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Thursday, May 05, 2011

The Free, Open-Source Torts Compendium


Last year I blogged about my project to create a free, downloadable casebook for torts. The completed casebook, broken into two volumes with an online appendix, is done and online. At James Grimmelman's suggestion, I will write a teacher's manual over the summer, which will be available to instructors upon request.

If you are in the market for a new torts casebook, mine has the following features: (1) It's free. And students love free. Paperback copies can be obtained at cost through a print-on-demand vendor (Town & Country in New Hampshire, or one of your own choosing). (2) There are no notes or questions; it's just source material. That may not be a feature as far as everyone is concerned, but I know some teachers like it that way. (3) You can customize the book to your own liking. Just let me know, and I'm happy to send you the Word .doc files, and you can add to, delete from, and change around the content as much as you like. (4) You never have to worry about being blind-sided by new editions, because when I do release a new edition, the old editions will stay online, free, and just as printable and downloadable as the new versions.

My casebook's not for everyone. It's a bare-bones approach. I use it alongside a slim treatise (Understanding Torts by John L. Diamond, Lawrance C. Levine, and Stuart Madden) and a memoir (Four Trials by John Edwards). But if it's up your alley, it's free for the taking. And my archive of syllabi, old exams, handouts, and mindmaps is all on my website. Also, my original slideshow .ppt files are available to any instructor who asks.

Posted by Eric E. Johnson on May 5, 2011 at 10:36 AM in Books, Teaching Law, Torts | Permalink


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Bravo!!! I also use Diamond for the black-letter law, and basically have students skip many of the casenotes in the casebook I use. Great job in taking it to the next level by making it free for students.

Do you find that students feel they are getting a sub-standard product because it is not produced by a publisher?

Posted by: Beau Baez | May 20, 2011 9:22:27 AM

My own course is broken into Torts I and Torts II: a 2-credit fall-semester class followed by a 3-credit class in the spring. But I think book could work for a 4-credit course, as it's pretty light reading for the 5-credit course.

Posted by: Eric E. Johnson | May 5, 2011 4:48:15 PM

Nice. I like your choice of cases. Do you typically use this with a four credit course? Thank you for making this available--very inspiring.

Posted by: Amy | May 5, 2011 2:10:43 PM

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