S.C. chief justice says courts essential to economic development

John O'Brien Feb. 9, 2012, 2:20pm


COLUMBIA, S.C. (Legal Newsline) - South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal said Wednesday that a strong courts system will help draw businesses into the state.

Toal discussed the court's role in the state's economic development Wednesday during her State of the Judiciary address. She also asked the General Assembly for nine more judges, noting in a power point presentation that the state has the fewest judges per person in the country and 5,011 filings per judge.

A state's judiciary is one of the considerations a business takes before deciding to locate in the state, she said.

"It's a highly important factor in economic development, as I am learning more and more as I interact with South Carolina and American business leaders on the importance of the courts here and abroad," Toal said.

The state's business court pilot program has been extended through Dec. 1, 2013, she also said. Fifty-five percent of cases that have been filed in the program have been resolved, she said.

Toal said the American courts system and consistent enforcement of the rule of law is the bedrock of American economic progress.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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