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John Fellas John Fellas

A Restatement of the Law is something of a misnomer. Restatements of Law are neither law nor state-sanctioned. They are the work of a private, independent organization—the American Law Institute. Moreover, Restatements of Law do not literally “restate” the current law. Rather, there may be issues on which a Restatement might deliberately depart from the view of the law taken by a majority of the courts. Despite this, Restatements are routinely relied upon by both courts and lawyers as a guide to the law of their subject matter, and can carry substantial persuasive weight.

The authority of Restatements lies in their comprehensiveness, highly quality and neutrality. They are typically the product of years of meticulous research, thorough and thoughtful consideration, and careful and precise drafting by experts in the field (called “Reporters”). And they are prepared in consultation with practitioners, academics, judges and others also involved in that field (either “advisers” or part of the “members consultative group”).

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