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Maryland Sees Improvement in Legal Climate

A new report praises Maryland for not allowing junk science in the courtroom. (instituteforlegalreform.com)
A new report praises Maryland for not allowing junk science in the courtroom. (instituteforlegalreform.com)
September 14, 2017

BALTIMORE -- A new report says Maryland has made some reforms in discouraging out-of-state attorneys to try big litigation cases here. A Harris poll that ranks states on their lawsuit climate, including unfair litigation and large verdicts, has put Maryland in the top 20 for the first time since the rankings first began in 2002.

Curt Mercadante with the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform said these big cases clog up the courts for local residents who may need them. He added a state's legal climate plays into whether or not a company wants to set up shop, or move to another that's more business friendly.

"Certainly, it can't afford to have businesses looking at the state and wincing when they consider coming there,” Mercadante said, "And so any time a state can do something to improve the ability to attract new businesses, it means jobs."

According to the 2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey, 85 percent of senior company attorneys and other executives said a state's lawsuit environment is likely to impact important business decisions at their company, including where to locate or expand.

Mercadante said Maryland scored high for enforcing venue and tort reform.

“[It’s] third in the country in terms of the perception that they don't allow junk science into the courtroom,” he said. “And they're ranked number 12 for judges' competence. "

According to the report, South Dakota ranked first for having laws in place that keep out-of-state attorneys from clogging up local courts with lawsuits. Delaware had been number one since the rankings began. Illinois, Missouri and Louisiana were at the bottom.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MD