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Illinois judicial recriminations

Following up on our Sept. 10 report: this week Wayne Ewing, a documentary filmmaker from Aspen, Colo., is releasing a documentary about last year's Maag-Karmeier Illinois Supreme Court race and about the wider controversy over the courts of Madison County, Ill. Ewing "said Monday that his film sided with trial lawyers in the tort reform debate", according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Ewing has also made films about the campaigns of West Virginia's Warren and Darrell McGraw (see Nov. 2, Nov. 3, etc.). (news release)(documentary).

The Illinois Civil Justice League is on the case, however, with a new report (PDF) (press release) showing that Ewing's film relies on various groups with longstanding ties to the plaintiff's bar. One quote:

According to the [1993 Chicago] Tribune article, 1985-86 Illinois Trial Lawyers Association President David Decker bragged about his group�s efforts at promoting anti-tort-reform causes, stating: "We aided in the formation of support groups like the Illinois Public Action Council and the creation of the Coalition for Consumer Rights."

IPAC, more recently known as Citizen Action/Illinois, is the state affiliate of US Action. The ICJL report traces some of the numerous links between these groups, a group called the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform which presented itself as a neutral watchdog group during the judicial election, and out-of-state groups such as the Center for Justice and Democracy.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.