Document Type

Article

Comments

The Restatement of the Law of Trusts, 31 Columbia Law Review 800 (1931)

Abstract

As a preface to a discussion of any of the tentative drafts of the restatement of law it is interesting to recall the situation which created the need for the American Law Institute, and the objects which its founders hoped to attain. Logic is a method of classification, and the logical machinery of the law is a classification of the opinions of appellate courts under titles or concepts. As rapidly as the increasingly numerous opinions appear, they are put under the protection of one of these abstractions, and, once there, automatically become part of the field of "law" for which the abstraction stands as a symbol. The more ingeniously the legal analogies and concepts are used, the more dissimilar become the cases grouped under any one classification, until at times these terms become almost meaningless. Yet prior to the American Law Institute no systematic reclassification had ever been attempted. The magnitude of the task was terrifying. The conservative acceptance of the old terms, drilled into students by law school courses, emphasized in text books and digests, had become part of the very fibre of conventional "law in books" as distinguished from "law in action."

Date of Authorship for this Version

1931

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