The Chicago injury attorneys recently blogged about the disgraceful and self-serving study produced by the Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform. Last week, president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association characterized the Chamber’s report as a shallow attempt to weaken the civil justice system to help its Wall Street and big business financers. This week, leaders of more of Illinois’ legal groups are criticizing a different Chamber study – the Chamber’s annual study on legal fairness. Illinois attorneys are calling it inaccurate, unfair, and stating that it should be looked at more like a public relations campaign than an actual reliable report.
President of the Illinois State Bar Association, John G. O’Brien, suggested that one has to consider the source, which is a cynical, money-driven organization that has no interest in the legal system. Mr. O’Brien added that he found the Chamber’s characterization of Illinois “insulting.” The recently released 2010 State Liability Systems Ranking Study is based on phone and online interviews conducted between October 2009 and January 2010. The study asks corporate lawyers and executives at companies that make at least $100 million each year – obviously they selected a very choice group to question! And their survey ranked Illinois 45th out of 50 states for “legal fairness.” Additionally, Cook County, where our attorneys frequently practice, was named the most unfair court jurisdiction in the nation.
Further, Illinois ranked 43rd out of 50 on juries’ fairness. The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti question how one can judge the fairness of a jury. Inherently, is not a jury of ones peers the fairest method of decision envisioned by the founders of our country?
President of the Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform added that Illinois has rolled out an unwelcome mat to business and added that the state’s legal climate discourages economic growth. Illinois Trial Lawyers Association stated that the survey is bankrolled by companies like AIG, which gave nearly $25 million to the Chamber in the last decade to sit on its board. Of course, the Chicago product liability attorneys at Levin & Perconti question the fairness of such statements. The Institute for Legal Reform is bankrolled by companies who were bailed out by taxpayers, yet the Institute opposes taxpayer and citizens’ rights to seek justice in a civil setting.
Click here to read articles featured in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, including the Illinois legal groups’ response to the study.