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January 2, 2006

Press Contact: Allegra Young, UT Law, (512) 471-7330.

Professor Patrick Woolley Elected to the American Law Institute

Photo of Professor Patrick Woolley
Professor Patrick Woolley
Photo Credit: Wyatt McSpadden

AUSTIN, Texas — The American Law Institute (ALI) elected Professor Patrick Woolley to its membership. Woolley, who holds the Beck, Redden & Secrest professorship at The University of Texas at Austin School of Law, will become part of this influential institute.

"We're delighted that the ALI has elected Professor Woolley to its membership. His combination of legal experience, scholarship, and collegiality have added much to our law school, and will undoubtedly add much to the projects he focuses on as a member of the ALI," said UT Law's Interim Dean Steven Goode.

“I am honored to have been elected to membership in the ALI. As a law student, as a practitioner, and now as a law professor, I have admired the quality of the ALI’s influential publications. I look forward to the opportunity to participate actively in the valuable work of the Institute," said Professor Woolley.

The Philadelphia-based ALI drafts and publishes restatements of the law, model codes, and other proposals for legal reform. Among the Institute's stated goals are "to promote the clarification and simplification of the law . . . and to encourage and carry on scholarly and scientific work."

The Institute works on a dozen projects at any given time. A reporter (usually a law professor) and an advisory committee develops a book-length project over several years, and each draft of every project must be separately approved by the Council and the membership. The Institute's restatements, model codes, and legal studies are used as references by the entire legal profession.

UT Law faculty members continue to serve in various leadership roles within ALI. UT Law’s Jane Stapleton sits on ALI's Council, the Institute's prestigious governing body. Recent ALI projects include President Designate Bill Powers' work as co-reporter on the Restatement Third, Torts: Liability for Physical Harm, approved in spring 2005. Professor Mark Gergen is currently the reporter on the ALI's new project on torts that only cause economic loss. Professor Charles Silver is currently an associate reporter on the Project on Aggregate Litigation. Professor Mark Ascher serves as an advisor to the ALI Restatement (Third) of Trusts.

Professor Woolley's scholarship has focused on class actions and he is especially eager to participate in the preparation of " The Principles of Aggregate Litigation," the project on which Silver is an associate reporter. This project seeks to rethink and systematize the principles that govern aggregate litigation, of which class actions are an important part.

Professor Woolley joined the faculty in 1994 after practicing for a number of years with Munger, Tolles & Olson in Los Angeles. His research and teaching interests include class actions, civil procedure, conflict of laws, federal courts and constitutional law. His scholarly work on class actions includes “Choice of Law and the Protection of Class Members”, (Michigan State Law Review, 2004), "The Availability of Collateral Attack for Inadequate Representation in Class Suits" (Texas Law Review, 2000), "Mass Tort Litigation and the Seventh Amendment Reexamination Clause" (Iowa Law Review, 1998), and “Rethinking the Adequacy of Adequate Representation” (Texas Law Review, 1997).

About the Institute:

The American Law Institute was founded in 1923 and is based in Philadelphia. The Institute, through a careful and deliberative process, drafts and then publishes various restatements of the law, model codes, and other proposals for legal reform “to promote the clarification and simplification of the law and its better adaptation to social needs, to secure the better administration of justice, and to encourage and carry on scholarly and scientific legal work.” Its membership consists of judges, practicing lawyers, and legal scholars from all areas of the United States as well as some foreign countries, selected on the basis of professional achievement and demonstrated interest in the improvement of the law. The Institute’s incorporators included Chief Justice and former President William Howard Taft, future Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, and former Secretary of State Elihu Root. Judges Benjamin N. Cardozo and Learned Hand were among its early leaders.

Related Links:
Professor Woolley's Web site:
Professor Jane Stapleton elected to ALI Council:
About the ALI: