TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Southwestern Law School

Monday, March 7, 2022

Engstrom and Smith Designated Reporter's Chairs by ALI

The ALI has designated Nora Freeman Engstrom, Reporter for the Restatement (Third) of Torts:  Concluding Provisions, as the R. Ammi Cutter Reporter's Chair.  Reporter's Chairs are awarded at the ALI to Reporters of proven effectiveness and are a mark of outstanding service.  Engstrom shares the reporting duties on Concluding Provisions with Mike Green, who received the Cutter Chair for his work on prior part of the Restatement.

Additionally, the ALI designated Henry Smith the A. James Casner Reporter's Chair.  Smith is the Reporter for the Restatement (Fourth) of Property.  There is a tort tie here, as the property torts were included in the Restatement (Fourth) of Property.  John Goldberg acts as an Associate Reporter with a focus on tort law.

The announcement is here.  

March 7, 2022 in TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Klein Named Interim Chancellor of IU Indianapolis

Andy Klein, torts prof and former dean at IU Indianapolis, has been named interim chancellor of the University.  The announcement, via Tim Zinnecker at Faculty Lounge, is here.

February 17, 2022 in TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Potential Torts Position at Memphis

From Faculty Lounge:

The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law invites applications for several tenure-track faculty appointments this year.  While we have a broad range of needs and invite applications from all fields, the Law School has a particular need in Torts and is also particularly interested in hearing from candidates with expertise and interest in Health Law, Race and the Law, Professional Responsibility, and Family Law.  We seek applicants who can demonstrate a potential for excellence in teaching, scholarship, as well as a commitment to service.  We are especially interested in candidates who will enhance the diversity of our faculty and are ready for the future of legal education.

Memphis School of Law is housed in a stately, late 19th century building, a converted federal courthouse in the heart of downtown Memphis on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. Memphis Law has an active and diverse student body, colleagues committed to excellence in both scholarship and teaching, and a community that has the offerings of a major city, such as museums, restaurants, and professional sports, but the feel of a tight-knit community – not to mention affordable cost of living. Please submit applications via The screening of applications will begin on January 20 and will continue until positions are filled. Applicants may also contact Daniel Kiel, Chair of the Faculty Recruitment Committee, at for additional information.  The University of Memphis is an EEO/AA employer. 

January 20, 2022 in TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 27, 2021

Steve Sugarman, RIP

Berkeley Law has announced today the sad news that Steve Sugarman has passed.  The announcement is here.

December 27, 2021 in TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 22, 2021

McBride on Weir in the Cambridge Law Journal

Nicholas McBride has posted to SSRN Between Chaos and Cosmos:  Tony Weir in the Cambridge Law Journal.  The abstract provides:

This article was written for a special issue of the Cambridge Law Journal to celebrate its centenary. The article surveys Tony Weir's case notes and book reviews for the Cambridge Law Journal between 1963 and 2002 in order to illuminate Tony's unique genius as a legal academic and thinker.

November 22, 2021 in TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 23, 2021

Abrams Receives 2021 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Teaching and Learning

University of Louisville TortsProf Jamie Abrams's work (along with that of Valerie Harris and Marija Sasek) designing a medical malpractice expert witness deposition simulation for law and dental students has resulted in the 2021 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Teaching and Learning.  Abrams based the simulation on the principles in her West Academic book, Tort Law Simulations:  Bridge to Practice.  UL News has the story.

August 23, 2021 in Teaching Torts, TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Martha Chamallas is the 2022 William Prosser Award Honoree


I am delighted to announce that the 2022 Prosser Award honoree is Martha Chamallas.  Professor Chamallas, the Robert J. Lynn Chair in Law at The Ohio State University, assumed emeritus status this year; she was honored with the 2021 Distinguished University Professor Award.  One of her Prosser Award nominators stated that she has been "a major influence in encouraging a greater consideration of the ways in which tort law impacts minorities and women."  From her Ohio State biography:

Professor Martha Chamallas is a leading scholar in a number of fields, including torts, employment discrimination law, and legal issues affecting women. She is the author of two books and more than 40 articles and essays in law journals such as the Michigan Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the University of Chicago Law ReviewUCLA Law Review and the Southern California Law Review. She is a member of the American Law Institute, Torts Consultative Group and has participated on Gender and Race Bias Task Forces for the states of Iowa and Pennsylvania.

Following graduation from law school, Professor Chamallas clerked for the Honorable Charles Clark of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and served as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor, Civil Rights Division.

Prior to joining the Moritz College of Law in 2002, Professor Chamallas served on the faculties of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, the Louisiana State University Law Center, and the University of Iowa College of Law. She has held visiting positions at Harvard Law School, the Washington University School of Law, Richmond School of Law, the University of Ghent, and Suffolk University School of Law. She also served as the chair of the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Iowa.

At the Moritz College of Law, she teaches Torts, Employment Discrimination, and Gender and the Law. Professor Chamallas was the recipient of the Distinguished Lecturer Award in 2006 and the University Distinguished Scholar Award in 2013.

July 29, 2021 in TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Hofstra Seeks Torts Professor

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,

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.

July 14, 2021 in TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Judge Calabresi Lauded as He Teaches His Final Torts Class

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.

June 1, 2021 in TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Chamallas Named Distinguished University Professor at Ohio State

Martha Chamallas has been named one of two 2021 Distinguished University Professors, the highest faculty award at The Ohio State University.  Congratulations to Martha on this well-deserved honor!  The OSU announcement is here.

May 19, 2021 in TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Goldberg on Gardner on Personal Life and Private Law

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.


May 12, 2021 in Conferences, Scholarship, TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 30, 2021

Rabin on Sugarman

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.

April 30, 2021 in Conferences, Scholarship, TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

A Celebration in Honor of Steve Sugarman


April 27, 2021 in Conferences, TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 19, 2021

Festschrift for Oscar Gray

The Maryland Law Review has published "A Torts Festschrift for Oscar Gray."  Contributors include Ken Abraham & Ted White, Mark Geistfeld, Don Gifford, Mike Green & James Sprague, and me.  

April 19, 2021 in Scholarship, TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

AALS Torts Section Calls for Newsletter Items and Prosser Award Nominations

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 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
January 2022.

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,

Best Regards,
Nora Freeman Engstrom & Elizabeth Weeks

March 23, 2021 in Scholarship, TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Robinette on Prosser

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.

January 12, 2021 in Books, Conferences, Scholarship, TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Nolan on Winfield

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.

December 29, 2020 in Books, Conferences, Scholarship, TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Davis Named Sole Finalist for UK Deanship

TortsProf Mary Davis has been named the sole finalist for the deanship at the University of Kentucky.  Coverage here.  Congratulations to Mary!

November 24, 2020 in TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Pierre Widmer (1938-2020)

I am sad to announce the passing of Pierre Widmer, a Swiss expert in tort and comparative law and a founding member of the European Group on Tort Law.  He is remembered as a brilliant academic and beloved friend.  The EGTL notice is here.

May 20, 2020 in TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

RIP, Alan Calnan

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.

April 29, 2020 in TortsProfs | Permalink | Comments (0)