The Coalition for Common Sense (CCS) is a group of professional associations, companies and individuals committed to ensuring a fair legal climate for both truly impaired individuals and small and large businesses operating in the state.
Formed in 2008, the group has been successful in passing legislation to clarify the rules on expert witness testimony, which saves the courts both time and money. The need for additional civil justice reform continues.
Why do we need civil justice reform?
The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform released a new national survey on state legal climates recently, and the outlook is not good. Louisiana’s legal climate ranks next to last for the third consecutive time, only scoring better than West Virginia.
Of our neighboring states, Arkansas ranked 41st, Mississippi ranked 43rd, and Texas ranked 40th. Seventy-five percent of senior company attorneys say the judicial climate in a state will impact business decisions. That’s not good news, considering all the economic development initiatives underway to recruit, retain and expand business in the state. Small business and manufacturers alike are affected by meritless and excessive litigation; it’s past time to make Louisiana a place where businesses want to operate.
Orleans Parish ranks as the fifth worst city or county nationally for the fairness of its legal climate. The state scored dead last in fairness of juries, impartiality and competence of judges and timeliness of summary judgment or dismissal. Louisiana was next to last in overall treatment of tort and contract litigation, damages and scientific and technical evidence. The state was 48th in meaningful venue requirements and the treatment of class action suits. The best score, at 47th, was for discovery, an issue on which meaningful reform was passed in recent years.
CCS continues to work to ensure a fair legal climate for Louisiana.