Just in time for the holidays, the American Tort Reform Association has released its sixth annual “Judicial Hellholes” report. Judicial Hellholes which is trademarked so don’t start your own list are “places where judges systematically apply laws and court procedures in an inequitable manner, generally against defendants in civil lawsuits,” the ATRA reports.
There was good news and bad news this year. Madison County, Ill., a leading Hellhole during the past five years, rose from the sulfurous depths and is now just on ATRA’s “Watch List” because of reforms made by local judges. But courts in Clark County, Nev., and Atlantic County, N.J., descended into the fiery furnace for the first time. Other winners were perennial favorites, including courts in South Florida, the Gulf Coast of Texas, Cook County, Ill., and the entire state of West Virginia.
The infamous pants suit by former D.C. Administrative Law Judge Roy Pearson Jr. also scored a dishonorable mention from the ATRA. Pearson lost both his lawsuit and his job this year after suing a local dry cleaner for $54 million over a misplaced pair of pants. But Pearson is still seeking justice, or his version of it, in an appeal.