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MSU Law Professors Fletcher and Singel Named Reporters for American Indian Law Restatement

East Lansing, MI — The American Law Institute has appointed Michigan State University College of Law Professors Matthew Fletcher and Wenona Singel as reporters for the Restatement Third, the Law of American Indians. Fletcher, who directs MSU Law’s Indigenous Law and Policy Center, has been designated as reporter for the project. Singel, associate director of the ILPC, will serve as one of two associate reporters.

The American Law Institute (ALI) is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law. Its work is frequently cited and highly influential in courts, legislatures, scholarship, and legal education—both in the U.S. and abroad. Founded in 1923, ALI’s initial projects were Restatements of the Law, treatises designed to clarify the law for judges and lawyers.

The new American Indian law project is part of ALI’s third series of Restatements. It will reinforce foundational principles on topics such as federal–tribal and state–tribal relations, tribal jurisdiction and authority, and Indian Country business law.

“My goals are to bring clarity to the field and to highlight the importance of the field,” Fletcher said. “There is a bit of a disconnect between the judiciary and the stakeholders in Indian Country—largely caused by information dissymmetry involving tribal realities. The Restatement can go a long way toward resolving that disconnect.”

The Restatement reporters are responsible for researching and preparing the initial draft of the material. They will be assisted by a committee of 34 advisers, including MSU Law Visiting Professor Nicholas Wittner; Judges William Canby Jr. and William Fletcher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; and Patricia Ann Millett, a Washington, DC, attorney who has argued more cases before the U.S. Supreme Court than any other woman in history. The committee also includes judges from the New Mexico Supreme Court, Minnesota Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, as well as representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice, 12 other law schools, and a dozen law firms across the country.

“A Restatement has tremendous potential to reduce the uncertainty that pervades practice in the field of Federal Indian Law,” Singel said. “We look forward to working with the nation’s leading experts in the field to draft a Restatement that promotes greater consistency in judicial decision-making.”

Fletcher was elected to ALI’s distinguished membership in 2010. Singel was announced this month as one of 68 newly elected members.

Michigan State University College of Law, a leading institution of legal education with a long history of educating practice-ready attorneys, prepares future lawyers to use ethics, ambition, and intellect to solve the world’s problems. Michigan State Law offers comprehensive interdisciplinary opportunities combined with a personalized legal education, and is on an upward trajectory of national and international reputation and reach. MSU Law professors are gifted teachers and distinguished scholars, its curriculum is rigorous and challenging, and its facility is equipped with the latest resources—all affirming MSU Law’s commitment to educating 21st-century lawyers.


Law College Building
648 N. Shaw Lane, Room 320
East Lansing, MI 48824

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