Tort Law: Secondary Sources
Posted June 24, 2014.
Prepared by Taryn Marks (law librarianship intern)
This guide provides a general introduction to researching tort law with secondary sources: legal encyclopedias, restatements, study aids, and treatises. Many other sources--not covered in this guide--deal with specific types of torts, such as defamation, libel and slander, medical malpractice, personal injury, and products liability.
The guide links to free websites and commercial subscription services. Access to Bloomberg Law, Lexis, and WestlawNext is restricted to people who have individual IDs and passwords. Bloomberg BNA, HeinOnline, Intelliconnect, and LexisNexis Academic are UW Restricted, meaning they are available to those on the UW campus and to current UW faculty, students, and staff remotely.
See also the companion Gallagher guide: Tort Law: Primary Sources.
Search the indexes (located at the end of each set) for specific torts topics, such as negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Corpus Juris Secundum. (CJS).
KF154.C562 at Compact Stacks (no longer updated) | Westlaw
Causes of Action (COA).
KF8863.S53 at Reference Area | Westlaw
Search the database for a specific cause of action or use the index to find a topic.
The Law of Torts, by Dan B. Dobbs. 1 vol. (Hornbook Series)
KF1250.D56 2000 at Reference Area
The Law of Torts, by Dan B. Dobbs. 2d ed., 4 vols. (Practitioner Treatise Series) Table of contents
Successor to the classic Prosser and Keeton on the Law of Torts.
KF1250 .D562 2011 at Classified Stacks | Westlaw
Harper, James and Gray on Torts, by V. Fowler, Fleming Harper & Oscar S. Gray. 3d ed., 6 vols.
KF1250.H37 2006 at Reference Area
Principles of Tort Law, by Marshall S. Shapo. 3d ed. (Concise Hornbook Series)
KF1250.Z9 S53 2010 at Reference Area
The American Law of Torts, by Stuart M. Speiser, Charles F. Krause, & Alfred W. Gans. 3 vols.
KF1250.S568 1983 at Reference Area
Washington Practice Series: Tort Law and Practice
KFW80.W3 at Reference Area & Westlaw
The latest edition of the study aids are located in the Reference Area. Earlier editions are located in the Classified Stacks.
The Glannon Guide to Torts: Learning Torts Through Multiple-Choice Questions and Analysis, by Richard L. Hasen. 2d ed.
KF1250.Z9 H375 2009
The Law of Torts, by Joseph W. Glannon. 4th ed.
Torts in a Nutshell, by Edward J. Kionka. 5th ed.
KF1250.Z9 K53 2010
Understanding Torts, by John L. Diamond, Lawrence C. Levine & Anita Bernstein. 5th ed.
Mastering Torts: A Student's Guide to the Law of Torts, by Vincent R. Johnson. 5th ed.
Restatements are relatively authoritative statements of the common law that are cited by judges, attorneys, and scholars as persuasive authority. Most jurisdictions have, at least in part, adopted the Restatement (Second) of the Law of Torts. The Restatement (Third) is divided into three subdivisions: Apportionment of Liability, Liability for Physical and Emotional Harm, and Products Liability. The American Law Institute, which drafts and publishes the Restatements, states that the Restatements (Third) have superseded the Restatement (Second) of the Law of Torts. Many jurisdictions, however, have rejected or not yet adopted the principles laid out in the Restatement (Third) of the Law of Torts. Be sure to check your individual state and court to determine the persuasiveness of citing to any of the Restatements.
The torts Restatements are available online:
Bloomberg Law includes the Restatement (Second) of Torts and the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Apportionment of Liability, Physical and Emotional Harm, Product Liability, and Unfair Competition
Westlaw: Restatement of the Law--Torts includes the First, Second, and Third (Apportionment of Liability, Intentional Torts to Persons, Liablility for Economic Harm, Liability of Physical and Emotional Harm, and Products Liability).
Lexis (Browse Sources > Narrow by: Practice Areas & Topics: Torts > Narrow by: Content Type: Secondary Sources > Narrow by: Content Type: Restatements)
Note: Lexis does not have Restatement (Third) of the Law of Torts: Apportionment Liability.
