Corporate Lawyers Rank California, Illinois, West Virgina Low for Legal Climate

September 14, 2012

Lawyers for U.S. companies say California, Illinois and West Virginia have some of the worst legal climates in the country for businesses, according to the latest survey by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR).

Delaware, according to those surveyed, has the best legal climate for businesses.

Seventy percent of the more than 1,100 company general counsels and senior attorneys who participated in the survey said a state’s lawsuit environment is likely to impact important business decisions at their company, including where to locate or expand their businesses. This number is up 13 percent from the same survey conducted five years ago, before the recession, according to the business group.

ILR’s “Lawsuit Climate 2012” report says Pennsylvania’s legal environment has worsened in recent years, according to survey participants, in large part because of lax venue rules, especially in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, where 47 percent of the asbestos cases filed last year were by out-of state plaintiffs.

The corporate attorneys ranked Pennsylvania among the states with the least fair and reasonable legal environments and they ranked Philadelphia as the fifth worst city or county legal environment in the country following Cook County, Illinois and Los Angeles.

ILR has launched a national advertising campaign featuring Blitz USA, a Miami, Oklahoma-based company that says it was driven out of business in July as the result of lawsuits against it.

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