David Loveday, a former spokesman for Republican gubernatorial candidate Judy Baar Topinka, is taking the reins at Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch (I-LAW).
Loveday made a swoop through the Metro-East Thursday announcing plans to spread the watchdog group's message statewide.
He explained that I-LAW is a bi-partisan, grassroots organization dedicated to educating the citizenry of the economic and societal costs of abusive litigation.
Loveday will maintain an office in the Chicago area. He resides in Addison.
He said one of his goals is to build I-LAW membership, which currently consists of approximately 8,000 members.
Two years ago, I-LAW was particularly active in the months leading up to the November general election.
The group launched a billboard campaign aimed at increasing public awareness about judicial campaigns in southern Illinois.
One billboard stated: "Do your Supreme Court candidates take personal injury lawyer contributions? Ask them. Call Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch at 866-866-ILAW or visit www.I-LAW.org."
I-LAW also aired radio ads.
In October 2004, a personal injury lawyer working with the Operating Engineers Local 318 of Marion, filed a lawsuit in Williamson County claiming I-LAW's radio ads were in opposition of a "certain" Supreme Court candidate.
Williamson County Circuit Judge William Palmer issued a temporary restraining order calling for I-LAW to pull a radio ad that asked listeners which Illinois Supreme Court Justice candidate received donations from personal injury lawyers.
Former I-LAW director Steven Schoeffel at the time said he would abide by a court order, but that the radio budget had already been spent.
The radio ad was aired in various southern Illinois markets. Text of the ad includes:
"We've all seen the headlines about how the flood of frivolous lawsuits in the Metro East is closing doctors' offices and driving many of our finest physicians away. Greedy personal injury lawyers have turned the Metro East into a haven for bad lawsuits...
"Now we all have a chance to cure the lawsuit epidemic. Personal injury lawyers have given out $2 million to Illinois Supreme Court candidates because they want their friends on the court…"