Perspectives in Tort Law - Professor Amy Widman

It is not possible to cover the many problems in Tort law in the first year. This seminar permits us to explore those topics not covered in depth in the introductory course, including Products Liability, Mass Environmental Torts, and Alternatives to Tort, among others. More significantly however, we will also consider the difficult policy problems confronted in practice. The readings for this seminar include recent Supreme Court cases and briefs, carefully selected essays, topical news articles, and legislation. We will explore legislative initiatives to address current issues in medical malpractice and medical device litigation and follow recent court developments addressing global warming litigation. We will discuss how tort law fits in with regulatory law and the differing goals of each through examination of recent developments in products liability and financial regulation. We will also explore alternatives to the tort system, like the recent BP oil spill compensation fund. And finally we will address international tort remedies through recent developments under the Alien Tort Statute. The course is intended to be integrative and reflective. Students will have the opportunity to do research in an area of specific interest, write a substantial paper, and present their findings to the class.