The Restatements of the Law are among the most valuable secondary sources for legal research. They aim to distill a concise set of principles or rules from the common law. In general, these rules "restate" what the law is, not what it should be. On occasion, the Restatements provide recommendations on a rule of law. Not every legal subject is covered by the Restatements.
Each Restatement volume is organized into chapters. Each chapter is organized into titles. Each title is divided into sections. Each section contains: a concise rule of law, comments and illustrations to clarify the rule, explanations of the rule's purpose, and major exceptions to the rule.
The Restatements are produced by the American Law Institute, a group of prominent judges, lawyer, and professors. Created by committee, the drafting process for the Restatements can take anywhere from nine to twenty years. Several versions of the Restatements are drafted and circulated before a final version is adopted. Due to the reputation of the ALI and the careful drafting process, Restatements are considered highly persuasive authority.
The first series of the Restatements is available on Westlaw, Lexis Nexis, and HeinOnline.
The second series of the Restatements is available on Westlaw, Lexis Nexis, and HeinOnline.
The third series of the Restatements is available on Westlaw, Lexis Nexis, and HeinOnline.
The Restatement of the Law Third, Torts is an ongoing project. Individual topic titles, such as Liability for Economic Hard and Intentional Torts to Person, are still in the draft stage.