Gallagher Law Library also has print copies of the Restatements of the Law of Torts (Second) and (Third) in the Reference Area.
Restatement (Second) of the Law of Torts
Restatement (Third) of the Law of Torts: Products Liability
KF395.T68 P7 1998
Law of Torts: Liability for Physical and Emotional Harm
Restatement(Third) of the Law of Torts: Apportionment of Liability
KF395.T68 A7 2000
Restatement (Third) of the Law of Torts: Liability for Economic Harm (Tentative Draft).
KF395.T68 L532 2012
Articles and news about developments in tort law are plentiful. Although there are a small number of journals that are focused on tort issues, general search in law reviews and legal periodicals will also uncover a vast number of articles.
Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Journal, from the American Bar Association Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section
Shelved by title at Compact Stacks | HeinOnline (vol. 1, 1965 - present) | Lexis (vol. 16, 1981 - present) | Westlaw
You can also do keyword searches of journal databases, including:
Westlaw > Secondary Sources > Law Reviews & Journals
Lexis > Browse Sources > Narrow by: Content Type > Secondary Materials > Law Reviews and Journals
HeinOnline Law Journal Library > Advanced search > Text or Article Title search
Professional Liability Reporter: "articles covering the latest cases determining the professional liability of architects and engineers, accountants, attorneys, directors and officers, insurance agents and securities"
Personal Injury Verdict Reviews: "personal injury verdicts and settlements, with a case evaluation showing a detailed evaluation of a featured type of case, as well as recent verdict and settlement summaries from a variety of case types"
Westlaw > All Content tab > Secondary Sources > Legal Newspapers & Newsletters > keyword search
American Tort Reform Association: information about tort reform across the states
Tortland collects interesting tort cases, warning labels, and photos of potential torts
ABA Tort Law Blawgs List: list of current blawgs according to the ABA
Bloomberg Law's collection of tort materials are scattered in different places throughout Bloomberg's website. Some of the most useful ones are:
BNA Law Reports
Under the heading Torts, Property & Family Law, see the:
- Product Safety & Liability Reporter, which covers developments and issues in product safety and liability litigation and regulation. Updated continually; archived back to Jan. 1996.
- Toxics Law Reporter, which covers significant developments in toxic tort, hazardous waste, and related insurance litigation. Updated continually, archived back to Jan. 1996.
Books & Treatises include:
- Business Torts Litigation (ABA)
- Class Actions and Mass Torts Answer Book (PLI)
- Evidence in Negligence Cases (PLI)
- International Libel and Privacy Handbook: A Global Reference for Journalists, Publishers, Webmasters, and Lawyers (Wiley)
- Medical Malpractice: Discovery and Trial (PLI)
- Privacy in Employment Law (BNA)
- Product Liability Litigation: Current Law, Strategies and Best Practices (PLI)
- Sack on Defamation: Libel, Slander & Related Problems (PLI)
- Tortious Interference in the Employment Context: A State-by-State Survey (BNA)
This online commercial service contains a Products Liability & Safety with several titles.
Torts in one of the practice areas. You will find both primary (cases, laws, regulations, and other administrative material) and secondary sources (including law review articles, practice guides, and treatises). Among the torts treatises are:
- Business Torts
- Comparative Negligence Law and Practice
- Damages in Tort Actions
- Louisell & Williams, Medical Malpractice
- Personal Injury--Actions, Defenses, Damages
- Product Liability: Winning Strategies and Techniques
- Products Liability Practice Guide
- Washington Torts and Personal Injury Practice Guide
Westlaw has a collection of torts and personal injury texts and treatises, including titles such as:
- Defamation: A Lawyer's Guide
- Federal Tort Claims
- Handling Business Tort Cases
- Litigating Tort Cases
- Negotiating and Settling Tort Cases
- Privacy Torts
- Toxic Mold Litigation
For state-specific secondary sources: Westlaw > Secondary Sources > click on the state > search "tort" or for a specific tort.