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January 17, 2006

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

Professor Susan Klein Elected to the American Law Institute

Photo of Professor Susan Klein
Professor Susan R Klein
Photo Credit: Grant Guerreo

AUSTIN, Texas—The American Law Institute (ALI) elected Professor Susan Klein to its membership. Klein, who holds the Baker & Botts professorship at The University of Texas at Austin School of Law, will become part of this influential institute. She has been appointed to the Members Consultative Ground and Liasons for Model Penal Code: Sentencing. This project seeks to rethink and systematize the principles that govern sentencing.

"Professor Klein will make an excellent addition to the American Law Insitute. She is one of the nation’s leading scholars in criminal procedure, and her recent work on sentencing has helped frame the debate. Her election to the ALI is eminently well deserved," said Interim Dean Steven Goode.

"It is especially gratifying to receive this appointment in the wake of the Supreme Court's recent momentous decision, in United States v. Booker, 125 S.Ct. 738 (2005), to strike down mandatory federal sentencing guidelines as violative of the right to a jury trial. We are currently in the midst of a sentencing revolution, and I could not be more thrilled to have the opportunity to play a role in reforming state and federal law," said Klein.

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 Klein's scholarship has focused on criminal procedure, federal criminal law, and ethics. Her 2001 and 2004 articles (in the Vanderbilt and Stanford law reviews) have been cited in two of the Supreme Court's recent cases attempting to define the role of the Sixth Amendment jury trial right in criminal sentencing.

Professor Klein is an expert in criminal procedure, federal criminal law, and ethics. Her many articles have appeared in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, the California Law Review, the Supreme Court Review, and elsewhere. She is active in educating state and federal judges, and is co-author of the six criminal procedure volumes of Charles Alan Wright's Federal Practice and Procedure series, West's best-selling publication. Prior to becoming an academic, she clerked for Judge Cynthia H. Hall on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and spent four years as a federal criminal prosecutor with the United States Department of Justice through the Attorney General's Honor Program.

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 Klein's faculty profile:
Professor Klein' criminal law externship program as profiled briefly in "Practice and Procedure," UTLAW, Spring 2005, p. 14:
Professor Klein's essay, "Crimes, Sentences, and Juries," UTLAW, Winter 2005, p. 22-23:
Professor Klein selected to author famed procedure treatise:
Professor Jane Stapleton elected to ALI Council:
About the ALI: