This morning, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform released its latest survey of state legal climates. New Jersey’s ranking fell to 38 this year, down from 32 in 2012 when the survey was last updated.
“It’s disappointing, but not surprising, that New Jersey rates so poorly,” said Marcus Rayner, president of the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute. “We’ve known for years that we have a problem, but little has been done to remedy it. For example, right now we have five common sense reform bills with bipartisan sponsorship just sitting in the legislature waiting for action, but there haven’t even been hearings scheduled on them. Hopefully this report will serve as a wake-up call.”
New Jersey has a well-deserved reputation as a hotbed of pharmaceutical and medical device litigation and consumer class actions.
“So-called ‘consumer fraud’ litigation is a real problem area. The name suggests it is consumer driven, but more and more it is lawyer-driven because our courts are allowing attorneys to bring cases that really stretch the statutes beyond what they were originally created to cover,” said Rayner. “This is something we are talking about more at our conference on September 18 – how regulation of businesses has been outsourced by the state to private attorneys, and why that is becoming a problem.”
The New Jersey Civil Justice Institute (NJCJI) advocates for a civil justice system that treats all parties fairly and discourages lawsuit abuse. NJCJI and its members believe that a fair civil justice system resolves disputes expeditiously and impartially, based solely upon application of the law to the facts of each case. Such a system fosters public trust and motivates professionals, sole proprietors, and businesses to provide safe and reliable products and services while ensuring that truly injured people are fully compensated for their losses.