Land of Lawsuits ads feature local business owners

Ann Knef Oct. 9, 2006, 9:46am

The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform --in cooperation with the Illinois Chamber and Illinois Civil Justice League -- recently launched its "Faces of Lawsuit Abuse" advertising campaign.

Featuring a number of Illinois small business owners providing their personal stories about how Illinois' reputation for lawsuit abuse is threatening their livelihoods -- and Illinois jobs, the ads will run for a few weeks in St. Louis TV and radio markets.

Allen Cassens of Cassens and Sons in Edwardsville and Julie Maschoff, a pork farmer from Carlyle, are among the business owners featured in the commercials.

The ads give a voice to the true victims of lawsuit abuse -- Illinois workers and their families, according to the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.

"When frivolous lawsuits threaten Illinois businesses, it is Illinois jobs in the 'crosshairs'," said Lisa Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.

"Lawsuit reform is about providing a level playing field for Illinois employers -- large and small," Rickard said. "It's about ensuring that our small business owners aren't just one lawsuit away from closing their doors and going out of business."

The Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), in conjunction with renowned research firm Harris Interactive, released its fifth annual state legal fairness ranking study. The study examines the court systems in each state to determine which are the most fair and balanced and which are broken and in need of change.

Illinois' legal climate has shown minor improvement, moving up one spot to number 45. Two Illinois counties -- Cook and Madison -- were rated among the top four worst jurisdictions in the country.

The Madison County Record is owned by the Institute for Legal Reform, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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