1L Guide on Torts

An introductory guide on tort law for first-year law students.

What is a tort?

According to Black's Law Dictionary a tort is a "civil wrong, other than breach of contract, for which a remedy may be obtained, usually in the form of damages; a breach of a duty that the law imposes on persons who stand in a particular relation to one another."

There are numerous types of torts including negilgence, product liability, intentional infliction of emotional distress, trespass, conversion, assault, and battery.  These types of torts can be categorized into three basic groups: intentional torts, negligent torts, and strict liability.

Pedagogical Goals of this Guide

The pedagogical goals of this guide include:

  • Develop a basic understanding of tort law
  • Differentiate between primary and secondary legal sources and how each are used in tort law
  • Equip students with the appropriate tools to achieve success on their torts exam

Torts Prof Blawg

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Types of Torts

A tort is a legal injury (whether economic, physical, emotional, or etc.) where the person (or legal entity) responsible for the injury can be held liable under the law.

There are various types of torts:

  • Intentional Torts
    • Assault
    • False imprisonment
    • Intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED)
    • Battery
  • Property Torts
    • Trover - recovery of damages for the taking of personal property
    • Replevin - recovery of property unlawfully taken
    • Detinue - action by a person who believes they have a greater legal right to immediate possession of property rather than the current posessor
    • Conversion - deprives person of their property (destruction of property, willful interference, etc.)
    • Trespass
  • Dignitary Torts
    • Alienation of affection and other "heart balm" torts
    • Malicious prosecution
    • Invasion of privacy
    • Defamation
  • Economic Torts
    • Tortious interference
    • Fraud
    • Restraint of trade
  • Nuisance
  • Negligence
    • Duty of care
    • Breach of that duty
    • Proximate causation
    • Damages
  • Strict Liability
    • Product liability
    • Ultrahazardous activity (examples include transportation of explosives, possession of wild animals, radioactive materials, etc.)

Heafey Law Library Research Team