In 1992, after many concessions from both trial lawyers and business interests, the Alabama Legislature passed the Workers' Compensation Reform Act of 1992. The goal was to reduce business costs, minimize future rate increases and deliver higher benefits to workers. Despite the passage of these broad sweeping changes, the Alabama Appellate Courts of the 90's interpreted the statutes liberally which effectually neutered them. Business groups in Alabama got tired of having their hard work in the legislature overturned by activist courts. As such, they set their sights on the State Appellate Court elections. The Alabama Supreme Court and the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals are now comprised of a conservative majority and the law is finally being applied as the legislature originally intended. The price tag? Two years ago, candidates in the race for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court raised $7.3 million in direct contributions, making it the most expensive court race in America in 2006 and the second most expensive judicial campaign in U.S. history. It was also the most expensive court race ever in Alabama. Fast forward 2 years and we are in the thick of the 2008 fund raising and campaigning efforts of Republican Greg Shaw and Democrat Deborah Bell Paseur. Contributions have already passed the $1.1 million mark. That amount will likely increase a great deal by the time the November 4th election day arrives.