Almost 90% of Voters Believe ‘Meritless’ Lawsuits are a Serious Problem

November 9, 2012

Close to 90 percent of voters who cast ballots in Tuesday’s election believe there are too many “meritless” lawsuits, while eight out of ten want the next Congress to continue reforming the legal system, according to a report released by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR).

The poll was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for ILR and surveyed a total of 1,600 voters on Election Day. The findings reflect the electorate’s overall concerns about the status of the economy.

“On election day, creating jobs to grow the economy was top-of-mind for voters. The results of this poll show that voters understand the high costs of lawsuit abuse and support pro-growth legal reforms,” said Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.

According to a survey released in September, seventy percent of the more than eleven hundred company general counsels and senior attorneys who participated said a state’s lawsuit environment is likely to impact important business decisions at their company, including where to locate or expand their businesses. This number is up thirteen percent from the same survey conducted five years ago, before the recession.

Key findings from the newly-released survey include:

  • 95 percent of voters say small business views should be taken into account in Washington, while only 43 percent believe they are currently taken into account;
  • Eight out of ten voters said that Congress should continue to reform the lawsuit system;
  • By a 10-point margin, voters believe that trial lawyers have excessive influence in Washington;
  • By a more than five-to-one ratio, voters said they would be more likely to reelect their Member of Congress in the future if he or she voted for reforms to end lawsuit abuse by trial lawyers.

Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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