I. Assault and Battery: Reconciling Harm with Culpability | Jonathan Zittrain | June 24, 2011


This is the old version of the H2O platform and is now read-only. This means you can view content but cannot create content. You can access the new platform at https://opencasebook.org. Thank you.

I. Assault and Battery: Reconciling Harm with Culpability

by Jonathan Zittrain Show/Hide

What’s a tort? It’s a wrong that a court is prepared to recognize, usually in the form of ordering the transfer of money (“damages”) from the wrongdoer to the wronged. The court is usually alerted to wrong by the filing of a lawsuit: anyone can walk through the courthouse doors and, subject to the limits explored in civil procedure, call someone else (or, if a company, something) to account.

The first section of our course deals with that group of torts known as intentional. We’ll review the spectrum of intent that marks the sometimes-fuzzy boundaries among wrongs that are done intentionally, those done merely “negligently,” and others in between, and also have a chance to think about what kinds of damages should be on the table once a wrong is established. What happens when an act that’s only a little bit wrongful, even while intentional, results in unexpectedly large harm?

We’ll also discuss the sources that courts turn to in order to answer such questions. Rarely, in tort cases, are those sources the ones laypeople expect: statutes passed by legislatures. Without statutes to guide them, what are courts left with?


Edit playlist item notes below to have a mix of public & private notes, or:

MAKE ALL NOTES PUBLIC (0/3 playlist item notes are public) MAKE ALL NOTES PRIVATE (3/3 playlist item notes are private)
    1. 1.1 Show/Hide More Vosburg v. Putney--"The Schoolboy Kicker"
      Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain
      Should defendants be liable for unforeseeable injuries?
    2. 1.2 Show/Hide More Alcorn v. Mitchell--"The Angry Spitter"
      Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain
      [Refer to this case's description in playlist I.B. for more facts.]
    1. 2.1 Show/Hide More Picard v. Barry Pontiac-Buick, Inc.--"The Camera Toucher"
      Original Creator: Jonathan Zittrain
      [Refer to this case's description in playlist I.A. for more facts.]
    2. 2.2 Show/Hide More Garratt v. Dailey--"The Chair-Pulling Five Year Old"
      Original Creator: jcochran Current Version: Jonathan Zittrain
      [Refer to this case’s description in playlist I.A. for more facts.]

Playlist Information

October 17, 2013

Author Stats

Jonathan Zittrain

Other Playlists by Jonathan Zittrain

Find Items

Search below to find items, then drag and drop items onto playlists you own. To add items to nested playlists, you must first expand those playlists.

Leitura Garamond Futura Verdana Proxima Nova Dagny Web
small medium large extra-large