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Florida ranks 41st among all fifty states in the fairness of its litigation environment

A national survey released in 2012 by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) finds that Florida’s lawsuit climate is among the worst in the country, coming in at number 41 out of 50.

Governor Scott during his inaugural address stated, “Florida has to offer the best chance for financial success. Not a guarantee – just the best chance. Three forces markedly reduce that chance for success—taxation… regulation… and litigation. Together those three form “The Axis of Unemployment”.” He went on to state, “Private sector jobs grow in places where public sector spending is kept within bounds.”

According to ILR:

The significance of a state’s legal climate on business expansion decisions has steadily increased over the last five years. Seven out of ten respondents say a state’s lawsuit environment is likely to impact important business decisions at their company, such as where to locate or expand their businesses, a 13 percent increase from the survey results just five years ago.

“As our economic downturn has continued, a growing percentage of business leaders have identified a state’s lawsuit climate as a significant factor in determining their growth and expansion plans, and the jobs that come along with them,” said Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. “That makes the consequences of this survey even more significant to the economic growth of Florida.”

According to the study Creating Conditions for Economic Growth: The Role of the Legal Environment, completed for ILR by NERA Economic Consulting in 2011, Florida could save $2.8 billion in tort costs and increase employment by between .73-1.98% by improving its legal climate.

“Florida’s litigation climate can be attributed in large part to its notorious reputation for exorbitant jury awards,” said Rickard.

Harris Interactive conducted the survey Lawsuit Climate 2012: Ranking the States by telephone and online between March and June 2012. The respondents—general counsels and senior attorneys or leaders in companies with annual revenues of at least $100 million—were asked to rank states for their overall treatment of tort, contract, and class action litigation. Among other elements, respondents also ranked states for the impartiality and competence of their judges and the fairness of their juries.

See the entire 50-state list and read a full copy of Lawsuit Climate 2012: Ranking the States online at: www.instituteforlegalreform.com/states

ABOUT ILR:

ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels.