TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Friday, July 22, 2016

Teaching Single Versus Dual Intent

I had an inquiry about teaching single and dual intent for battery and I want to appeal for your collective wisdom.  About the time I started teaching there was a robust list-serv discussion on this topic that I found helpful.  Given that the ALI is working on the Restatement of Intentional Torts right now, many of you may have thought about this recently.  I take the inquiry to be more about pedagogy than doctrine, but all tips are welcome.  How do you teach single versus dual intent?  How do you integrate it with purpose and substantial certainty?  Do you recommend any good sources for students?  Thanks!

July 22, 2016 in Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Products Liability as a Capstone Course

As I wrote last month, I am teaching Products Liability this summer.  It has been over 4 years since I last taught it; the last time through, the course was a 2-credit, paper course.  I am now teaching a 3-credit, exam course.

Perhaps I wasn't thinking in these terms in 2012, but I am struck this time through by how well Products could serve as a capstone course, roughly understood as a culminating course that integrates multiple subject areas.  Obviously, Products is heavily tort-oriented.  One of the common causes of action for an injury by product is negligence, and that is covered (again), including duty, breach, causation, damages, and defenses.  Of course, the sales concept of warranty is thoroughly covered.  But there is more.  A lot of evidence concepts are reviewed, such as Daubert, subsequent remedial measures, admissibility for injuries in the same or similar circumstances, and the burden of proof.  Administrative law is covered because of the regulations passed by agencies and their effect on private litigation (including preemption, which has a connection to constitutional law).  Civil procedure is also touched upon in the form of statutes of limitations, statutes of repose, and the discovery rule. 

As a whole, the course requires students to connect areas of practice to one another, which I think is extremely beneficial.  That is, of course, how they will function in practice.  The course also reviews a number of concepts they will soon face on the bar, including the specific MBE questions about products liability, often given little to no attention in the basic Torts course due to time constraints.     

July 12, 2016 in Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (2)

Friday, May 6, 2016

Institute for Law Teaching and Learning Summer Conference

...will be held June 9-11 at Washburn.  The schedule and registration are here.

May 6, 2016 in Conferences, Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 15, 2016

11th Edition of Epstein & Sharkey's Casebook Available

From the authors: 

We are excited to launch the 11th edition of our casebook, Cases and Materials on Torts, which marks a real sea change in the four short years since we teamed up as co-editors.  We have redesigned our book in response to the new sensibilities of the age.  For the first time, the book contains historical images, cartoons, tables, and charts that are set off from the main text to supply visual background information about the persons, places, and things that hold center stage in the cases and materials of the book.  The design of these materials has been spruced up with red headings to mark transitions and with boxes that contain key provisions of the various Restatements of Torts.

In response to the suggestions of our faithful users, we have judiciously shortened the material by thinning out the notes and eliminating some of the less popular principal cases.  In doing so, we have held fast to the intellectual rigor, historical depth, and careful case selection and notes found in the previous ten editions.  But we have embraced change as well, adding diverse perspectives (such as race and gender-based critiques of damages calculations, which have gained additional judicial attention), incorporating contemporary empirical scholarship (especially on medical malpractice, damages and jury decision-making), addressing the increasing influence of technology (such as privacy and defamation in the Internet age), and keeping pace with modern trends in business tort litigation, including the most recent the Third Restatement project on liability for economic harms (such as fraud and negligent misrepresentation).

To get a feel for the pedagogy in our book, we encourage you to have a look at a sample chapter posted on our Companion Website.  In your review of this chapter, here are a few noteworthy features (which are representative of those that appear throughout the book):

  • Judge portraits.  See pages: 141 for Tindal, 144 for Holmes, 170 for Hand, and 172 for Posner and Calabresi
  • Charts and graphs.  Look to page 236 for one depicting “vanishing trial”
  • Judge vs. jury section, including reference to current empirical study of jury/judge decision-making (245-48)
  • Boxes.  This one depicts significant Restatement provisions and pattern jury instructions (252-3)
  • Cartoons and other images  that engage students.  See page 139 for a cartoon from The New Yorker.

Our goal is nothing short of producing a Torts casebook for the next generation of torts professors and students.  With that in mind, the new 11th Edition will now also be available digitally, as a Connected Casebook.  In addition to offering students an enhanced eBook with note taking and highlighting capabilities, the “connected” version of our casebook also includes an outlining tool, a wealth of self-assessment materials – including multiple choice and essay questions, and analytics that enable the student or professor to see which topics may need further clarification or study. 

We are indebted to our torts colleagues across the country and now two generations of torts students (at Chicago, Columbia, and NYU) for their received wisdom on various topics and issues raised in our book.  We would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in exploring our book in either 1L torts courses or advanced torts or business torts courses.

If you’d like to receive a review copy of our book, please click here.

Thank you for your consideration,

Richard Epstein, richard.epstein@nyu.edu

Catherine Sharkey, catherine.sharkey@nyu.edu

April 15, 2016 in Books, Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Fourth Edition of Goldberg, Sebok, & Zipursky's Casebook Available

For a review copy, click here.

