On March 22, 2010, the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform released its survey ranking the states with the best and worst legal climates in the country. According to the survey, the states with the worst legal climates are West Virginia (50th), Louisiana (49th), Mississippi (48th), Alabama (47th), and California (46th). The states with the best legal climates are Delaware (1st), North Dakota (2nd), Nebraska (3rd), Indiana (4th), and Iowa (5th). New York ranks near the middle of the states at 23rd.
The survey also shows that a state’s legal climate affects how and where a company does business and creates jobs. Two-thirds, or 67%, of the 1,482 corporate lawyers and executives contacted 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. That is up 10% from just three years ago.
H/t to Claire Wilkinson of the I.I.I.'s Terms + Conditions Insurance Industry Blog for bringing this report to my attention. For additional analysis and commentary on this report, see Jordan Weissman's post on The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.