Harrison to hear requests to alter 2013 asbestos trial date settings

Christina Stueve Jan. 26, 2012, 7:10am


Madison County Associate Judge Clarence Harrison will hear requests for changes to a preliminary order assigning trial weeks for the 2013 asbestos docket on March 26.

The preliminary order in question was entered on Dec. 1 by Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder, who was formerly in charge of the asbestos docket.

Harrison said that lawyers who wish to file objections, exceptions and related motions along with proposed alternatives, including proposed orders, must do so by March 10.

In the preliminary order, Crowder set nearly 500 trial dates for 2013.

She was reassigned from the asbestos docket on Dec. 12, after it was learned she had accepted $30,000 in campaign contributions from asbestos lawyers who received favorable treatment in the preliminary order.

Lawyers at the Simmons firm in Alton and lawyers at the Edwardsville firms of Goldenberg Heller and Gori and Julian made the contributions. The firms also received 82 percent of the trial settings for 2013.

Crowder said on Dec. 21 that she had done nothing that violated the code of judicial conduct and that her campaign committee did nothing that violated it or the law. She also directed her treasurer to return donations to avoid issues when she became aware of the situation.

Crowder returned the donations on Dec. 16, according to a report filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

She was elected circuit judge in 2006 and is up for retention in November's general election.

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