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Welcome to my Law blog specifically intended as an aid to law students. I will post comments and white papers, from time to time, and I am happy to carry on conversations with students who are in need of help in law school.


I am most conservative and appropriate in my approach so if you comment and/or have questions to ask, please do so with an equal degree of appropriateness.



I am a Professor of Law at Concord Law School, an Internet Law School located in Los Angeles, though I live, teach and otherwise work out of Lakewood, Colorado, resting up against the foothills just west of Denver.

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I have no set schedule of posting, but I hope you will check in from time to time.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

1 - Intentional Torts

Intentional Torts (Basics)

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.

All intentional torts have certain basic characteristics. First, there are some things that the Plaintiff must prove and some things that the Defendant must prove. The Plaintiff must prove volitional act, intent, causation and damages. The Defendant must prove certain defenses or privileges. As a short outline, it would look as follows:

1. Volitional act
2. Intent
     A. Desire
     B. Knowledge to a substantial certainty
     C. Transferred (between victims and torts)
     D. Special rules for children/mental illness
3. Causation (actual/legal)
4. Injury
5. Damages (except: assault/battery/false imprisonment/trespass to land)
6. Defenses and Privileges

So, on exams, you should proceed in that order, assuming, of course, that you have stated the main issue, followed by the rule for the main issue. See my earlier blog regarding IRAC.

In addition, and one thing that makes working with intentional torts a bit easier than other torts is that the first part of any definition can essentially be the same. Most people don’t teach it that way, but I was introduced to it at my law school and think it is an excellent approach. So, I will start each definition/rule statement with: “Volitional act done with the requisite intent which …” There are other similar matters as well, as you will see.

Intentional torts can be divided into categories, for instance, injury to body, injury to emotions, injury to real property, injury to personal property and injury to reputation. Those categories might be helpful to some, but to others it won’t matter. Preparing for exams, I like merely memorizing in such a way that you will not forget any of the intentional torts – to have a mental snapshot, to use as a checklist. Whatever works for you is fine. For the purposes of this blog, I will set the intentional torts out in the categories that I mentioned before.

1. Injury to Body
     A. Assault:
     B. Battery:
     C. False Imprisonment:

2. Injury to Emotions
     A. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress:

3. Injury to Real Property
     A. Trespass to Land:
     B. Nuisance:

4. Injury to Personal Property
     A. Conversion:
     B. Trespass to Chattel:

5. Injury to Reputation
     A. Malicious prosecution/abuse of process:
     B. Defamation:
     C. Privacy:

6. Economic Injury
     A. Deceit/fraud:
     B Injurious falsehood:
     C. Intentional interference with contract/prospective business advantage):

Next time, we’ll look at the Specific intentional torts.

Professor Doug Holden
© 2010 Douglas S. Holden. All Rights Reserved.

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