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661 - Comparative Advanced Torts (2 hours)*

The course will teach and compare French, American, and EU tort doctrine in a variety of areas such as (1) pure economic loss (both in negligence and intentional torts like fraud/intentional interference with contractual relations, etc.); (2) liability for traffic accidents, specifically autonomous vehicles; (3) product liability (including artificial intelligence); (4) liability for violations of privacy; (5) liability in tort between contracting parties (the borderline between tort and contract law); (6) damages/punitive damages; (7) governmental immunity; and (8) systemic topics such as contingency fees arrangements, the payment of legal fees, public advocacy, access to justice, and the various ethical and justice concerns that arise in each country’s approach. Learning objectives include not only helping students gain an understanding of tort doctrine in these jurisdictions but also developing the skills necessary to apply and critique the doctrine to the facts of new cases. Special attention will be brought to critiquing American tort law from a European perspective—what are we getting right/wrong? What societal goals are we sacrificing that Europeans have embraced? Vice versa? What are the relative merits of structural differences in access to justice, procedural requirements, jury v. bench trials, extensive judicial opinions, etc.? We will also explore ethical and character issues to which each system gives rise.
* This course may be offered for 3 hours during some years.