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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: LSTD509 Course ID: 4052 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This graduate course will focus on the fundamental principles, concepts, and development of tort and personal injury law, while combining theoretical and practical applications of such principles and concepts. The course presents an overview of the substantive law governing compensation for injuries to property and to the person. Specific areas of study include negligence and defenses to negligence; products liability and strict liability; negligent infliction of emotional distress; injury to property; tort immunities and tort investigations. Students will examine the analytical process used both to understand court opinions and hypothetical problems in this area of the law. The course highlights the public policy objectives and social forces behind the development of tort and personal injury legislation.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/28/20 - 06/04/21 06/07/21 - 08/01/21 Spring 2021 Session D 8 Week session
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 09/26/21 Summer 2021 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After completing this course the Student will be able to:

1. Discuss the historical roots of tort law;

2. Classify the three broad categories of torts;

3. Identify the elements of strict (absolute) liability;

4. Examine the analytical framework of an appellate court decision;

5. Analyze hypothetical problems by applying legal principles to the facts of the case;

6. Relate the tortfeasor's duty of reasonable care;

7. Outline the elements of negligence and defenses to negligence; and

8. Discuss alternative dispute resolution.


Contact between students and instructor can occur by phone or messenger system located within the classroom. However, the best way to reach your instructor is via the messenger system located inside of the classroom. Students are expected to maintain routine contact with the instructor throughout the course. The number of these contacts may vary according to the specific course and individual student need. Depending on the course, the professor may require these contacts to occur by phone. FOR ALL MESSENGES, PLEASE PUT YOUR NAME AND COURSE NUMBER IN THE SUBJECT HEADING. If you have not received a response from your instructor within 24 hours, please follow up, as the message may not have been received.


Case Brief

During Week#3, you will brief a recent Supreme Court case. This case brief counts for 5% of your grade.


There are eight Forums (plus one introduction) and your forum participation counts for 39% of your grade. For full credit, you must respond to at least three of your classmates’ postings for each week/ topic. Please submit your initial response to the discussion board topic by Wednesday at midnight so your classmates can respond to your posting by Sunday. Post your responses to your classmates by the end of the week, Sunday at midnight. And, if you are asked a follow up question by your instructor, please do your best to answer the question.

Questions and topics posed in the Forums are designed to promote thought and insight. Students must provide a critical review of the questions, topics and issues posed and substantively reply to the contributions of at least three peers. Individual postings should include a full discussion of the content of the question posed and explain how it relates to the concepts in the weekly text readings and other resources. The postings should be analytic in nature and include comparisons/contrasts, and examples that can bolster your point. The Forum is for your benefit and it is important to respond to the discussion topic and to engage others in a running dialogue.

Your initial post should be made by Wednesday each week. You should then respond to 3 or more posts. Note that at least one response to your classmates must be made before Sunday. If you make all of your responsive posts on Sunday, you will not earn full points for timeliness.

This can be accomplished by

· Validating with additional evidence from the literature.

· Posing a thoughtful question with commentary which generates further discussion.

· Providing an alternative point-of-view, with evidence and examples.

· Offering additional insight into how the concept might be understood, with evidence provided with real world examples.

You should be active in the classroom throughout the week and actively engaged in the back-and-forth discussion between your colleagues and the professor.

The forum grading rubric can be found in gradebook by clicking on the forum entry.

Internal Memo:

Students are required to submit a five-page internal memo that addresses a complex tort law fact pattern. The internal memo should be DOUBLE SPACED. The memo counts for 10% of your grade.


There are no exams in this class.

Research Assignment:

This is a very short research assignment due during Week#4 that counts for 5% of your grade.

Fact Pattern Analysis:

There are seven fact patterns that you have to analyze that ask you to apply the concepts from your readings. These fact pattern analysis assignments count for 40% of your grade.

NameGrade %
Introduction 1.00 %
Introduction 1.00 %
Forums 39.00 %
Week One Forum 4.88 %
Week Two Forum 4.88 %
Week Three Forum 4.88 %
Week Four Forum 4.88 %
Week Five Forum 4.88 %
Week Six Forum 4.88 %
Week Seven Forum 4.88 %
Week Eight Forum 4.88 %
Fact Pattern Analysis 40.00 %
Week One Fact Pattern Analysis 5.71 %
Week Two Fact Pattern Analysis 5.71 %
Week Three Fact Pattern Analysis 5.71 %
Week Four Fact Pattern Analysis 5.71 %
Week Five Fact Pattern Analysis 5.71 %
Week Six Fact Pattern Analysis 5.71 %
Week Eight Fact Pattern Analysis 5.71 %
Case Brief 5.00 %
Week Three Case Brief 5.00 %
Research Assignment 5.00 %
Week Four Research Assignment 5.00 %
Internal Memo Assignment-Week Seven 10.00 %
Internal Memo Assignment-Week Seven 10.00 %

Eric Johnson, Torts: Cases and Contexts, Volume 1 Published by CALI eLangdell Press. Available under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 License:

You may access Torts: Case and Contexts, Volume 1 via the below link:

Eric Johnson, Torts: Cases and Contexts, Volume 2 Published by CALI eLangdell Press. Available under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 License:

You may access Torts: Case and Contexts, Volume 2 via the below link:

*Recommended, but not required: The Blue Book: A Uniform System of Citation, 20th ed., (2015). This is available in hard copy or as an e-text and may be purchased at:

You may also access The Blue Book via the school’s library by following the instructions in announcement section in the classroom.

*Strongly Recommended

John L. Diamond, et al., (2013). Understanding Torts 5th ed. New York: Matthew Bender & Company.

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.