ALI President Roberta Cooper Ramo gaveled the Meeting into order on Monday morning. After introducing the Officers on the dais and discussing the change of venue to the Ritz-Carlton, she addressed the members:
"I want to say thank you for being willing to participate vigorously. For those of you who are involved in projects because you know about them, for those of you, like me, who very often are sitting there listening to things and reading about things that are not part of your practice, I thank you for that because you are actually the people who often find the flaws in the experts' review of things. And to each of you, for leaving your personal interests at the door, not only am I appreciative but so is the American judicial system and the rule of law, so thank you for that."
Judge Carolyn Dineen King delivered her final report as Treasurer of ALI as she ended her three-year term. The new treasurer is Margaret H. Marshall, the former Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, now with Choate Hall & Stewart.
Judge King reported that, in fiscal year 2012, revenues exceeded $7 million and operating expenses were less than $6 million. "You have heard me say that basically we aim to break even or do a little better than that. This year we did a lot better," Judge King told the members. "And for the first time in more than a decade the CLE revenues and expenses are in a healthy line … and our investment portfolio is sizable and also healthy. The needed improvements in our financial and accounting operations are largely accomplished."
Judge Diane P. Wood of the 7th Circuit, who chairs the Nominating Committee, announced the nominees for open positions on ALI's Council. The membership voted to elect all five: Harold Hongju Koh of Yale Law School; Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court; Lori A. Martin of WilmerHale; Laura Stein, general counsel of The Clorox Co.; and Sarah S. Vance, the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
To learn more about the five new Council members, see our Press Release.
In the first speech of the meeting, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh talked about his time working with the Bush Administration and the unique challenges faced by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
"When people ask me which prior legal experience has been most useful for me as a judge, I tell them I certainly draw on all of them: the clerkships, private practice at Kirkland, the independent counsel's office, even college jobs on The Hill at Ways and Means. But the five and a half years in the White House—especially the three years with President Bush—were among the most interesting and most instructive, and so many memories come to mind and I think about so often."
Judge Kavanaugh also had strong words of praise for ALI and the work it does. "This is, quite simply, a bedrock and essential part of the American legal system. The Institute pursues clarity about what the law is and seeks progress about what the law should be and I am proud to be a member of The American Law Institute. The Institute is also a model for civil discussion and debate which is so needed in all three branches of our federal government here in Washington…. Among its many virtues, the ALI helps judges stay aware of the thoughts of the bar and the academy and I am grateful for the opportunity to spend time with all of you at ALI events."
To watch a video of Judge Kavanaugh's speech, visit the ALI's YouTube Page.
Laurel G. Bellows, President of the American Bar Association, spoke to members about the crisis of vacancies on the federal courts, persistent problems with court funding, and the widespread problem of human trafficking.
"I would like to tell you how delighted I am to celebrate the rapport that the ABA and the ALI have enjoyed over many years as we have addressed the need for reform, the need to examine our democracy, and we have made better courts together and we have made better lawyers together and we will continue to work together on just those priorities," Bellows told the members.
ALI Council member Carolyn B. Lamm (at podium) moderates a discussion of the Restatement Third, The U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration. Seated from left: Reporters: George A. Bermann of Columbia University School of Law; Jack J. Coe, Jr. of Pepperdine University School of Law; and Christopher R. Drahozal of the University of Kansas School of Law. (Not pictured, Reporter Catherine A. Rogers of Penn State University, Dickinson School of Law.)
The membership voted to approve Tentative Draft No. 3 of the Restatement Third, The U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration, which covers §§ 4-26 through 4-36 of Chapter 4, Post-Award Relief. Sections 4-1 through 4-25 were previously approved in 2012.
On the dais for a discussion of Principles of the Law of Liability Insurance, from left, Reporters Tom Baker, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and Professor Kyle D. Logue of the University of Michigan.
The membership approved §§ 1 though 15 of Tentative Draft No. 1 of Principles of the Law of Liability Insurance, which constitutes all of Chapter 1, Basic Liability Insurance Contract Principles, and the first four sections of Chapter 2, Management of Potentially Insured Liability Claims, Topic 1, Defense.
ALI members enjoyed a sophisticated and fun evening at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, where they connected with friends and colleagues amid magnificent art to enjoy live piano music, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.