OUR GOAL at The Madison County Record is to cover Madison County's legal system in a way that enables you, our readers, to make the public business your business.
It's an understatement to say that Madison County's courts have become a lightning rod for the national press. We shouldn't be surprised by the attention, as companies from all across the United States have been forced to defend their actions here, in our small town, unassuming Edwardsville courthouse.
Whether one agrees or disagrees with the happenings at 157 North Main Street, no one should believe that what happens here is the norm.
Madison County's Courts are anything but average. A welcome mat to class action filings and lottery-like awards have helped create a "judicial hellhole" reputation.
Not to suggest that normal always means good. In many cases throughout American history the norm has meant the wrong course. The country's greatest leaders have often been maligned for deviance long before receiving credit for courage and vision.
Many accomplished local plaintiffs' attorneys and erstwhile activists would argue that, in fact, they are the great leaders of their time, holding that Madison County has it right and everyone else has it wrong.
On the flipside, many who drive this country's economic engine--small businessmen, medical professionals and corporate executives argue the opposite. They hold that plaintiffs' attorneys use frivolous lawsuits to game the system and pillage private property. If every county were like this one, they say, America would be out of business.
At The Record we hope to provide an objective view of the playing field as well as an active forum for both sides of the argument so that all of us can decide for ourselves.
To that end, we need your help. If you have an opinion, please let us hear it. Don't hesitate to send us your story ideas, press releases, letters-to-the-editor, or guest columns. We will print them.
-- Founding publisher Brian Timpone, Aug. 31, 2004
The Record is owned by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.
We shall make every effort to be fair and impartial. We shall also do our best to exclude any personal or political bias we have on our news pages. If you feel that we have been unfair please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We'll publish our print edition weekly--every Wednesday--and daily to our Web site at www.madisonrecord.com.