The American Tort Reform Association is out with its annual ranking of the jurisdictions where it thinks civil defendants are farthest from being assured a fair trial, and they are:
- West Virginia
- South Florida
- Cook County, Ill.
- Atlantic County, NJ
- Montgomery and Macon Counties, Ala.
- Los Angeles County, CA
- Clark County (Las Vegas), Nev.
The list reflects the views of big-company managers and lawyers as to tort lawsuits; a poll of, say, doctors might result in different nominations (Brooklyn, Bronx, Long Island, Philadelphia) and one of class-action or patent-infringement defendants would likely produce yet other lists.
ATRA has a supplementary "Watch List", nicknamed by some of us "Heckholes", of toasty but not quite infernal jurisdictions, on which it places the Rio Grande Valley and Gulf Coast of Texas, Madison County, Ill., Baltimore, Md., and St. Louis city and county and Jackson county, Mo. It also offers side essays on notable scandals among high-rolling lawyers, trial lawyer-AG alliances, and pro-plaintiff's-bar lobbying efforts.