September 13, 2017

Survey: CT's legal system more favorable to business activity

Connecticut's legal and court systems are viewed as more fair and reasonable to businesses in 2017 than they were in recent years, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform.

Overall, Connecticut's legal system ranks 16th in the country in terms of its treatment of businesses, according to a poll that assesses respondents' overall experience with the legal systems in 50 U.S. states. That's up from a rank of 22 in 2015 and 25 in 2012. The state's best rank (No. 5) occurred in 2006, the report shows. And even with a ranking of 16, Connecticut falls behind all New England states, except Rhode Island.

The survey is done to assess whether treatment for everything from tort and contract litigation to class action suits and trial judges' impartiality affects the ability of companies to do business in a given state.

This year, most of the respondents (85 percent) said that a state's litigation environment is likely to impact important business decisions at their companies, such as where to locate or to do business -- and increase from 75 percent in 2015 and 70 percent in 2012, the report states.

Participants in the national survey included 1,321 in-house general counsels, senior litigators or attorneys, and other senior executives at companies with at least $100 million in annual revenues who indicated they are knowledgeable about litigation matters at companies and have first-hand, recent litigation experience in each state they evaluate.

South Dakota ranked first and Louisiana ranked last.

Other New England states and their rankings are: Vermont (No. 2); New Hampshire, (No. 5); Maine (No. 9); Massachusetts (No. 14), and Rhode Island (No. 24).

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