Bequest Society

By providing generous and thoughtful philanthropic support to The American Law Institute’s Second Century Campaign, all donors are helping to ensure that ALI can continue to support the rule of law for the next 100 years. The profiles below highlight just a few of our donors. Please visit this page again, as more profiles will be added throughout the campaign.


  • Mary Kay KaneMary Kay Kane

    Mary Kay Kane passed away in June 2021, at age 74. She was elected to the Institute in 1978 and to the ALI Council in 1998, taking emeritus status in 2018.

    "She approached every project, meeting, and decision with keen intellect and grace," said ALI President David F. Levi. "I was fortunate to come to know Mary Kay because of her service on the Standing Committee for the Rules of Practice and Procedure and because of our joint service on the Council of the ALI. She was also a wonderful role model for me and others as a law dean. She was such a smart and lovely person, such a kind and balanced commenter. We will all miss her very much."

    A life member of the Institute, she generously gave countless hours to all of ALI’s projects, and additionally served as an Adviser on the Uniform Commercial Code; Restatement Third, Conflict of Laws; Restatement Third, Torts: Apportionment of Liability; and Principles of Transnational Civil Procedure. She also served as the Co-Reporter for the Complex Litigation Project, as well as various Council committees, including the 100th Anniversary, Development, Membership, and Executive Committees, among others.

    Her generosity to the Institute also provided for the Institute’s projects to continue through the establishment of the Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr. fund, which was established to provide the current director with the resources necessary to take advantage of any and all opportunities to further ALI’s important work, as well as through a bequest to the Institute.

    Mary Kay was born and raised in Detroit. She attended the University of Michigan where she received a B.A. degree in English and a J.D. in law in 1971. Upon graduation from law school, she became co-director of a national science foundation project on privacy and social science research data, spending one year at the University of Michigan and two years at Harvard Law School working on that project.

    She began teaching in 1974 at the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School and came to Hastings in 1977. She served as Associate Academic Dean from 1980 to 82, as Acting Academic Dean during the 1987-88 academic year, as Academic Dean from 1990 to 93, and as Dean from 1993 to 2006, and as Chancellor from 2000 to 2006. She has been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan, the University of Texas at Austin, and Boalt Hall.

    In 2001, Mary Kay served as the President of the Association of American Law Schools. She also served as a member of the Standing Committee on Practice and Procedure of the United States Judicial Conference from 2000-2006, and as a member of the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar from 2004-2010. Since 2014, she served on the Board of the International Association of Law Schools and as the Chair of the International Advisory Board for Kozminski University Law School in Warsaw, Poland.

    The American Law Institute is forever grateful for the time we were able to spend with Mary Kay, for and for her incredible generosity to the Institute.

    On September 9, 2021, UC Hastings Law held an event honoring Mary Kay, which featured remarks from ALI President David F. Levi, which may be viewed here.

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  • Vester HughesVester T. Hughes Jr.

    The Institute expresses its deep appreciation of longtime ALI member Vester T. Hughes Jr., who was 88 at the time of his passing in January 2017. The estate of Mr. Hughes generously contributed two major gifts totaling $1.25 million to ALI: an outright gift made in honor of Mr. Hughes, and the establishment of the Vester T. Hughes Jr. Endowment honoring The American Law Institute. These extraordinary gifts, facilitated by his good friend and law-firm partner Kim J. Askew, will help to carry on Vesters’s legacy and his deep commitment to the Institute.

    Vester graduated, cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1952 and was editor of the Harvard Law Review. After serving in the Army during the Korean War, he entered private practice in Dallas in 1955 as an associate at what would become Jackson Walker. Vester remained there until 1976, when he joined the firm that would later bear his name, Hughes & Luce LLP. In 2008, Hughes & Luce merged with K&L Gates LLP.

    Over the years, Vester built an expertise in tax law that spanned many industries, including aviation, oil and natural gas, and timber. He was also a recognized authority on several aspects of federal taxation, including income, estate, gift, and excise, both individual and corporate. He testified before Congress and argued two cases before the Supreme Court of the United States.

    Vester was a great friend of The American Law Institute. A dedicated member for 58 years, he served on ALI’s Council and its Executive Committee, and in the mid-1980s, as co-chair of the Institute’s first capital campaign. He also worked on several of ALI’s important law-reform projects, including the Federal Income Tax Project, for which he served on the Tax Advisory Group. Vester’s impact on the Institute is remarkable.

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  • Geoffrey HazardGeoffrey C. Hazard Jr.

    Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr., Director Emeritus of The American Law Institute and one of the most brilliant legal scholars and teachers of his generation, died in January 2018. He was 88.

    One of the nation’s foremost authorities on professional ethics, trial practice, and civil procedure, Professor Hazard was the Thomas E. Miller Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He was also Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Sterling Professor of Law Emeritus at Yale Law School.

