Illinois just joined 47 other states to enact prejudgment interest. Now, after a verdict, the defendant must pay 6% interest dating back to the time of the accident or occurrence. What took Illinois so long? While insurers will gripe, this is absolutely right. When I started, in the ‘70s, interest rates were around 20% and time to verdict was about 5 years. Without prejudgement interest, defendants obviously had no incentive to pay claims. By what crazy logic could a defendant cause harm and sit around for years collecting their own interest by not paying? Today, with much lower rates and time to verdict around 2 years (before Covid), lack of prejudgment interest was not such a big deal, especially in smaller cases. A floating rate might have made more sense. Still, 6% should induce defendants to consider cases seriously from the get-go, cut unnecessary discovery and look closer for settlement opportunities. This is a great time for insurers to reevaluate claim practices, especially with the Covid backlog about to hit, I have long advocated bringing in a mediator early for meaningful, ongoing case management, ready resolution of discovery issues, and a big, wide-open settlement window that continues as the case proceeds. Mediation does not have to be one random meeting. Big ships don’t turn that fast. Making mediation less abrupt and more thoughtful means smarter deals for everyone. Early mediated case management can be customized for each case, allowing whatever discovery makes sense in whatever order is needed to determine the best path to resolution. The world is changing fast. Litigation is only beginning to change, Find ways to keep up. Try something new.