ICJL urges legislators to support lawsuit reform bills

By Ann Knef | Mar 20, 2007

The Illinois Civil Justice League (ICJL) is urging legislators to support two key lawsuit reform bills that have hearings in the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday.

They are:

  • House Bill 1892 -- a venue reform bill that would keep Illinois courts open for Illinois cases by providing clear guidelines as to where civil actions can be filed. Sponsored by State Rep. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy), it is intended to prevent "venue shopping" by personal injury trial lawyers.

    The proposal does not restrict lawsuits and does not place any "caps" on damages. It also does not restrict access to the court system.

  • House Bill 1896 -- would establish requirements for qualifications of expert witnesses and limits the testimony of non-experts. Sponsored by Renee Kosel (R-Mokena), it also sets the same standards for admissibility of expert testimony as in practice in federal courts.

    The legislation is designed to establish guidelines that assure that expert testimony is reliable and trustworthy before the testimony is presented in court.

    A recent survey conducted for the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform found that a solid majority (77%) of Illinois voters favor venue reform.

    "These bills are about restoring fairness to a lawsuit system that has become imbalanced heavily in favor of the personal injury trial lawyers," said ICJL president Ed Murnane. "They are about protecting fair access to the courts for all who come before them – plaintiffs and defendants alike."

    "We call on the House Judiciary Committee to pass these bills out of committee so that the full House can vote on them," he added.

    The Madison County Record is owned by the Institute for Legal Reform, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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