By Michael Moline, Florida Phoenix
September 19, 2019
The U.S. and Florida chambers organized the news conference to release a national survey suggesting widespread suspicion within America’s corporate elite of the state’s legal climate. Also present were key members of the state Legislature.
The Harris Poll asked 1,300 corporate general counsel and senior executives about their opinions of the legal climate in various states. Florida ranked No. 46 overall, reflecting the C-suite’s perceptions of factors including overall treatment of tort and contract litigation, trial judges’ impartiality and competence, juries’ fairness, and the quality of a state’s appeals courts.
“But I also think there’s so many cases that get brought, it seems, where even if the person who gets sued is 100 percent innocent, they look at it and say, ‘OK, well, to be able to defend this it’s going to cost a couple of hundred thousand dollars, so I’m better off as a business decision just cutting a check and having them go away,’” the governor said.
“That, to me, is more of a lawyer-driven culture than it is based on people who actually suffer harm. If we can make it so that it’s based on the clients rather than the attorney, I think that would be better.”