Institute for Legal Reform

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The US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), founded in 1998, is a separately incorporated affiliate of the United States Chamber of Commerce. The organization advocates for civil justice reform, commonly referred to as tort reform.

The president of the organization is Lisa A. Rickard,[1] and the group's website says it is the "country's most influential and successful advocate for civil justice reform, both in the U.S. and abroad."[2]

Stances on issues[edit]

ILR advocates for a number of state and federal policy positions related to civil justice reform. These include policies to provide more transparency in the asbestos bankruptcy trust system, class action lawsuit reform, spotlighting third party litigation funding and lawsuit lending, reforms to the False Claims Act and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, among others.

State Liability Rankings Study[edit]

Every few years, ILR releases the results of a Harris Poll survey that ranks the 50 states, from best to worst, on their individual legal climates. ILR calls this the “Lawsuit Climate: Ranking the States” report.[3]

The survey focuses on perceptions of the state liability system by asking respondents to grade the following elements:[3]

  • Overall treatment of tort and contract litigation
  • Having and enforcing meaningful venue requirements
  • Treatment of class action suits and mass consolidation suits
  • Damages
  • Timeliness of summary judgment or dismissal
  • Discovery
  • Scientific and technical evidence
  • Judges’ impartiality
  • Judges’ competence
  • Juries’ fairness

In 2015, ILR released the study at a Chicago, Illinois press conference with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. That report showed that Delaware was ranked #1, and West Virginia ranked last, or 50th.[4]

Faces of Lawsuit Abuse campaign[edit]

Since 2007, ILR also has run a public education campaign it calls, “Faces of Lawsuit Abuse.” This campaign features videos of small businesses, communities and families who have been sued, as well as videos and a regularly updated online poll that allows people to vote for the “Most Ridiculous Lawsuits.”[5]

At the end of each year, ILR releases the Top Ten Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of the year, which features the year’s ten most popular stories based on polling data.[5]

Criticisms[edit]

Critics of ILR and other tort reform organizations argue that the organizations limit the access of ordinary citizens to be compensated for harms done to them by corporations through faulty products and/or harmful services. Critics argue that such interest groups do not promote judicial efficiency, legal ethics, or any other public purpose, but merely protect corporations from the consequences of their misdeeds.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Our Leadership". www.instituteforlegalreform.com. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  2. ^ ILR website, About ILR. Retrieved June 22, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "States". www.instituteforlegalreform.com. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  4. ^ Bilyk, Jonathan. "Survey says Cook, Madison counties, state of Illinois, rank among worst environments for lawsuits in country". Cook County Record. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  5. ^ a b "Faces of Lawsuit Abuse". www.facesoflawsuitabuse.org. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  6. ^ Cohen, Andrew.: "Made in America: Corporate Gall", CBSnews.com. Retrieved May 8, 2009.

External links[edit]