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Conference on ALI’s Restatement of Liability Insurance

Conference on ALI’s Restatement of Liability Insurance

The Rutgers Center for Risk and Responsibility is hosting a conference on The American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law of Liability Insurance.

The conference will be held Friday, February 27, 2015, at Rutgers Law School‒Camden.
The Restatement project aims, as Director Lance Liebman wrote, to draft “coherent doctrinal statements based largely on current state law, but also grounded in economic efficiency and in fairness to both insureds and insurers.” The ALI has approved Chapter 1, Basic Liability Insurance Contract Principles, and Chapter 2, Management of Potentially Insured Liability Claims. The project has sparked spirited debate, and this is an appropriate time to assess the work yet still early enough to influence the project. The conference will focus on issues raised in Chapters 1 and 2.

The Restatement potentially has significance far beyond the law of liability insurance. Its distinctive approach to interpretation charts a middle ground between formalist and contextualist approaches which may provide a model for the interpretation of other insurance contracts and of other types of contracts, from standard form contracts to commercial contracts. The rules on the duty to defend and the duty to make reasonable settlement decisions will impact tort law and litigation and raise ethical issues. Therefore, the Restatement should be of interest of scholars in contracts, torts, litigation, and professional responsibility as well as insurance and insurance law scholars.

The conference will engage academics and practicing lawyers in discussion of the Restatement. Confirmed academic speakers include Kenneth Abraham (Virginia), Michelle Boardman (George Mason), George Cohen (Virginia); Mark Geistfeld (NYU); Bruce Hay (Harvard); Erik Knutsen (Queens), Leo Martinez (UC Hastings), Charles Silver (Texas), and Jeffrey Thomas (UMKC). Practitioner speakers include Christopher Appel and Victor Schwartz (Shook Hardy), William T. Barker (Dentons), Laura Foggan (Wiley Rein), Timothy Law (Reed Smith), Kim Marrkand (Mintz, Levin), Ellis Medoway (Archer Greiner), Jeffrey Pollock (Fox Rothschild), Patricia Santelle (White and Williams), and Heather Steinmiller (Conner Strong & Buckelew Companies).

Reporters Tom Baker (Penn) and Kyle Logue (Michigan) will attend and respond.

The Rutgers University Law Review will publish the papers from the conference.

CLE credit will be available for NJ, NY, and PA.

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Rick Swedloff

Professor Swedloff teaches courses on civil procedure, remedies, and law and economics. His interests include liability insurance, the litigation system, and the legal profession. Professor Swedloff’s recent scholarship has focused on the role of insurance as a regulator of the legal profession and a gatekeeper to the liability system.