Center for America

News Releases About Legal Reform

April 14, 2005



Manhattan Institute’s Center For Legal Policy and

Pacific Research Institute Join Forces To Launch

“Trial Lawyers Inc.: California”


 Center for America Chairman Steven B. Hantler

Calls for Overhaul of Civil Justice System

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Elaine Lutz


New Report Examines State’s Exploding Lawsuit Industry


San Francisco, CA    April 14, 2005—The lawsuit attack against California’s business community and construction industry has forced jobs out of state and has kept affordable housing out of reach for many people. 


California’s lawsuit industry is the second most expensive legal system in the world according to a report issued today by Manhattan Institute’s Center for Legal Policy.  The report, Trial Lawyers Inc.: California, examines the impact the state’s lawsuit industry has had on businesses, jobs, and affordable home prices.  


According to Trial Lawyers Inc.: California, the state’s legal system is massive, with nearly 8 million legal filings each year, and tort jury verdicts climbing to an astonishing average of $1.3 million as of 2001.


The Center for Legal Policy and Pacific Research Institute today hosted a panel discussion to launch Trial Lawyers Inc.: California. The three person panel, moderated by Catherine Crier, Host, CourtTV and Author, The Case Against Lawyers, included Jim Copland, Director, Center for Legal Policy at the Manhattan Institute; Steve Hantler, Chairman, Center for America and Senior Fellow, Pacific Research Institute; and John H. Sullivan, President, Civil Justice Association of California.


“California is losing valuable jobs and businesses because the civil justice system is unfair and unpredictable,” said Steve Hantler, Chairman, Center for America.  “The Center for Legal Policy has done an outstanding job of examining how California’s broken system is being exploited by people trying to use lawsuits to strike it rich.  This report demonstrates why the legal system is in need of a major overhaul if California leaders want to keep jobs from leaving the state.”


“Trial Lawyers, Inc: California looks critically at the litigation industry in our nation's largest state, which has more lawyers than any nation outside the United States as a whole,” said Jim Copland, Director, Manhattan Institute's Center for Legal Policy.  “Our new report documents how lawsuit abuse in California, which consistently ranks among the nation's worst states in terms of civil justice, is driving businesses, jobs, and affordable housing away from the Golden State.”


“California’s businesses have been prone to attacks by rapacious litigants for years.  Trial Lawyers, Inc.: California exposes these profiteers and divulges their underhanded practices,” said Sally C. Pipes, President and CEO, Pacific Research Institute.


California has some big obstacles to overcome, as the report has highlighted.  However, there have been some in-roads made with the passage of Proposition 64, which prohibits filing a lawsuit without a client and without actual injury. The momentum is strong there, and reformers are energized to see fairness and predictability restored.


The Center for America mission is to educate, motivate and empower the public to support state liability reforms to end lawsuit abuse.  For more information, visit CFA’s website at




Trial Lawyers Inc. website and report PDF.







Contacts for Quotes:


Steve Hantler

Chairman, Center for America

248-884-7070 (Cell)

Jim Copland

Director, Center for Legal Policy

The Manhattan Institute

52 Vanderbilt Avenue
New York, NY 10017


Sally Pipes, President

Pacific Research Institute

775 Sansome St., Suite 450
San Francisco, CA 94111

John Sullivan, President
Civil Justice Association of California
1201 K Street, Suite 1960
Sacramento, California 95814



The Center for America mission is to educate, motivate and empower the public to support state liability reforms to end lawsuit abuse.


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