wasn't lost on Judge Weber. He dismissed the case last week.

"Plaintiff then argues that this court should give each individual class member less than UPS offered in the agreement," Weber wrote. "In effect, plaintiff asks this court to... fashion a remedy out of whole cloth that could end up hurting the class members and award millions of dollars in attorney's fees. The court will not allow such an unreasonable and illogical result."

What amazes us is that the court would even be forced to consider such a lawsuit, so clearly crafted as a mechanism to solely benefit only the lawyers themselves. How can an officer of the court even file such a case with a straight face? Or without fear of sanction?

They have here in Edwardsville for years because they could. And they'll stop once they realize the judges of Madison County aren't game to humor them anymore.

Judge Weber is just one man on the bench, and he hasn't even been here a year. But from our vantage point, his mere presence alone is already making a huge difference.

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