Bernard W. Bell


In several respects, Franklin and Rabin's casebook provides a wonderful and effective vehicle for teaching torts, particularly to first-year students. The book develops important overarching themes while effectively presenting a wide variety of specific tort doctrines. The book also offers professors opportunities to sharpen students' legal abilities. In Part I of this review, I will discuss the first case in Franklin and Rabin's book and explain its usefulness in introducing several themes that both are critical to understanding tort law and assume a prominent place throughout the casebook. In Part II, I will focus on Franklin and Rabin's treatment of particular topics within the field of torts. I will concentrate on the materials regarding four aspects of negligence causes of action: duty to avoid exposing others to emotional harm unaccompanied by physical injury, medical malpractice, regulatory compliance, and proximate cause. I will also critique the materials addressing products liability, intentional torts, defamation, and privacy. In Part III, I will discuss the usefulness of the casebook in imparting lawyering skills to first-year students-skills such as thinking creatively about facts, appreciating the importance of developing facts, legal analysis, and appreciating the procedural posture of cases.