West Virginia has been accused – sometimes correctly, other times incorrectly -- that our legal system is out of sync with the rest of the country and a deterrent to business growth.
Separating fact from rhetoric shows that West Virginia has made some commendable progress in certain areas of civil justice over the past decade – most notably medical liability and workers’ compensation – but much more remains to be done to make us competitive.
The West Virginia Business and Industry Council views civil justice improvement through an empirical lens, one that focuses on achieving legal fairness instead of reacting to labels assigned to the state by special interest groups in Washington.
Without question, however, some areas of West Virginia’s legal system lack conformity with our neighboring states or the rest of the country, and being out of step undoubtedly puts the state at a competitive disadvantage for business retention and development.
The standard for WVBIC’s legal fairness legislative agenda is simple – we will prioritize those areas of our legal system where West Virginia is an outlier, where our courts or lawmakers have failed to modernize and reflect fair legal standards embraced in other jurisdictions across the country.
If West Virginia is going to be successful in attracting more national and global investment, then our legal system must become more in line with other jurisdictions and give us a competitive advantage while preserving justice.
This focus will bring well-established principles into practice in West Virginia so our legal system becomes more reliable and predictable for employers who seek to create jobs.