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October 26, 2011

Release of Study on State Legal Environments Highlights 2011 Legal Reform Summit

Today, House Speaker John Boehner, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will join dozens of leaders from business, government and the legal profession for the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s 12th Annual Legal Reform Summit. The Summit will focus on key legal, regulatory, and political issues that impact the ability of the American economy to grow and to create jobs.

“Americans are rightly frustrated about the current state of the economy,” said ILR President Lisa A. Rickard. “Unfortunately, America’s broken lawsuit system hampers the ability of American businesses to create jobs and drive much-needed economic growth.”

One of the event’s highlights will be the release of a report that estimates the economic savings each state can realize by improving its legal environment. Commissioned by ILR and conducted by NERA Economic Consulting, the new working paper, Creating Conditions for Economic Growth: The Role of the Legal Environment (available here), uses a one-of-its-kind econometric model to establish a benchmark for identifying excessive tort costs.

“At a time when states are facing tight budgets and sluggish economic growth, this new study shows that actions by states to improve their legal environments can produce real economic dividends,” said Rickard.

Two additional studies are also being released at the summit: Preventing Government Overpayments to Qui Tam Plaintiffs (available here) proposes amendments to improve the False Claims Act, while Confronting the New Breed of Transnational Litigation: Abusive Foreign Judgments (available here) discusses the legal arguments regarding enforcement of foreign judgments against businesses in U.S. courts.

ILR will also honor key individuals and organizations who are working to improve America’s litigation environment with the ILR Legal Reform Awards. Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina will receive the 2011 State Leadership Award, while theBusiness Council of Alabama will be honored with the Outstanding Organization Award. In addition, John Beisner of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom will be honored for his outstanding contributions to legal reform research and policy development with the 2011 Research and Policy Award.

The Summit will be live-blogged on the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reformblog and can be followed on Twitter at @LegalReform.

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