ALI responds to Tobacco Control Center Criticism

Otherwise: ALI responds to Tobacco Control Center Criticism

ALI President Roberta Ramo and Director Lance Liebman have posted The ALI’s Response to the Center for Tobacco Control Research & Education, 98 Iowa L. Rev. Bull 1 (2013).
Laposata, et al. called for the ALI to adopt a policy of interest disclosure similar to that of  the National Academies: “Until the ALI adopts and enforces meaningful, effective, and transparent  conflict of interest policies, their work should not be taken without question as unbiased authoritative documents worthy of reliance by our courts and legislatures”.

The ALI leaders reply

“An ALI rule [4.03] tells members to “leave our clients at the door,” and it is a point of honor among members that we state what we personally believe to be right, not what our clients want us to say. But it is equally important that we make certain that all significant points of view are represented and explained.”

But lawyers don’t just “leave their clients at the door”.  They choose their clients as much as the clients choose them.  They develop loyalties to their clients.  The bonds are ideological as well as material.  Laposata, et al. compare the ALI unfavorably to the Congressionally-chartered National Academy of Sciences:

Unlike the NAS, the ALI does not have any policies that require a good faith effort to appoint members without conflicts of interest to serve as Reporters, Advisors, or in the M[embers] C[onsultative] G[roups],  nor does it have any policies that prevent these individuals from having a decision-making role.

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