TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Friday, June 18, 2010

Top 10 Recent SSRN Torts & Products Liability Downloads

Rank Downloads Paper Title
1 167 Over-Parenting
Gaia Bernstein, Zvi H. Triger,
Seton Hall University - School of Law, The College of Management School of Law,
Date posted to database: April 13, 2010
Last Revised: June 9, 2010
2 158 The Puzzle of Brandeis, Privacy, and Speech
Neil M. Richards,
Washington University School of Law,
Date posted to database: April 6, 2010
Last Revised: April 6, 2010
3 148 Punitive Damages, Forum Shopping, and the Conflict of Laws
Patrick Joseph Borchers,
Creighton University School of Law,
Date posted to database: March 25, 2010
Last Revised: March 25, 2010
4 120 Foreseeability in Breach, Duty and Proximate Cause
Benjamin C. Zipursky,
Fordham University - School of Law,
Date posted to database: May 7, 2010
Last Revised: May 7, 2010
5 118 The Exxon Valdez Litigation Marathon: A Window on Punitive Damages
Catherine M. Sharkey,
New York University - School of Law,
Date posted to database: April 15, 2010
Last Revised: June 4, 2010
6 84 Punitive Damages after Philip Morris USA v. Williams
Benjamin C. Zipursky,
Fordham University - School of Law,
Date posted to database: May 7, 2010
Last Revised: May 7, 2010
7 77 Unbundling Risk
Lee Anne Fennell,
University of Chicago Law School,
Date posted to database: April 27, 2010
Last Revised: April 27, 2010
8 76 Dworkin's Two Principles of Dignity: An Unsatisfactory Nonconsequentialist Account of Interpersonal Moral Duties
Kenneth W. Simons,
Boston University - School of Law,
Date posted to database: May 7, 2010
Last Revised: May 17, 2010
9 70 Finding the Good in Holmes' Bad Man
Marco Jimenez,
Stetson University College of Law,
Date posted to database: April 5, 2010
Last Revised: April 29, 2010
10 70

The Inauthentic Claim
Anthony J. Sebok,
Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (faculty),
Date posted to database: April 21, 2010
Last Revised: April 21, 2010


June 18, 2010 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Epstein on BP

Yesterday's WSJ included an article by Richard Epstein arguing that the best legal regime for dealing with risks created by oil drilling is "full responsibility" on the party creating the risks.  He favors a strict liability system, backed by mandatory insurance to cover losses, with no caps on damages.  The article is here.


June 17, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Two by the Late Gary Schwartz


Two papers written by the late Gary T. Schwartz have been posted to SSRN.  The first is Feminist Approaches to Tort Law.  The abstract provides:

This Article finds that the most conspicuous development in tort scholarship during the last fifteen years has been the emergence of a body of writings examining tort law from feminist perspectives. The Article takes advantage of the author's background as a mainstream torts scholar in order to provide an initial evaluation of these writings. One conclusion reached is that the scholarship in question is provocative but unsatisfying, inasmuch as it has failed, at least so far, to connect itself to available empirical information and to the larger themes in tort theory.

The second is Auto No-Fault and First-Party Insurance:  Advantages and ProblemsThe abstract provides:

Auto no-fault replaces liability (and liability insurance) with compulsory first-party insurance. However, American no-fault plans take the form of a hybrid of tort and no-fault (unlike no-fault plans in several jurisdictions outside the United States, which are no-fault all the way). In reviewing the advantages of no-fault - by way of effectively compensating accident victims and also reducing the overhead of the legal system - this Article concludes that hybrid plans are so compromised as to prompt little enthusiasm. Accordingly, those who favor no-fault should insist on pure no-fault.

The heart of the Article considers the relevant objections to auto no-fault. A standard objection is that no-fault is unfair, or fails to provide appropriate deterrence, insofar as it removes liability from the shoulders of the negligent driver. This objection fails to appreciate a basic point. Bad driving that imperils third parties imperils motorists as well. Accordingly, no-fault insurers - in this regard resembling liability insurers - will raise premiums to take the motorist's bad driving into account. In light of this, the standard objection to no-fault is significantly overstated.

The Article goes on to identify what it regards as the most important objection to auto no-fault. Under no-fault, the insurance premiums assigned to heavier passenger vehicles (both full-size cars and light trucks) will decline sharply, while the premiums assigned to lighter vehicles (compacts and subcompacts) will increase sharply. This is not due to the inherent safety of heavy vehicles or the inherent unsafety of lighter vehicles, but rather to the interaction between the two: when a heavier vehicle and a lighter vehicle collide, it is the latter's occupants that suffer the more severe injuries. In these circumstances, to reallocate insurance premiums away from heavier vehicles towards lighter vehicles would be unfair, and would produce inappropriate incentives for the purchase of passenger vehicles. To be sure, the problem can evidently be dealt with by regulatory controls on no-fault insurance practices, but such controls would inevitably be awkward.


June 16, 2010 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

2010 Wacky Warning Labels Finalists

From Walter Olson comes word that Bob Dorigo Jones has announced the five finalists in the 2010 Wacky Warning Labels Contest.   From Jones, the finalists include: 

  • Never operate your speakerphone while driving," warns a label on a product called "Drive 'N' Talk."
  • A motorized go-cart helpfully warns consumers that "this product moves when used."
  • A bottle of swine growth supplement called "Piglet Blast" cautions, "For animal use only."
  • The Bluetooth headset alerts its users that "use of a headset that covers both ears will impair your ability to hear other sounds."
  • And a pair of swim goggles alerts users to the risk of pulling them away from the face, lest they "spring back and cause injury."
  • If you wish to use these in class, you can download pictures of the products here.

    - SBS

    June 15, 2010 in Products Liability, Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    Monday, June 14, 2010

    Your Input Needed On Law Review Survey

    Lucy McGough (LSU), James Bowers (LSU), and Richard Wise (UND - Psychology) are trying to assess the current system of student-run law reviews:

    For the last several decades, there has been much controversy and discussion about how well the current system of student run law reviews and journals meet the needs of legal scholars, the legal profession, and its student members and how they can be improved. Despite the significance of this controversy, no one has determined the legal community's opinions about them.

    The purpose of the present survey is to assess: (1) What law professors, attorneys, judges, and law  review editors think about the current system of student run law reviews and journals; (2) Whether reforms are needed; and (3) If reforms are needed, what they should be.

    We are asking for your help with this important survey because the success of any survey depends in large part on the number of people who complete the survey. The present survey is completely anonymous and confidential and only takes about 15-20 minutes to complete. The results of the survey will be reported in a law review article. A link for the survey is enclosed below: 

    Thank you very much for considering our request.


    - SBS

    June 14, 2010 in TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)