Exam Type: In Class
This course addresses the rules and institutions governing civil wrongs against an individual’s person, property, reputation, dignity, or autonomy. The course studies how these harms both differ from and relate to those covered by the law of property or contract. Torts tend to fall under one of three theories of liability: intentional interference, strict liability, and negligence. The course explores how these theories shape lawsuits for assault, battery, defamation, privacy violations, products liability, abnormally dangerous activities, and negligence, all while comparing the tort system to no-fault regimes. Understanding tort law as a series of institutions and practices also requires examination of the history and current practice of insurance companies, the jury, social customs, and the administrative state. Through these examples, the course seeks to develop an understanding of the distinctive features and real stakes of tort law and its alternatives.