Wednesday, July 14, 2021
The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University seeks to fill one or more tenure-track positions. We will consider all subject areas but primarily seek candidates with research and teaching interests in Torts, Property, and other first year courses such as Contracts, Criminal Law, and Civil Procedure. The Law School is particularly interested in faculty members who also have research and teaching interests in Environmental Law, Bankruptcy and/or Commercial Law. All candidates must have a strong commitment to serious scholarship. We are particularly interested in candidates who will enhance the diversity of our faculty.
As a leading national and regional educational institution, Hofstra Law is a distinguished center of legal scholarship in the service of justice and is committed to serving its local communities (which include Americans from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds and range from extraordinary affluence to entrenched suburban poverty), participating in the national scholarly dialogue, and educating attorneys for the local bar as well as the broader national community. Hofstra Law recently completed a successful multiyear capital campaign and the University has recently opened new schools of medicine, public health and engineering.
Candidates should send a cover letter and resume, including a description of areas of interest, and copies of representative works to Professor Linda Galler, Chair of the Faculty Appointments Committee, LawSchoolFacultyJobs@hofstra.edu.
Hofstra University is an equal opportunity employer, committed to fostering diversity in its faculty, administrative staff and student body, and encourages applications from the entire spectrum of a diverse community.
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Judge Guido Calabresi, who was instrumental in creating the law and economics movement in tort scholarship, has taught his final Torts class at Yale. Calabresi continued teaching Torts even after moving to the bench; he taught Torts for six decades. More than 160 of his former students came to celebrate him on his final day. Yale has the story. Thanks to former TortsProf blogger Sheila Scheuerman for the tip.
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
John Goldberg has posted to SSRN Taking Responsibility Personally: On John Gardner's From Personal Life to Private Law. He presented at the AALS Torts panel in January and the piece is forthcoming in the Journal of Tort Law. The abstract provides:
This essay, written for a panel honoring the late John Gardner, explores a tension in his book’s highly engaging and illuminating account of the relationship between “personal life” and “private law.” For the most part, the book sets out to explain how private law’s doctrines help us to act as we ought to act by reproducing, with greater specificity, the rules and norms of morality. At crucial moments, however, it suggests that private law serves its function by departing dramatically from morality. In particular, it argues that private law’s conferral of broad discretion on victims of legal wrongs to decide whether and how to pursue claims against wrongdoers has no moral counterpart. I suggest, to the contrary, that personal life does contain analogues to private law’s powers and liabilities. I further maintain that Gardner’s reluctance to recognize them reflects a problematic understanding of interpersonal responsibility as monadic answerability to reason rather than dyadic answerability to another.
Friday, April 30, 2021
Bob Rabin has posted to SSRN Stephen Sugarman and the World of Responsibility for Injurious Conduct. This piece is from a festschrift for Steve put on by the California Law Review. Bob also spoke yesterday at a moving celebration in honor of Steve's career. The abstract provides:
For a festschrift celebrating the scholarship of Professor Stephen Sugarman, I was asked to discuss his contributions to the area of accident law. Professor Sugarman’s published work runs across the spectrum of responsibility for injurer-based harm, embracing intentional misconduct, fault-based recovery, strict liability, no-fault compensation schemes, and social insurance. In addition to this wide-ranging and cogent analysis of approaches to liability and compensation, Sugarman has complemented his system-based work with perspectives from the vantage points of history, public policy formation, and jurisprudential assessment of tort and tort alternatives.
My coverage unfolds as follows. I begin with Sugarman’s landmark initial excursion into the world of tort law in which he advocated the replacement of tort with a social insurance scheme. Next, I discuss his more focused tort replacement studies in the world of no-fault liability. Then, I examine his critiques of tort doctrine and his interdisciplinary approaches to the system, which include historical and jurisprudential perspectives. I conclude on a personal note.
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Monday, April 19, 2021
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
We are writing as the Secretary and Treasurer of the
AALS Torts & Compensation Systems section to pass along two important
*1. Torts and Compensation Systems Section Newsletter*
As most of you know, our section publishes a newsletter each fall listing:
(1) symposia related to tort law; (2) recent law review articles on tort
law; (3) selected articles from Commonwealth countries on tort law; and (4)
books relating to tort law. If you know of any works that should be
included in this year's newsletter, please forward relevant citations and
other information to email@example.com. The deadline for
inclusion in this fall's newsletter is Friday, August 20, 2021.
