Details

Tort and Products Liability

This seminar focuses substantively on products liability, framing products law in the context of broader issues of tort law and tort reform. The objective of the seminar is to prepare students to deal with tort and products issues that arise in a variety of practices, including general litigation and corporate practice as well as tort and insurance practice. This preparation includes critiques of written work aimed at preparing people to do the intensive writing that all young lawyers must do. General framework of tort and tort reform The broad question we will analyze is, how does tort law work in practice? Some of the more specific issues presented by the seminar materials include these: Costs. What do accidents cost, and what are the costs of the tort system? Fault. In a perspective broader than that afforded by introductory tort courses, we will examine concepts of accident and fault and how they relate to specific tort issues. Juries. Do juries deliver the best justice available for personal injuries? Critiques. What are the strengths and weaknesses of different methodologies and ideological approaches that have been used to criticize tort law? These include economics, critical legal studies, and feminism. Social meaning. How does tort law reflect society? Tort reform. Is major legislative change needed in the tort system? What are the methods of argument that can be used in lawyering for and against tort reform? What are the comparative merits of common law and legislation in the torts and products areas? September 11th and Injury Compensation. Why did Congress pass a special statute to compensate victims of the September 11th attacks and their survivors? Was it desirable to provide the alternative of suing air carriers in tort? How should the level of compensation for claimants under the September 11th Fund compare with that for families of soldiers who die in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan? Specific Products liability issues I expect to cover several particular key areas of products liability law, such as: Theories of liability throughout the distributional chain. The concept of defect. Controversial aspects of the new Products Liability Restatement. The variety of doctrines that deal with the issue of plaintiffs' conduct. The issue of liability for "economic loss." The law of product warnings. Requirements: Reading assignments on subject matter mentioned in description; a seminar paper. Prerequisites: Torts I. Teaching style: Mostly informal discussion Fulfills writing requirement. A student can do one, two, or three drafts on the seminar paper. As I understand it, one draft earns two credits, and either two or three drafts will earn three credits. I will accept two students for three-draft writing credit, either on pre-approval or on a first-come first-served basis, but students wishing to do three drafts must present a viable topic within the first week of the semester. I will be prepared to consult on possible subjects before the semester begins with people wanting to do three draft papers, or indeed with anyone. Texts: Photocopied materials. Enrollment limitation: Twelve (12).


Catalog Number: PPTYTORT 630
Practice Areas: Business, Corporate,Trans AreaTort Law Practice Area
Additional Course Information: 1 Draft degree req may be met with class ,  3 draft degree req may be met with class ,  Consult Professor about writing requirements


Course History

Fall 2013
Title: Tort and Products Liability
Faculty: Shapo, Marshall S. (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 12     Actual: 12



Fall 2012
Title: Tort and Products Liability
Faculty: Shapo, Marshall S. (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 12     Actual: 8



Fall 2011
Title: Tort and Products Liability
Faculty: Shapo, Marshall S. (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Type: Seminar     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 15     Actual: 14



Fall 2010
Title: Tort and Products Liability
Faculty: Shapo, Marshall S. (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Type: Seminar     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 15     Actual: 14