Schwartz Explains ALI Meeting and Comment Protocols in ALI Reporter

The ALI Reporter has published “A Basic Guide to Participating in ALI Annual Meetings,” an article by Shook’s Co-Chair of Public Policy Victor Schwartz, in its Fall 2017 edition. Based on an address Schwartz gave to new American Law Institute members in May 2017, the article explains the protocols of draft commentary, makes suggestions about when filing motions may be more appropriate than commentary to express disagreement with a draft, and recommends finding a balance between refraining from comment and “microphone overkill.” According to Schwartz, the guidelines have been developed by custom over the ALI’s 94-year history, but have never been formally collected or published. 

Schwartz encourages all ALI members to use their membership as more than just an entry on a resume, and to take full advantage of the opportunity to collaborate with others to shape the common law. “The future of ALI and its continued impact on American law is in our thoughts and constructive input,” Schwartz says. “With this ability to impact the law comes responsibility: the responsibility to be involved, to engage in good-natured debate, and to be fair to all sides.”