American Law Institute elects NYU Law faculty and alumni as new members

NYU Law professor Mark Geistfeld and alumni Steven Barth ’99, Josh Bowers ’01, Natasha Merle ’08, and Cedric Merlin Powell ’87 have been elected as members of the American Law Institute (ALI), the organization has announced. Founded in 1923, ALI produces scholarly work designed to clarify, modernize, and improve the law through its Restatements, Principles, and Model Codes.

Mark Geistfeld
Mark Geistfeld

Mark Geistfeld is the Sheila Lubetsky Birnbaum Professor of Civil Litigation, with torts, products liability, and insurance as his primary teaching areas. The author or co-author of five books and more than 50 articles and book chapters, Geistfeld has focused much of his scholarship on the common-law rules governing the prevention of and compensation for physical harms. He has also written extensively on products liability and has analyzed the liability and insurance implications of autonomous vehicles. A senior editor of the Journal of Tort Law, Geistfeld received a PhD in economics from Columbia. Before joining the NYU Law faculty, he worked as a litigation associate at law firms Dewey Ballantine and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and clerked for Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Steven Barth is an assistant federal defender in the Office of the Federal Public Defender in the District of Vermont. After working for two years at Dewey Ballantine, Barth joined the Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. Promoted to supervisor in 2007, he headed a trial team of six to eight attorneys while continuing his own trial and appellate practice. He moved to the Office of the Federal Public Defender in Vermont in 2010.

Josh Bowers is the Class of 1963 Research Professor of Law in honor of Graham C. Lilly and Peter W. Low at the University of Virginia School of Law, where his teaching and research are centered on criminal law, criminal procedure, legal theory, and constitutional law. He has published a range of articles, essays and book chapters on topics that include police and prosecutorial discretion, plea bargaining, misdemeanor enforcement and adjudication, drug courts, drug policy reform, life without parole, capital punishment, grand juries, pretrial release, and the right to counsel. At NYU Law, Bowers was a notes editor of the New York University Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. After clerking for Judge Dennis Jacobs of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, he worked as an associate at white color criminal defense firm Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason & Silberberg and as a staff attorney at the Bronx Defenders.

Natasha Merle is a federal district court judge in the Eastern District of New York. Before taking her position on the bench in 2023, Merle was deputy director of litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She has also worked as an associate at law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and as an assistant federal public defender in the capital habeas unit of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Arizona. Merle clerked for Judge Robert Carter of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York and for Judge John Gleeson of the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York. She has taught at NYU Law as an adjunct professor of clinic law.

Cedric Merlin Powell is Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs Professor of Law, and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. Powell has written on critical race theory, affirmative action, and the First Amendment, with his recent scholarship focusing on neutrality in the law. The author of Post-Racial Constitutionalism and the Roberts Court: Rhetorical Neutrality and the Perpetuation of Inequality (Cambridge University Press, 2023), Powell is at work on a new book, Post-Racial Federalism: Race, Liberty, and the Democratization of Oppression. At NYU Law, Powell was managing editor of the NYU Review of Law & Social Change. After clerking for Judge Julia Cooper Mack of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, he was a Karpatkin Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union and a litigation associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. 

Posted January 23, 2024