TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

AALS Torts & Compensation Section Panel on Civil Recourse Theory

The 2012 AALS Annual Meeting Torts & Compensation Section meeting will include a panel on civil recourse theory scheduled for Thursday, January 5th at 9:00 a.m.  

Twenty-First Century Tort Theories:  A New Audit of Civil Recourse Theory

Recently, civil recourse theory has emerged as an attempt to unify tort law around the concept of private wrongs. By arguing that the point of tort law is to empower victims to rectify civil wrongs against them, civil recourse theory offers an elegant means to reduce the plurality of theories that have dominated tort scholarship since the 1970’s. This panel will explore the implications of paring down tort law to civil recourse.  John Goldberg and Benjamin Zipursky, who have been pioneers in developing civil recourse theory, will present the concepts and methods of this theory. Guido Calabresi, the 2010 Prosser Award recipient, will explore the implications of deemphasizing loss-spreading and deterrence. Martha Chamallas will examine civil recourse theory drawing upon her work on how race, gender, and class interrelate with tort law developments. Finally, Christopher Robinette will address the question of whether civil recourse can unify the law focusing on whether it is a complete account.  Panelists will also address whether tort law should have a public purpose beyond civil recourse.


Speaker: Guido Calabresi, Yale Law School U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
Speaker: Martha E. Chamallas, The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law
Speaker: John C.P. Goldberg, Harvard Law School
Speaker: Christopher J. Robinette, Widener University School of Law
Moderator: Michael L. Rustad, Suffolk University Law School
Speaker: Benjamin C. Zipursky, Fordham University School of Law


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Congrats on your participation! Looks like a great panel.

Posted by: Geoff | Sep 14, 2011 5:23:03 AM

I agree! Congratulations!

Posted by: Sean | Sep 27, 2011 1:09:45 PM

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