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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Choosing a Casebook: Torts

Please use the comments section to share thoughts on choosing a casebook in Torts.  (See here and here for a discussion of the Course Preparation Project.)

Posted by Matt Bodie on May 10, 2007 at 04:32 PM in Teaching Law | Permalink


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I will echo the response on Farnsworth and Grady. I have never had such a positive response from students on a textbook before this one. I like it primarily because it contains multiple cases that "go head to head" on each issue and really cause the students to consider the better approach instead of just feeding them one line of thought. From a more pragmatic perspective, the cases are edited to get to the meat of the issue and don't contain much that doesn't directly contribute to the discussion at hand. The students appreciate it because it is easy to read and interesting. Also, it has one of the best teacher's manuals I have used. I wish they would write a criminal law text.

Posted by: Victoria Salzmann | May 17, 2007 1:24:12 PM

I don't know what my opinion is worth since I'm just a student and it's the only casebook I ever used, but I have to throw my weight behind Goldberg, Sebok, Zipursky, Tort Law: Responsibilities and Redress. I was privileged to have Prof. Sebok as my professor, but I think even without his instruction, this casebook would be a winner. It's clear, easy to read, and well organized, and the case selection is interesting. Almost every note teaches something important, and I learned early on to read everything carefully -- despite the fact that my reading for torts was actually FUN. I highly recommend checking this casebook out if you've never used it. Your students, at least, will love it.

Posted by: 1elle | May 15, 2007 10:47:48 AM

Richard Epstein's book is amazing if you want a law @ econ slant on torts. The case selection, however, was pretty standard. The book really distinguishes itself in the notes section where Epstein does a great job of synthesizing the relevant law & econ literature.

Posted by: 1L | May 13, 2007 5:38:36 PM

As a law student, I personally enjoyed and learned a lot from Prosser, Wade & Schwartz's Cases and Materials on Torts. My very favorite case that I've read this past year is in this book.

The cases were fun and interesting, but also clear about the area of law they were supposed to teach. Best were the notes after the cases which very clearly laid out the law and its nuances.

Posted by: Law Student | May 11, 2007 5:49:02 PM

Farnsworth & Grady is an excellent choice. The authors edited the cases to their essence (not too many long opinions). It helps that they selected fun cases. But this book is not "light" by any means. The book distinguishes itself by presenting seemingly similar cases that have resulted in different outcomes. This approach leads to great class discussions, and learning the nuances of tort rules. I've used the casebook for three years now, and overwhelmingly the students like it. If there is one drawback, the book can do with presenting a little more academic theory, though here again some mild law and economics is introduced. All in all, for a basic doctrinal 1L class, the casebook is excellent.

Posted by: Robert Rhee | May 11, 2007 12:58:56 PM

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