Marshall S. Shapo
Northwestern University School of Law
Georgia Law Review, Vol. 33, P. 1021, 1999
This essay reviews developments in tort law and scholarship within a frame of recent history. It presents tort as a front-line response to technology and as a principal tool in the response of the law to abuse and misuse of power. It briefly reviews various critiques of the tort system, including those offered in formal academic commentary and an A.L.I. study, and by political tort reformers. The essay also views torts as a particularly useful expression of law pedagogy, especially for the beginning student. It concludes with suggestions about the vocation of tort in the twenty first century as the initial decider between first-best and second-best solutions for emerging injury problems, noting also that tort will continue to serve as a cultural mirror. The historical frame includes personal recollections of a dramatic classroom hour following the assassination of Martin Luther King and of a panel discussion of torts scholars at the AALS annual meeting in 1969.
JEL Classification: K13Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 29, 2000
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