Madison - St. Clair Record

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Judges Gleeson and Lopinot get dressed down for being slackers

Our View

By The Madison County Record | Apr 27, 2018

Wouldn't it be great if students could hand in test papers or book reports and their teachers would mark a big A+ on each one without bothering to read them?

Then students wouldn't have to worry about studying for their tests and trying to get all the answers right. They wouldn't have to worry about reading the books assigned, either, much less need to convince their teachers that they understood what they'd read.

Plus, without having to study or grade papers, the students and their teachers would have lots more time to do other things, like skipping school and marching in protest about issues they don't understand because they haven't learned anything.

Of course, they'd both be derelict in their basic duties as students and teachers, and subject to rebuke by parents and principals if the latter found out. And the students would discover later in life that such behavior isn't tolerated in business or the courtroom.

Ask Andrew Gleeson and Vincent Lopinot. They know what happens when you don't do the reading you were assigned, and they're not students. They're St. Clair County Circuit Court judges.

Gleeson and Lopinot approved settlement of 11,256 pollution claims against Monsanto without reading the agreement reached by the company with plaintiffs attorneys. Last week, a panel of Fifth District appellate judges vacated that decision – and added appropriate insult to deserved injury with a 45-page explanation for their action.

“The settling parties did not offer even an estimated amount of the final settlement or any basis for the settlement proposed,” Justice Judy Cates said. “The total lack of information casts a shadow on the legal validity of the settlement itself.”

Cates said there was “no indication that that the trial court reviewed the settlement agreement, or had any information justifying the allocation of the settlement fund among the plaintiffs.”

Ouch! Here's hoping that Gleeson and Lopinot have learned their lesson.

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