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Mark Foster Honored with Election to American Law Institute

SAN FRANCISCO—Silicon Valley Attorney Mark Edward Foster has been elected to membership in the American Law Institute (ALI). A national organization, the ALI has an elected membership of only 3,000 judges, lawyers, and law teachers in the United States and some foreign countries. Election to membership in the ALI represents one of the highest honors to be accorded an American lawyer.

Foster is Affiliate Counsel to Bergeson LLP in San Jose. Until recently he served as General Counsel and VP of Natus Medical of San Carlos. Fluent in Japanese, Foster has practiced international and domestic commercial and regulatory law since 1981. He was appointed Special Counsel to the US Embassy in Japan during the trade disputes of the 1980s. His legal work on Japan’s commercial law and regulatory system significantly helped open Japan’s markets to American high-tech products. He also served as lawyer and lobbyist in Japan for the American Electronics Association and Electronics Industry Association. Foster earned his J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1981. He is currently President of the Hastings 1066 Foundation.

Foster was sponsored for ALI membership by Mary Kay Kane, UC Hastings College of the Law Chancellor and Dean, herself an ALI Council member. After Foster’s election, Chancellor Kane said, “The ALI will benefit by Mr. Foster’s participation in ALI Projects. His extensive knowledge and experience in U.S.-Japanese business relations make him an excellent new member of the American Law Institute, particularly as the Institute pursues its transnational work related to the World Trade Organization, intellectual property disputes, and other emerging international business areas.”

Foster was also sponsored for membership by Dick Thornburgh, former Attorney General of the United States, who said: “Given the breadth and depth of his knowledge and experience in the law, I believe he will be a valuable and productive member of the ALI.”

Established by prominent American judges, lawyers, and teachers in 1923 to promote clarification and simplification of American law, the American Law Institute publishes Restatements of the Law, Model Codes, and other proposals for law reform. ALI elected membership is strictly limited to 3,000 lawyers selected on the basis of professional achievement and demonstrated interest in the improvement of the law. Ex officio membership includes the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Attorney General of the United States, as well as the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court and the highest courts of other states.

Over the years, the ALI has addressed uncertainty in the law through Restatements of basic legal subjects, including contracts, security, torts, trusts, landlord and tenant law, foreign relations law, unfair competition, property, and more. Current ALI projects include drafting Principles of Trade Law: The World Trade Organization. For more information about the American Law Institute, visit

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