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January 26, 2010

University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers coauthors tort law restatement for the American Law Institute

The American Law Institute (ALI) has issued the first volume of its Restatement Third, Torts: Liability for Physical and Emotional Harm, an updated and sweeping treatise on the law of torts by Michael D. Green Jr., professor at the Wake Forest University School of Law, and Willi>am C. Powers Jr., president of the University of Texas at Austin and former dean of the School of Law.

Tort law addresses wrongful acts that injure other persons. The Restatement Third ranges across the output of the nation’s courts and has been compiled in consultation with leading tort experts from across the country. It constitutes a synthesis of current tort law and a guide to what it should become. It will be relied upon heavily by lawyers and judges, according to Lawrence Sager, dean of the University of Texas School of Law.

“Producing a superb study of a tangled area of law like torts in the United States is a remarkable achievement,” Sager said. “Producing it while serving first as Law School dean and then as university president is an astonishing accomplishment.”

Powers was dean of the Law School from 2000 to 2006, when he was named president of the University.

“Nowhere is the complexity of U.S. law more problematic than in the area of tort law,” said Jane Stapleton, the Ernest E. Smith Professor at the School of Law. “In navigating this crucial field, which involves hundreds of billions of dollars every year, American lawyers and courts have historically relied heavily on the guidance of the American Law Institute, which has now published its Third Restatement of the core principles in the field. Authored by two of the world’s most admired torts scholars, this new magisterial work is destined to become the most influential single text in tort law in the English language.”

Powers holds the Hines H. Baker and Thelma Kelley Baker Chair in Law at the School of Law and Green holds the Bess and Walter Williams Distinguished Chair at Wake Forest.


Kirston Fortune, UT Law Communications Office, 512-471-7330, or