The American Law Institute was founded in 1923. Since then, the ALI has promulgated Restatements of the Law in several subjects and other influential works such as the Model Penal Code and the Uniform Commercial Code, a joint venture with the Uniform Law Commission.
In the past few years, we frequently have seen the charge that the ALI’s mission is to state what the law “is,” rather than what the Institute thinks the law “ought to be,” and that we recently have strayed from this mission and should right the ship. This charge most often is made when the ALI chooses to restate a minority rule. As one commentator wrote in criticizing the Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance (which, despite the criticism, followed majority rules in nearly all of its Sections): The adoption of a minority rule in a Restatement “is fundamentally inconsistent with the purpose of a Restatement of Law project.” Such comments rest on the notion that the ALI’s mission is simple, uncontested, and has always been so. That, however, is not the case.
State legislatures across the country made significant strides in reforming their criminal justice regimes throughout 2018. States revised their existing criminal codes, passed new legislation, and amended their constitutions in order to address a range of criminal justice concerns.
On July 15, a Virginia judge sentenced James Fields Jr. to a life sentence, plus 419 years, for killing Heather Heyer at the 2017 Charlottesville white nationalist rally by ramming his car into a crowd.
For the first time, the institute has spoken on the subject of liability insurance. It has published the Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance. This Restatement has proven to be controversial, both in its drafting process and since its final approval. Yet, it was not adopted lightly.
Recent scandals in the nonprofit sector have once again called into question the issue of nonprofit governance. Who is governing these organizations and are they doing so appropriately? Who is regulating and what law applies — federal, state, or both?