The American Law Institute and the U.S. Supreme Court, Revisited

In my Winter 2016 Director’s Letter, I looked at the U.S. Supreme Court’s use of ALI materials during the 2013 to 2015 Terms, as part of an effort to examine how the ALI’s influence extends beyond the state courts and affects the development of federal law. Now that four years have passed since my last analysis of the Supreme Court’s use of ALI materials and several new Justices have joined the Court, revisiting this topic seems worthwhile.

ALI’s Contributions in a Time of Crisis

This year has been an extraordinarily difficult one. We are ensnarled in a pandemic that has caused a staggeringly large number of deaths and deep suffering and has laid bare appalling inequities, particularly ones based on race. The brutal killing of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis has shaken our country to the core.

A Landmark in the Field of U.S. International Arbitration Law

In a recent column published in the New York Law Journal, Hughes Hubbard & Reed partner John Fellas describes the forthcoming Restatement of the Law, The U.S. Law of International Commercial and Investor–State Arbitration, as “a landmark in the field of U.S. international arbitration law that displays all the characteristics of the exemplary Restatement.”

When Legislatures and Agencies Rely on Restatements of the Law

The ALI has been keeping tabs on judicial citations to Restatements of the Law since the early days. At the 1937 Annual Meeting, for instance, Herbert Goodrich reported that as of that time, “there were 459 citations by the Federal Courts, [and] 3023 by the state courts, making a total of 3482 court citations.”