South Carolina scores 67.6 out of 100 in litigation climate survey


South Carolina earned a score of 67.6 out of 100 in a new ranking of state litigation climates released Wednesday by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. 

South Carolina ranked 37th among the 50 states in the lawsuit climate analysis. That compares to the state’s ranking of 34th two years ago, according to the report.

Illinois had the worst score for state litigation climates: 59.6.

The 2019 Lawsuit Climate Survey questioned more than 1,300 corporate attorneys, litigators and other executives from firms that bring in $100 million or more in yearly revenue. The responses were used to determine perceptions of the business community toward state legal systems.

The study asked respondents about their views on a number of civil litigation topics, such as the enforcement of rational venue rules, disposition of class-action lawsuits, damages awards, trial judges’ proficiency and jury performance.

Average scores have risen significantly since the survey was initiated 17 years ago. This year’s average was 68.3, compared to an average overall score of 52.7 in 2002, the report states.

The analysis also identified the five local jurisdictions with the worst lawsuit climates. They are Chicago / Cook County; Los Angeles; San Francisco; New York City; and Jefferson County, Mo.

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Which States Have the Fairest Litigation Systems?

Current RankStateOverall Score on 1-to-100 Scale2017 Rank
1Delaware76.311
2Maine73.89
3Connecticut73.816
4Wyoming73.18
5Alaska73.16
6North Dakota72.617
7Montana72.527
8Nebraska72.37
9Idaho72.23
10South Dakota72.01
11Vermont71.72
12Virginia71.310
13Wisconsin71.220
14Oklahoma71.231
15Hawaii71.123
16North Carolina70.933
17Arizona70.825
18New Hampshire70.75
19Utah70.712
20Minnesota70.74
21Colorado70.735
22New Mexico70.632
23Iowa70.613
24Rhode Island70.524
25Oregon69.921
26Washington69.828
27Maryland69.719
28Massachusetts69.614
29Nevada69.537
30Arkansas69.536
31Indiana68.915
32Kansas68.818
33Michigan68.822
34Tennessee68.330
35Ohio67.726
36New York67.729
37South Carolina67.634
38Texas67.139
39Pennsylvania66.638
40Kentucky66.542
41Georgia66.140
42Alabama65.643
43New Jersey65.441
44Missouri64.449
45West Virginia63.345
46Florida62.346
47Mississippi61.944
48California60.247
49Louisiana60.050
50Illinois59.648
Source: U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform; Harris Poll

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