From Legal Scholarship to Legal Advocacy: The Evolving Role of the American Law Institute in State Court Jurisprudence
Several years ago, the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) began
The American Law Institute (ALI) was traditionally an independent, scholarly institution but now participates more in advocacy, proposing novel liability expansion.
The ALI has proposed numerous restatements in recent years that go beyond simply restating an established area of common law but instead proposing rules to advance particular policy agendas.
Recent problematic proposed restatements include:
ALI’s mission appears to have shifted over the past decade from that of a scholarly institution that was safely above the fray in broader policy disputes, to that of an advocacy group proposing novel expansions in liability law. The organization has chosen to leverage its standing and influence more aggressively in the legal community to pursue legal advocacy.
Over the past decade, ALI has shifted to an advocacy organization expanding liability in a variety of areas. Rather than developing Restatements that assist judges by clarifying the law, the ALI is maneuvering to reinvent law.