Welcome to your first year of law school and to torts, a topic as rich as it is traditional in legal education. Torts provides an expansive lens to learn about the American legal system. This course will cover the basics of torts and in the process, the fundamental reasons and principles underlying doctrine.
Learn the black letter rules of torts
Learn the why of torts: what are the reasons we have a tort system? What are the institutions and social forces and concerns that shape torts’ contours?
What are the rationales for fault liability and what are their consequences?
What events “cause” harms? Should damage awards compensate plaintiffs or deter defendants, or both?
Develop systemic critiques of torts (and the law!): what does tort law assume about people? Does it treat all people equally? What are the potential strategies to use the tort system to promote equity? What are the merits and demerits of alternative systems, such as workers compensation, regulation, and insurance schemes?
Learn to “think like a lawyer:” what concepts are “legal” concepts and why? What are the principles, policies, and purposes underlying these concepts?
Learn about the American legal system. Torts, with its wilds ranging from the trial bar to growing statutory regulation, is a great introduction to American law and procedure.