From the authors:

This edition offers additional benefits to students. First, it features a new design that incorporates illustrations and sidebars to aid students’ comprehension. Second, students have the option of purchasing a “connected” version of the casebook. Information on the Casebook Connect platform is here:https://www.casebookconnect.com/faculty. (The connected e-book allows students to gain access to a wealth of self-assessment materials, including multiple-choice and essay questions. Moreover, faculty can access data on students’ handling of these materials, which in turn can help them gauge which topics may require additional attention or clarification.)

We realize, of course, that the adoption of a new casebook requires time and effort. To help minimize these costs, we have prepared a 500+ page, everything-you-need-to-know Teacher’s Manual. It not only provides details and context for each principal case, it also offers a steady stream of pedagogic suggestions based on our combined six decades of experience teaching Torts. In addition, adopters gain access to 200+ media-rich PowerPoint slides that can be adapted for use in your class, or can simply be used to help you prepare to teach.

To give you a sense of what the book has to offer, please click here to access: 

  • Chapter 9 (Battery, Assault and False Imprisonment); the Teacher’s Manual for Chapter 9, and a sampling of PowerPoint slides for Chapter 9; and 
  • a detailed Table of Contents (click on the “Table of Contents” tab on the left, then on “Complete Table of Contents” at the bottom of the page) 

As you can see, Chapter 9 itself contains several representative features, including:

  • Sidebars on pages 612 and 645 that enable students to engage in self-assessment
  • Extensive and informative expository notes, such as those on pages 632-638
  • Illustrations and photographs (such as the cartoon on page 604) that aim to inform students and to provide them with occasional breaks from the rigors of class prep

Meanwhile, the sample from the Teacher’s Manual and the slides will give you a sense of the support we provide to adopters.

Should you have questions about the book, please feel free to reach out to one of us. We’d be delighted to hear from you at: jgoldberg@law.harvard.edu, sebok@yu.edu, and bzipursky@law.fordham.edu.

March 31, 2016 in Books, Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Kaye's Law of Torts Webby Book

Tim Kaye (Stetson) has founded Webby Books (web e-books).  From his e-mail:

The first Webby Book to be published is my own Law of Torts. Further details about it can be found here: https://webby-books.com/news/inaugural-publication/

The electronic equivalent of an inspection copy may be requested here: https://webby-books.com/faculty/

Webby Books have been rigorously tested over a lengthy beta period with several classes of both full-time and part-time students, and have received rave reviews.

Unlike so may other e-books, Webby Books are not just glorified PDFs, but are designed from the ground up as free-standing websites. This means that they can make use of online technology to an extent that far surpasses anything that law books have provided hitherto.

They contain not just case well-chosen extracts, but also a helpful commentary with references that hyperlink to original sources. They are accompanied by numerous tables, diagrams and charts, which can be enlarged as each user desires without loss of definition.

Students and professors can annotate and highlight Webby Books as they wish. They can even leave and respond to comments next to any passage of text. A forum facilitates broader discussions, where the ability to hyperlink to any paragraph in the Webby Book can also be utilized.

Webby Books are optimized for both mobile and other touch-enabled devices, so they can be used literally wherever a user has an internet connection. The color scheme and fonts have been chosen to minimize eye-strain and to facilitate use by those with dyslexia.

While anyone may purchase a Webby Book subscription, substantial discounts are available for students whose professors adopt them as class texts.

Further details of Webby Book are available here: https://webby-books.com/

February 3, 2016 in Books, Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Teaching Conference: Real-World Readiness

The Institute for Law Teaching and Learning is having a conference entitled Real-World Readiness at Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas on June 9-11, 2016.   A call for proposals is here:  Download CFP Summer 2016 Washburn Conference (1) 

December 15, 2015 in Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Hart Publishes Hepple and Matthews' Tort Law

Hart Publishing is delighted to announce the publication of

‘Hepple and Matthews' Tort Law’

by David Howarth, Martin Matthews,

Jonathan Morgan, Janet O'Sullivan and Stelios Tofaris

Associate Editor Bob Hepple

We are pleased to offer you 20% discount on the book

To order online with your 20% discount please click on the link below the title and then click on the ‘pay now’ button on the right hand side of the screen. Once through to the ordering screen type ref: CV7 in the voucher code field and click ‘apply’ 

Alternatively, please contact Hart Publishing’s distributor, Macmillan Distribution Limited, by telephone or email (details below) quoting ref: CV7

 

Hepple and Matthews' Tort Law

Cases and Materials

by David Howarth, Martin Matthews,

Jonathan Morgan, Janet O'Sullivan

and Stelios Tofaris

Consultant Editor Bob Hepple

 

New to Hart Publishing, this is the seventh edition of the classic casebook on tort, the first of its kind in the UK, and for many years now a bestselling and very popular text for students. This new edition retains all the features that have made it such a popular and respected text, with extensive commentary, questions and notes supplementing the selection of cases and statutes which form the core of the book. Taking a broadly contextual approach the book addresses all the main topics in tort law, is up-to-date, doctrinally sound, stimulating and highly readable.

