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March 26, 2006

U.S. Chamber: 2005 Legal Reforms Paying Off for Missouri

ST. LOUIS, MO – The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) today announced that Missouri’s legal climate has shown significant progress, moving up five spots to number 35 in the 2006 Harris State Liability Systems Ranking Study.

“Missouri is a great example of a state that has taken substantive steps to fix its legal system,” said Tom Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber. “In the last year, Missouri has passed one of the most comprehensive legal reform packages in the country, including legislation that keeps people from shopping around the state for the friendliest courts in which to sue.”

ILR released the 2006 ILR/Harris Poll results at a press event in St. Louis, where Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder joined Donohue and members of the Missouri business community in celebrating the state’s improved ranking.

“The best thing a state can do to attract business is to have a fair legal system,” said Donohue. “By passing last year’s comprehensive reforms, Governor Blunt and the state legislature significantly improved Missouri’s business climate, and scored a needed victory for the state’s employers, consumers and working families.”

The ILR/Harris Interactive survey of more than 1,400 senior attorneys, now in its fifth year, is the preeminent standard by which companies, policymakers and the media measure the legal fairness of states. In 2006, West Virginia ranked last among the fifty states and, for the fifth year in a row, Delaware is ranked number one.

ILR is launching a national advertising campaign highlighting the results of the study and the need for comprehensive legal reform. A print ad congratulating the legislature and Governor Blunt on Missouri’s improved ranking will run in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

ILR’s mission is to make America’s legal system simpler, fairer, and faster for everyone. It 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 more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

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The ILR ranking survey is available online at www.instituteforlegalreform.org

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