To the editor:
Citizens For Justice, Inc. a legal reform group
based in Lincoln, Ill., will be celebrating its 20th anniversary on
March 3, 2008.
Citizens For Justice, Inc. is a legal reform group
that is committed to constructive change in the legal system. We
lobby both our state and federal legislators annually regarding
issues such as tort reform and work to reduce unneeded regulations
This past year our focus was on our federal
legislators to introduce legislation that would limit lawsuits on
businesses with 50 or fewer employees. We believe this is very
important because it is businesses and industry of this size that
now create 90 percent of the new jobs in America. We are also asking
that a cap be placed on punitive damages at three times the
compensatory damage award. We also believe that punitive awards
should go to each individual states general fund and not to the
plaintiffs and the plaintiffs' attorney, because punitive damages
are meant to punish and deter, very similar in purpose to federal
criminal fines. The federal plaintiffs don't presently receive any
of the criminal fine money, which is received for the same reason as
punitive damage; it too is meant to punish and deter. We believe
this law will also help businesses and industry of all sizes.
Why should attorneys be allowed a substantial share
of the punitive damages as fees anyway, since no one has appointed
attorneys as representatives of the republic to mete out punishment
to this country's businesses and citizens?
Citizens For Justice was born out of frustration.
This frustration was the direct result of seven ongoing years of
litigation involving a divorce, child custody case, in what we
believed was an unjust legal system gone wild. After we had
experienced these alleged courtroom atrocities, we decided to
organize a group of dedicated citizens who had experienced similar
injustices and begin donating time and energy to improving the legal
[to top of second column in this letter]
After research at the local public library, we
learned about the "ARDC," "Attorney Registration and Disciplinary
Commission," an agency that disciplines attorneys. We also
discovered the "JIB," "Judicial Inquiry Board," an agency that
disciplines judges. By encouraging utilization of the ARDC and the
JIB, we believe changes for the improvement of the local legal
system will occur more rapidly.
Changes for the improvement of the legal system is
what Citizens For Justice, Inc. is all about. We have discovered and
are continuing to discover avenues for constructive change.
During this same time period, 1988, I made a
personal commitment to be a voice, or a spokesperson and/or
watchdog, during the rest of my life, for those in our community who
are poor, uneducated, those who may have even given up on life, or
maybe are part of the silent majority, regarding issues of
importance that will affect them, like sales tax increases, fee
increases, property tax increases, utility rate increases, etc., or
if they may need help to navigate their way through our local court
If you too have been wronged by a judge or an
attorney, inside or outside of the courthouse, action can be taken.
Contact Citizens For Justice, Inc., 217-732-3438 in Lincoln, Ill.
History will judge all of us on how we treat those
on the bottom rung of the ladder of success. I want it said that I,
Les Van Bibber, was part of the solution and not part of the
problem. We believe your support, along with our efforts, will make
this great city, county and country a better place to live and
prosper for everyone.
Citizens For Justice, Inc.
Lester C. Van Bibber III
March 03, 2008]
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