Get out...

by The Madison County Record |
Apr. 17, 2005, 6:32am

In a sunshine state


In between graphs...

…while the getting is good

While Washington types debate what to do with the flame-retarding substance that made him rich and famous, asbestos ace Randy Bono is living permanently in Florida where he’s starting a new business, a source tells Dicta.

That business won’t involve his practicing law, the source says.

Bono and his former partner John Simmons, angling for a political career, are hardly working these days. Both made millions on asbestos suits but now that the boom has waned they’re on to greener pastures. It’s safe to say both sold their asbestos tort careers at their peak.

Meanwhile, the SimmonsCooper name partner who is working, Jeffrey Cooper, hunts for new lawsuit angles.

The firm’s major tort filings have “slowed down” this 2005, according Madison County Circuit Court observers. SimmonsCooper has only filed “25 or so” this year versus “several times that” in years past.

Welcome mat

Seven months after our first edition rolled off the presses, last week The Record received its first visit from a Madison County Circuit Court judge in our Edwardsville offices.

The visit was a cordial surprise and the judge will remain anonymous. Suffice to say that it wasn’t the guy who banned our paper from the courthouse. And he didn’t complain about second-hand smoke, though we encourage smoking of cigarettes and cigars in our Main Street headquarters.

Conversation was general and casual—not legal. He made it clear that despite some petty complaints, the Madison County powers-that-be are glad we are here.

Proud to serve.

Independent judiciary

Here’s noticing that former Illinois Supreme Court Justice Philip J. Rarick is enjoying his partisan retirement.

Rarick took off the gown just three months ago. Since, he’s been mixing it up in the political arena, co-chairing the re-election campaign of Troy mayor Tom Caraker, Sr. and now spearheading a race for judge in the 5th District Appellate Court.

Rarick announced last week that he’s backing former trial attorney Bruce Stewart of Harrisburg to fill the seat once held by Gordon Maag.

Stewart is a Saline County judge originally from West Frankfort. The election is in November 2006. Republicans have yet to announce a candidate.

Maag had hoped to replace Rarick on the Illinois Supreme Court, but he failed to even earn enough votes to remain on the appellate court.

William Rekowski of Collinsville, a former mayoral candidate, will serve as Stewart’s press secretary. His brother John, is public defender for Madison County who moonlights as the attorney for Hope Abortion Clinic in Granite City, one of the largest in the Midwest.


Illinois taxpayers will not be picking up the tab for a failed trial lawyer insurer, according to the state’s Department of Insurance.

ATLA Mutual— founded by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America—was ordered into liquidation by a Cook County judge last October. The firm, which had provided professional liability insurance to trial attorneys, showed liabilities of $500,000 versus cash on hand of negative $6,291.

Several readers have inquired about ATLA Mutual’s failure to Dicta, wondering whether ATLA would tap the state’s guaranty fund to cover its outstanding claims. The company was a “risk retention” group and thus cannot.

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