*2. 2022 William L. Prosser Award*
This is the first call for nominations for the 2022 William L. Prosser
Award. The award recognizes “outstanding contributions of law teachers in
scholarship, teaching and service” in torts and compensation systems.
Recent recipients include Jack Weinstein, Anita Bernstein, Ken Simons,
Marshall Shapo, Steve Sugarman, Aaron Twerski, Mike Green, James Henderson,
Jane Stapleton, Guido Calabresi, Robert Rabin, Richard Posner, Oscar Gray,
and Dan Dobbs. Past recipients include scholars such as Leon Green, Wex
Malone, and John Wade.
Any law professor is eligible to nominate another law professor for the
award. Nominators can renew past nominations by resubmitting materials.
Living tort scholars and those who have passed away within the last five
years are eligible for the award. Selection of the recipient will be made
by members of the Executive Committee of the Torts & Compensation Systems
section, based on the recommendation of a special selection committee. The
award will be presented at the annual AALS meeting in Washington, D.C. in
Nominations must be accompanied by a brief supporting statement and should
be submitted no later than Friday, July 16, 2021. Please email submissions
to Elizabeth Weeks, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nora Freeman Engstrom & Elizabeth Weeks
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
I have posted to SSRN Scholars of Tort Law: Professor William Lloyd Prosser (1898-1972). The abstract provides:
This chapter, presented at Oxford at the “Scholars of Tort Law” conference, is concerned with William Prosser, the most important U.S. tort scholar of the twentieth century. Prosser exerted considerable influence on the development of several specific tort doctrines, notably strict products liability, privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Instead of his well-known contributions to these discrete torts, this chapter focuses more broadly on Prosser’s overall effects, particularly regarding the paramount tort of negligence. Prosser attempted to adjust negligence to two Realist challenges: Realists’ belief in the public nature of seemingly private disputes and the undermining of certainty caused by emphasising the facts of each case. To the first challenge, Prosser reconceptualised the elements of negligence as involving public policy choices. To the second, Prosser attempted to present a negligence formula that was both flexible and predictable. Prosser succeeded in presenting a more flexible negligence formula incorporating public policy factors, but failed in enhancing predictability, with far-reaching consequences for tort law as a compensatory mechanism.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Donal Nolan has posted to SSRN Scholars of Tort Law: Professor Sir Percy Winfield (1878-1953). The piece comes from a conference at Oxford in 2018 and published as a book last year; the abstract provides:
This chapter is concerned with Sir Percy Winfield, arguably the most influential scholar of the English law of tort in the relatively short history of the subject. The chapter is divided into three main parts. The first part (‘The Life’) consists of a short biography of Winfield. In the second part (‘The Work’), I discuss Winfield’s principal writings on tort law, their reception and their influence. And in the final part (‘The Scholar’), I seek to identify Winfield’s key characteristics as a scholar. I conclude that a number of reasons can be identified for the impact and endurance of Winfield’s writings on tort: his technical brilliance; his intellectual openness; his clear and attractive style; his prescience and forward-thinking approach; his thoroughgoing pragmatism; and a measure of good fortune. Underlying all of this, however, lay an even more basic foundation for his scholarly achievements, namely a profound and very broad knowledge of the common law and its history.
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
I am sad to announce that Al Calnan, the longtime Southwestern Law School torts professor, passed away on April 20. His passing was unrelated to COVID-19. Al wrote in tort theory and was known as a dynamic teacher. A letter to Southwestern alumni is here. The Southwestern Law Review is dedicating its next issue to Al and Francis McGovern, both of whom spoke at a symposium at Southwestern in February and both of whom have since passed away.
Thursday, February 20, 2020
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Monday, December 23, 2019
Anita Bernstein's "The Common Law Inside the Female Body" Discussed in Online Symposium at Northwestern Law Review
From the Faculty Lounge:
The Northwestern University Law Review Online has published a symposium issue devoted to Anita Bernstein's book, The Common Law Inside the Female Body (Cambridge University Press 2019), including a response by Professor Bernstein. Here is the publisher's description of the book:
In The Common Law Inside the Female Body, Anita Bernstein explains why lawyers seeking gender progress from primary legal materials should start with the common law. Despite its reputation for supporting conservatism and inequality, today’s common law shares important commitments with feminism, namely in precepts and doctrines that strengthen the freedom of individuals and from there the struggle against the subjugation of women. By re-invigorating both the common law – with a focus on crimes, contracts, torts, and property – and feminist jurisprudence, this highly original work anticipates a vital future for a pair of venerable jurisprudential traditions. It should be read by anyone interested in understanding how the common law delivers an extraordinary degree of liberty and security to all persons – women included.
