The Jurisdiction Battle Between ATRA and AAJ Continues With The Latest “Judicial Hellhole” List

The American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) released its latest “Judicial Hellhole” list this week.  This year’s winners  are:

1. South Florida
2. West Virginia
3. Cook County, Illinois
4. Atlantic County, New Jersey
5. New Mexico Appellate Courts
6. New York City

Mississippi didn’t make the list this year.  Mississippi was placed on a separate “watch” list.  According to the ATRA, a defendant can’t get a fair trial in these jurisdictions because of systematic failures in the judiciary and/or pre-existing bias in the local jury pool.  The American Association for Justice (AAJ) quickly responded to the list by attacking the credibility of ATRA and referring to the list as a “debunked and recycled” report funded by insurance companies, tobacco companies and drug companies. 

The ATRA report and the AAJ response are interesting.  After reviewing these documents, I concluded that these groups are unlikely to  find common ground.  I’ve tried cases in some of the “dangerous”  jurisdictions.  Regardless of the views of ATRA or AAJ, those of us who consider ourselves true litigators will continue to fearlessly represent our clients regardless of the location.   Good luck at trial.

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One response to “The Jurisdiction Battle Between ATRA and AAJ Continues With The Latest “Judicial Hellhole” List

  1. “If you have the law on your side, argue the law.If you have the facts on your side,argue the facts. If you have neither,holler!” per Al Gore. I wonder where ATRA falls in this! As a trial lawyer,i find nothing strange/wrong/inimical with being “hammered”, because if i am on firm ground,i give back as much as i get! Or is it not possible/permissible,out there, to debate an otherwise hostile court back to reason,of course within the confines of ethical practice!And if you fail,i presume there is always the next level!

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