Highly Litigious Climate Presents Challenges to Small Business Owners

highly litigious, Naperville small business law attorney, highly litigious climate, small business, Illinois small business, Gierach Law Firm, high business operating costs, small business owners, small business expensesA recent business climate report surveyed thousands of small business owners and asked them to apply a letter grade to the business regulations for operation in their state. Illinois was one of the six states that received a failing grade in the report. This report, along with others, has indicated that Illinois is at the bottom of the list when it comes to fostering a business climate that is amenable to small business owners.

Various factors have contributed to this unfriendly business climate. However, the main factor considered to be impeding small businesses is the highly litigious nature of Illinois. Illinois was ranked in 46th place out of a total of 50 states because of its lack of legal fairness. Many believe that this unfavorable business climate has caused many businesses to leave Illinois for Indiana and other surrounding spaces. In the last few years Indiana has produced over 3,600 new jobs within the state.

The Need for Lawsuit Reform Laws

Lawsuit reform laws focus on making the legal process more fair and equitable. Currently in Illinois, small businesses are at a disadvantage in court, specifically in comparison to large corporations with big legal teams, and seemingly never ending coffers. While a large corporation can defend itself easily in court through the use of in-house counsel, a small business may not be able to financially afford to defend a case against its clients and/or other private parties because of the significant costs associated with legal proceedings in Illinois. These significant costs include extremely high court filing costs and attorneys who have some of the highest per hour rates in the country.

In Illinois, there is also a perceived culture of excessive litigation and unnecessary/frivolous lawsuits. Illinois is home to over six law schools and some of the most respected and biggest law firms in the nation. As a result, there is always an attorney willing to take a case and litigate it, no matter how unjustified the suit may be. Because of the unnecessarily litigious nature of Illinois, a small business could be forced to spend thousands of dollars to defend a completely unwarranted case in court. This money would be taken away from necessary operating costs, employee pay, and other important expenses for a small business.

Illinois has rightfully earned its name as the “Lawsuit Abuse Capital of the Midwest.” The numbers regarding the suits against small business owners in Illinois are staggering. One-third of small business owners surveyed had been sued at least once, and seven out of 10 small business owners believe that a lawsuit could prevent them from extending benefits to current employees, while also impeding their ability to hire new employees.

In response to fear of frivolous lawsuits and high business operating costs within the state, many businesses have moved to greener pastures such as Wisconsin and Indiana, while Illinois continues to lose jobs at an alarming rate.

If you require assistance with a small business law related legal issue, contact a Naperville small business law attorney at the Gierach Law Firm in Naperville, Illinois. We are prepared to help you in any way that we can.