July 31, 2007
Which Comes First - Negligence or Intentional Torts?
With the start of a new school year almost upon us, the question arose: how do you structure your Torts course? Do you begin with intentional torts or negligence?
Readers, please post a comment. As new torts professors consider how to design their course, we'd love to gather comments on what has worked for you, and why you chose your approach.
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I start with intentional torts. Students find them engaging enough (if your casebook doesn't have good interesting intentional tort cases, that's a failing of the book) and the concepts are - I find - significantly easier to grasp than the somewhat more elusive negligence concepts. I give my first quiz (I give four) at the end of intentional torts, and it provides a nice self-contained unit for those purposes too.
Posted by: Bill Childs | Jul 31, 2007 4:51:50 AM
I also start with intentional torts, primarily for the same reasons as Bill. In addition, I have an unusual credit allocation--two in the fall and three in the spring. I need more credits to cover negligence and related topics.
Posted by: Chris Robinette | Jul 31, 2007 5:11:47 AM
I too start with the intentional torts. They are easier for the students to understand and they are a good introduction to elements analysis. I don't cover them all. After doing a few I put the elements of all of them on the board (I'm a Luddite) and show the class how they all, except IIED, work similarly. From there it's on to negligence.
Posted by: Bob Mensel | Jul 31, 2007 12:10:11 PM