    When Professor Hazard received the Institute’s Distinguished Service Award at the May 2013 Annual Meeting, his former student and research assistant at Yale, Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., took time from a busy schedule to speak in Professor Hazard’s honor, sharing memories of his student days. On presenting the award, given from time to time to a member who over many years has accepted significant responsibilities and played a major role in the Institute as an institution, Anthony J. Scirica of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit succinctly captured the astounding breadth of Professor Hazard’s career:

    Law professor at several great law schools, prolific scholar, author of textbooks, legendary teacher, mentor, rulemaker of procedural rules and rules of attorney conduct, and, of course, the former Director of The American Law Institute, Geoff continues to leave an indelible imprint on the American and international legal systems. He is truly one of the law’s wise men.

    An ALI member for 52 years, Professor Hazard served for nine years as the Reporter for the Restatement Second of Judgments, published in 1982. The experience may have prompted his wry remark at the 1999 Annual Dinner that “qualifications for Reporter in an ALI project include good health and proven stamina.” He succeeded Herbert Wechsler as ALI’s fourth director in 1984, skillfully guiding the ALI’s already-begun Principles of Corporate Governance and Restatement Third of Foreign Relations Law to completion. Many new ALI projects were begun under his leadership, including Restatement Third works on Agency, The Law Governing Lawyers, Property, Restitution, Suretyship, Torts, Trusts, and Unfair Competition; and Principles of the Law projects on Family Dissolution, Transnational Civil Procedure, and Transnational Insolvency. It was also during his tenure as director that the Institute first turned its attention to projects with an international scope, a trend that continues today with its ongoing work on international commercial arbitration, foreign relations law, and conflict of laws. On stepping down as director after 15 years, Professor Hazard was elected to ALI’s Council in 1999, serving until he took emeritus status in August 2015. He also was Co-Reporter for the ALI/UNIDROIT Principles of Transnational Civil Procedure (2006), which has become a path-breaking model of civil procedure for international commercial disputes.

    Born in Cleveland, Professor Hazard was a graduate of Swarthmore College and Columbia Law School, where he was Reviews Editor of the Columbia Law Review. He began his career in private practice in Oregon, serving also as deputy legislative counsel for the State of Oregon and executive secretary of the Oregon Interim Committee on Judicial Administration. Professor Hazard’s teaching career spanned almost six decades, beginning at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, in 1958, then at the University of Chicago Law School, Yale Law School, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

    While at Chicago, Professor Hazard was also executive director of the American Bar Foundation. During his tenure at Yale, he served variously as associate, acting, and deputy dean of the Yale School of Organization and Management. He also was Reporter for the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct (promulgated in 1983) and draftsman-consultant for the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct (promulgated in 1972). He served since 1994 as a member and a consultant on the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, Judicial Conference of the United States. In recent years, he advised the European Law Institute on its proposal to develop European rules of civil procedure from the ALI/UNIDROIT Principles of Transnational Civil Procedure. Notwithstanding his many professional interests and responsibilities, Professor Hazard found time to serve as a consultant and expert witness on legal ethics, including legal malpractice, and to write. He was coauthor of a fundamental treatise and a casebook on civil procedure and also on professional ethics, as well as the author or coauthor of many other books and articles.

    Professor Hazard was the recipient of several honorary degrees and many awards, including the American Bar Foundation Research Award and William Keck Foundation Award, the Columbia Law School Medal for Excellence, the American Judicature Society Justice Award, the International Insolvency Institute Gold Medal, the ABA Section of Legal Education Robert J. Kutak Award, and the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility Michael Franck Award. On January 5, 2018, Columbia Law School bestowed on him its Distinguished Columbian in Teaching Award, given to a law school graduate for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and writing — an honor, said Dean Gillian Lester, that he earned "many times over" in his long, illustrious career. He was a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.

    Professor Hazard bequeathed $20,000 to ALI, to carry on the Institute’s work into our next century. We are grateful not only for this contribution, but also for his immeasurable contributions and tireless leadership of the Institute.

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  • Harry Claude SigmanHarry C. Sigman

    Harry Claude Sigman passed away in August 2017 at age 78. He was an accomplished commercial lawyer who developed expertise in Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and was an ALI appointee to UCC drafting committees from 1999 to 2001. It is therefore apt that his bequest of $25,000 was made in memory of Donald J. Rapson, Homer Kripke, and Peter F. Coogan, and in honor of Neil B. Cohen, Steven L. Harris, Charles W. Mooney, Jr., Edwin E. Smith, and Steven O. Weise—Harry’s colleagues in the development of the Uniform Commercial Code. Mr. Weise remembers Harry as being “passionately dedicated to creating the best law possible,” and asserted that anyone practicing commercial law is indebted to Harry for his influential work.

