October 18, 2008
Beyond the Traditional Textbook
Eric Johnson (North Dakota), who is guestblogging at Prawfs, posted here about supplementing traditional appellate opinions with a first-person narrative of real cases in his Torts course. (Professor Johnson used chapters from Four Trials by John Edwards). He was delighted with the results. I, too, recommend supplementing a textbook with some "real world" material. I use Jonathan Zittrain and Jennifer Harrison's The Torts Game: Defending Mean Joe Greene. My students learn a lot from following the litigation of an actual case, including seeing the documents filed, and even memos written, by both parties. They also enjoy the change of pace from appellate opinions. I spread the chapters throughout the relevant sections of my five-credit, two-semester course. It strikes me it would be much more difficult to fit the material into a four-credit, one-semester course. Have you used supplemental materials to teach Torts? If so, what materials? What results?
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