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Happy Birthday, ALI

Editorial Advisory Board//June 1, 2023

Happy Birthday, ALI

The American Law Institute celebrated its 100th birthday at its recently concluded annual meeting. The ALI, through its Restatements, Principles projects, and other works, such as the Model Penal Code, has had a significant and salutary impact on American law.

We congratulate the ALI on its first century and look forward to the next.

William Draper Lewis, the first director of the ALI, spoke at the Maryland State Bar Convention on June 30, 1923, about the work of the American Law Institute. Maryland judges and lawyers have been involved in the ALI from its founding. William L. Marbury, Sr., and Charles McHenry Howard were among the original members of the ALI. Judge T. Scott Offut of the Court of Appeals of Maryland was one of the advisers for the First Restatement of Torts, and several other judges of the Maryland’s highest court have been elected members.

The Court of Appeals of Maryland began citing the Restatements even before they were in final form, with the first citation to a draft of the Restatement of Agency in 1927.  The ALI launched the second series of Restatements in 1952 and the third series in 1987. The ALI continues to update Restatements and in recent years has approved Restatements in new subjects such as employment law and consumer contracts.

Although there are some notable exceptions, such as Maryland’s continuing to follow the First Restatement of Conflict of Laws rather than the Second, and continuing to follow the provisions of the Second Restatement of Torts on product liability and contributory negligence rather than the analogous provisions of the Third Restatement, Maryland courts generally follow current Restatements.

The Supreme Court of the United States also frequently relies on the Restatements when addressing salient issues arising under state and federal law.

The ALI’s certificate of incorporation stated that the object of the institute was “to promote the clarification and simplification of the law and its better adaption to social needs, to secure the better administration of justice, and to encourage and carry on scholarly and scientific legal work.”

The ALI has fulfilled its stated objective during its first century, and we look forward to its continuing to do so.

Editorial Advisory Board members Arthur F. Fergenson, Susan F. Martielli and Debra G. Schubert did not participate in this opinion.


James B. Astrachan, Chair

James K. Archibald

Gary E. Bair

Andre M. Davis

Eric Easton

Arthur F. Fergenson

Nancy Forster

Susan Francis

Leigh Goodmark

Roland Harris

Julie C. Janofsky

Ericka N. King

Susan F. Martielli

Angela W. Russell

Debra G. Schubert

H. Mark Stichel

The Daily Record Editorial Advisory Board is composed of members of the legal profession who serve voluntarily and are independent of The Daily Record. Through their ongoing exchange of views, members of the board attempt to develop consensus on issues of importance to the bench, bar and public. When their minds meet, unsigned opinions will result. When they differ, or if a conflict exists, majority views and the names of members who do not participate will appear. Members of the community are invited to contribute letters to the editor and/or columns about opinions expressed by the Editorial Advisory Board.





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