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Press Release - October 8, 2013

"Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week" Tour Stops In Metro-East To Spread Message That "Stopping Lawsuit Abuse Starts With You"

At event outside Madison and St. Clair county courthouses, I-LAW distributes legal consumer guides and encourages people to serve on juries

(Marion) - As part of a statewide public education tour to promote "Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week," Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch (I-LAW), a grassroots, non-partisan legal watchdog group, held public awareness events this morning outside the Madison County courthouse in Edwardsville and the St. Clair County courthouse in Belleville.

The theme of this year's "Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week" is "Stopping Lawsuit Abuse Starts With You," and I-LAW is encouraging individuals to serve on juries, take personal responsibility and become smart legal consumers.

I-LAW chose the Madison and St. Clair county courthouses for its "Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week" event because those two counties are consistently ranked two of the worst "judicial hellholes" in the country.

"The Metro-East is widely viewed as the "Lawsuit Abuse Capital of America' and a 'personal injury lawyer's playground,'" said Travis Akin, I-LAW executive director. "The Metro-East is plagued by an epidemic of lawsuit abuse that hinders job growth and clogs our courts."

The "Stopping Lawsuit Abuse Starts With You" campaign includes a :60 radio spot that will air on stations throughout Illinois; a billboard truck that will travel across the state; a social media campaign; and the distribution of a legal consumer guide in front of county courthouses to help consumers know their rights and make smart choices when they hire a lawyer or decide to file a lawsuit.

At the Madison and St. Clair county events, Akin distributed legal consumer guides to people going into the courthouses while a billboard truck with the message "Stopping Lawsuit Abuse Starts With You" circled the buildings.

"While our legislators should move quickly to pass common sense legal reforms that will restore fairness to Illinois courts, you can't legislate personal responsibility," explained Akin "It's up to us to be smart legal consumers, to show up for jury service and to do all that we can ensure our courts are used for justice, not greed."

Added Akin, "If each citizen would take personal responsibility for his or her own actions, it would go a long way to curbing lawsuit abuse. It starts with each one of us working to solve our problems instead of filing lawsuits and taking the time to serve on juries instead of looking for a way out when that jury summons comes in the mail."

In the :60 radio spot, I-LAW notes, "Whenever we avoid jury service or joke about filing a lawsuit over some silly thing, it sends the message that frivolous lawsuits are acceptable."

As part of its "Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week" Activities, I-LAW will be traveling more than 1,000 miles across the state to meet with local leaders and spread the word about the need to create a more favorable job creation climate by stopping lawsuit abuse in Illinois.

"Personal injury lawyers have turned the 'Land of Lincoln' into the 'Land of Lawsuits,'" Akin said. "They flock to Illinois to file their frivolous lawsuits in our state's notoriously plaintiff-friendly courts, and as a result, Illinois business owners constantly are thinking about leaving Illinois. Money spent fighting abusive lawsuits is money down the drain."

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