Monday, January 18, 2021
Several students in my Torts class have requested a reading list on tort theory. What should be part of a basic tort theory reading package for students? At a minimum, I think it should cover individualized justice, deterrence, compensation/loss-spreading, and pluralist theories. I seek your collective wisdom. Don't be shy about recommending your own work.
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
I missed this post from February. Jenny Wriggins posted about teaching Torts and race at the Race and the Law Prof Blog. Her conclusion:
Racism is becoming stronger in the U.S., despite the long struggles for racial justice in the U.S. and despite the fact that it is so deeply wrong. Our country has not completely addressed the history of race and racism in law. And this definitely is true in the teaching of tort law. Now is the time to make a serious start on this essential project.
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Cases and Materials on Torts, Twelfth Edition by Richard A. Epstein and Catherine M. Sharkey will be available soon. Cases and Materials on Torts preserves historical and conceptual continuity between the present and the past, while addressing the most significant contemporary controversies in such fast-moving areas like public nuisance, global warming, and product liability, with new litigation against internet providers. Toward these dual ends, Richard A. Epstein and Catherine M. Sharkey have retained in the Twelfth Edition the great older cases, both English and American, that have proved themselves time and again in the classroom, and which continue to exert great influence on the modern law. Our book also provides a rich exploration of the dominant corrective justice and law-and-economics approaches to tort law, as exemplified both in the retained and new cases and materials.
Cases and Materials on Torts, Twelfth Edition
Richard A. Epstein, New York University Law School
Catherine M. Sharkey, New York University Law School
Visit wklegaledu.com/Epstein-Torts12 to view more information
To access teaching materials for this title, you will need a validated professor account on WKLegaledu.com. If you do not yet have a validated professor account, you may register at WKLegaledu.com/my-account/register. Account validation may take 1-2 business days. Once validated, you may log into your account using your own personal login, go to the product page for this title or any Wolters Kluwer title, and scroll down to access the Professor Resources once they have been made available on the site.
Saturday, November 16, 2019
Effective Instruction in Online and Hybrid Legal Education
June 11—13, 2020
University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law
Little Rock, Arkansas
Conference Theme: The future of legal education has arrived, with more and more law schools moving toward teaching part or all of their J.D. program online. During this conference, we will explore how law professors can design and implement methods for teaching effectively in online environments, including both synchronous and asynchronous formats. After an opening plenary examining data regarding the effectiveness of online education, the subsequent plenaries and concurrent workshops will address the following topics in the context of online and hybrid courses and programs: course and program design, assessment of student learning, active learning and student engagement, teaching methods, providing feedback, and collaborative learning.
Conference Structure: The conference will consist of three plenary sessions and a series of concurrent workshops that will take place on Thursday, June 11; Friday, June 12; and the morning of Saturday, June 13. The conference will open with an informal reception on the evening of Wednesday, June 10. Details about the conference will be available on the website of the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, www.lawteaching.org.
Registration Information: The conference fee for participants is $285, which includes materials, meals during the conference (three breakfasts and three lunches), and the welcome reception on Wednesday, June 10. The conference fee for presenters is $185. Details regarding the registration process will be provided in future announcements.
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Friday, January 25, 2019
For those of you teaching the Prosser, Wade, and Schwartz casebook: This is about the time of year I cover Perry v. S.N. and S.N., a Supreme Court of Texas case from 1998. The case focuses on negligence per se/implied right of action regarding a failure to report the alleged child sexual abuse committed by day care owners. Those day care owners, Fran and Dan Keller, were declared "actually innocent" by the state of Texas in August 2017 and awarded $3.4 million in damages. This isn't breaking news, but I just learned it (thanks to Shannon Smith in my 1L Torts class), and I thought some of you might not know either. The article from Jezebel is here.
Monday, November 5, 2018
Having just covered the "wrong ear" case for informed consent, this ripped-from-the-headlines case would do nicely to illustrate the distinction between medical negligence and informed consent. Both are potentially here in this fact pattern. The patient went into surgery to fuse together a couple of vertebrae. The surgeon allegedly noticed a mass in the patient's pelvis. Believing it to be cancerous, the surgeon cut it out. It was the patient's kidney. The Washington Post has the story.
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Teresa Bruce, at the University of Colorado Law School, is teaching an advanced torts seminar, based on Torts Stories by Foundation Press, for the first time. The book discusses several highly celebrated torts cases, including United States v. Carroll Towing Co., Rowland v. Christian, and Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California. Each chapter is individually authored by a prominent torts professor. The book does not come with a teacher’s manual, and Foundation Press has confirmed that it does not have any supplemental materials for the book. Consequently, Teresa has been making up her own questions for each chapter—a time-consuming process. She gives these questions to her students in advance of class, to focus the discussion. She is wondering whether any blog readers have already created a list of questions for the chapters in this book and, if so, whether they would be willing to share their work. (Note that she is looking for something customized to the commentaries in Torts Stories, so borrowing from questions that appear in traditional casebooks would not be entirely effective.) She, herself, has drafted questions for some chapters, and is happy to share them with anyone who might be interested. Teresa can be reached at email@example.com.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Announcement: Publication of Materials on Tort Reform, 2nd Edition (2017) by Andrew F. Popper, Bronfman Professor of Law, American University, Washington College of Law
Early in July, West Publishing released Materials on Tort Reform, 2nd Edition (2017) by Andrew F. Popper. The goal for this edition is very much the same as it was for the First Edition: a supplemental text for torts classes that provides essays, articles, cases, and other materials allowing for consideration of all sides of the tort reform debate. In the quest to cut the Gordian knot of tort reform, the hope is to provide all points of view in an accessible and compelling manner.
