Most 2016 voters against legislation to proliferate lawsuits, finds Election night survey

Lawyers benefit most from lawsuits, while victims and consumers are least likely to benefit, according to an Election Day survey commissioned by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.

In addition, most respondents in the survey do not want Congress to pass laws making it easier for attorneys to file lawsuits, and they also believed such laws would negatively impact the economy.

The Institute said the results of the survey give Congress a mandate for lawsuit reform.

Garrick Taylor, vice president of government relations at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the survey “jibes with our experience in the civil justice reform arena.”

“Voters are increasingly skeptical of any public-policy moves that would result in increased litigation,” Taylor said. “Job creators are especially wary of expensive, time-consuming lawsuits that aren’t good for anyone except for trial lawyers.”

Taylor said the Arizona chamber has made civil-justice reform a major priority for some time, which has been embraced by the Legislature and Gov. Doug Ducey.

“In just the past few years, we’ve advanced smart reforms on punitive damages, appeal bonds and class-action lawsuits,” Taylor told Arizona Business Daily. “We will continue to advance similar policy proposals that make Arizona’s legal system more likely to spur economic growth."

When asked who they thought benefited most from the current lawsuit system, a clear majority (55 percent) said lawyers, while only 5 percent said victims and 4 percent said consumers.

Voters were asked whether they would be more or less likely to vote for their member of Congress if they voted for “expansion of lawsuits by trial lawyers.”

While 61 percent said it would make no difference, 31 percent said they would be less likely to vote for the member.

When asked what effect laws passed allowing trial lawyers to bring more lawsuits would have, 76 percent of respondents said it would be either somewhat or very negative.

Most respondents said there are too many lawsuits clogging up the court system and forcing consumers to pay more for goods and services.

“The results of the survey demonstrate that American voters -- and Trump voters in particular -- say that there are too many lawsuits, and lawyers are the main beneficiary of the current system,” Bill McInturff and Lori Weigel, of Public Opinion Strategies, which conducted the survey for the Institute, said.

Approximately 84 percent of Trump voters said Congress passing laws allowing trial lawyers to bring more lawsuits would have a negative impact on the economy.

Furthermore, 40 percent of Trump voters who responded said they are less likely to support their member of Congress if he or she backs a law that would allow for more lawsuits, and 66 percent of those voters said lawyers are the main beneficiary of the current lawsuit system.

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Organizations in this Story

Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR)

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