The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform issued its 2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey, which found that “senior attorneys and executives see the litigation environment improving generally.” The survey found a jump of 13% in 2017.
The survey by the Harris Poll to explore how fair and reasonable the states’ liability systems are perceived to be by U.S. businesses. Participants in the survey were comprised of a national sample of 1,321 in-house general counsel, senior litigators or attorneys, and other senior executives at companies with at least $100 million in annual revenue who indicated they: (1) are knowledgeable about litigation matters; and (2) have firsthand, recent litigation experience in each state they evaluate.
The 2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey noted:
The 2017 survey reveals that the overall average scores of the states are increasing, and senior attorneys and executives see the litigation environment improving generally; more than six in ten respondents (63%) view the fairness and reasonableness of state court liability systems in the United States as excellent or pretty good, up from 50% in 2015 and 49% in 2012. The remaining 36% view the system as only fair or poor, or declined to answer (1%).
Moreover, a state’s litigation environment continues to be important to senior litigators, with most respondents (85%) reporting that it is likely to impact important business decisions at their companies, such as where to locate or do business. This is a significant increase from 75% in 2015 and 70% in 2012.
According to respondents, the five worst jurisdictions (with others very close behind) were Chicago or Cook County, Illinois (23%); Los Angeles, California (18%); Jefferson County, Texas (17%); New Orleans or Orleans Parish, Louisiana (14%); and San Francisco, California (13%).
Along with the 2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey, the Institute for Legal Reform released its study on how states can improve their lawsuit climates. The study, “101 Ways to Improve State Legal Systems,” lists key legal reforms that states can adopt and includes specific examples recently enacted by some states.