Friday, September 1, 2006

What Should Be Taught In Torts?

What should be taught in Torts? William G. Childs, the author of TortsProf Blog, asked a number of professors, lawyers, and others to offer their views. See Childs's index here: Updated - What Should Be Taught In Torts? A Series of Guest Posts, Aug. 31, 2006. The commenters include professors, practicing lawyers, a judge, and a law student who used to teach med school.

Since much civil litigation involves torts, I thought that made enough of a connection to trial advocacy to mention the series here. Some interesting comments:

  • A lawyer for Pfizer writes about proximate cause, saying it needs to be discussed beyond its roots in personal injury (think Mrs. Palsgraf, the scales, and so on) -- for instance in the context of statutory torts such as pharmaceutical consumer fraud.
  • Prof. Andrew McClurg discusses Three Things We Should Be Teaching in Torts (But Aren't):
    • "The common law tradition is at risk in the 'tort reform' era" (he criticizes the rhetorical excesses on both sides of the debate).
    • "The parties in tort cases are real people" (he links to a law review with very personal reflections on the impact of wrongful deaths on the survivors).
    • Other countries' tort systems can provide important lessons for US torts students.
  • A former professor of surgery and current law student urges more balance in class, sometimes taking the defendant's point of view.
  • John Day would like students to be exposed to The Economics of Case Acceptance.
  • Prof. Jennifer Wriggins gives some examples of discussing race in Torts.
There's more, too!

Thanks: Robert J. Ambrogi, Legal Blog Watch.

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