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October 28, 2009

Legal Reform Summit Calls for Jobs, Not Lawsuits

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Calling the next few years a transformational time that could define the future of our civil justice system, speakers at the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s (ILR) 10th Annual Legal Reform Summit urged U.S. decision makers to consider the costs of expanding liability for job creators during the economic recovery.

“When making any decision that impacts our civil justice system, our leaders should ask themselves one fundamental question: ‘Will this help put people back to work, or will this seed the ground for more job-killing litigation?’” said ILR President Lisa Rickard. “As elected officials, they are entrusted with pursuing policies that help revitalize the economy and bring back the jobs that have been shed across the country. The American people expect them to live up to this obligation.”

Citing the 63% of voters who support meaningful medical liability reform as part of the health care debate, the ILR Summit featured a panel exploring the relationship between lawsuits and rising health care costs. The panel was moderated by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who, during the luncheon keynote address, also spoke about the legal reforms enacted during his administration and their positive impacts on the state economy and health care system. 

The Summit included a legislative keynote address by U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, who provided insight into the activities of the Senate Judiciary Committee and his priorities as the committee’s Ranking Member.

Throughout the day, ILR unveiled a number of new research pieces to help influence the legal reform debate including:

The Chamber honored those working to improve America’s litigation environment with the ILR Legal Reform Awards. The 2009 recipients included Sen. Sessions for legislative achievement, former Supreme Court of Arizona Chief Justice Ruth V. McGregor for judicial achievement, the State Chamber of Oklahoma for state leadership, and the Searle Civil Justice Institute at Northwestern University School of Law for outstanding research.

The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

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