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Full-Text Articles in Law

Sieracki Lives: A Portrait Of The Interplay Between Legislation And The Judicially Created General Maritime Law, Thomas C. Galligan Jr. Jan 2023

Sieracki Lives: A Portrait Of The Interplay Between Legislation And The Judicially Created General Maritime Law, Thomas C. Galligan Jr.

Journal Articles

In American maritime law, the interplay between the courts and Congress is complex and iterative. A significant body of American admiralty law, the general maritime law, has been judicially created and developed. But Congress has also enacted a number of important statutes governing maritime commerce and the rights of maritime workers, such as the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act (“LHWCA”). The back and forth between the courts and Congress in interpreting those statutes and gauging their impact on and consistency with the general maritime law is ongoing. One important area where the courts development of the general maritime law …


Nominal Damages As Vindication, Sadie Blanchard Jan 2022

Nominal Damages As Vindication, Sadie Blanchard

Journal Articles

A recent Supreme Court decision inspired a resurgence of interest in an old mystery: how can nominal damages vindicate a plaintiff for past harm? The Court relied on the longstanding common law practice of entitling a plaintiff to sue for violation of her rights, even without demonstrating harm in fact, and to recover nominal damages. Courts have long asserted that awarding nominal damages in such suits vindicates the plaintiff. But they have not explained just how awarding $1 provides vindication, and serious observers scoff at the idea that it does. This Article offers a theory of vindication through nominal damages …


Let The Jury Decide! A Plea For The Proper Allocation Of Decision-Making Authority In Louisiana Negligence Cases, Thomas C. Galligan Jr. Apr 2020

Let The Jury Decide! A Plea For The Proper Allocation Of Decision-Making Authority In Louisiana Negligence Cases, Thomas C. Galligan Jr.

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Covid-19 Business Interruption Insurance Losses: The Cases For And Against Coverage, Christopher French Jan 2020

Covid-19 Business Interruption Insurance Losses: The Cases For And Against Coverage, Christopher French

Journal Articles

The financial consequences of the government-ordered shutdowns of businesses across America to mitigate the COVID-19 health crisis are enormous. Estimates indicate that small businesses have lost $255 to $431 billion per month and more than 44 million workers have been laid off. When businesses have requested reimbursement of their business interruption losses from their insurers under business interruption policies, their insurers have denied the claims. The insurance industry also has announced that business interruption policies do not cover pandemic losses, so they intend to fight COVID-19 claims “tooth and nail.” More than 450 lawsuits throughout the country already have been …


Res Ipsa Loquitur: Reducing Confusion Of Creating Bias?, John E. Lopatka, Jeffrey Kahn Jan 2020

Res Ipsa Loquitur: Reducing Confusion Of Creating Bias?, John E. Lopatka, Jeffrey Kahn

Journal Articles

The so-called doctrine of res ipsa loquitur has been a mystery since its birth more than a century ago. This Article helps solve the mystery. In practical effect, res ipsa loquirtur, though usually thought of as a tort doctrine, functions as a rule of trial practice that allows jurors to rely on circumstantial evidence surrounding an accident to find the defendant liable. Standard jury instructions in negligence cases, however, fail to inform jurors that they are permitted to rely upon circumstantial evidence in reaching a verdict. Why, then, is another, more specific circumstantial evidence charge necessary or desirable?

We …


Damages For Privileged Harms, Stephen Yelderman Jan 2020

Damages For Privileged Harms, Stephen Yelderman

Journal Articles

The law often permits substantial harms without liability. Once liability is triggered, compensatory damages require a defendant to pay for the harm caused by his wrongful conduct. But there is significant theoretical and doctrinal ambiguity in how compensatory damages should account for the harm that the defendant could have caused without incurring liability in the first place. These harms are “privileged,” in the sense that the defendant would have been free to impose them in a counterfactual universe in which he complied with the substantive law. Having transgressed that law, he is now responsible for damages, but the question is …


The Structure Of Torts, Thomas C. Galligan Jr. Apr 2019

The Structure Of Torts, Thomas C. Galligan Jr.

