Prof. Erik Luna
The American Law Institute (ALI) is focused on producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law. It has a membership 4300 judges, lawyers, and teachers from all areas of the U.S. and many foreign companies.
Among its projects, the ALI publishes restatements of basic legal subjects to inform the legal profession of what the law is, or should be, in a particular subject. One such restatement, focused on the law of restitution and unjust enrichment, was the focus of a recent symposium hosted by W&L Law.
Erik Luna joined the W&L faculty in 2009. An expert in criminal law and procedure, Luna has been called upon to testify before government bodies regarding issues of criminal justice. In 2009, he testified twice before the U.S. House of Representatives on the ability of the states to provide legal services to indigent criminal defendants as required by law. In 2010, he testified before the U.S. Sentencing Commission on the issue of mandatory minimum sentencing and before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs for a hearing examining whether violence against America's homeless population is on the rise.
Luna's current scholarly projects include two books, The Law of Terrorism and The Prosecutor in Transnational Perspective. His recent publications include "Mandatory Minimalism" in the Cardozo Law Review, which was cited in the ALI's current draft revisions to the sentencing provisions of the Model Penal Code. Originally promulgated a half-century ago, the Model Penal Code has played an important part in the widespread reform and codification of the substantive criminal law of the United States.
Luna's varied experience includes service as a Fulbright Scholar researching sentencing alternatives in New Zealand and as a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Germany. He is also an adjunct scholar with the Cato Institute, a public policy research foundation.
New ALI members are selected based on professional achievement and demonstrated interest in improving the law. Luna joins several other W&L Law faculty who are already members, including professors Doug Rendleman, Rick Kirgis, Margaret Howard, Tim Jost, Lyman Johnson, Brian Murchison, Scott Sundby, and Robin Wilson.