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The 2006 State Liability Systems Ranking Study was conducted for the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform among a national sample of in-house general counsel or other senior litigators at public corporations. This study was conducted between November 2005 and March 2006. In previous research conducted in November 2004 to February 2005, December 2003 to February 2004, December 2002 to February 2003 and January to February 2002, similar rankings were created and analyzed, however this year, we have expanded the rankings to include areas that were not previously covered. This year’s ranking is therefore new and not directly comparable to previous years’ rankings.

The goal was to explore how reasonable and fair the tort liability system is perceived to be by U.S. business.
Broadly, the survey focused on perceptions of state liability systems in the following areas:
- Having and Enforcing Meaningful Venue Requirements (new this year)
- Tort and Contract Litigation
- Treatment of Class Action Suits and Mass Consolidation Suits (mass consolidation has been added this year)
- Punitive Damages
- Timeliness of Summary Judgment/Dismissal
- Discovery
- Scientific and Technical Evidence
- Non-economic Damages (new this year)
- Judges’ Impartiality and Competence
- Juries' Predictability and Fairness

All interviews for The 2006 State Liability Systems Ranking Study were conducted by telephone among a nationally representative sample of senior attorneys at companies with annual revenues of at least $100 million. Interviews averaging 24 minutes in length were conducted with a total of 1,456 respondents and took place between November 28, 2005 and March 7, 2006. The sample was segmented into two main groups. Of the 1,456 respondents, 88 were from insurance companies, with the remaining 1,368 interviews being conducted among public corporations from other industries.

A detailed survey methodology including a description of the sampling and survey administration procedures as well as further respondent profile information is contained in Appendix A. The past years’ rankings can be found in Appendix B and the complete questionnaire is found in Appendix C.

The Harris team responsible for the design and analysis of The State Liability Systems Ranking Study included Humphrey Taylor, Chairman, The Harris Poll; Regina Corso, Research Director and Gwendolyn Radsch, Senior Research Associate. We would like to acknowledge Linda Kelly from the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform and Judyth Pendell of Pendell Consulting, LLC, for their invaluable contributions to the design, content, focus and analysis of the project. Harris Interactive is responsible for the final determination of topics, question wording, collection of the data, statistical analysis and interpretation in the report.

All Harris surveys are designed to comply with the code and standards of the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO) and the code of the National Council of Public Polls (NCPP). Should data from the survey be released to the public, any release must stipulate that the complete report is also available.

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