Legal Climate: How Does Your State Compare?

The Institute for Legal Reform apparently ranks states in terms of the legal climate for businesses. The study is obviously flawed. The results are determined from a survey of the 1,599 in-house general counsel lawyers working for larger corporations – not exactly an unbiased group. For personal injury lawyers, it is also worth noting that insurance companies, whose votes should receive more weight in considering the tort climate, made up only 5% of the total sample. I suspect most of these companies are focused on employment law claims, which are a very different animal from tort claims. Still, with these caveats, I think there is at least something telling about the study. Delaware, as always, was the clear “winner” in the poll. Here are the rest of the rankings:

2. Minnesota
3. Nebraska
4. Iowa
5. Maine
6. New Hampshire
7. Tennessee
8. Indiana
9. Utah
10. Wisconsin
11. South Dakota
12. Virginia
13. Kansas
14. Connecticut
15. Arizona
16. North Carolina
17. Oregon
18. Massachusetts
19. New York
20. North Dakota
21. Colorado
22. Wyoming
23. Michigan
24. Ohio
25. Washington
26. New Jersey
27. Vermont
28. Nevada
29. Maryland
30. Idaho
31. Georgia
32. Pennsylvania
33. Kentucky
34. Missouri
35. Rhode Island
36. Florida
37. South Carolina
38. Oklahoma
39. New Mexico
40. Montana
41. Arkansas
42. Hawaii
43. Alaska
44. Texas
45. California
46. Illinois
47. Alabama
48. Louisiana
49. Mississippi
50. Virginia
Incredibly, Maryland “fell” nine rungs on the Institute of Legal Reform’s ladder from 2006 to 2007, because of “significant declines” on “four” key elements: (1) handling of the discovery process, (2) perception of the competence of judges and judges’ impartiality, and (3) having and enforcing meaningful venue requirements (astute mathematicians may note this is only three categories, not four).

Have I been in a coma for the last year? There have been no significant changes on any of these fronts from 2006 to 2007. This is nonsense. But, however flawed, I enjoyed seeing a ranking of these states and I think personal injury lawyers in every state would find of interest where their state ranks on this list.

Updated:
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