The third Judicial Circuit’s Medical-Legal Committee in Madison County, Illinois met with members of the legal and medical community, including doctors from the Illinois State Medical Society, and both plaintiff and defense lawyers who specialize in medical malpractice law. The preface to the rules states, “In order to alleviate the burden to the parties of protracted litigation in medical malpractice actions, to further the administration of justice, and to prevent unnecessary delay, the court hereby implements the… local rules.”
The first rule mandates mediation in medical malpractice cases. Mediation must occur within 90 days of the depositions of all Plaintiffs and Defendants, or their legal representatives. The court will also set a deadline for depositions at the Initial Case Management Conference, which will also address Certificates of Merit and early settlement possibilities. A circuit judge of Madison County, Illinois who is not assigned to the case and is a certified mediator will mediate the case. The second rule says that all medical malpractice cases will be reviewed by a panel of circuit judges, who will meet monthly, to enhance the advancement of the deposition of cases, and to refer all applicable cases to mediation. The third rule allows plaintiffs 45 days to file an amended Certificate of Merit to comply with new regulations.