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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Free, Downloadable Casebook for Torts

Cover of Torts Compendium, Volume One This week I posted Volume One of a freely downloadable casebook for torts. After using three different casebooks over the past three years (I like changing things up), I decided to create my own for this year. It's available as a pdf through SSRN.

Not only should all instructors and students feel free to download this casebook and use it for free, but if any instructor out there would like to customize it, add to it, delete from it, etc., let me know, and I will be happy to give you the original document to work from. So, in an informal sense, it's open source. 

This casebook is extremely basic. There are no notes, no questions, no problems, and no exercises. Volume One only has cases, plus one statute. The value of the work is solely in terms of the editing. With no bells and whistles, it's not for everyone. But if you tend to use a casebook only for the cases, then mine might be worth checking out. 

At our school, torts is a two-semester sequence. So I've divided the casebook into two chunks, with the first volume corresponding to what I will teach in the first semester, which is negligence and liability relating to health care. I plan to complete a second volume for Spring 2011, which I will also make freely downloadable. Volume Two will include intentional torts, strict liability, economic torts, dignitary torts and a few other subjects.

I only have one request if you do use my casebook in your class: Please send me a note to let me know. I would be gratified to know that the work has proved useful for another instructor. 

A few notes:

I was inspired in part by Tom Field's downloadable Fundamentals of Intellectual Property: Cases & Materials, which I use in my survey class on intellectual property. Wonderful text.

The casebooks I used in the past three years were all very good. I should especially mention the book by John C. Goldberg, Anthony J. Sebok, and Benjamin C. Zipursky from Aspen Publishers, which uncovered some especially good recent-era cases that I used in my own compilation. If you are looking for a full-service torts casebook, Goldberg-Sebok-Zipursky is excellent.

I also should give a shout out to James Grimmelmann, who introduced me to one of the cases I used, Boyd v. Racine Currency Exchange, by way of nominating it in response to my call on PrawfsBlawg for the most screwed victims in caselaw history.

Posted by Eric E. Johnson on August 26, 2010 at 03:09 PM in Teaching Law, Torts | Permalink


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Well, I was passing along the citation and parenthetical from Shulman, James, and Grey, so you're really just building on a long tradition of torts casebook excellence.

Posted by: James Grimmelmann | Aug 26, 2010 3:36:10 PM

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