Tuesday, August 29, 2006
This post is part of the series of guest posts addressing various authors' views of what should be taught in torts courses.
David Owen is the Carolina Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Office of Tort Law Studies at the University of South Carolina where he teaches courses on Tort Law and Products Liability.
Of the things I wish 1st Year Law Students would learn, there are some I teach them and some I don't have time to teach.
What I Try to Teach Them. Substantively, I try to teach them just about all the fundamentals -- doctrine, policy, and a little economics and moral philosophy -- of tort law concerned with personal injuries. In addition, I try to teach them how to resolve tort problems (and to think and speak) precisely and logically, and respectfully of the law, people within the law, and those affected by the law.
What I'd Like Them to Learn But Cannot Teach Them. If I had more time the first year (and what I have tried to address in advanced torts courses and seminars), I'd like to teach them more about the intersections of tort law and other fields -- substantive fields, like contracts (delve deeper, for example, into the whys and wherefores of the pure-economic-loss doctrine), property (nuisance law, for example), and workers' comp; and deeper into economics, politics, and philosophy, and policy generally.