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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. Although the lesson is free-standing, students may find that completing the lesson on trespass to chattels before working on this lesson will produce more satisfactory results.

In its focus upon tort theory the lesson seeks to avoid immersion into the complexities of substantive property law and commercial law that are often litigated in conversion cases.

A separate lesson on Trespass to Chattels deals with the other cause of action that allows one to recover for harms to personal property.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, students will be able to:

  1. Discuss the elements of the tort of conversion, that is, the intentional interference with personal property.
  2. Analyze components of the tort, including interest, invasion, conduct and remedy.
  3. Apply the theory of conversion to various situations.
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