This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Philadelphia's Removal From "Judicial Hellhole" List: Who Cares What Front Group For Big Tobacco & Insurance Companies Thinks?





ATRA's latest again proves lack of process, lack of standards, and lack of facts.

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released by the Pennsylvania Association for Justice:

In its annual "Judicial Hellhole" release, the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) removed Philadelphia from the list in response to recent administrative changes enacted by the courts.  The removal raises an essential question: If changes to the courts are good news to a group funded by big tobacco, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical firms -- as ATRA has been -- is that good news for anyone else?

"Every year we hear from ATRA that there needs to be more done to protect their funders' interests, including substantial tort reform," said Scott Cooper, President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice.  "But if tort reform was a panacea, why is it that four of this year's five 'hellholes' have already enacted tort reform but are still on the list?  It's because ATRA and its funders care more about protecting the guilty than justice for the injured."

In its 2012-13 list, ATRA replaced the City of Philadelphia with the State of California as its number one "hellhole."  While it's unclear how an entire state can replace a single judicial district, it does bring into focus one trademark of the report: the lack of any objective standards.  As the New York Times reported in an analysis of a previous "Hellhole" report, "The question is whether the report's arguments make sense, are supported by evidence and are applied evenhandedly. Here the report often falls short. It is, for starters, a collection of anecdotes based largely on newspaper accounts. It has no apparent methodology."  An independent analysis of the report by a Cornell law professor concluded the evidence cited by ATRA is "substantively inaccurate and methodologically flawed."  When pressed for support for their claims, ATRA itself admitted there wasn't any to speak of: "We have never claimed to be an empirical study," said Darren McKinney, a spokesman for the association. [ New York Times , 12/24/07, Cornell University, School of Law, September 2009, "U.S. Chamber of Commerce Liability Survey: Inaccurate, Unfair, and Bad for Business"]

Independent observers who DO care about facts, however, have routinely and repeatedly called Philadelphia's court system one of the country's best: "The Philadelphia court's handling of civil jury cases is now better than that of any large urban trial court in the United States." [The National Center for State Courts (NCSC)]

"These are reasons why any change supported by ATRA, which refuses to release its current list of donors, should be opposed by those who care about fairness and a level playing field for those who have been injured by another's negligence or malpractice," said Cooper.  "ATRA doesn't care about facts, and we shouldn't care about their opinions.  This report is proof that garbage in gets garbage out."

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs