Friday, July 31, 2015
Just in time for fall classes, E. Scott Fruehwald has published A Companion to Torts: How to Think Like a Torts Lawyers. The blurb:
This book takes a new approach to learning torts law: its goal is to teach law students to think like torts lawyers. Thinking like a lawyer means solving a problem to produce a legal solution. This process involves using several types of reasoning in combination, including synthesis, rule-based reasoning, analogical reasoning, distinguishing cases, policy-based reasoning, and creativity. A torts lawyer uses these reasoning methods to solve torts problems. This book will include a variety of torts exercises on the different types of legal reasoning to achieve the goal of teaching students to think like torts lawyers. This book is a supplement to torts casebooks and textbooks. Its main audience is first-year law students who are taking torts. It may be required by a professor, or students may use it as a supplement to the class to improve their torts skills and general legal reasoning skills. This book will also be useful for incoming law students who want to develop their torts and legal reasoning skills before they attend law school. Law school begins quickly on the first day, and it is better to be ahead than behind. Finally, this book will also help law graduates who are preparing for the bar, academic support staff who want to help students improve their legal reasoning skills, and practitioners who want to refine their legal reasoning skills.
Monday, July 27, 2015
From Cynthia Bond:
Greetings Law Teacher Colleagues:
I am working on an article this summer on uses of popular culture in the law school classroom. I am defining popular culture broadly to include mass culture texts like movies, TV shows, popular music, images which circulate on the internet, etc, and also any current events that you may reference in the classroom which are not purely legal in nature (i.e. not simply a recent court decision).
To support this article, I am doing a rather unscientific survey to get a sense of what law professors are doing in this area. If you are a law professor and you use popular culture in your class, I would be most grateful if you could answer this quick, anonymous survey I have put together:
Thanks in advance for your time and have a wonderful rest of summer!
The John Marshall Law School
Monday, July 20, 2015
What do you teach in your advanced torts class (not the second semester of first-year Torts, but a torts class for 2L's and 3L's)? I teach an upper-level class of Products Liability (and also Insurance), but I don't teach "Advanced Torts." My sense is that people tend to teach defamation and the economic torts. A TortsProf has asked that I solicit syllabi to help in planning such a course. Because our comments feature does not allow attachments, if you are willing to send a syllabus to help, please e-mail me at email@example.com and I will pass it on. Thank you.
Monday, July 6, 2015
I have spent the last several weeks teaching in Venice; I'm home now and blogging should be much more consistent again.
I taught a class entitled "Tort Law in Global Perspective," using Julie Davies and Paul Hayden's Global Issues in Tort Law. I liked the book and I believe my students did as well. It is relatively cheap and not physically heavy. It provides a good overview of doctrinal differences among countries in many major areas of tort law. It covers the Alien Tort Statute, Torture Victim Protection Act, Anti-Terrorism Act, Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, and Warsaw Convention. It was a great experience for me because I have a better understanding of comparative tort law. And, of course, I got to spend several weeks in Venice.
Monday, February 2, 2015
Image from tripadvisor.com
This summer I will be teaching a course entitled "Tort Law in Global Perspective" in Venice from June 22 until July 3rd. The course will cover basic common law/civil law differences and then explore how particular injuries are covered in different countries. In addition to my course, Justice Randy Holland of the Delaware Supreme Court will teach a course on comparative corporate law and Professor Massimiliano Granieri (professor of comparative private law and economic analysis at the University of Foggia Law School) will teach a course on EU law. More information on the program, courses, and schedule is available here. The classes will take place at Venice International University on San Servolo Island, pictured below.
Image from sanservolo.provincia.venezia.it
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
The Institute for Law Teaching and Learning is sponsoring a symposium at the UCLA School of Law entitled "Engaging the Entire Class: Strategies for Enhancing Participation and Inclusion in Law School Classroom Learning." Occurring on February 28, each session is presented by a teacher featured in What the Best Law Teachers Do. More information is here.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Beau Baez (Charlotte) writes:
Here is my recurring problem around final exam time: how to explain to students when they need to discuss the unforeseeable plaintiff. In most cases, the plaintiff is foreseeable, so on the exam I really don't want students to waste time identifying and discussing a non-issue. A seasoned lawyer will "know it when they see it," but just as that was not satisfactory in the old obscenity cases it's not a great response in this context either. I am wondering how other torts professors explain this context within the essay exam context.