Journal Articles

Tort law consists of a number of different causes of action which are seemingly unrelated except that all involve civil wrongs, other than mere breaches of contract. The various torts have different elements; some, like the nominate or intentional torts, very specific; others, like negligence, more general and vague. There is no apparent, coherent, or consistent structure applicable to all torts. This Article articulates just such a unified structure for all torts: one that arises out of and is based upon the elements of negligence. All torts involve the judicial delineation of the defendant's duty or legal obligation. All torts …


The Bp Mdl And Its Aftermath: Whither Opa's Displacement Jurisprudence?, John Costonis Feb 2019

The Bp Mdl And Its Aftermath: Whither Opa's Displacement Jurisprudence?, John Costonis

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Finding A Better Way Around Employment At Will: Protecting Employees' Autonomy Interests Through Tort Law, William Corbett Dec 2018

Finding A Better Way Around Employment At Will: Protecting Employees' Autonomy Interests Through Tort Law, William Corbett

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Constitutionalizing Class Certification, Margaret S. Thomas Jan 2017

Constitutionalizing Class Certification, Margaret S. Thomas

Journal Articles

While class actions have been in decline in federal mass tort litigation since at least the 1990s, a quiet shift has been occurring in their landscape in state courts. Although most scholarly attention has been focused on federal courts and on the U.S. Supreme Court’s reworking of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 in the aftermath of the Class Action Fairness Act, state supreme courts have been engaged in a little-noticed but tremendously important battle over the future of class certification.

Defendants in non-removable class actions in state courts have increasingly shifted their arguments against class certification from objections based …


Hurricanes, Fraud, And Insurance: The Supreme Court Weighs In On, But Does Not Wade Into, The Concurrent Causation Conundrum In State Farm Fire And Casualty Company V. Rigsby, Chris French Jan 2017

Hurricanes, Fraud, And Insurance: The Supreme Court Weighs In On, But Does Not Wade Into, The Concurrent Causation Conundrum In State Farm Fire And Casualty Company V. Rigsby, Chris French

Journal Articles

In the December 6, 2016 Supreme Court decision, State Farm v. Rigsby, a homeowner’s house was damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The homeowner had homeowners insurance with State Farm and a flood insurance policy that was administered by State Farm on behalf of the federal government. The claims adjusters assigned by State Farm to handle the homeowner’s claim allegedly were instructed by State Farm to misclassify wind damage as flood damage in order to shift State Farm’s own liability for the loss to the federal government. The claims handlers filed a lawsuit against State Farm under the False Claims Act …


Parens Patriae And The States' Historic Police Power, Margaret S. Thomas Oct 2016

Parens Patriae And The States' Historic Police Power, Margaret S. Thomas

Journal Articles

Class actions have long been contracting as procedural vehicles in mass tort litigation. At the same time, parens patriae actions brought by state attorneys general for injuries to their state’s citizenry have been expanding. This form of public dispute has emerged as a full-fledged alternative form of aggregate litigation in mass torts. The use of this public alternative is already widespread in consumer, antitrust, environmental, and health law cases.

Despite the widespread use of parens patriae litigation by states, the source of the power to sue in this way is vague and ill-defined. Courts have struggled to articulate and explain …


Outlining The Case For A Common Law Duty Of Care Of Business To Exercise Human Rights Due Diligence, Douglass Cassell Jul 2016

Outlining The Case For A Common Law Duty Of Care Of Business To Exercise Human Rights Due Diligence, Douglass Cassell

Journal Articles

This article outlines the case for a business duty of care to exercise human rights due diligence, judicially enforceable in common law countries by tort suits for negligence brought by persons whose potential injuries were reasonably foreseeable. A parent company’s duty of care would extend to the human rights impacts of all entities in the enterprise, including subsidiaries. A company would not be liable for breach of the duty of care if it proves that it reasonably exercised due diligence as set forth in the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. On the other hand, a company’s failure to …


Sex, Videos, And Insurance: How Gawker Could Have Avoided Financial Responsibility For The $140 Million Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Verdict, Christopher French Jun 2016

Sex, Videos, And Insurance: How Gawker Could Have Avoided Financial Responsibility For The $140 Million Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Verdict, Christopher French

Journal Articles

On March 18, 2016, and March 22, 2016, a jury awarded Terry Bollea (a.k.a Hulk Hogan) a total of $140 million in compensatory and punitive damages against Gawker Media for posting less than two minutes of a video of Hulk Hogan having sex with his best friend’s wife. The award was based upon a finding that Gawker intentionally had invaded Hulk Hogan’s privacy by posting the video online. The case has been receiving extensive media coverage because it is a tawdry tale involving a celebrity, betrayal, adultery, sex, and the First Amendment. The case likely will be remembered by most …


The Original Source Of The Cause Of Action In Federal Courts: The Example Of The Alien Tort Statute, Anthony J. Bellia, Bradford R. Clark Apr 2015

