Poll: Louisiana ranks next to last in legal climate survey; Orleans Parish one of worst local courts in nation

By Kyle Barnett | Sep 10, 2015

NEW ORLEANS – For the third year straight Louisiana has been ranked as the second worst legal climate in the nation according to a survey of business leaders.

Taken into account in the 2015 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States report, released by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) today, were the perceived fairness of juries as well as judicial bias and competence. The poll of 1,203 general counsel and senior litigators was conducted by market research firm Harris Interactive Inc.

Among the poll’s findings were 75 percent of the business leaders surveyed responded that a state’s litigation environment figures into their decisions on where to locate and do business.

“More business leaders than ever have identified a state’s lawsuit climate as a significant factor in determining their growth and expansion plans,” ILR President Lisa A. Rickard said. “If the Louisiana governor and legislature want to attract businesses and build the state’s economy, they need to pass common sense reforms of the state’s judiciary.”

Orleans Parish was singled out as having a reputation for being one of the worst local jurisdictions in the nation for contract and tort litigation and for having biased juries and judges.

Louisiana placed last nationwide in several categories including timeliness of summary judgment or dismissal, judicial bias, judicial competence and jury fairness.

Louisiana also placed near the bottom of the poll for the treatment of class action lawsuits suits, awarding of damages and the venue requirements.

“The legislature should bring Louisiana’s threshold rules into the mainstream, and rein in plaintiffs’ lawyers shopping for favorable court rooms,” Rickard said.

West Virginia was the only state that was ranked worse than Louisiana.

(Editor's note: The Louisiana Record is owned by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform).

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