On March 29, 2012, Madison County Associate Judge Clarence Harrison entered an order terminating the court’s 2013 advance setting of asbestos trial weeks. “The Court finds no continuing need for the pre-assignment of trial settings.” The order is effective immediately. The standard jury trial week calendar will be used going forward, and cases will be set by motion on a case-by-case basis.
Read the order here (PDF opens in a new window). Although this ruling has been touted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a positive sign, the old adage “be careful what you ask for,” still applies. It is curious that much of the defense bar has overlooked the fact that the number of trial weeks now available in Madison County for asbestos cases has now increased from 28 to 30 by virtue of this order, and there has been nothing implemented to insure that the actual number of asbestos cases set for trial next year is decreased or even limited to those allowed under the prior order entered by Judge Crowder.