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  • December 29, 2015

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  • Attempted Infringement of Trial Rights Ruled Unconstitutional

    gavelTrial lawyer-backed legislation reducing the size of Illinois juries from 12 people to six lost the first round of a legal challenge in a Cook County Circuit Court last week. 

    A Cook County judge ruled that the Illinois legislature had no authority last year to cut the size of civil-case juries from 12 members to six, adding that such a change required a constitutional amendment.  

    Six-person civil juries were authorized under a 2014 bill signed into law during the final days of Governor Quinn's administration. Trial lawyers reportedly pressed for the change to limit the variety of perspectives common to a conventional 12-person civil jury. Smaller juries have been shown to deliver larger awards.  

    ISMIE Mutual has questioned the constitutionality of the law and supported legal remedies challenging jury-size reduction in all civil cases. This is the kind of legal advocacy ISMIE policyholders can count on.

    Please watch E-News for future developments.



  • Madison County Keeps its Ranking on the 'Judicial Hellholes' List

    Madison County, Illinois, retained its No. 5 spot on the just-released 2015-16 Judicial Hellholes report from the American Tort Reform Foundation (ATRF). 

    Miraculously, the Windy City's courtrooms managed to escape the notorious top-nine ranking. In past years, Cook County was a repeat offender on the Hellholes list.

    Madison County has long been known as a plaintiff-friendly destination for trial lawyers. Local plaintiffs' law firms "have significant sway with the county's judiciary, getting their colleagues appointed to the bench," says the latest report.

    However, the report also suggests stiff competition nearby as St. Louis became an even more popular destination in 2015 with the plaintiffs' bar. Now nicknamed by ATRF as the "Show Me Your Lawsuits State," No. 4 Missouri has bypassed federal expert testimony standards in favor of a "flexible" standard "based largely on a purported expert's paper credentials, not on his or her methods."

    We'll be watching these busy jurisdictions in 2016 and keeping you informed with the latest developments in Illinois courts.



  • Tick, Tock... Just a Little Time Left to Qualify for Your 2015 Risk Rewards Discounts

    clockHave you finished your annual Risk Rewards coursework? Not sure? ISMIE is here to help.

    December 31 is the last day to complete coursework for a year-end discount on your premium. Here are the steps to follow:

    First, go to www.ismie.com/discount to confirm courses you've completed and determine which ones are left to finish. For questions, our live support line is open between 8:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. After-hours requests are always answered promptly the next business day, but check our holiday hours below.



  • ISMIE Support 'Cheat Sheet'

    NOTE: Our office will be open only until 12:30 p.m. on December 31, and closed January 1.

    Call 888-476-7776 or email onlinehelp@ismie.com. Password and login administration is available online 24/7.

    Questions about your Risk Rewards:

    Call ISMIE's Risk Management Division during business hours at 800-782-4767, ext. 3300, or email riskmanagement@ismie.com.



  • Check Your ISMIE Bookmarks!

    Recently, ISMIE Mutual upgraded the infrastructure and functionality of our website. If you have www.ismie.com saved in your web browser, we suggest you check and update that bookmark to avoid error messages when you most need us. Click here to bookmark a current link. If you have any problems updating your links, please call 888-476-7776 or email onlinehelp@ismie.com.



  • They're at it Again ...

    We love a smiling crested black macaque as much as the next, uh, medical liability insurer. 

    But we'll be a monkey's uncle if we can understand why People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is pouring resources into a legal fight on behalf of Naruto, the "Selfie Monkey" we've seen all over the Internet this past year.  

    The shutterbug simian's case holds the No. 1 spot on the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform's list of the "Top Ten Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2015."  

    If its federal lawsuit succeeds, PETA says it will be "the first time that a nonhuman animal is declared the owner of property (the copyright of the "monkey selfie"), rather than being declared a piece of property himself or herself." The monkey reportedly took his own photograph with the camera of a wildlife photographer who left it on the ground while traveling through Naruto's wildlife reserve on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. 




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