Friday, April 25, 2008
Joel Levin (Case Western Reserve) has published Tort Wars, available here from Cambridge University Press. Levin's central thesis is that tort law is about achieving peace. I read the book as a reviewer. Whether you agree with Levin or not, the book is provocative and worth reading. Here's the official description:
Tort Wars brings together the diverse and usually insufficiently related strands of tort law and treats the moral, economic, and systemic problems running through those strands with a single analysis and theory. In that tort law employs theory at all, it is typically theory measured against notions of corrective justice or appeals to utility. Both have severe prescriptive restrictions and limited explanatory power and often stray from any useful description of tort cases in the courts. Tort Wars looks at the nature of dispute resolution techniques, criticizes the blasé justice and more esoteric utility theory, and examines the problems of both the legal academy and the veracity vacuum in the courtroom. Further, it explores the conceptual differences between tort and contract, locating contract as a subset of tort. It uses examples drawn from the edges of tort law in an attempt to measure central cases by the marginal ones and to provide a barometer of emerging legal and social change, achieved through imposing an individualized peace.