While tort law has not changed dramatically since this book was first published, the tort reform debate has shifted. In the period preceding the first edition, tort reform was a battle over substantive tort law, joint and several liability, admissibility of certain evidence—in other words, issues pertaining directly to accountability and liability. Typical tort reform proposals involved limitations on non-economic loss, standards for punitive damages, changes in the definition of design defect, the government standards and state of the art defense, and more.
For the last seven years, while the above topics remain in play, focus has broadened to include fundamental procedural mechanisms that affect, enhance, or limit access to courts. In addition, there has been an undeniable push to move tort cases away from state courts and into federal court. Broadly speaking, those fighting for these changes contend that tort law, as currently practiced, produces uncertain and unfair results.
Those opposing these changes assert that injured people are entitled to access to justice in their own states, before judges from their own states, with basic decisions made by a jury of their peers at a local level, i.e., federalism. Broadly, they assert that this is a struggle to preserve the rights of injured consumers to a fair and just legal system. What is at risk, they contend, is a level playing field where damages imposed on those who produce dangerous products or provide inappropriate professional services are sufficient to make whole those harmed and deter others from similar misconduct.
Both positions have multiple glimmers of legitimacy, a fact that seems obvious to all except those involved in the fight.
Through commentary, essays on both sides of the battle, articles, interest group papers, and cases, this text is designed to help students comprehend this 40-year struggle. Does the tort system yield inefficient and counter-productive results (e.g., a less competitive market and higher prices), or is it that prized legal regime its supporters contend, preserving fragile rights of injured consumers?
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Monday, March 20, 2017
The AALS Torts & Compensation Systems Section announces its new mentoring program. The Torts Section may be able to help if you are a professor who:
- is starting a career in torts or shifting to torts from another subject area, and
- lacks a torts colleague to discuss scholarship and teaching.
The Executive Committee and the Section at large have numerous professors happy to work with you. The goal is to match mentors and mentees based on specific areas of interest. To start the process, please contact the Chair of the Torts Section, currently Chris Robinette (firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-541-3993).
Friday, December 2, 2016
This summer I taught Products Liability, and I mused that it was a terrific capstone course. I received more evidence of this yesterday. One of the students in that course is graduating early this month. In a reception for our December graduates, unprompted by me, he told me that Products was a great course to take right before preparing for the bar exam. He cited the review of tort and contract principles.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Institute for Law Teaching & Learning and Emory University School of Law
Spring Conference 2017
“Compliance with ABA Standard 314: Formative Assessment in Large Classes” is a one-day conference for law teachers and administrators who want to learn how to design, implement, and evaluate formative assessment plans. The conference will be interactive workshops during which attendees will learn about formative assessment techniques from games to crafting multiple choice questions to team-based learning. Participants will also learn ways to coordinate assessment across the curriculum. The conference workshop sessions will take place on Saturday, March 25, 2017, at Emory University School of Law.
Conference Content: Sessions will address the following topics:
Why Assess: Empirical Data on How it Helps Students Learn
Games as Formative Assessments in the Classroom
Formative Assessment with Team-Based Learning
Creating Multiple Choice Questions and Ways to Using Them as Formative Assessment
Coordinating Formative Assessment Across the Curriculum
Conference Faculty: Workshops will be taught by experienced faculty: Andrea Curcio (GSU Law), Lindsey Gustafson (UALR Bowen), Michael Hunter-Schwartz (UALR Bowen), Heidi Holland (Gonzaga) and Sandra Simpson (Gonzaga)
Who Should Attend: This conference is for all law faculty and administrators. By the end of the conference, attendees will have concrete and practical knowledge about formative assessment and complying with Standard 314 to take back to their colleagues and institutions.
Registration Information: The registration fee is $225 for the first registrant from each law school. We are offering a discounted fee of $200 for each subsequent registrant from the same school, so that schools may be able to send multiple attendees. Registration is here: https://emorylaw.wufoo.com/forms/institute-for-law-teaching-learning-conference/
Accommodations: A block of hotel rooms for conference attendees has been reserved at the Emory Conference Center Hotel for $159/night; at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown, Decatur for $99/night; and at the Decatur Holiday Inn for $159/night. Reservation phone numbers are : Emory Conference Center Hotel: 1-800-933-6679; Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Decatur: www.marriott.com or 1-404-371-0204; Holiday Inn Hotel Decatur 1-888-HOLIDAY.
Friday, July 22, 2016
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!
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
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.
Friday, May 6, 2016
Friday, April 15, 2016
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, email@example.com
Catherine Sharkey, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, March 31, 2016
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.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
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/
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
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)