ALI's Influence Noted in Law Review Article
Professor Frank Sullivan, Jr., Professor of Practice at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law discusses The American Law Institute’s process and influence in the Valparaiso University Law Review article "What I've Learned About Judging.”
Before joining the faculty at the law school, he served as a Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court for 19 years.
An Adviser on both Principles of the Law, Election Law and Restatement of the Law Third, Torts: Liability for Economic Harm, Professor Sullivan has deep experience with ALI's process and projects. He writes:
Precedent will not resolve every dispute. Precedent may be distinguishable; precedent may be obsolete; indeed, precedent may not exist. A particularly good source for legal principles to apply in such circumstances is the work produced by the American Law Institute (“ALI”). Consisting of lawyers, judges, and law professors of distinction, including members of this faculty, the ALI addresses uncertainty in the law by developing “restatements” of legal subjects for use by courts and lawyers applying existing law. These “restatements of the law” contain clear formulations of common law, meant to reflect the law as it presently stands or might plausibly be stated by a court.
I could give you a lot of examples of our court turning to restatements to help us decide previously unanswered questions of common law. In fact, I was always willing to consider an argument to overrule precedent that was grounded in a restatement.
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