The American Law Institute Elects Five Council Members

The American Law Institute Elects Five Council Members

PHILADELPHIA – At this week’s 2023 Annual Meeting, The American Law Institute’s membership elected five new members to its Council, which determines projects and activities to be undertaken by the ALI and approves the work as representing the position of the Institute.

The new Council members are J. Michelle Childs of U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, Caitlin Halligan of New York State Court of Appeals, Peter D. Keisler of Sidley Austin LLP (Retired), Robert H. Klonoff of Lewis & Clark Law School, and Leondra R. Kruger of California Supreme Court.

Short biographies of ALI’s new Council members can be found below. Complete biographies are available here.

J. Michelle Childs was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in July 2022. She holds her undergraduate degree in Management from the University of South Florida Honors College, a law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law, a Masters in Personnel and Employment Relations from the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business, a Masters of Judicial Studies from Duke University School of Law, and an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Public Service from the University of South Carolina.

From 1992 to 2000, Childs worked at Nexsen Pruet, ultimately serving as partner. From 2000 to 2002, she was appointed to serve as the deputy director for the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation’s Division of Labor, and from 2002 to 2006, she was appointed to serve as a commissioner on the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. In 2006, the South Carolina General Assembly elected her as a state circuit court judge, during which she served as chief administrative judge for the General Sessions and as chief administrative judge for the state’s business court. In 2010, she was appointed to the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina until her appointment to the D.C. Circuit.

Caitlin Halligan was appointed to the New York Court of Appeals in 2023. Prior to her appointment, she was an attorney at the firm Selendy & Gay. Halligan served as solicitor general for the State of New York from 2001 to 2007, after serving as deputy solicitor general. Before that, she served as the first chief of the New York Attorney General’s Internet Bureau.

Peter D. Keisler, former acting attorney general in the Department of Justice, is senior counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of Sidley Austin. A former co-chair of Sidley’s Supreme Court and Appellate Practice who also served as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, he has argued before the Supreme Court of the United States, the federal Courts of Appeals and District Courts, and in state court on behalf of both private-sector clients and the United States Government.

Keisler served as assistant attorney general for the Civil Division in the Department of Justice in the George W. Bush Administration and as associate counsel to the president in the Reagan Administration, and as a member of the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure and of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules.

Robert Klonoff is the Jordan D. Schnitzer Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School. He served as dean of the Law School from 2007-2014. He is a co-author of the Wright & Miller treatise, Federal Practice and Procedure (with sole responsibility for the three class action volumes), and is the author of numerous textbooks and articles on class actions and federal multidistrict litigation.

Klonoff served as an Associate Reporter for Principles of the Law, Aggregate Litigation. He is a fellow in the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and an elected member of the International Association of Procedural Law. From 2011-2017, he served as the academic member of the Federal Civil Rules Advisory Committee.

Leondra R. Kruger is an associate justice of the California Supreme Court. She took office in January 2015 and was retained by voters in November 2018. Before joining the court, Kruger worked in the United States Department Justice as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel, as an assistant to the solicitor general, and as an acting deputy solicitor general.

During her time in the Department of Justice, Kruger twice received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service and argued twelve cases on behalf of the United States in the Supreme Court of the United States. She previously worked in private practice, where she specialized in appellate and Supreme Court litigation, and taught as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Chicago Law School.

Additionally, at the Annual Meeting Donald B. Ayer, Abbe R. Gluck and Harold Hongju Koh, both of Yale Law School, Goodwin Liu of California Supreme Court, Lori A. Martin of WilmerHale, Laura Stein of Mondelez International, and Sarah S. Vance of U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana were reelected for another Council term.

About The American Law Institute

The American Law Institute is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and improve the law. The ALI drafts, discusses, revises, and publishes Restatements of the Law, Model Codes, and Principles of Law that are enormously influential in the courts and legislatures, as well as in legal scholarship and education.

By participating in the Institute’s work, its distinguished members have the opportunity to influence the development of the law in both existing and emerging areas, to work with other eminent lawyers, judges, and academics, to give back to a profession to which they are deeply dedicated, and to contribute to the public good.

For more information about The American Law Institute, visit

Featured Members