Survey: Mississippi Lawsuit Climate Makes Big Gains

State’s Rank Jumps Five Slots; Now at an All-Time High

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Mississippi’s lawsuit climate has jumped five spots and now ranks 43rd out of 50, an all-time high, according to a new national survey released today by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR).

Mississippi has risen seven spots from its low mark of 50th in the 13 years the survey has been produced.

The rise comes at an important time for the state. The 2015 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States conducted by Harris Poll and released by ILR also shows 75 percent of senior company attorneys said that a state’s lawsuit environment is likely to impact important business decisions at their company, including where to locate or expand. That is an 18 percent increase from eight years ago, and an all-time high.

“More business leaders than ever have identified a state’s lawsuit climate as a significant factor in determining their growth and expansion plans,” said Lisa A. Rickard, president of ILR. “We commend Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn for helping Mississippi to enact meaningful legal reforms to help its future job growth.”

Mississippi’s rise this year follows comprehensive legal reforms it adopted since the early 2000s, including measures to prevent plaintiffs’ lawyers from shopping for favorable courts, safeguards against runaway damages awards, and strengthened standards to keep junk science out of the courtrooms.

In 2012, Mississippi enacted an important law to bring transparency to the hiring of outside private lawyers to represent the state. Despite that effort, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood remains the most active state attorney general nationwide in hiring outside private plaintiffs’ lawyers on a contingency fee basis.

Harris Poll, a global polling firm, conducted the 2015 Lawsuit Climate Survey through telephone and online interviews between March 9 and June 24, 2015. The respondents were more than 1,200 general counsels and senior attorneys or leaders in companies with annual revenues of at least $100 million.

See the entire 50-state list and read a full copy of the 2015 Lawsuit Climate Survey online at: https://www.instituteforlegalreform.com/.

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.