TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Popper's "Materials on Tort Reform"

Andrew Popper (American University) has published "Materials on Tort Reform" (registration required),  an e-book available through West Academic Publishing.

The summary provides:

This succinct e-book on tort reform reveals one of the most important recent movements in the civil justice field. It begins with a brief overview of central themes and issues and then presents a series of original essays and comments by preeminent scholars, lawyers, and leaders in tort reform. The essays are followed by fictional narratives written from the standpoint of plaintiffs, defendants, and policymakers; a simulation; and a selection of carefully edited articles, government documents, interest group position papers, and cases. Comments, notes, and questions are interspersed throughout the text.

The book includes essays by Victor Schwartz, Erwin Chemerinsky, Pamela Gilbert, Neil Vidmar, Mike Rustad, Stephen Sugarman, Aaron Twerski, Martha Chamallas, Jeff O'Connell and TortsProf's own Chris Robinette, among others. 


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Just out of curiousity, will this include the PR-side of tort reform - things like how the McDonald's case came to be a such a flashpoint, where the terms "frivolous lawsuit" and "lawsuit abuse" found their way into the lexicon of the civil justice system, and how the Chamber's "judicial hellhole" survey originated and how it is conducted? These things are infinitely more fascinating than any of the legislaive stuff and just as deleterious to the rights of ordinary civil litigants.

Posted by: Barry Doyle | Apr 6, 2010 5:01:51 AM

I appreciate Barry Doyle’s comment from April 6. You are absolutely right: it is quite a challenge to write about tort reform and provide a fair articulation of both (or multiple) sides in the field. I made an effort in the introductory materials to set out competing narratives from the perspective of injured plaintiffs/consumers as well as from institutional defendants (business, health care, insurance, etc.). The next section of the book consists of 28 original essays or similar writings, divided in half (roughly) between those who favor and those who oppose tort reform. In the remaining portion of the book, I tried to achieve the same balance with notes, comments, edited articles, and cases.
Here are two comments on the book that are responsive to your concern:
"For the first time in one volume is the full rainbow of views about tort reform. What is unique is the selection of authors with pro, con, and "middle of the road" perspectives about tort reform. They include both the top academic icons on the subject of tort law and leaders of the political and practical world of tort law who deal with the impact of tort law on our society. Anyone who addresses the public policy challenges of this vital subject will benefit from the wise editor's (Professor Popper's) carefully written and constructed anthology." Victor Schwartz, Partner, Shook Hardy & Bacon, formerly Professor and Acting Dean, University of Cincinnati College of Law, Co-author Prosser, Wade and Schwartz’s Cases and Materials On Torts (12th ed. 2010) and Author, Comparative Negligence (5th ed., 2010)
"I applaud this important compilation of essays and articles covering divergent perspectives in the field of tort reform. For years, I have heard powerful testimony from people all over the country describing the urgency and importance of the complex and competing issues addressed in this book. Professor Popper’s book continues the public discussion to better understand and improve the process for ensuring fair and efficient compensation to victims.” John Conyers, Jr., Member of Congress

Posted by: Andrew Popper | Apr 12, 2010 5:29:58 PM

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