Earlier today, I published a blog post explaining why I believe the American Law Institute’s members should not approve the Tentative Draft of the Restatement of the Law, Consumer Contracts (the “Restatement”) on which they will be voting at ALI’s annual meeting next Tuesday in Washington, D.C. As I indicated in my blog post, the upcoming vote on the Restatement presents an unusual circumstance where both consumer and business groups find themselves in agreement that the Restatement should be rejected by ALI’s members.
On the consumer side, a group of 22 state Attorneys General joined by the D.C Attorney General have sent a letter to ALI’s members urging them to reject the Restatement because, in the AGs’ view, it does not adequately protect the interest of consumers.
We also note that a peculiar controversy has erupted involving Professor Adam Levitin of Georgetown University Law School, a critic of the Restatement, who I interviewed on Tuesday about the Restatement for our podcast. Adam reportedly made a copy of the Restatement available online so that his blog readers could access the document and better understand the basis for his objections. In response, he is reported to have received emails from ALI’s leadership demanding that he take down the Restatement and asserting that the Restatement is subject to ALI’s copyright, and that ALI finances its activities by selling copies of its Restatements. ALI is further reported to have disabled Adam’s access to the ALI web site but, upon being challenged, to have restored his access. While ALI has reportedly not yet withdrawn its demand that Adam take down the Restatement, ALI is reported to have posted the Restatement on its own web site, outside of the password-protected wall.