TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Saturday, December 27, 2008

China Prepares Tort Legislation

Tort legislation is now under consideration in the National Peoples' Congress.  From

The Beijing-based "Guang Ming Website" published a commentary saying that the long-awaited tort liability law will classify civil wrongs against persons or properties and protect people's rights from been violated.

The article argues that as a "Bible" to deal with civil wrongs, tort liability laws in western countries are specific to each corner of a person's daily life, yet the law in China has developed at a rather more laggardly pace.

In 2007, Chinese courts at all levels accepted 870,000 civil lawsuits. In the face of varied torts, the public are essentially in the dark when it comes to deciding the black and white of an issue, and the general confusion presents difficulties to judges and other law enforcement officials when they make a ruling.

The article praises the draft of the tort liability law, calling it a significant step to provide a comprehensive protection to people's physical and mental well-being and the security of an individual's property.


December 27, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Professor Dan Dobbs Receives 2009 William L. Prosser Award

From the announcement e-mail:

Dan Dobbs will receive the William Prosser award for outstanding contributions to Torts scholarship, teaching, and service at this year's AALS Torts Section Meeting.

Professor Dan B. Dobbs, the Regents & Rosentiel Distinguished Professor of Law at the James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona, has been a leading light in the field of Torts for the past 45 years. An expert in both torts and remedies, he is the author of leading treatises in each area: The Law of Torts and The Law of Remedies. He is also the co-author of prominent Torts and Advanced Torts casebooks, as well as dozens of book chapters and articles on the comparative, procedural, substantive and remedial aspects of tort.


December 26, 2008 in TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Mark Lanier Addresses Jon Hanson's Torts Class

Mark Lanier, of Vioxx litigation fame, addressed Jon Hanson's Torts class at Harvard last month.  He discussed the psychological aspects of tort law, focusing on communicating with juries.  A summary and webcast are available here.


December 26, 2008 in Current Affairs, Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Grady on Tort Liability and Irrational Actors

Mark Grady (UCLA) has posted The Free Radicals of Tort on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

Rational and irrational people are typically held to an identical tort standard when it is a question of their own liability. On the other hand, when it is a question of whether someone else has encouraged some dangerous behavior, as under the doctrines of duty and proximate cause, the encouragers will be liable only when the persons were part of a group whose members typically lack rationality. The courts' apparent purpose is to prevent accidents in every way possible even if it means diluting the incentives of irrational people in order to increase the incentives of responsible people to refrain from creating tempting opportunities for them.

(Via Solum/Legal Theory Blog)

Merry Christmas to our Christian readers!


December 25, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tiger Mauling Victim Sues SF Zoo

Last Christmas, a seventeen-year-old was mauled to death at the San Francisco Zoo.  His parents are suing, contending that the barriers around the tiger's pen were inadequate.  Another story points out that his friends (who were not killed) sued earlier for, among other things, defamation for suggesting that they had provoked the tiger.


December 24, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Medical Publisher Reviews Claim of Ghostwriting by Wyeth

The New York Times reports that Elsevier, a publisher of medical journals, is investigating whether an article published in the May 2003 edition of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology was ghostwritten by Wyeth.   The article found "no definitive evidence" that Wyeth's Prempro hormone drug caused breast cancer.  The author of the article stands by the article; Wyeth similarly denies any ghostwriting.


December 24, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Who Should Pay for Litigation Costs?

In today's Wall Street Journal, Dan Slater examines the question of who should pay the costs of litigation - a loser pays rule as in Canada, Germany and the U.K., or the so-called American rule where each side bears its own costs?


December 23, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Kim on "Imposing Tort Liability on Websites for Cyber-Harassment"

The new volume of the Yale Law Journal Pocket Part includes an article by Nancy S. Kim (Cal Western) on "Imposing Tort Liability on Websites for Cyber-Harassment."   Kim acknowledges that websites are immune from liability as publishers, but argues that they should be held liable as business proprietors under a "reasonable care" standard.


December 23, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Good Samaritans in California

I linked to a story about it in Friday's Roundup, but it's worth noting separately that California's Supreme Court last week ruled that the tort liability protection for rescuers is narrow.  For more, see,, and the opinion itself [PDF].


December 22, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)