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December 14th, 2010

‘Judicial Hellholes’ Program Goes Online

While moving its Judicial Hellholes® program to an online format that will feature year-round reporting on significant civil justice developments, the American Tort Reform Association has issued its latest Judicial Hellholes report, naming civil courts in Philadelphia; California’s Los Angeles and Humboldt counties; West Virginia; South Florida; Cook County, Illinois; and Clark County, Nevada as some of the worst in the nation.

“Traditionally, Judicial Hellholes have been considered places where civil judges systematically apply laws and court procedures in an unfair and unbalanced manner, generally against defendants in civil lawsuits,” explains ATRA general counsel Victor Schwartz.  “The jurisdictions we name as Judicial Hellholes each year are not the only unfair courts in the nation, but they are among the most unfair, based on our survey of litigants and considerable independent research.”

“Now, as both technology and the liability-expanding strategies of the always formidable litigation industry evolve,” Schwartz says, “we believe our Judicial Hellholes program must evolve, too.  So, as we begin providing year-round updates and analyses of civil justice developments online, our reporting will remain largely focused on the judicial branch, but we’ll occasionally include legislative and executive branch actions that affect the civil justice system, too.”

ATRA president Tiger Joyce stipulates that, “We still intend to write summarizing, year-end reports that rank the Judicial Hellholes, note lesser offending jurisdictions, and applaud civil justice reforms and other positive news.  But we’ve simply decided that the Judicial Hellholes program will be a much more valuable tool for the media, policymakers and the public if its content is regularly freshened and made available online throughout the year.  Those interested will be able to find out about new content postings on our Hellholes website by following us Twitter.”

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