Spelling out the rules for the smooth operators

The Madison County Record Jan. 26, 2013, 8:59am

For some people, you just have to spell things out. It’s not as if they don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong, because they obviously do. It’s just that, if a rule isn’t written in stone, they pretend as though it doesn’t exist. Even if it is written in stone, they’ll try to find some loophole in it or pretend that it doesn’t apply to them.

A lot of these people are plaintiffs attorneys. Some even are judges.
Just last week, we commented on St. Clair Circuit Judge Andrew Gleeson’s refusal to recognize that some lawsuits don’t belong in St. Clair County – you know, the ones involving plaintiffs, defendants, and alleged torts that have no discernible connection to St. Clair.
No, it’s not written down anywhere. It’s a matter of common sense. St. Clair courts are for cases that have some relevance to St. Clair.

You wouldn’t think you’d have to explain this, which is probably why nobody ever bothered to write it down.

Fortunately, we do have some appellate court justices who appreciate the obvious and see fit to affirm it. The Fifth District Appellate Court recently overruled Judge Gleeson and reversed three of his overly indulgent rulings on forum non conveniens. Plaintiffs who did not belong in his court were told to take a hike by the higher court.

It was good that the Appellate Court justices did this, but unfortunate that they had to.

Judge Gleeson should have recognized that those plaintiffs were in the wrong court and sent them packing. The attorneys representing them should not have filed in St. Clair in the first place.

Unfortunately, you do have to spell things out for some people.
That’s what Rep. Jil Tracy of Quincy is trying to do. She’s introduced House Bill 138 to provide for the dismissal of lawsuits with out-of-state defendants and causes of action.

We hope it passes and the smooth operators find that their road to the courthouse is getting bumpy.

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