Consumer organization blasts US Chamber of Commerce
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US Chamber surveys state courts for corporate fairness
by Carol Thompson
Public Justice, a well-known consumer advocacy organization is taking the US Chamber of Commerce to task over what the organization calls a push for courts to show favoritism to corporations.
“US Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform just released the latest version of the propaganda piece it started publishing in 2002. Entitled 2015 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States, the report summarizes the answers of a ‘nationally representative sample of 1,203 in-house general counsel, senior litigators or attorneys, and other senior executives who are knowledgeable about litigation matters at companies with annual revenues over $100 million’ who responded to what it calls a ‘survey.’ The so-called ‘survey’ does not, however, show what these people really think. Everyone taking it knows that its purpose is—as it has been for the past 13 years—to give big business a basis to smear state court systems that aren’t pro-business enough as “judicial hellholes” and push all state courts to limit corporate liability for wrongdoing,” Arthur Bryant, chairman of Public Justice wrote in a Sept. 17 blog post.
The report, which can be found here, lists the most and least favorable to Corporate America. The top five states, according to the US Chamber, are Delaware, Vermont, Nebraska, Iowa, and New Hampshire. The bottom five states, the Chamber reports, are West Virginia, Louisiana, Illinois, California, and New Mexico.
Bryant concluded his blog post by blasting the Chamber. “What we need in America are state and federal court systems that are fair—and biased in no one’s favor. Unfortunately, the Chamber of Commerce’s latest propaganda piece shows we are far from that goal and, for some time, things have been getting worse. Big businesses’ own lawyers say that state court systems have turned increasingly in Corporate America’s favor since the “survey” began.