Missouri a Magnet for Lawsuits, Shook’s Behrens tells Missouri Chamber of Commerce

Shook Public Policy Co-Chair Mark Behrens stated, “forum-shopping plaintiff lawyers from around the country are flocking to Missouri, particularly St. Louis, because they believe it gives them a litigation advantage.”

Missouri Business, the magazine of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is reporting on the legal trend of “venue shopping” or “forum shopping” when lawyers file lawsuits in Missouri with no connection to the state.

“Missouri’s legal climate is widely viewed as perhaps the worst aspect of doing business in the state,” Behrens told Missouri Business. “The city of St. Louis has been dubbed a ‘Judicial Hellhole’ by the American Tort Reform Foundation because the scales of justice are perceived to be tilted against job creators.”

Missouri lawmakers plan to put venue reform on the list of priorities for the 2019 legislative session according to Missouri Business. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is also calling for statute changes to “restore fairness to or court system.”

“It should be troubling for every Missourian that our state is losing millions of dollars every additional month we delay,” Missouri Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Daniel P. Mehan told the magazine.

Behrens has been involved in civil justice issues, liability law and defense litigation for more than 25 years. A substantial part of his focus is working to improve the civil litigation environment through state and federal legislation.