LITIGATION VALLEY

IN CALIFORNIA, HIGH-TECH FIRMS BATTLE SECURITIES LAWYERS OVER A PLAINTIFF-FRIENDLY REFERENDUM

California is the most litigious state in the most lawsuit-crazy country in the world. More than 1.5 million civil suits are filed in California every year, and lawyers here earn upwards of $17 billion annually in legal fees. Those numbers could soar even higher if a controversial new state ballot initiative is adopted on Nov. 5. Proposition 211 would make it easier to file securities-fraud suits in California than in any other state--and top business leaders have risen up in alarm to fight it. "There's no place in the world like California for new companies," says Richard Hill, the chairman and...

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