ON-Lion Letter
To restore some sanity to its civil-justice system, "Michigan passed a round of legal-reform legislation in 1986, a second round in 1993 ..., and a third, more comprehensive, round in 1995," recounts Trial Lawyers, Inc.:  Michigan, a mid-June report from the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research's Center for Legal Policy (CLP).  "These steps have been highly successful at curbing lawsuit abuse.

"Little wonder, then, that Trial Lawyers, Inc. is now committing it powerful lobbying and public-relations resources to rolling back laws that have put a dent in the litigation industry's bottom line," it continues.

By 2005, according to the report, tort actions in Michigan had dropped to a third of their 1996 level.  From 1996 to 2001, the mean tort award per jury trial in Michigan's big Wayne County declined from $212,641 to $184,382.  In Michigan's Oakland County, it dropped from $118,720 to $93,287. 

Michigan has lost much of its competitive advantage in legal reform, though, ranking below its neighbors Ohio, Wisconsin, and Indiana in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's annual survey of business leaders and counsel on state' legal climates.

"Far from needing decades of legal progress reversed," the CLP report concludes, "Michigan would be wise to go further in the direction of tort reform ...."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports CLP.
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