Wednesday, January 27, 2010
1 - Torts - General ( Introduction to Torts)
Introduction to Torts
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FOLLOWING IS TAKEN FROM SOME OF MY CLASS NOTES, SOME OF WHICH IS MY OWN PERSONAL WORK AND SOME OF WHICH BELONGS TO CONCORD LAW SCHOOL. IT IS POSTED TO HELP MY IL STUDENTS IN PARTICULAR. IT CANNOT BE DISSEMINATED WITHOUT EXPRESS, WRITTEN PERMISSION.
A Tort is basically a civil wrong, or at least some phenomenon where one person wrongly suffers harm or loss at the hand – the act – of another. There are a number of ways to study torts. Some begin the study with defining the concept of tort and then talking about things like “fault,” “intent” or “cause.” I think those are all good, but here we will start talking about intentional torts.
There are a number of types of intentional torts. Depending on who you are reading or how you want to label torts, there are up to nine intentional torts; most of the time they are not studied together, which can be somewhat confusing to the student. These torts are battery assault, false imprisonment, trespass to land, trespass to chattel (personal property) and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Conversion is another intentional tort, but many authors refer to it in the context of trespass to chattel. Misrepresentation/Fraud/Deceit is also viewed as an intentional tort, though there can be slightly different elements for deceit. There is also a negligent misrepresentation, negligent, rather that intentional conduct, is the focus. There is also intentional nuisance as well as negligent nuisance.
If you are talking an interim essay exam on intentional torts then you would only be held responsible for those intentional torts that you had been required to read about up to that point. On a final exam or the bar exam, of course, everything is fair game. I prefer that a student create an outline on all of the possible intentional torts; all nine of them.
You can, of course, categorize intentional torts in areas like injury to person, property, emotions reputation. To categorize may be helpful to some. I use that as an additional tool in my review session.
On this blog, I think it would be best to just walk through all of the possibilities. We'll look at that in a later post.
After Intentional Torts, usually torts classes move to negligence and spend much of the year on that, followed by a number of other torts, like defamation, right to privacy and misrepresentation.
Professor Doug Holden
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