Course Details

Torts II

This course presents a variety of tort issues that confront lawyers in many areas of practice, including general litigation and corporate practice as well as tort and insurance practice. The practical aim of the course is to give students a head start on making partners and clients think of them as useful, by sensitizing students to issues that will arise in such contexts as: - Assessment of chances of liability and damages - Recently developing theories of tort - Client advice on liability avoidance - Analysis of legislation in the tort area For students who wish to continue with the subject matter of the traditional torts course, which historically has been a full-year offering, this course will examine a raft of practice-oriented questions. These include: DAMAGES: An intensive review of problems of economic loss, noneconomic loss, including pain and suffering, and punitive damages. As part of this unit, we will examine wrongful death and survival statutes. PROOF: General principles of proof in tort cases, including: - Sufficiency of the evidence - Circumstantial evidence, including res ipsa, both generally and in medical applications - Rules concerning expert testimony generally - The new, burgeoning law on proof of scientific causation APPORTIONMENT OF DAMAGES -- A specially developed unit, of particular practical importance: - Liability imposed on multiple defendants when the particular responsible party cannot be identified. A small but sophisticated body of law. - How liability is divided among tortfeasors. Of everyday use for lawyers in a variety of practices. - Apportionment between tort defendants and workers' compensation employers DUTY AND PROXIMATE CAUSE - The effect of violations of statutes where the apparent purpose of the statute does not include the injury at issue - Intervening criminal acts (E.g., murder for hire from magazine ads; liability of possessors of handguns) - Negligent infliction of emotional distress, including the general argument about whether this is an appropriate tort action - The "bystander witness" problem - Liability to rescuers - Liability for economic loss: A growing staple of litigation for both tort and commercial litigators - The duty to act: A philosophical problem with many practical shadings ENVIRONMENTAL TORT LAW - Private nuisance - Public nuisance MEDIA TORTS. An analysis of several problems: - General defamation standards - Constitutional defamation standards - The "fact/opinion" distinction (a particularly subtle set of issues) - "Privacy" torts ascribed to media: Liability for using people's likenesses, for making up nondefamatory stories about them, and the question of when, if ever, it is proper to allow suit for the publication of truth INTERFERENCE WITH ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIPS: A staple of different kinds of law practice, including commercial practices WRONGFUL DISCHARGE: A relatively new tort, or group of torts, which generates a substantial amount of litigation; heavy on policy issues. COMPENSATION SYSTEMS: Legislative compensation schemes such as: - Workers compensation - Automobile no-fault plans - Medical compensation schemes - Even broader accident compensation systems - The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund This segment of the course asks the student to think about the controversies currently raging about the tort system. What are the justifications for the doctrines analyzed in the course? Can a more desirable system be devised than we have now? This material provides a policy frame for the tort issues that constitute the bulk of the course. Some of it has direct application to law practice. It is also designed to introduce students to the sorts of issues they may deal with in legislative lobbying. SUITS AGAINST GOVERNMENTS AND OFFICIALS -The Federal Tort Claims Act -Governmental duty to act -Officers - liabilities and immunities -The "constitutional tort" Teaching Method: Lecture Films / videos: audio tapes Presentations: brief presentation on compensation plans Discussion Evaluation Method: Exam, final Attendance: frequent absence may count negatively Class participation: excellent class participation counts Writing assignments: one small advocacy paper on compensation plans Class Materials (Required): Shapo & Peltz, Tort & Injury Law (3d ed. 2006 Carolina Academic Press) ISBN-13: 978-0890892053 Pre-requisite: Torts is a pre-requisite.

Catalog Number: PPTYTORT 635
Practice Areas: Antitrust Practice AreaCivil and Human RightsCivil Lit. and Dispute ResolutionComparative Law Practice AreaEnvironmental Law AreaHealth Care Practice AreaIntellectual Property Practice AreaLaw and Social ScienceTort Law Practice Area
Additional Course Information: Open to First Year Students

Course History

Spring 2016
Title: Torts II
Faculty: Shapo, Marshall S. (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 65     Actual: 20