You can either respond in the comments or directly to Beau at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Most TortsProfs probably don't cover the common law right of publicity, but if you do, here's a good one to use in class: General Manuel Noriega (yes that one) has sued manufacturers of the video game "Black Ops II" for misappropriating his likeness in said video. According to the complaint, Noriega's portyal in the video as "as a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state" has damaged his reputation.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Here's a good one for your class on negligence:
A California appellate court has held that a man who fell off a cliff while drunk can sue the friends who brought him to the cliff to watch the sunrise after a night of partying. The court found that the plaintiff "created a triable issue of material fact as to whether [the defendant] breached a duty owed to [the plaintiff] by bringing him to the cliff side when she knew he was intoxicated and waiting several hours to call 911 or otherwise summon aid after the fall."
Courthouse News has more.
Friday, July 18, 2014
About a year ago, we reported that Ralph Nader had purchased an old bank in his hometown of Winfield, Connecticut for his "American Museum of Tort Law."
The Associated Press now reports that construction crews have begun inside demolition work on the building. Nader hopes that the museum will open in Fall 2015.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
So understandably, one bride asked theoperators of the Doubletree Hotel & Suites in historic Charleston to assure her that her courtyard ceremony "would not be disrupted by hotel guests not in attendance."* Not as understandably, the hotel allegedly agreed to this clause. Now, the wedding venue - the hotel's courtyard area - is overlooked by guestrooms, and on the big day, one hotel guest decided to bare all in the window of his room while the wedding ceremony below was in progress. The distraught bride has now sued the hotel for what sounds like an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim, and seeks actual and punitive damages.
Courthouse News has more.
(Photo credit: Doubletree Hotel & Suites. Presumably, this advertising photo is not of the wedding in question...)
*Presumably, there would be no lawsuit if the alleged nudist had been a guest of the wedding itself.
Monday, May 12, 2014
Deborah J. LaFetra blogs over at Pacific Legal Foundation about a new case by the New Mexico Supreme Court, Rodriguez v. Del Sol Shopping Center, where the court held that "a foreseeability-driven duty analysis is inappropriate."
Visit Deborah's post for a more on the case.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Many of you know that Carolina Academic Press launched the Context and Practice Series as a way for law profs to implement the ideas in the Carnegie Report and Best Practices. I've used Michael Hunter Schwartz's and Denise Riebe's Contracts casebook and found it very student-friendly. Now Alex Long (Tennessee) and Meredith Duncan (Houston) are publishing Advanced Torts in that series. From the CAP blurb:
Advanced Torts: A Context and Practice Casebook
by Alex B. Long, Meredith J. Duncan
Advanced Torts focuses primarily on tort theories that are not covered in significant detail in the standard first-semester Torts course. However, the book explores these topics with a particular emphasis on how they apply to lawyers engaged in the practice of law. Thus, students learn about defamation, interference with contractual relations, etc. while reading cases and working through problems that frequently involve lawyers as litigants. Given the reality that a lawyer is more likely to be sued for malpractice or some related theory during the lawyer’s career than it is the lawyer will face professional discipline, the subject matter of the book should resonate with students in a way that most Advanced Torts books do not.
The book covers the theories of liability often addressed in Advanced Torts courses, and some of the cases do not involve lawyers as parties. In this sense, the book is general enough that it can be used in any Advanced Torts class. However, it also includes material that should be of special concern for lawyers, including several chapters devoted to legal malpractice. Thus, it could be used in an Advanced Torts class as well as a stand-alone class devoted to legal malpractice and related theories of liability. Throughout the book, the authors make a conscious effort to help aspiring lawyers develop their professional identities as they learn the doctrine.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Assessment Across The Curriculum
Institute for Law Teaching and Learning
Spring Conference 2014
Saturday, April 5, 2014
“Assessment Across the Curriculum” is a one-day conference for new and experienced law teachers who are interested in designing and implementing effective techniques for assessing student learning. The conference will take place on Saturday, April 5, 2014, at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Conference Content: Sessions will address topics such as
Formative Assessment in Large Classes
Classroom Assessment Techniques
Using Rubrics for Formative and Summative Assessment
Assessing the Ineffable: Professionalism, Judgment, and Teamwork
Assessment Techniques for Statutory or Transactional Courses
By the end of the conference, participants will have concrete ideas and assessment practices to take back to their students, colleagues, and institutions.
