Defending Torts: What Should We Know?

61 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2007


This paper considers the state of our knowledge about the process of defending tort claims. A variety of specific topics are covered including relationships among the key actors on the defense side (alleged tortfeasor, insurer, and defense lawyer); the incentives faced by these actors; the resolutions of issues of liability, causation, and damages; different types of claimants; variations among tortfeasors and their insurers; conflicts on the defense side; staff lawyers and in-house counsel; the problem of defending sure losers; and the use of experts by the defense. A brief appendix presents some data on the sociology of defense practice (i.e., the characteristics of lawyers who describe themselves as specialists in personal injury defense).

Keywords: litigation, torts, defense, lawyers, insurers, insurance, defendants

Suggested Citation

Kritzer, Herbert M., Defending Torts: What Should We Know?. William Mitchell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 70, Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1044, Journal of Tort Law, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Herbert M. Kritzer (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota Law School ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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