For a short overview of the drafting process for a Restatement, see How the ALI Works.
The following process typically takes between 9 and 21 years:
Other ALI-authored works, such as Uniform Commercial Code articles, are created in a similar process. If you want assistance locating materials relating to non-Restatement ALI projects, please ask a research librarian.
Legal researchers sometimes need to trace the historical development of a Restatement section, the impetus for its inclusion, which section of a prior Restatement it derived from, or how it came to be worded a certain way.
For many sections, Reporter's notes explain the development of a section, often explaining earlier versions and citations to cases that were used as the basis for the rule. Reporters notes can be found in the Appendix volumes of individual Restatements.
To trace how the text changed during the drafting process, you can compare various drafts: the tentative drafts, council drafts, preliminary drafts and proposed final drafts. Each draft has its own record in the library catalog. Use the Title Keywords search in Hollis Classic--for example, search restatement torts--to locate them. Drafts are also available in the microform set Archive Publications described below.
Some Restatement volumes contain conversion tables. These tables indicate where sections of drafts or sections from earlier series were included in the final, adopted version of a Restatement.
Although some Restatements are designated 2d or 3d, there are not always antecedents. For instance, the Restatement of the Law Governing Lawyers is a Restatement of the Law Third, but there has never been a first or second Restatement of the Law Governing Lawyers.
The American Law Institute is continually working on Restatements and other projects. Researchers are often interested in determining whether a Restatement has become final, or what stage the drafting process has reached. The following tools can help answer those questions, as well as provide a history of the development of ALI projects.