Restatements of the Law

The "Restatements of the Law" are treatises published by the American Law Institute as scholarly refinements of black-letter law, to "address uncertainty in the law through a restatement of basic legal subjects that would tell judges and lawyers what the law was." They were the first undertakings of the Institute after its establishment in 1923 and were originally supported by grants from the Carnegie Corporation. [http://www.ali.org/]

While considered secondary authority (compare to primary authority), the authoritativeness of the Restatements of the Law is evidenced by their acceptance by courts throughout the United States. As of March 1, 1995, the Restatements had been cited 129,533 times.Fact|date=May 2008

Editions

In the period from 1923 to the end of World War II, the Institute published Restatements of Agency, Conflict of Laws, Contracts, Judgments, Property, Restitution, Security, Torts, and Trusts. Beginning in the 1950s, updated and enlarged versions of most of these works were published as volumes of a "Second Restatement."

These revisions were undertaken partly to reflect changes and developments in the law, but also to implement a new format that provided more expansive commentary and more meaningful illustrative material, affording fuller statements of the reasons for the positions taken. For example, the volumes generally included a set of Reporter's Notes that detailed the reasons on which the principles and rules stated were based and the authorities that supported them.

For the convenience of legal researchers, the second series of volumes also provided cross-references to the key numbers of the West Publishing Company's Digest System and to the A.L.R. annotations of the Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company. In addition, appendix volumes included digest paragraphs of decisions of state appellate courts and federal courts citing the Restatements on each subject.

The first volume of a Third Restatement of the Law was the 1987 Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States. The Restatement (Third) of Torts: Products Liability has also been published, but to date has not been widely adopted.

Current versions of Restatements

#Restatement of Agency, Third (2006);
#Restatement of Conflict of Laws, Second;
#Restatement of Contracts, Second;
#Restatement of Foreign Relations Law of the United States, Third;
#Restatement of Judgements, Second;
#Restatement of Law Governing Lawyers, Third;
#Restatement of Property;
#Restatement of Property, Landlord and Tenant, Second;
#Restatement of Property, Donative Transfers, Second;
#Restatement of Property, Mortgages, Third;
#Restatement of Property, Servitudes, Third;
#Restatement of Restitution, Quasi Contracts & Constructive Trusts;
#Restatement of Security;
#Restatement of Suretyship and Guaranty, Third;
#Restatement of Torts, Second;
#Restatement of Torts, Apportionment of Liability, Third;
#Restatement of Torts, General Principles, Third (discussion draft);
#Restatement of Torts, Products Liability, Third;
#Restatement of Trusts, Second;
#Restatement of Trusts, Prudent Investor Rule, Third;
#Restatement of Trusts, General Principles, Third (tentative draft);
#Restatement of Unfair Competition, Third

External links

* [http://www.ali.org/ American Law Institute website]
* [http://www.law.harvard.edu/library/services/research/guides/united_states/basics/restatements.php Legal reference guide to the Restatements from Harvard Law School]


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