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Torts: Home

Torts resources for 1Ls, bar examinees, and other patrons

Useful Definitions

General Intent: The intent to perform an act even though the actor does not desire the consequences that result.

Intentional Torts: A tort committed by someone acting with general or specific intent.

Negligent Torts: A tort committed by failure to observe the standard of care required by law under the circumstances.

Specific Intent: The intent to accomplish the precise criminal act that one is later charged with.

Strict Liability: Liability that does not depend on proof of negligence or intent to do harm but that is based instead on a duty to compensate the harms proximately caused by the activity or behavior subject to the liability rule. 

All definitions come from Black’s Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019).


Torts are civil wrongs recognized by law as grounds for a lawsuit. These wrongs result in an injury or harm constituting the basis for a claim by the injured party. While some torts are also crimes punishable with imprisonment, the primary aim of tort law is to provide relief for the damages incurred and deter others from committing the same harms. The injured person may sue under law for damages, or may sue for equitable relief such as an injunction to prevent the continuation of the tortious conduct.

Tort law is state law created through judges (common law) and by legislatures (statutory law). Many judges and states utilize the Restatement of Torts (2nd) as an influential guide. The Restatement is a publication prepared by the American Law Institute whose aim is to present an orderly statement of the general law of the United States.

[Summary from Tort, Legal Information Institute, (last visited 02-20-2018).]

Subscription Databases

Bloomberg Law: The Litigation & Dockets tab contains a webpage of Litigation Resources with links to sources such as federal and state court dockets, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and state laws.

To search for cases, click on “Search All Federal Court Opinions.” Then choose “All Federal & State Court Opinions,” under “Combined Court Opinions.” In the search box, Browse through the Select Topic drop-down menu and choose “Torts” to limit your search to tort cases. For specific tort types, such as products liability or medical malpractice, choose the more specific Topic from the menu.

Lexis Advance: Browse Sources—Secondary Materials—Restatements

Browse Topics—Torts

Westlaw: Under Browse—Secondary Sources—Texts & Treatises—Torts & Personal Injury, various sources are provided, including Dobbs’ Law of Torts, McLaughlin on Class Actions, and Stein on Personal Injury Damages.

Under Tools—West Key Number System, 37: Assault and Battery, 168: False Imprisonment, 272: Negligence, 313A: Products Liability, and 379: Torts may provide guidance in finding related materials.

Subject Guide

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