Delaware's Legal System Ranked #1 in Nation for Fourth Consecutive Year

Dover - Governor Ruth Ann Minner responded Thursday to news that the First State's legal system is the best in the nation, according to an annual survey released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Delaware received the #1 ranking for the fourth year in a row, scoring first in 9 out of 10 categories-from timeliness to judges' competence-in a poll of more than 1,400 senior corporate attorneys.

"This survey shows that Delaware has the best judges, the best juries, and the most fair and reasonable legal system," Gov. Minner said. "Our courts treat all parties fairly while avoiding frivolous lawsuits. This is another one of many factors that make Delaware a great place to do business."

"My colleagues and I are delighted that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has again selected Delaware as the No. 1 court system in the country," Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Myron T. Steele said. "We work together to encourage each court and every judge and staff to provide service to all Delaware citizens and litigants as if they were customers. We are at heart a customer-service organization and will continue to demonstrate that we are so through the fairness and efficiency with which we deliver legal services to our individual and corporate citizens."

"Employers are drawn to states with a fair and balanced legal system," noted U.S. Chamber President Thomas J. Donohue in presenting the Harris Interactive 2005 State Liability Systems Rankings Study on March 8.

The study, released by the Chamber's Institute for Legal Reform, is a benchmark by which companies, policymakers, and the media assess the fairness of legal systems in the 50 states.
Delaware ranked first in the following nine categories:
  • overall treatment of tort and contract litigation
  • treatment of class actions
  • punitive damages
  • timeliness of summary judgment/dismissal
  • discovery
  • handling of scientific and technical evidence
  • judges' impartiality
  • judges' competence
  • juries' predictability
In the tenth category, jury fairness, Delaware ranked second behind Nebraska.

More than 600,000 business entities have their legal home in Delaware, including ore than 50 percent of all U.S. publicly traded companies and 58 percent of Fortune 500 businesses. Companies choose Delaware because it provides a complete package of business and incorporation services, including modern and flexible corporate laws, a highly respected judiciary, and a business-friendly state government.

A full report and state-by-state results are available at or by calling the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at (202) 463-5682. The Chamber's press release is available at