Here are the essays in the symposium line-up:
Bridget J. Crawford, The Common Law as Silver Slippers
David S. Cohen, The Promise and Peril of a Common Law Right to Abortion
Joanna L. Grossman, Women are (Allegedly) People, Too
Cyra Akila Choudhury, The Common Law as a Terrain of Feminist Struggle
Margaret Chon, Intellectual Property Infringement and the Right to Say No
Maritza I. Reyes, The Female Body in the Workplace: Judges and the Common Law
Teri A. McMurtry-Chubb, In Search of the Common Law Inside the Black Female Body
Anita Bernstein, Negative Liberty Meets Positive Social Change
Bernstein will receive the William L. Prosser Award at the AALS Annual Meeting in January.
Thursday, December 12, 2019
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
A memorial event for the late Oscar S. Gray, the Jacob A. France Professor of Torts Emeritus, will be hosted by the University of Maryland Carey School of Law on Tuesday, December 10, at 2 p.m. If you are able to attend, please RSVP at the following link
Thursday, October 3, 2019
Sadly, we must share the news that our friend and colleague, Oscar S. Gray, passed away today (October 3) in New York City. Oscar, the Jacob A. France Professor Emeritus of Torts at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, was one of the nation’s preeminent tort scholars from the 1970s until the time of his death. He published the second and third editions of the definitive six-volume treatise on tort law, Harper, James and Gray on Torts. He also was a co-editor of the influential torts casebook, Cases and Materials on Torts, along with Harry Shulman, Fleming James, Jr., and Don Gifford. During the mid-1990s, he served as chair of the AALS Section on Tort and Compensation Systems, and in 2010, he received the William L. Prosser Award for lifetime service from the section.
Oscar, a native of Maryland, attended Yale College from which he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He decided to attend Yale Law School because, as he said in a 2011 interview, “law [is] a mechanism for bringing about social change, and … a way—perhaps the most striking way—of fighting for the righting of wrongs.” There he received, from Harry Shulman and Fleming James, Jr., what he described as “the best introduction to Torts I could have hoped for.” He also worked as a research assistant with Fowler Harper.
In the early 1950s during the anti-Communist hysteria of the McCarthy era, Professor Gray served as an attorney-adviser in the Legal Adviser's Office of the U.S. Department of State. Both in this role and when he applied for admission to the Maryland Bar, he was asked, but refused as a matter of principle, questions about his political beliefs or the people whom he knew. From 1957 until 1971, he became a vice president and director of a start-up company in the nuclear materials field. He later served the government as special counsel to the President's Task Force on Communications Policy and as acting director of the Office of Environmental Impact for the U.S. Department of Transportation where, as he later described it, he “had a dandy time trying to prevent roads from doing unnecessary environmental harm.”
As a result of this work, in the late 1960s, Oscar received offers to teach the newly developing subject, Environmental Law, at Georgetown and Catholic. While doing so, he assembled a casebook on environmental law because there were no commercial offerings in the field. In 1970, Georgetown Law School offered him a full-time faculty position teaching Torts. Oscar’s first step was to visit his own Torts teacher, Fleming James, at Yale to seek his suggestions regarding teaching torts. At the end of their encounter, Professor James asked Oscar if he was willing to coedit a new edition of the Shulman and James tort casebook and Oscar enthusiastically accepted the offer. A year or so later, Oscar joined James as a coeditor of the torts treatise. When asked in the 2011 interview what he regarded as his most important professional accomplishment, Oscar answered that it was “keeping alive the voices of Shulman and James, and Harper, so that they can continue to speak to new generations of students and scholars.” Oscar was extremely active in the activities of the American Law Institute and its drafting of the earlier parts of the Restatement (Third) of Torts.
In 1971, Oscar joined the faculty at the University of Maryland School of Law where he actively taught until 1996. To his colleagues, he was a steadfast figure of uncompromising integrity and commitment to scholarly excellence and precision in the use of language.
In 2018, Oscar celebrated fifty years of marriage with Dr. Sheila Hafter Gray, a leader in the psychoanalytic education and accreditation community. She survives him.
Despite his demanding scholarly agenda, Oscar was a huge fan of baseball and his Baltimore Orioles, through good times and bad. For decades, he “scored” each baseball game he attended with pencil and paper. He and Sheila also enjoyed chamber music and opera. Finally, Oscar was a serious wine collector.
Oscar Gray’s life will be celebrated at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law at a date and time to be announced later.
--Don Gifford and Chris Robinette