Restatement of Law

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Restatement of Law

A series of volumes regarded as an authoritative work of legal scholarship prepared by the authors, scholars, and members of the judiciary who comprise the American Law Institute (ALI), which presents a survey of a general area of the law and the changes that have occurred therein.Restatements are published in the areas of contracts, torts, agency, trusts, conflict of laws, judgments, property, security, and restitution. The drafters of restatements take Common Law rules that have been developed by judicial decisions and organize them in a manner similar to black letter law. Restatements are also based on the judicial application of statutes that have been in force for many years. For example, a restatement titled Foreign Relations Law of the United States summarizes U.S. law and practice in international relations.

The first series of restatements were produced from 1923 to 1944. In 1951, the ALI began working on a second series, which included updates to the topics included in the first restatement, adding new rules and expanding upon commentary. Some restatements in the second series also advocated changes in the law from the majority rule in place at the time the restatement was drafted. Moreover, new topics were added to the second series, such as the topic of Foreign Relations Law of the United States. In 1986, the ALI began work on the third series of the restatements. Although some of the topics from the first and second series, such as Agency, have been updated in the third series, many of the topics consist of subtopics of broader subjects. For example, two of the restatements in the third series are Torts: Apportionment of Liability and Trusts: Prudent Investor Rule.

Restatements are sources of secondary authority to be cited in the support or defense of a particular claim made in a lawsuit. Although not legally binding upon the courts, restatements are effective in persuading a court to accept an argument advanced in an action. They are divided into sections, each beginning with a general statement of a legal principle accompanied by explanatory text. The discussion is illustrated with particular cases and variations used as examples of the operation of the principle. When new developments occur in a particular area, a subsequent edition of the restatement is prepared and published. The restatements have individual indexes, and a single general index for all the volumes also exists. A glossary contains definitions of significant words appearing in the text.

Further readings

Mersky, Roy M., and Donald J. Dunn. 2002. Fundamentals of Legal Research. 8th ed. New York: Foundation.


Shepard's® Citations.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Wright's self-description as a Legal Realist must, of course, seem strange to anyone who recalls how the Legal Realists of the 1920s greeted the newly created American Law Institute and its proposed Restatements of the Law. The great torts scholar and reformer Leon Green declared in 1928 that "[t]he undertaking to restate the rules and principles developed by the English and American courts finds in the field of torts a most hopeless task." (3) Charles Clark, for whom Wright later clerked on the U.S.
Cases are incorporated, as are citations to Restatements of the law, especially the Third and Second Restatements of Torts.
Second, I search for areas of law that apply the scientific method, including the Restatements of the Law, the Supreme Court's substantive Due Process jurisprudence, its adoption of minority opinions, and its pontifications concerning the marketplace of ideas.
It restores the word "rescission" to the restatements of the law. The two restatements of contracts attempted to restate the law of rescission without using the word.
The official text will be published as the third distinct part of 'Restatement of Torts' in the third series of 'Restatements of the Law.' The prior two parts, respectively subtitled 'Products Liability' and 'Apportionment of Liability.'
On the library shelf, it joins numerous other ALI restatements of the law that have been drafted over the years under the ALI's stated mission: "to promote the clarification and simplification of the law and its better adaptation to social needs, to secure the better administration of justice, and to encourage and carry on scholarly and scientific legal work."(3)
RESTATEMENTS of the law fashioned and promulgated by the American Law Institute are designed to state the basic principles of American law.
The restatements (sometimes called restatements of the law) are produced by the American Law Institute (ALI), an organization of judges, lawyers and law teachers organized in 1923 with the express purpose that its publications would simplify the law and make the application of the law more certain.
This dynamic also animates the ALI, where lawyers, professors, and judges write the Restatements of the Law.