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Illinois State Bar condemns attack on Justice Kilbride

CBS Chicago News reports that Illinois lawyers forming the Illinois State Bar Association has condemned an advertising campaign that a pro-business “tort reform” group is running against Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride. The group is called JUSTPAC and has began to run radio ads in markets throughout Illinois in areas such as the Quad Cities, Will County, and Kankakee. The advertisements feature actors posing as hardened criminals describing their crimes and thanking Justice Kilbride for ruling in their favor. Illinois lawyers, through the Illinois State Bar Association, has called the campaign inappropriate, stating that it distorts Justice Kilbride’s record. In some of the cases that the ads target, Justice Kilbride ruled that law enforcement authorities violated suspects’ rights, but in one case at least, the Justice actually voted to uphold the conviction.

In a connection that does not surprise the Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti, JUSTPAC is affiliated with the Illinois Civil Justice League, a misleading-named group that opposes a ruling by Justice Kilbride and the court against a state law limiting the amount of money juries can award victims of medical malpractice. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the Illinois state constitution empowers juries – and not legislators – to make the decisions of how many damages victims are entitled.

Also not surprising is how much money JUSTPAC has spent on these advertisements. Big businesses have a lot of money at stake here. JUSTPAC has spent about $600,000 on radio ads against Kilbride, financed in significant part by groups such as National “Tort Reform” Association. Justice Kilbride has been endorsed by the Illinois State Fraternal Order of Police and the Illinois and National Rifle Associations.

Follow the link to CBS Local to read more about the ad attacks against Justice Kilbride.