The Original Source Of The Cause Of Action In Federal Courts: The Example Of The Alien Tort Statute, Anthony J. Bellia, Bradford R. Clark

Journal Articles

Judges and scholars have long debated the legitimacy and contours of federal common law causes of action — actions created neither by Congress nor by state law. The question of federal judicial power to recognize federal common law causes of action arises in a range of contexts in the field of federal courts, including with respect to whether federal courts may recognize an implied right of action for the violation of a constitutional or statutory provision that does not specifically create one. Recently, the power of federal courts to recognize federal common law causes of action has emerged as a …


The Role Of The Profit Imperative In Risk Management, Christopher French Jan 2015

The Role Of The Profit Imperative In Risk Management, Christopher French

Journal Articles

Risks in the world abound. Every day there is a chance that each of us could be in a car accident. Or, one of us could be the victim of a tornado, flood or earthquake. Every day someone becomes deathly ill from an insidious disease. Our properties are in constant peril—one’s house could catch fire at any time or a tree could fall on it during a storm. Any one of these events could have devastating financial consequences, and they are just a few of the many risks that impact our daily lives. One of the principal ways we manage …


The Social Origins Of The Personality Torts, Samantha Barbas Jan 2015

The Social Origins Of The Personality Torts, Samantha Barbas

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Suing Americans For Human Rights Torts Overseas: The Supreme Court Leaves The Door Open, Douglass Cassell Mar 2014

Suing Americans For Human Rights Torts Overseas: The Supreme Court Leaves The Door Open, Douglass Cassell

Journal Articles

If American citizens or corporations commit gross violations of human rights against foreign victims on foreign shores, can the victims sue the Americans for damages in United States federal courts? Until recently the answer was clearly yes. However, following the diverse opinions in the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., the question has divided lower courts to date.

This Article argues that, as a matter of both domestic and international law, and under both the majority and minority rationales in Kiobel, federal courts can and should hear tort suits against American nationals for human rights …


Two Myths About The Alien Tort Statute, Anthony J. Bellia, Bradford R. Clark Mar 2014

Two Myths About The Alien Tort Statute, Anthony J. Bellia, Bradford R. Clark

Journal Articles

In Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., the Supreme Court applied the presumption against extraterritorial application of U.S. law to hold that the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) did not encompass a claim between aliens for misconduct that occurred in another nation. Without much elaboration, the Court stated that the ATS only encompasses claims that “touch and concern the territory of the United States . . . with sufficient force to displace the presumption.” As it did in Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain, the Kiobel Court purported to rest its decision on the original public meaning of the ATS when enacted in 1789. …


What Is Troubling About The Tortification Of Employment Discrimination Law?, William Corbett Jan 2014

What Is Troubling About The Tortification Of Employment Discrimination Law?, William Corbett

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Private Law In The Gaps, Jeffrey A. Pojanowski Jan 2014

Private Law In The Gaps, Jeffrey A. Pojanowski

Journal Articles

Private law subjects like tort, contract, and property are traditionally taken to be at the core of the common law tradition, yet statutes increasingly intersect with these bodies of doctrine. This Article draws on recent work in private law theory and statutory interpretation to consider afresh what courts should do with private law in statutory gaps. In particular, it focuses on statutes touching on tort law, a field at the leading edge of private law theory. This Article's analysis unsettles some conventional wisdom about the intersection of private law and statutes. Many leading tort scholars and jurists embrace a regulatory …


From Privacy To Publicity: The Tort Of Appropriation In The Age Of Mass Consumption, Samantha Barbas Dec 2013

From Privacy To Publicity: The Tort Of Appropriation In The Age Of Mass Consumption, Samantha Barbas

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


How Long Is Forever This Time? The Broken Promise Of Bankruptcy Trusts, S. Todd Brown May 2013

How Long Is Forever This Time? The Broken Promise Of Bankruptcy Trusts, S. Todd Brown

Journal Articles

Bankruptcy trusts consistently fail to protect the interests of future claimants as contemplated by Section 524(g) of the Bankruptcy Code. Although this reality is generally understood, the extent of this failure has not been examined. And, as demonstrated in this study, the degree to which trusts are failing future victims is greater than commonly realized. More than two-thirds of the trusts that have completed their initial claims processing are paying new asbestos personal injury victims at or near historically low rates, and several others appear to be defunct or inactive. Nearly two-thirds of the trusts that remain active have reduced …


Plaintiff Control And Domination In Multidistrict Mass Torts, S. Todd Brown Jan 2013

