The American Tort Reform Association has released its latest edition of the Judicial Hellholes report. Of particular interest, ATRA ultimately chose to move formerly #1-ranked Philadelphia (home base of your humble blogger) off the list of Judicial Hellholes and into the top slot on the marginally less critical "Watch List." ATRA wanted to acknowledge various efforts taken by the local court recently to step back from prior administrative steps that seemed designed to attract out of state mass tort plaintiffs.
ATRA now ranks California -- the entire state – as the new #1 Judicial Hellhole (it was #2 last year). "Lingering troubles with an unbalanced playing field" earn West Virginia the second-place ranking; Madison County, Illinois earned the #3 ranking with filings of new asbestos lawsuits in the small, rural jurisdiction poised to set another record. And New York City’s mounting tort liability, and Baltimore because of its asbestos litigation, led to fourth- and fifth-place rankings for those jurisdictions.
This latest report also debuts a new feature scrutinizing some of the worst (and best) federal appellate decisions of the year, and they also added a special focus on the explosion of consumer protection litigation, particularly that which targets “Big Food.”