Is Your State One of the Top Five Worst for Lawsuit Fairness?

Do you know how your firm ranks in terms of lawsuit fairness? The U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) released its survey
ranking the states with the best and worst legal climates in the country.
According to the survey, the states with the worst legal climates are California
(46th), Alabama (47th), Mississippi (48th), Louisiana (49th), and West Virginia
(50th). The states with the best legal climates are Delaware (1st), North Dakota
(2nd), Nebraska (3rd), Indiana (4th), and Iowa (5th).
The survey also
shows that a state’s legal climate affects how and where a company does business
and creates jobs. Two-thirds, or 67%, of the 1,482 corporate lawyers and
executives contacted say a state’s lawsuit environment is likely to impact
important business decisions at their company, such as where to locate or expand
their businesses. That is up 10% from just three years ago.
“With one in
ten Americans out of work and record-high jobless rates in states like
California, states can no longer afford to discourage new business and new jobs
as a result of a dysfunctional legal climate,” said Lisa A. Rickard, president
of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. “States, particularly those at
the bottom of the list, desperately need more jobs, not more
Harris Interactive conducted the survey Lawsuit Climate
2010: Ranking the States
by telephone and online from October 2009 to
January 2010. The respondents—general counsels and senior attorneys or
executives in companies with annual revenues of at least $100 million—were asked
to rank states for their overall treatment of tort, contract, and class action
litigation. Among other elements, respondents also ranked states for the
impartiality and competence of its judges and the fairness of its
Can Hollywood come to the rescue?
ILR also announced a new national advertising campaign called
Jobs, Not Lawsuits,” which will
include movie trailers to be shown on more than 300 movie screens throughout the
country. The two-minute trailers feature the stories of businesses that were the
subject of costly lawsuits substantially impacting their companies. In one
story, an after-school youth basketball facility in Sacramento, California, was
forced to close after legal bills from fighting a lawsuit drained the company’s
“The silver screen is the perfect place to tell these true
stories of businesses that have been victimized by an unfair legal system,”
Rickard said. “We want people to see the real life consequences of these

ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political,
judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation
representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes,
sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry

If you live in any of these states, what do you tell your clients?


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