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Unformatted text preview: Steven G. Yang Torts – Professor Tamanaha TORTS INTRODUCTION Civil Law vs. Criminal Law Civil law. – Private law, not relating to government. Relating to individuals. To compensate, deter bad behavior, put someone back in position before tort was committed. In a secondary sense, it can punish, but it is oriented towards restitution, not punishment. Brought by individuals. The burden of proof differs. In criminal case, its “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In civil law, it’s upon preponderance of the evidence (51/49). You can bring a case in both systems. The overlap – the area which they both cover, is harms among individuals. That primarily shows up in Intentional Torts. The state can bring suit in a tort case – but its acting as an individual property. Likewise, you can bring a tort case against the state. Definition of Torts: Involves civil wrongs not involving contracts,that the law provides a remedy for. Tort law is a close connector to social changes and morality. Tort Purposes: Compensation – place back into pre-harm situation. Deterrence – encourage others not to commit the same tort. Corrective Justice – immorality, punish for it. Economic Efficiency – society reallocating its resources in the most efficient way. Punishment - Punitive Damages (not one of the 4 major purposes). You should try to persuade a judge that all of the four major purposes are applicable. BASIC INTENTIONAL TORTS A. The Concept of Intent: Intent:(subjective test) Two varieties of intent: (you must show one or the other) 1. Purpose – depends upon the defendants subjective wishes. Defendant acts with a purpose or desires the consequences. 2. Knowledge – If the defendant knows with substantial certainty that the act in question will cause the prohibited result. MOTIVE: Motive is pretty much irrelevant. Intention is what counts. (although motive can be relevant as a consideration for intention – it lends us insight into your intention.) Motive is not dispositive. Evaluate actions within a context. Intent and Mistake: Unfairness to defendant v. unfairness to victims. Its more fair to make the person who made the mistake pay, in the context of harm caused due to a mistake. Insanity / Children 1. An insane person must be capable of entertaining intent 2. They must in fact entertain the intent. They are the same in regard to how you argue them. They are both still responsible for intentional torts. 1. You can argue that the D is not capable of having intention (i.e. totally nuts). Or in case of children, that they are too young to know anything. 2. They might have been acting under delusions, so therefore never entertained a harmful intent. Ex.- If an insane person throws a “dissolving” knife, they do not intend contact....
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This note was uploaded on 02/18/2008 for the course LAW 1010 taught by Professor Cavanaugh during the Fall '00 term at St. Johns Duplicate.
- Fall '00
- Civil Law