HELENA– On Wednesday during the biannual Business and the Law Conference in Helena, possible legislation for the next legislative session and beyond dominated the agenda. The event is sponsored by the Montana Chamber of Commerce through its subsidiary, the Montana Justice Coalition.
The event featured speakers from across the country, including Harold Kim, the executive director of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform (ILR). During lunch, the keynoter was the newest Montana Supreme Court Justice, Ingrid Gustafson. Gustafson highlighted her work with the Drug Courts and why that is important to business.
“Montana’s legal climate has become increasingly important factor that goes into the business decision to invest here,” said Bridger Mahlum, government relations director for the Montana Chamber. “The Montana Justice Coalition is dedicated to making Montana’s legal environment more predictable for business, and the Business and the Law Conference demonstrates why those efforts matter.”
During the conference, the Montana Justice Coalition released its 2018 Judicial Review. This document reviews 58 Montana Supreme Court decisions and 26 Workers’ Compensation Court decisions from 2016 and 2017 that impacted business and the economy. Each justice received a rating based on the justice’s participation and position in each case.
Kim spoke about emerging litigation factors in the U.S and how Montana has progressed in the ILR’s Legal Climate Ranking survey. In 2004, Montana ranked 43rd overall and has since jumped up to 27th as of 2017.
Other topics the conference delved into included legal trends impacting manufacturing, spreading awareness about lawsuit abuse, seat belt admissibility laws in Montana, and a study of BNSF v. Tyrrell.
A good legal environment is an important component of a good business climate – one of the major objectives of Envision 2026 , the Montana Chamber’s 10-year strategic plan.
“Our Business and the Law conference brings high-level policy issues to real-life, small-business impacts,” said Webb Brown, the Montana Chamber president/CEO. “The third branch of government can have just as much or even more effect on employers as the other two. This conference makes that connection.”
For Immediate Release
March 15, 2018
Media Contact: Communications Director Alexandria Klapmeier
(C) 406-437-4634 or Alexandria@MontanaChamber.com
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