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Madison County improving

An article in yesterday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch describes how Ann Callis (daughter of plaintiffs' lawyer bigwig Lance Callis) has been cleaning up Madison County's courts as chief judge:

In 2003, and again in 2004, the business-backed American Tort Reform Association produced its ranking of "judicial hellholes" and put Madison County squarely at the top. The county had a rap as a venue where trial lawyers--mostly in personal injury, asbestos, class action and medical malpractice law--got a huge home field advantage.

But today, the civil court's caseload is far lighter. In 2003 more than 2,100 major civil actions were filed. Last year, the count was roughly 1,150....

There's plenty of debate as to just why things have apparently changed--culture, politics, new laws and more. But one possible reason stands out: Callis, the new, young face of the Madison County courts.

We described the positive trends in Madison County and a hopeful optimism about Callis in our Trial Lawyers, Inc.: Illinois report last fall. For more on how Madison County earned its reputation, see MI's reports here, here, and here.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.