I. Introduction: History and Purpose

The American Law Institute(ALI) was established in 1923 to define, summarize, or restate existing common law. Between 1923 and 1944, Restatements were adopted for the law of agency, conflict of laws, contracts, judgments, property, restitution, security, torts, and trusts. Eight of these have been reissued in Restatement(Second) series. Restatement(Third) covers foreign relations law of the United States, trusts(prudent investor rule), and unfair competition. Each topic contains "black letter law", comments with illustrations, and reporter's notes. Although the Restatements do not have binding legal authority, they are frequently cited by the courts. Moreover, the Restatements are good sources for finding relevant cases.

II. Restatements by Subject

The titles included in the Restatements series are:

Agency KF1345 .A76
Conflicts of Laws KF411 .R47
Contracts KF 801 .A512
Foreign Relations Law of the United States KF 4651 .R47
Judgments KF 8990 .R48
Property KF 570 .A512 P966
Property(Landlord and Tenant) KF590 .R47
Property(Wills and Donative Transfers) KF613 .R47 D677

Property (Mortgages) KF695 .R49

Property (Servitudes) KF657 .R48

Restatement(Third) Law Governing Lawyers KF395 .A243 L391
Restitution 5TH FLOOR KF1244 .R46
Security 5TH FLOOR KF1050 .Z9 R465
Suretyship and Guaranty KF1045 .R47
Torts KF1249 .A4 R47

Torts: Apportionment of Liability KF395 .A2 T6212
Torts: Products Liability KF1296 .R467
Trusts KF 730 .R47
Trusts(Prudent Investor Rule) KF730 .R4725
Unfair Competition KF 3195 .R468

The Restatements are located at the RESERVE DESK unless indicated 5TH FLOOR.

The subject covered in each Restatement is divided into chapters which are then divided into topics and sections. Each section begins with a statement of the "black letter" rule or principle of law, followed by comments which explain the rule with one or more illustrations of the rule. The comments are followed by Reporter's Notes which discuss the development of the law and cite court decisions, statutes, treatises and periodical articles. Restatements(Second) and (Third) include tables of cases, statutes, and other cited authorities, as well as cross-references to West's Key Numbers and ALR Annotations.

III. Example: Restatement(Second) of the Law of Judgments

Issue:
Whether a valid judgment of a state court precludes
litigation in a federal court of a related federal claim
based upon the same transaction.

Research Path:

1. Consult the Index for Restatement(Second)Judgments
under the terms "preclusion" and "state court judgment in a federal court".
2. The Index refers to:
Sec. 86 Effect of State Court Judgment In a Subsequent Action in Federal Court.
See the Comments, Illustrations, and Reporter's Notes included in sec. 86.
3. Consult the Appendix volumes and Cumulative Supplement for case citations and summaries.
4. Consult Shepard's Restatement of The Law Citations to find more recent case citations.
[Shepard's Restatement is located in the Main Reading Room on the sixth floor of the Library.]

IV. Research Aids

1. Indexes and Appendixes

As the "Research Path" illustrates, Restatement sections typically include the "black letter" rule of law, comments, illustrations, and Reporter's Notes. Sections of the Restatements may be accessed by individual index volumes, a comprehensive index(covering the 1st series), or by topic by using the Table of Contents in each volume.

Case citations may be found in the comments and in the appendixes. Appendixes are updated with pocket part and cumulative annual supplements. The pocket part and annual supplements are updated by Interim Case Citations. The cover page of each Interim Case Citation indicates which set of pocket parts or supplements it is intended to update.

2. Shepard's Restatement of the Law Citations

Cases and articles which cite specific Restatement sections can also be found by using Shepard's Restatement of the Law Citations. Shepard's covers references to Restatement sections in federal and state court decisions, several law reviews and the ABA Journal.

3. Periodical Articles

Articles on the various Restatements may be located by using the Index to Legal Periodicals and the Current Law Index. The ILP lists articles under "American Law Institute" and general subject headings. The Current Law Index lists articles under subject headings and the name of the Restatement. The Current Law Index is available on both Lexis and Westlaw. Lexis: Secondary Legal>Annotations and Indexes>Legal Resource Index. Westlaw: LRI database.

4. Other Research Aids

In addition to the sources mentioned above, ALI publications also include tentative drafts, proposed final drafts, annual reports and proceedings. The Annual Reports, which are published separately and in the annual Proceedings, include references to articles published on the various Restatements. We have some of these sources in our collection. Consult the online catalog to locate these sources or ask a Reference Librarian for assistance. [William S. Hein & Co. has published a comprehensive collection of the proceedings, annual reports, and drafts on microfiche, A.L.I. Archive Publications in Microfiche. Refer to the hard copy Guide to the American Law Institute Publications LAW REF KF294 .A5 G8 1994.]

V. Online Sources

Online access to the Restatements is available on Westlaw in the REST database, as well as in individual topic databases, e.g. REST-TORT , and on Lexis in the SECONDARY-LEGAL .

The American Law Institute's web site is www.ali.org . The ALI home page provides an index for the Restatements with a description of the subjects covered within each Restatement. The web site also provides information on ALI publications, press releases, the ALI Annual Report, and the ALI newsletter, and links to other law related sites.

[References: Morris L. Cohen, Robert C. Berring, and Kent C. Olson, How to Find the Law(9th ed.) St.Paul, MN: West Publishing Co. 1989; J.Myron Jacobstein, Roy M. Mersky, and Donald J. Dunn, Fundamentals of Legal Research(6th ed.) Westbury, NY: Foundation Press, 1994; The American Law Institute, ALI Catalog of Publications .]

Last Updated: January 10, 2012. Ellen V. Delaney
Reference Librarian

edelaney@suffolk.edu