Who Should Attend: This conference is for all law faculty (full-time and adjunct) who want to learn about best practices for course-level assessment of student learning.
Conference Structure: The conference opens with an optional informal gathering on Friday evening, April 4. The conference will officially start with an opening session on Saturday, April 5, followed by a series of workshops. Breaks are scheduled with adequate time to provide participants with opportunities to discuss ideas from the conference. The conference ends at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Details about the conference are available on the websites of the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning (www.lawteaching.org) and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law (ualr.edu/law).
Conference Faculty: Conference workshops will be taught by experienced faculty, including Michael Hunter Schwartz (UALR Bowen), Rory Bahadur (Washburn), Sandra Simpson (Gonzaga), Sophie Sparrow (University of New Hampshire), Lyn Entrikin (UALR Bowen), and Richard Neumann (Hofstra).
Accommodations: A block of hotel rooms for conference participants has been reserved at The DoubleTree Little Rock, 424 West Markham Street, Little Rock, AR 72201. Reservations may be made by calling the hotel directly at 501-372-4371, calling the DoubleTree Central Reservations System at 800-222-TREE, or booking online at www.doubletreelr.com. The group code to use when making reservations for the conference is “LAW.”
Monday, January 6, 2014
Really interesting case from Indiana at the intersection of torts and professional responsibility -
A lawyer was a partner in a firm. Firm client wanted to buy land that the partner owned. Partner refused but entered into a land use agreement with the firm client. There were disagreements over the land use contract. Firm client met with firm partners and threatened to take its business elsewhere unless the dispute was resolved with the partner. The firm removed the partner from the firm....
The partner subsequently filed a tortious interference agasint the firm client, and the Indiana Court of Appeals has just held that the partner can proceed. BNA has a full report on the case.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
A New Jersey Superior Court reaffirmed that only the golfer taking the shot is legally responsibile for yelling "fore" for an errant shot. In Corino v. Duffy, the court held that two bystanders - friends of the golfer hitting the ball and part of the threesome - were not liable for the golfer's shot striking the plaintiff in the right eye. A copy of the decision is available here. The Legal Blitz has more on the decision.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
This is a great one for your class on causation:
The ABA Journal reports that a man has sued Wal-Mart for negligence in training its employees on how to bag groceries, as well as the plastic bag manufacturer, for the death of his wife. Yes, his wife allegedly died from a negligently packed plastic grocery bag. According to the Journal, the plaintiff alleges that the Wal-Mart bagger "overstuffed" the bag, which broke on the way to the car, which caused the groceries to fall on his wife's toe, which caused a cut, which caused an infection, which led to his wife's death.
Thanks to Lisa Smith-Butler for the alert.
Friday, August 30, 2013
The ABA Journal reports that the Appellate Division of New Jersey Superior Court has held that a remote texter can be liable for injuries caused when the text-recipient has a car accident, but only if the texter knew that the recipient was driving and reading texts while driving.
A copy of the decision is available here.
Thanks to Lisa Smith-Butler for the alert.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Yesterday I taught the first Torts class of the year. I always love starting it all over from the beginning and the promise of a fresh bunch of students. On the first day, I cover: 1. what's a tort? 2. what are the types of torts? and 3. why do we have torts?. I would do this regardless of which casebook I was using. How do others use the first day? Also, this is the first time I am teaching a one-semester, four-credit course instead of a two-semester, five-credit course. Thoughts on the differences?
Friday, August 9, 2013
Deborah J. LaFetra has an informative post at Pacific Legal Foundation on the Maryland Court of Appeals' decision in Georgia-Pacific v. Farrar. This, of course, is the "bystander of a bystander" asbestos case, where the grandaughter of a worker who worked near another worker who worked with asbestos-products sued for her mesothelioma. The Court of Appeals rejected the duty to warn.