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News
March 26, 2006

U.S. Chamber: Illinois’ Legal Climate Shows Small Improvement

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) today announced that Illinois’ legal climate has shown minor improvement, moving up one spot to number 45 in the 2006 Harris State Liability Systems Ranking Study. However, a number of Illinois jurisdictions were named among the least fair and reasonable in the country.

“Illinois’ progress can be traced to some good rulings by the state supreme court, as well as changes brought about by the business community’s bright spotlight on the abuses in the legal system,” said Tom Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Despite this improvement, Illinois has a long way to go to finish the job.”

A recent actuarial study estimated the annual cost of the tort system in America to be $260 billion, or $886 per citizen. Following those estimates, the price tag of tort litigation for the entire population of Illinois is more than $11 billion.

“The best thing Illinois can do to attract business is to have a fair legal system. The governor and the state legislature should start by putting an end to court shopping by out of state lawyers looking for jackpot justice,” added Donohue. “They have failed to consider legislation this year that would rein in court shopping by fixing state venue laws, and so have failed the working families of Illinois.”

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.

To highlight the results of the study and the need for comprehensive legal reform, ILR is launching a national advertising campaign. In Illinois, ILR will run print, radio and billboard ads featuring the message “Please Don’t Feed the Trial Lawyers” in Springfield and the Metro East region.

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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