COMM 381 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Uberrima Fides, English Criminal Law, Fiduciary
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What is a TORT?
o Coming from the French word “tort”, meaning “wrong”, a tort is a civil wrong done to a person’s
body, property or reputaon, whether the wrong was done (or omied to be done)
intenonally or otherwise.
Types of Torts
Negligence – careless acons causing harm
Intenonal Torts – intenonal acons causing harm
Nuisance – a hybrid
Fiduciary Duty – utmost good faith, a concern of professionals
Torts: A Quick History
Arises from medieval English criminal law, as a separate system for compensaon for vicms of
crimes when the King’s court granted a “writ”.
Only intenonal torts were recognized inially – “trespass”.
In 20th Century – the rise of negligence as the most important form of tort acon: Donoghue v.
Purposes of Torts
Secondarily: specic and general deterrence – a form of social regulaon.
Maybe: punishment; allocaon of loss among societal actors
In a tort acon, the plain wants to prove that the defendant is liable for the plain’s harm - she
wants to show that the defendant is civilly responsible for an acon causing harm on a balance of
probabilies. This is disnct from criminal guilt which is proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
In a torts case, one looks for fault or liability, NOT GUILT!
Legal responsibility – whether civil or criminal – can arise regardless of the amount of intenon or
involvement by the defendant.
Fiduciary duty utmost good faith, a concern of professionals. Arises from medieval english criminal law, as a separate system for compensation for victims of crimes when the king"s court granted a writ . Only intentional torts were recognized initially trespass . In 20th century the rise of negligence as the most important form of tort action: donoghue v. Secondarily: specific and general deterrence a form of social regulation. Maybe: punishment; allocation of loss among societal actors. In a tort action, the plaintiff wants to prove that the defendant is liable for the plaintiff"s harm - she wants to show that the defendant is civilly responsible for an action causing harm on a balance of probabilities. This is distinct from criminal guilt which is proven beyond a reasonable doubt. In a torts case, one looks for fault or liability, not guilt! Legal responsibility whether civil or criminal can arise regardless of the amount of intention or involvement by the defendant.