Plaintiff Control And Domination In Multidistrict Mass Torts, S. Todd Brown

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Bankruptcy Trusts, Transparency And The Future Of Asbestos Compensation, S. Todd Brown Jan 2013

Bankruptcy Trusts, Transparency And The Future Of Asbestos Compensation, S. Todd Brown

Journal Articles

As we enter the fifth decade of asbestos personal injury litigation, much of the debate over its immediate future centers on the operations of bankruptcy trusts and their relationship to the tort system. Roughly 100 companies have entered bankruptcy as a result of their unsustainable asbestos liabilities, and, from these bankruptcies, approximately 60 trusts have been established or are in the process of being established. Some critics contend that the trust system is plagued by fraud and abuse; allowing plaintiffs' lawyers to obtain compensation from the trusts for fraudulent claims and to evade relevant discovery obligations under applicable state law. …


Perception And Decision At The Threshold Of Tort Law: Explaining The Infrequency Of Claims, David M. Engel Jan 2013

Perception And Decision At The Threshold Of Tort Law: Explaining The Infrequency Of Claims, David M. Engel

Journal Articles

Although numerous studies have confirmed that tort victims rarely litigate and that most simply "lump" their losses, we lack an understanding of why this should be so. Why do the vast majority of injured persons choose inaction over action? Explanations relying on rational actor theories on the one hand or cultural determinism on the other have been sharply challenged by recent studies of mind, culture, and cognition, particularly with respect to individual responses to physical trauma and disablement. This article, drawing on a broad interdisciplinary literature dealing with injury victims, proposes a new model of perception and decision by persons …


The “Ensuing Loss” Clause In Insurance Policies: The Forgotten And Misunderstood Antidote To Anti-Concurrent Causation Exclusions, Chris French Jan 2012

The “Ensuing Loss” Clause In Insurance Policies: The Forgotten And Misunderstood Antidote To Anti-Concurrent Causation Exclusions, Chris French

Journal Articles

As a result of the 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco which destroyed the city, a clause known as the “ensuing loss” clause was created to address concurrent causation situations in which a loss follows both a covered peril and an excluded peril. Ensuing loss clauses appear in the exclusions section of such policies and in essence they provide that coverage for a loss caused by an excluded peril is nonetheless covered if the loss “ensues” from a covered peril. Today, ensuing loss clauses are found in “all risk” property and homeowners policies, which cover all losses except for …


Debunking The Myth That Insurance Coverage Is Not Available Or Allowed For Intentional Torts Or Damages, Christopher French Jan 2012

Debunking The Myth That Insurance Coverage Is Not Available Or Allowed For Intentional Torts Or Damages, Christopher French

Journal Articles

Over the years, a myth has developed that insurance coverage is not available or allowed for intentional injuries or damage. This myth has two primary bases: one, the “fortuity” doctrine, which provides that insurance should only cover losses that happen by chance; and two, public policy, which allegedly disfavors allowing insurance for intentional injuries or damage. This article dispels that myth. Many types of liability insurance policies expressly cover intentional torts including trademark infringement, copyright infringement, invasion of privacy, defamation, disparagement, and improper employment practices such as discrimination. In addition, punitive damages, which typically are awarded for intentional misconduct, are …


The Laws Of Image, Samantha Barbas Jan 2012

The Laws Of Image, Samantha Barbas

Journal Articles

We live in an image society. Since the turn of the 20th century if not earlier, Americans have been awash in a sea of images throughout the visual landscape. We have become highly image-conscious, attuned to first impressions and surface appearances, and deeply concerned with our own personal images – our looks, reputations, and the impressions we make on others. The advent of this image-consciousness has been a familiar subject of commentary by social and cultural historians, yet its legal implications have not been explored. This article argues that one significant legal consequence of the image society was the evolution …


Specious Claims And Global Settlements, S. Todd Brown Jan 2012

Specious Claims And Global Settlements, S. Todd Brown

Journal Articles

Few problems are more disruptive to the efficient negotiation and operation of comprehensive mass tort settlements than oversubscription, which, at times, appears to be fueled primarily by specious claims. In settlements with opt out rights, a flood of claims can generate a market for lemons, with the weakest claims submitted to the settlement and the strongest opting out and seeking recovery at trial or in private settlement. In binding settlements, they may result in a commons problem, requiring dramatic reductions in payment that effectively transfer recoveries from those with intrinsically strong claims to those with weak claims.

This Article evaluates …