The Iowa Association of Business and Industry has published a survey indicating Iowa’s legal climate is hurting job growth. The survey also states that many Iowa business leaders are dissatisfied with Iowa’s legal climate and believe it is costing the state jobs because of competition from other states.
The survey seems to contradict the U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey which said Iowa ranks fourth in the country in judicial fairness. Iowa has ranked in the top five for each of the last three years.
So which is it? Well, there is no question businesses (in Iowa and all states) are devoting more time than ever to liability concerns and defending themselves against lawsuits. However, my experience with clients leads me to believe Iowa’s judicial system is as good as any state. In fact, certain businesses I know could tell you horror stories about the judicial systems in other states with so-called "legal reform". That’s not to say we can’t improve though and we should continue to look for ways to improve our business climate. I am just not convinced the major problem is Iowa’s legal system.