WHAT THIS AREA IS ABOUT
. Tort courses focus on the principles, procedures, analytic techniques, and doctrines whereby courts and administrative agencies decide when a victim of intended or unintended injury is entitled to shift the loss to the injurer. At the same time, they focus on the evolution of the attitudes of society and the legal system about the types of interests that deserve protection.
Several of the upper-level courses in the torts area, including Worker's Compensation and intellectual property courses, include significant emphasis on statutory construction. Others, including Admiralty and Products Liability, include significant emphasis on litigation techniques.PREREQUISITES
. Beyond the basic Torts course, there are no prerequisites, and there is no agreed sequence.COURSE OFFERINGS
. The upper-level courses can be grouped as follows:
- Industrial injuries: Admiralty; Worker's Compensation; Products Liability.
- Consumer injuries: Products Liability.
- Injuries to reputation and to business and personal relationships: Business Torts (seminar); Communications Torts (course and seminar); Introduction to Intellectual Property; Copyright; Trademark; Patent.
- Perspectives on types of interests deserving protection: Law and Bioethics; Medicine and the Law: Regulation of the Health Care System; Communications Torts (course and seminar); Business Torts (seminar).
- Litigation techniques: Admiralty; Remedies; Worker's Compensation; Products Liability; Public Interest Litigation Seminar.
The suggested groupings obviously overlap. All of these courses include some attention to litigation techniques and to perspectives on types of interests deserving protection. Some of these courses, especially Admiralty and the intellectual property courses include substantial non-tort matters as well.HOW TO SAMPLE THE AREA
. Any one of the advanced torts courses provides a useful sampling. None offers a full overview. Admiralty, and the two Medicine and the Law courses, are perhaps broader in their focus than most of the other courses.SPECIALIZATION
. Most of the torts faculty agree that a student hoping to practice personal injury litigation should take as many of the courses as possible. At a minimum, the Products Liability course and one of the industrial injuries courses should be taken. Students expecting to practice personal injury litigation in locations near the coastline should also take Admiralty, which includes emphasis on maritime injury litigation, including personal injuries and collisions between vessels. Students interested in business litigation should take the course or seminar in Communications Torts, the seminar in Business Torts, and/or one of the intellectual property courses (see the Intellectual Property section). Those planning to practice tort litigation will also be interested in many of the courses described in the Civil Litigation section.