Restatements of the law
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Restatements of the Law. Restatements of the Law. Restatements of the Law are written by prominent legal scholars. Restatements must be formally adopted by the members of the American Law Institute.

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Restatements of the law1
Restatements of the Law

  • Restatements of the Law are written by prominent legal scholars.

  • Restatements must be formally adopted by the members of the American Law Institute.

  • Restatements are the attempt of the American Law Institute to clarify the ever-increasing amount and complexity of case law by clear, concise restatements.

  • More than any other secondary source, Restatements are often accepted by the courts as persuasive authority.

Restatements of the law


  • Restatements are divided into chapters, then into narrower titles, and then into numbered sections.

  • Each section begins with a “blackletter” statement of the law.

  • The blackletter statement covers a fairly broad issue.

  • Sub-issues are often discussed in the author’s Comments and Illustrations that follow each statement. These comments and illustrations are often cited by the courts.

Current restatements include

Agency (Second)

Apportionment of Liability (Third)

Conflict of Law (Second)

Contracts (Second)

Foreign Relations (Third)

Judgments (Second)

Law Governing Lawyers (Third)

Products Liability (Third)

Property (Third)

Prudent Investor Rule (Third)

Restitution (First)

Security (First)

Suretyship and Guaranty (Third)

Torts (Second)

Trusts (Second)

Unfair Competition (Third)

Wills and Donative Transfers (Third)

Current Restatements include

Restatements of the law

  • Features of the Restatements include1

    • Appendix volumes

      • Instead of citing relevant cases, appendix volumes contain summaries of cases that have cited each section of the Restatement.

    • Indexes

      • Restatement, First Series, has a one-volume index to all Restatements.

      • Restatements, Second and Third Series, do not have a comprehensive index.

        • Some have subject index for each volume.

        • Recent Restatements have an index in the last volume or in a separate volume.

        • 1Features vary by series and by volume.

Restatements of the law

Features (continued)

  • Reporter’s Notes are at the end of each section or in the Appendix volumes of the agency, torts, and trust restatements.

  • Recent volumes have cross-references to the West Key Number System® and ALR annotations.

  • Updating Restatements

    • Drafts of new series are published in soft-cover format

    • Cumulative annual supplements

    • Interim case citation pamphlet

    • Pocket parts

  • Restatements of the law

    Restatement databases on Westlaw are

    • REST – all Restatements of the Law

    • REST-AGEN – Agency

    • REST-CONFL – Conflict of Laws

    • REST-CONTR – Contract Restatement

    • REST-FOREL – The Foreign Relations Law of the United States

    • REST-JUDG – Judgments

    • REST-LGOVL – Law Governing Lawyers

    • PL-REST – Product Liability

    • REST-PROP – Property

    • REST-RESTI – Restitution

    • REST-SEC – Security and Suretyship and Guaranty

    • REST-TORT – Torts

    • REST-TRUST–Trusts

    • REST-UNCOM – Unfair Competition

    Restatements of the law


    • Online documents contain the text, comments, and illustrations of the Restatement, Case Citations to Restatements, Reporter’s Notes and Cross References.

    • A Table of Contents link on the Links for tab opens the Table of Contents for the Restatement at the Restatement section being displayed.

    • Drafts of future series are included in the databases.

    • Database: REST-TORT

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