House Republicans Toughen Push For Tort Reform

Trail-lawyer-friendly State laws and court procedures, which go far beyond the rights granted to trial lawyers in neighboring and comparable states, are blamed for a substantial share of the continued economic gap between Illinois and the rest of the U.S. House Republicans are working with civil justice reform groups to enact needed reforms to these laws.

Ragged and inconsistent legal dicta, derived from individual outliers of case law, have helped to create lawsuit-friendly Illinois courtrooms where trial lawyers eagerly congregate to go venue-shopping. Cook County contains less than half of the people of Illinois, but accounts for 64.1% of all court cases filed in Illinois. In southern Illinois, Madison County and St. Clair County, twin counties located across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, have become even more of a haven for venue-shopping. Civil actions are filed in Madison County at double the rate of Cook County, 6.5 times the rate of filings in Illinois outside these three counties, and many times the rate of filings of other U.S. states that do not encourage plaintiff law. Advocates have long called Madison County a “judicial hellhole.”