According to a report by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform released last week, Louisiana was ranked number 49 when it comes to having a favorable business litigation environment. The ranking puts Louisiana in the second worst place, just ahead of West Virginia. The report doesn’t reveal any new information, as Louisiana has held the same place since 2008.
The survey is based on the responses of over 1,200 senior executives, litigators or attorneys and in-house general counsel. The questions put to the respondents covered a number of issues, including: how court systems deal with class action and mass consolidation lawsuits; damages; discovery; impartiality and competence of judges; and the general way tort and contract litigation are treated. Respondents were asked to assign grades for each area of inquiry, as well as collective grades.
As some commentators have pointed out, the newest ranking is a reminder that businesses in Louisiana labor in an unfavorable legal environment. The agreement among those who participated in the survey is that a state’s litigation environment has an impact on business decisions. The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry has said that lawmakers need to make legal reform a priority in the coming session to help improve prospects for Louisiana businesses.
In states like Louisiana, where the litigation environment is challenging, working with experienced counsel to reign in liabilities is all the more important. Doing so can help a business cut down on litigation and other legal costs and focus on making the business more successful.