David Howarth, Fellow of Clare College and Professor of Law and Public Policy, University of Cambridge.

Martin Matthews, Emeritus Fellow of University College, University of Oxford.

Jonathan Morgan, Fellow of Corpus Christi College and Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Cambridge.

Janet O’Sullivan, Fellow of Selwyn College and Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Cambridge.

Stelios Tofaris, Fellow of Girton College and Lecturer in Law, University of Cambridge.

Sir Bob Hepple QC LLD FBA, former Master of Clare College and Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Cambridge.

BOOK DETAILS

November 2015   9781849465557   1248pp    Hbk    RSP: £43.99

20% Discount Price: £35.19

 Order Online

If you would like to place an order you can do so through the Hart Publishing website (link below). To receive the discount, please click on the ‘pay now’ button on the right hand side of the screen. Once through to the ordering screen type ref: CV7 in the voucher code field and click ‘apply’.

http://www.hartpub.co.uk/BookDetails.aspx?ISBN=9781849465557

Alternatively, please contact Hart Publishing’s Distributor, ISBS (International Specialized Book Services), by telephone or e-mail and quote reference CV7 when placing your order.

920 NE 58th Avenue, Suite 300, Portland, OR 97213-3786, USA.

Tel: +1 503 287 3093    Fax: +1 503 280 8832      E-mail: orders@isbs.com

December 10, 2015 in Books, Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Request for Empirical Study Results from Torts Classes

James Stark (Connecticut) makes the following request:

Dear Colleagues:
 
I will be working this year with a PhD psychologist from the University of Maryland on an empirical research study designed to learn more about the role of individual differences in lawyers' susceptibility to cognitive and motivational bias in a representative lawyering role.  The exercise at the core of the study asks students to assume the role of counsel for plaintiff or defendant in a personal injury case and assess its value, based on condensed pleadings and discovery materials from a (real) Texas motorcycle accident case.      
 
Asking your students to do the exercise is a great way to teach them-- in a fun, hands-on way-- about the risks of bias they will face as representative lawyers, and how these biases may affect them in a partisan lawyering role. It is also an opportunity to expand knowledge in the field of behavioral economics as it applies to law students and lawyers.  It's a 45 minute, on-line homework exercise that need not take significant class time to debrief, and should fit very well in most any Torts course, once students have completed their study of negligence.  
 
If you find this short description at all intriguing, a more complete description is attached. We need 400 research subjects, so I hope you will consider joining us.  Happy to answer any and all questions, by phone or offline.
 
Apologies for cross-listings and wishing everyone a happy and productive fall semester.
 
 
Jim
  
James H. Stark
Professor of Law and Director, Mediation Clinic
University of Connecticut Law School
65 Elizabeth Street
Hartford, CT 06105
(860) 570-5278 (telephone)
(860) 570-5242 (telefax) 
Please send all emails to my new email address: james.stark@uconn.edu 

August 20, 2015 in Experts & Science, Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Hiring: Iowa

   

            THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA COLLEGE OF LAW anticipates hiring several tenured/tenure track faculty members and clinical faculty members (including a director for field placement program) over the coming year. Our goal is to find outstanding scholars and teachers who can extend the law school’s traditional strengths and intellectual breadth. We are interested in all persons of high academic achievement and promise with outstanding credentials. Appointment and rank will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Candidates should send resumes, references, and descriptions of areas of interest to:  Faculty Appointments Committee, College of Law, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa  52242-1113.

            THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment free from discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, religion, associational preference, status as a qualified individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran.

August 16, 2015 in Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 31, 2015

Fruehwald's Torts Exercises

Just in time for fall classes, E. Scott Fruehwald has published A Companion to Torts:  How to Think Like a Torts Lawyer.  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.

July 31, 2015 in Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Survey on the Use of Pop Culture in the Classroom

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:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QH3GBZK

Thanks in advance for your time and have a wonderful rest of summer!

Cynthia Bond

The John Marshall Law School

Chicago, IL

July 27, 2015 in Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Teaching Advanced Torts

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 cjrobinette@widener.edu and I will pass it on.  Thank you.

July 20, 2015 in Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (2)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Summer Program in Venice

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.     

July 6, 2015 in Books, Teaching Torts, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Summer Program: Comparative Tort Law in Venice

VenicePic

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.

  SanServolo

Image from sanservolo.provincia.venezia.it

February 2, 2015 in Teaching Torts, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Institute for Law Teaching and Learning: Symposium on Engaging the Entire Class

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.

January 14, 2015 in Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Exam Advice: How to Explain the Unforeseeable Plaintiff?

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:  hbaez@charlottelaw.edu.

November 13, 2014 in Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

One for Your Torts Class - General Noriega Sues Video Gamers

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.

The complaint is here.   CNN has the story.

- SBS

July 30, 2014 in Current Affairs, Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Drunk Man May Sue Friends For Fall From Cliff

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.  

- SBS

July 23, 2014 in Current Affairs, Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Breaking Ground on the Ralph Nader Torts Museum

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.

- SBS

 

 

July 18, 2014 in Current Affairs, Teaching Torts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)