TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Friday, December 21, 2012

Nora Freeman Engstrom: Damage Caps--And Why Fein May No Longer Be Good

Stanford's Nora Freeman Engstrom reconsiders MICRA and its constitutionality (pdf):  Download Torts Prawf Blog -8.

December 21, 2012 in Guest Blogger, Legislation, Reforms, & Political News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tomorrow's Guest Blogger: Nora Freeman Engstrom


Nora Freeman Engstrom is an Associate Professor at Stanford Law
School.  Professor Engstrom’s scholarship lies at the intersection of
tort law and professional ethics, and her current work explores the
day-to-day operation of the tort system and particularly the tort
system’s interaction with alternative compensation mechanisms, such as
workers’ compensation and no-fault automobile insurance.  Professor
Engstrom has also written extensively on attorney advertising and law
firms she calls “settlement mills”—high-volume personal injury law
practices that heavily advertise and mass-produce the resolution of


December 20, 2012 in Guest Blogger | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Viscusi & Hersch on Tort's Insurance Role

Kip Viscusi & Joni Hersch (Vanderbilt) have posted to SSRN Assessing the Insurance Role of Tort After Calabresi.  The abstract provides:

Calabresi’s theory of tort liability (1961) as a risk distribution mechanism established
insurance as an objective of tort liability. Calabresi’s risk-spreading concept
of tort has provided the impetus for much of the subsequent development of tort
liability, including risk-utility analysis and strict liability. Calabresi’s
analysis remains a powerful basis for modern tort liability. However, punitive
damages, noneconomic damages, shifts in liability rules over time, high
transactions costs, correlated risks, catastrophic losses, and mass toxic torts
pose challenges for the viability of tort liability as an insurance mechanism.
Despite limitations of tort liability as insurance, tort compensation also
serves a deterrence role. Tort liability retains a valuable insurance function
in many situations and may be superior to alternative institutional mechanisms
in fostering incentives.



December 19, 2012 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Legal Malpractice and Penn State Scandal

The Legal Intelligencer reports that Gary Schultz, a former Penn State administrator now facing criminal charges, "has filed a praecipe for writ of summons against the university's former general counsel, Cynthia Baldwin, indicating he intends to sue her for legal malpractice."    According to the article,  at least two Penn State employees testified before the grand jury believing Baldwin was there as their lawyer.   Baldwin, however, asserts that she was representing the university, not the employees, but "she did not think it was "appropriate" to interrupt the proceedings and clarify."

The full story requires free registration. 

Thanks to Lisa Smith-Butler for the alert.  


December 17, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)