A Guide to States’ Legal Climates

By June 25, 2008Briefly Legal

Directorship magazine and the American Justice Partnership Foundation have released the 2008 Boardroom Guide to State Legal Climates, with a memorable title, “Dire States.” The article is written by Steven B. Hantler, AJP’s Chairman and former Chrysler assistant general counsel.

The article highlights the next big threat from the trial lawyers.

[There’] the danger of the “litigation trifecta.” The first stage was asbestos lawsuits, the longest running mass-tort category in history. The second stage was the $265-billion national tobacco settlement between states and tobacco companies. The R&D arm of Trial Lawyers Inc. hopes to cash in on the third stage of the trifecta: global climate-change litigation. If the plaintiffs’ lawyers hit the “litigation trifecta,” U.S. tort costs could soon exceed Russia’s GDP of $1.2 trillion.

The issue of Directorship also carries a story on the global warming litigation, focusing on the suit by the Alaskan village of Kivalina against energy companies for exercising their First Amendment rights. Which provides us an opportunity to link to AJP’s report, “The Most Dangerous Litigation in America: ‘Kivalina.'”

Top Ten Good Climates, in order, 1-10: Tennessee, Utah, Indiana, Ohio, North Dakota, North Carolina, Nebraska, Virginia, Michigan, South Dakota.

Bottom Five, 46-50: California, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Illinois. Congratulations, West Virginia! You’ve escaped the bottom.

The insert map comes from Directorship.

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