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News
March 7, 2005

U.S. Chamber: Illinois Drops Again in State Legal Rankings

CHICAGO, Ill. – The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) today released its Harris Interactive 2005 State Liability Systems Ranking Study, which shows Illinois ranked 46 in legal fairness, having dropped twelve places in the last three years. ILR also announced the launch of a national advertising campaign to highlight the results of the study and promote federal and state-based legal reform.

“Illinois’ legal system is badly flawed, is getting worse and needs to be fixed,” said Thomas J. Donohue, Chamber President and CEO. “Governor Blagojevich and the Illinois legislature should follow the example set by states like Mississippi and Texas that have passed comprehensive legal reforms to improve the business climate in their states.”

Survey respondents ranked three Illinois counties – Cook, Madison and St. Clair – among the fifteen worst local jurisdictions in the country for legal fairness. In addition, an overwhelming 81 percent of respondents in the poll report that the litigation environment in a state could affect important business decisions, such as where to locate or do business. That statistic does not bode well for Illinois, a state that has seen the flight of an estimated 78,700 manufacturing jobs since November 2001.

“Employers are drawn to states with a fair and balanced legal system,” continued Donohue. “A first step in attracting business investment would be for the Governor and the legislature to pass legislation that would reform the state’s outdated venue rules.”

The ILR/Harris Interactive survey of more than 1,400 senior corporate attorneys, now in its fourth year, is the preeminent standard by which companies, policymakers and the media judge the legal fairness of states.

The mission of the Institute for Legal Reform is to make America’s legal system simpler, fairer and faster for everyone. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.

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