Texas is no longer among the nation’s worst civil court jurisdictions according to the American Tort Reform Foundation’s ninth annual Judicial Hellholes® report. The state’s Gulf Coast, long ranked among the nation’s worst jurisdictions for litigation abuses, remains on the “watch list.”

“Texas has worked hard to recover from its reputation as the ‘world’s courtroom,’ and we’ve enjoyed a great deal of success reining in abusive litigation over the past 25 years,” said Lee Parsley, president of the Texas Civil Justice League. “The Lone Star State has weathered the worst of a weakened economy in part because of a fair and predictable legal environment that encourages business expansion and investment.”

Despite overall improvements in the state’s civil justice system, the Gulf Coast remains on the Judicial Hellholes® “watch list.” “The Gulf Coast of Texas has long been recognized as one of the toughest places in America for corporate defendants to receive a fair trial,” according to the 2010–11 report. “Once a perennial Judicial Hellhole, the area, which includes several of Houston’s surrounding counties, is at the center of numerous mass litigations and is infamous for huge awards.”

The report’s findings are based on surveys of American Tort Reform Association members and litigation in “judicial hellholes” verified through independent research of media accounts, academic and public policy studies, court dockets, judicial branch statistics and other publicly available information.

Founded in 1986, the Texas Civil Justice League was the state’s first business liability and legal reform coalition and is a founding state partner of the American Tort Reform Association.

The American Tort Reform Foundation’s 2010–11 Judicial Hellholes® report is available at www.judicialhellholes.org.

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