March 24, 2012
Coleman on Porat on Misalignments
In the Yale Law Journal Online, Jules Coleman responds to Ariel Porat's Misalignments in Tort Law. Entitled Mistakes, Misunderstandings, and Misalignments, the introduction provides:
In a recent article appearing in The Yale Law Journal, Ariel Porat argues that the tort of negligence is beset by a range of misalignments that threaten to induce inefficient behavior. In this Response, I argue that Porat is working with an unhelpful notion of misalignment; that tort law has its own internal conception of alignment; and that once we understand the nature of alignment in torts, none of his examples are problematic. If anything, his arguments reveal problems in his understanding of the tort of negligence rather than problems in the tort itself or in its practical implementation. Many of the confusions that beset Porat’s argument are common in the law and economics of tort literature, which has for far too long run fast and loose with a confused understanding of the nature of liability in torts as well as of liability’s relationship to the elements of a tort. Porat’s article is my main focus, but my objections are intended to cut more broadly and deeply.
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