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Professor French to address insurance liability law restatement at George Mason’s Antonin Scalia Law School


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Christopher C. French, visiting assistant professor of law at Penn State Law, will participate in a panel discussion on the current draft of the Restatement of Insurance Liability Law on May 23 at the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School in Arlington, Virginia.

The panel is part of the law school’s Judicial Symposium on Civil Justice Issues, an annual conference organized to provide federal and state judges with a systematic review and critique of the most important civil justice issues of the day.

French’s panel, “The Impact of Restatements: Summarizing the Law or a Thumb on the Scale,” will center on the ongoing debate regarding the draft of the Restatement of Insurance Liability Law and whether it restates the law or simply presents the law as some drafters believe it should be. French will provide comments regarding the current draft of the Restatement and then participate in a moderated discussion followed by a Q&A with the approximately 70 to 80 judges in the audience.

In discussing the upcoming conference, French said, “I have provided some input to the drafters of the Restatement regarding certain sections of it so I am looking forward to discussing the accuracy of the final draft of it and whether it should be treated as a descriptive or a normative work.” French also said, “Some of the most vocal critics of the draft Restatement thus far have declined to provide any case law support, such as 50-state surveys, for their criticism that the current draft is not reflective of the laws in the majority of the states, so I look forward to having a discussion regarding the bases for the criticism.”

French has written extensively in the area where insurance law intersects with contract and tort law, and he currently teaches Torts, Contracts, Remedies, and Insurance Law. He has published numerous articles in law review journals at Georgia State University, University of Nevada, University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California, and University of Virginia, among other law schools, and he is the primary author of Insurance Law in a Nutshell and the author of numerous chapters of a two-volume insurance law treatise, Policyholder’s Guide to the Law of Insurance Coverage. Before coming to Penn State Law, French taught at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Villanova Law School, and was a former partner at K&L Gates LLP, where he worked as a commercial litigator.

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