    A graduate of Harvard Law School, Harry forged a distinguished career in the law. He clerked for California State Supreme Court Justice Raymond E. Peters. He was a member of the California State bar for more than 50 years and is a recipient of its Business Law Section's Lifetime Achievement Award. Harry taught commercial law at University of Southern California, UCLA, and at universities in Europe and Israel. He worked as a consultant to governments and NGOs worldwide. Harry represented the U.S. at the United Nations, The Hague, and UNIDROIT (the International Institute for Unification of Private Law) in multilateral commercial law treaty negotiations.

    In addition to his service to the law and as a member of The American Law Institute, Harry dedicated much of his time to several organizations, with a particular focus on protecting the elderly and eliminating hunger. He was an accomplished world traveler, polyglot (fluent in six languages), philanthropist, and art collector. He gave generously from his substantial collection of early 20th century decorative arts objects to the Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park, Florida, the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, and the Neue Gallerie in New York City. Harry was beloved by his family, friends, and colleagues. 

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  • Bennett BoskeyBennett Boskey

    Bennett Boskey’s passing was felt throughout the legal community. Since earning his degree from Harvard Law School in 1939, he has influenced U.S. law and The American Law Institute in immeasurable ways. Upon his passing, through a generous gift of more than $6 million, he has ensured that we may continue our important work to clarify and improve the law. 

    Bennett was a member of the ALI’s Council and served as Treasurer from 1975 to 2010. Elected to ALI in 1951, he served as an Adviser on five projects and, through 2011, had attended more than 50 consecutive Annual Meetings. He is credited with coining the “Boskey motion,” which simplifies the process of moving ALI’s projects forward after a successful Meeting by allowing members to approve the contents of a draft “subject to the discussion at the Meeting, and subject to the usual editorial prerogative.” The Boskey motion allows flexibility for changes in language, arrangement, and style, but not changes in substance.

    In 2007, Bennett received the ALI’s Distinguished Service Award for his long and outstanding service to the Institute, naming “The Bennett Boskey Library and Studio” at ALI’s headquarters in his honor.

    Born in 1916, he grew up in Manhattan and Queens, and received his B.A. from Williams College in 1935. He studied economics at the University of Chicago for one year before attending Harvard Law School. In 1940, Bennett married Shirley Ecker. They were happily married until her death in 1998.

    After graduation from Harvard Law, Bennett spent four years as a law clerk, serving successively under Learned Hand of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (1939-1940), Stanley Reed of the Supreme Court of the United States (1940-1941), and Harlan Fiske Stone, Chief Justice of the United States (1941-1943). He declined Chief Justice Stone’s invitation to serve as his clerk for a third year—although disappointed, Stone wrote him a sterling recommendation for appointment to the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s School, and Bennett enlisted in the U.S. Army.

    Bennett wrote extensively on legal subjects, particularly on matters relating to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States. His great knowledge of the Supreme Court and his intense interest in its rules and procedures led to his taking on the near lifelong project as the author of West’s Federal Forms, focusing on the Supreme Court, and several collaborative commentaries on the Supreme Court’s rules that Bennett and Eugene Gressman wrote for the Supreme Court Reporter and Federal Rules Decisions. Bennett became one of a small number of the country’s leading experts in Supreme Court procedure.

    Between his service at the U.S. Supreme Court and the Army, Bennett worked briefly as a special assistant to the Attorney General in the War Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, reporting to Edward H. Levi. Levi would later serve as U.S. Attorney General in the Ford Administration when Bennett’s name was included on President Ford’s short list of possible successors to Justice William Douglas (the seat that went to Justice John Paul Stevens).

    Bennett was assigned to the Special Branch of Military Intelligence, and served there as one of the lawyers assigned to represent the War Department in the hearings conducted by the congressional committee investigating the attack on Pearl Harbor. Discharged from the Army in 1946 as a first lieutenant, Bennett moved to the Department of State. His duties there included advising on peace treaties with Italy and the satellite countries, and on the treatment of enemy property. After one year, he took a staff-attorney position in the newly created U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), and became the agency’s deputy general counsel in 1949.

    In 1951, Bennett left the AEC to form what proved to be a highly successful partnership with former AEC general counsel Joseph Volpe Jr. Over the next 45 years, the two intentionally kept their firm both small and broadly engaged in the practice of law.

    In addition to his service to ALI, Bennett was also a long-time member of the International Legal Studies Program Advisory Council of the American University Washington College of Law, as well as a member of the Board of Review and Development of the American Society of International Law. He served nearly 60 years on the board of the Primary Day School, a private elementary school in Maryland. The school credits Bennett for helping it in virtually every capacity from providing much-needed advice to arranging for the funding for its building.

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