"The Rule of
Law was actually being questioned ..."
Mississippi Senator Charlie Ross
In this interview with Kristyn Shayon,
Senator Charlie Ross tells how close Mississippi came to a complete
breakdown of the civil justice system prompting the need for
comprehensive legal reform.
He was first
elected to the Mississippi Senate in 1997 after serving as
representative from District 59 in the Mississippi House. In 2004, as
Chairman of the Senate Judiciary A Committee, he drafted the
Comprehensive Tort Reform Bill and was the leader in the Senate in the
successful fight to pass the bill. As a result of his leadership, ATRA
presented him with its Civil Justice Achievement Award. Senator Ross
served as the Public Sector Chairman of the Civil Justice Task Force of
the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). In 2007, ALEC
recognized his legislative accomplishments and leadership by naming him
Legislator of the Year. In 2008, Senator Ross ran for Congress in
Mississippi's 3rd congressional district, but was defeated in the
primary by Rankin County Republican Chairman Gregg Harper. He received
his J.D., with honors, from Harvard Law School in 1988.
2007 Annual Guide to State Legal Climates:
(2007 Rank: 33)
composite ranking is low, but it is a state in transition. Once ranked
among the five worst states for liability climate, the state now boasts
common sense legal reforms, an emerging rule-of-law majority on its
Supreme Court, and a stalwart liability reformer in Governor Haley
Barbour. Attorney General Jim Hood, however, is an activist attorney
general who sued several insurers in connection with Hurricane Katrina.
While Mississippiís insurance loss ratios are still among the worst in
the nation, they should improve with the reforms enacted. Mississippi is
clearly a state to watch because of Governor Barbourís continuing
efforts to make the state attractive for growth and jobs creation."
-- Steve Hantler, et.
al., Directorship, June-July 2007, page 60.