[Blair] Hahn told his clients he knew exactly where to find the class-action judgment they needed: in Madison County, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.
In testimony later, [former Secret Service agent James] McGunn said Hahn assured them he could “manipulate” the court, and that “his wishes would be granted.”
“The reason that they selected Madison County was because the judge there looked very kindly on Ness Motley and would be very favorably impressed with whatever they said,” McGunn recalled Hahn telling him. “They would have no problem in Madison County.”
On February 18, Madison County Judge Phillip Kardis (Oct. 7) held a twenty-minute hearing and preliminarily approved a class action settlement that provided millions for the lawyers and little for the class. (Greg Burns, “The lawsuit capital”, Chicago Tribune, Mar. 8).