A New Year's resolution that actually panned out

By The West Virginia Record | Dec 22, 2015


It's that time of year again: the time for making New Year's resolutions.

Ah, what's the point, right?

If you resolve to go on a diet, you can bet some thin and sadistic coworker will bring in eight dozen eclairs on your first day back at work.

If you succeed in resisting temptation and consume nothing but stalks of celery and green tea until President's Day, you can be sure you'll get on the scale at the end of your six-week ordeal and find that you've gained 20 pounds from starving yourself.

Sometimes, though, New Year's resolutions really do pay off.

Last year, for instance, we and other concerned West Virginians resolved that we'd do everything possible to address our state's status as a “judicial hellhole” – and dang! if it didn't work.

We'd been in the cellar for so long, ranked as a hellhole in the American Tort Reform Association’s annual report consistently since 2003, but there were harbingers of hellhole deliverance.

As 2014 came to a close, an ATRA spokesman saw “reason for optimism” in our “collective Election-Day decision to wrest control of the legislature from the personal injury bar.”

That positive thought proved prophetic.

ATRA's 2015 report is now out and we're a hellhole no more!

Oh sure, we're still on the “Watch List,” but our hellhole status is a thing of the past, and we'll keep it that way if we keep on this course of reform.

According to ATRA, our new, improved status results from “the Legislature’s enactment of several significant civil justice reforms in 2015, following the voters’ Election Day 2014 choice to demote the Legislature’s trial lawyer-led majority to the minority. Voters’ earlier choice to replace former Attorney General Darrell McGraw Jr. with reform-minded Patrick Morrisey,” the group affirmed, “also helped move the dial.”

Since last year's resolution worked out so well, maybe we should make another one for 2016: to get West Virginia off the Watch List, too.

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