Epstein on Torts

February 28, 2006

Torts is at once one of the simplest and one of the most complex areas of the law.  It is simple because it concerns itself with fact patterns that can be understood and appreciated without the benefit of formal legal instruction.  Almost everyone has some opinions, often strong even if unformed, about his rights and responsibilities towards his fellow man; and almost everyone has had occasion in contexts apart from the judicial process to apply his beliefs to the question of responsibility for some mishap that has come to pass.  Indeed, the language of the law of tort, in sharp contrast, say, to that of civil procedure, reveals at every turn its origin in ordinary thought.

– Richard A. Epstein, A Theory of Strict Liability, 2 J. Leg. Studies 151 (1973).

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