A Brand New Restatement

By Arnold Mytelka

Arnold Mytelka, a member of the prestigious American Law Institute (ALI), recently joined law professors, judges and lawyers from all over the country working on the preparation of a new Restatement Third of Conflict of Laws.

The ALI's restatements of law address gaps in the law.   Judges who need to decide cases that land in one of the gaps must research, analyze and determine what law should be applied.  One of the most important sources is the series of Restatements of Law published by the American Law Institute

Arnold Mytelka has previously worked on two published Restatements; one on the Law Governing Lawyers and the other on Restitution.  The Restatement Third of Conflict of Laws is one of the broadest scale restatements because it addresses what law controls a litigated case.  It requires immersion in many fields and makes it necessary to delve into the law of contracts, torts, property, trusts, decedent's estates and even foreign relations.

Arnold Mytelka advises lawyers to be aware that a new Restatement Third is in process that will make significant changes in the Restatement Second currently in use. 

Reviewing the initial draft of the new Restatement, he stresses the need for those working in business transactions to recognize the importance of applicable law.  He explains,  "the importance of the subject is greater than almost any fact in any case because all the facts in every case are decided in the crucible of the law found by the judge to be applicable". 

He suggests that before entering into any business transaction, whether contract or other legal transaction, serious consideration be given as to whether the deal may relate to more than one State.  For example, will the contract be signed in New Jersey and performed elsewhere?  

Arnold adds,  "At the outset, the parties can choose what law controls their transaction.  When a dispute arises and wends its way to court, the controlling law may become a major part of the dispute.  Competing laws can be a major issue and should be addressed whenever and as soon as possible."

Arnold Mytelka has represented clients in complex corporate and commercial cases, trust and estate disputes, professional ethics matters, and significant land use cases.   For more information about Arnold Mytelka's practice, click here.