Alan S. Kaplinsky, who leads Ballard Spahr’s nationally recognized Consumer Financial Services Group, has been named an adviser to an American Law Institute (ALI) project that will consider the creation of a new restatement on consumer contract law. The first meeting of advisers took place on November 30, 2012, in New York City.

The project, Restatement of the Law Third, Consumer Contracts, comes on the heels of a previous publication that covered both consumer and commercial contracts and is designed to more thoroughly analyze the rules applicable to consumer contracts. The 24-member advisory panel is composed primarily of academics and judges. Mr. Kaplinsky is one of only two attorneys on the panel who represent industry.

Particularly noteworthy is that one of the two law professors in charge of the project is Professor Oren Bar-Gill. Together with former law professor and now U.S. Senator-Elect Elizabeth Warren, Professor Bar-Gill authored the University of Pennsylvania Law Review article that provided the blueprint for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“It’s important for judges and lawyers to understand the principles of consumer contracts,” Mr. Kaplinsky said. “I have spent a substantial portion of my nearly 40-year legal career analyzing consumer contracts and implementing the changes wrought by legislation, regulation, and the changing times. Now more than ever, particularly with the addition of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on the scene, the subject of consumer contracts is a hot-button topic. I look forward to having an in-depth discussion with my fellow advisers on those issues.”

Mr. Kaplinsky advises financial institutions on bank regulatory and transactional matters, particularly consumer financial services law. He pioneered the use of pre-dispute arbitration provisions in consumer contracts and has counseled numerous consumer financial services companies on this subject. He also has defended numerous companies in the enforcement of consumer arbitration agreements.

ALI is the leading independent organization in the United States that produces scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law. The Institute drafts, discusses, revises, and publishes Restatements of the Law, model statutes, and principles of law that are influential in the courts and legislatures, as well as in legal scholarship and education.

Below are links to additional information about the ALI Restatement of the Law Third, Consumer Contracts project:

Agenda for first meeting of project advisers
Project outline 
List of project reporters, advisers, and other participants