WASHINGTON, DC—A new national survey ranks Delaware’s litigation environment number one in the country for fairness. The survey, Lawsuit Climate 2010: Ranking the States, released today by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) shows that Delaware has led the other 49 states since the survey was first conducted in 2002.
“We applaud Delaware for maintaining its well-deserved reputation for having a reasonable legal climate,” said Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. “However, it must remain vigilant to sustain an environment that attracts businesses and jobs to the state.”
Rickard noted that two-thirds, or 67%, of the 1,482 corporate lawyers contacted for the survey say a state’s lawsuit environment is likely to impact important business decisions at their company, such as where to locate or expand their business—up 10% from just three years ago.
The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive by telephone and online from October 2009 to January 2010 for the Institute for Legal Reform. Respondents—general counsels and senior attorneys or executives in companies with annual revenues of at least $100 million—rank Delaware as number one in eight of the ten categories in the report; only in juries’ fairness (5th) and damages (2nd) does the state not hold the top spot. Other top states include North Dakota (2nd), Nebraska (3rd), Indiana (4th), and Iowa (5th). The worst five states for legal fairness are: California (46th), Alabama (47th), Mississippi (48th), Louisiana (49th), and West Virginia (50th).
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 that had a material impact on their companies.
ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels.
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 associations.