Torts

  • This Subject Area Index lists all CALI lessons covering Torts.
  • The Torts Outline allows you to search for terms of art that correspond to topics you are studying to find suggestions for related CALI Lessons.
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Damages for Harms to Real Property

This lesson deals with basic principles and measures of damages recoverable for harms to real property. The analysis to which students will be acquainted examines the harms in the context of three categories of interests to be protected by the law of damages. Those categories, which are separately treated in the lesson, are exclusive possession, physical integrity and use and enjoyment.

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Trespass to Chattels

This lesson is an exploration of the law of torts enabling a person to obtain compensation for wrongful interference with personal property. The exploration uses the concepts of interests, invasion, conduct and remedy as the vehicles for developing understanding of the cause of action and its operation. Each section of the lesson will focus on one of these components, present the theory, and then give the student an opportunity to apply the theory or explore some of its ramifications.

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Conversion

This lesson explores the cause of action of conversion as a means of compensation for intentional interferences with personal property. It will examine the several components of interest, invasion, conduct and remedy as the conceptual vehicles for study. Each section of the lesson will focus on one of these components, present the theory, and then give the student an opportunity to apply the theory or explore some of its ramifications. The lesson is designed to be comprehensive enough to be assigned without supporting textual assignment or classroom attention to the subject.

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Palsgraf v. Long Island RR Co. PodCast

Professor Lawrence Wilkins discusses the famous Torts case, Palsgraf v. Long Island RR Co., and the opposing viewpoints of Justices Cardozo and Andrews. Additionally, Professor Wilkins provides guidance to students on how they should approach understanding this decision. 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the podcast, the student will be able to:

  1. State additional facts that were not included in Justice Cardozo's opinion.
  2. Explain the primary differences between the majority and dissenting opinions. 
Lesson Viewed

Reasonable Person

This lesson contains problems and questions concerning the Reasonable Person standard for negligence actions. The central issue in negligence is the duty of care. For the typical adult, the standard is the Reasonable Person of Ordinary Prudence under similar circumstances. This lesson will discuss that issue by focusing on the meaning of:

  • Reasonable person
  • Ordinary prudence
  • Similar circumstances
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General Professional Standard

This lesson discusses the standard of care of professionals. The initial sections illustrate the general duty of professionals and highlight special problems associated with the professional standard. Special attention is then directed toward the malpractice action against attorneys.

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Civil and Criminal Statutes

This lesson covers the area traditionally known as "negligence per se." The problem of when can a civil or criminal statute be used as the standard of care in negligence cases is the primary matter discussed. The lesson gives some special attention to the "Dram Shop" example.

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Causation in Fact

This exercise begins by illustrating the distinction between cause in fact and legal or proximate cause and then utilizes questions intended to familiarize the student with the but for or sine qua non test and the substantial factor test. The exercise also covers issues relating to concurrent cause dilemmas and problems in identifying which harm was caused to the plaintiff by multiple negligent defendants.

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Proof of Causation in Fact

This exercise builds upon the tutorial entitled Causation in Fact and that lesson should be completed prior to this exercise. In this exercise, the evidentiary burdens of proof are considered in relation to the use of direct and circumstantial evidence and the use of expert testimony. The exercises illuminate issues surrounding problems of proving who or what caused the plaintiff's harm. Burden shifting devices employed by courts in special situations are also considered.

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Intervening Cause

This lesson deals with the question of when and why an event that intervenes between the defendant's negligence and the plaintiff's injury may have the result that the defendant is relieved of liability for the injury.

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Res Ipsa Loquitur

Even though the thing speaks for itself, this lesson speaks more about res ipsa loquitur. This tort doctrine becomes an immediate favorite of all who hear its mellifluous name, but the doctrine has several nuances that do not speak so clearly, such as the circumstances when it applies, how common carriers are covered, and how it is conveyed to the jury. This lesson explores all of those nuances.

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