The goal of this course is to introduce students to the dynamics of the Anglo-American Law of Torts. Special attention will be given to tort claims and litigation processes as they occur in the real world, including the essential role of various forms of insurance. Using the case-law technique and the "Socratic Method" of teaching, the course will examine the following topics: the requisites of a tort, types of harm (material and moral harm), doctrines of fault (concept and degrees of fault), the nexus between fault and damages, classification of tort damages, theories of tort liability, defenses to tort liability, strict liability (specifically products liability), samples of common law torts (e.g., assault and battery, false imprisonment, severe emotional distress), illustrative examples of business torts, defamation in its two forms - libel and slander, interference with contractual and economic relations, and privacy torts.
Attendance and participation are essential. 10% of your overall grade will be based upon responses to classroom questions, and participation in classroom discussions. Another 15% will be based on attendance. Students are allowed no more than 3 absences without losing points. Five points will be deducted for each additional absence up to 6. Tardiness of more than 15 minutes will count as a 1/4 of a class absence. Lateness or leaving early causing you to miss from 15 minutes to 1 ½ hours will count as a half absence, and coming later or leaving earlier than that will count as a full absence.
The remaining 75% of your grade will be based on a take-home exam. Details will be provided later in the course.
1) Eric E. Johnson, Torts: Cases and Context, Volume One (2015); and
2) Eric E. Johnson, Torts: Cases and Context, Volume Two, (2016).