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Tort
it means \"wrong\" A tort is a violation of a civil obligation that is involuntarily imposed by the civil law
Tort law gives persons the right to recover for civil wrong or injury to.
persons, property, economic interest.
3 objectives of tort law are
compensate persons who are injured by the conduct of another place the cost of that compensation on those parties who should bear it. prevent future harms and losses.
Types of Torts
    • Intentional Torts
    • Negligence
    • Strict Liability
Defamation
A false communication that injures a person’s reputation by reducing the respect in which that person is held
Types of Defamation
    • Slander
    • Libel
    • Slander Defamation
      • A defamation that is spoken
    • Libel Defamation
      • A defamation that is written, printed, broadcast, or transmitted in a medium that has a similar power to communicate 
Elements of a Defamation Claim
A plaintiff must prove all of these elements:
    • Defamatory Statement. A statement likely to hurt another person’s reputation
    • Falseness. The defamatory statement must not be true
    • Communication (Publication). The statement must be communicated to at least one person (not the plaintiff)
    • Injury. The plaintiff must prove damage to his or her reputation
      • This could be humiliation, embarrassment, reduced reputation, etc.
Slander Per Se
Certain types of slander cases justify an award of damages without proof of injury. These cases are accusations of:
    • A serious crime
    • Having a sexually transmitted disease
    • Being incompetent in their trade or profession
    • Being an unchaste woman
Libel – Injury 
    • Like slander per se, injury is presumed in libel cases
    • Once the plaintiff proves the other elements of a libel case, there is no need to prove injury
    • Rationale: Libel is more permanent than slander. It is, therefore, likely to result in injury
Defenses for Defamation
    • Truth
    • Opinion
    • Privilege
      • Conditional and Unconditional
      • Constitutional Privilege
 the Constitutional Privilege

Applies in cases involving a plaintiff who is a “public official” or “public figure”

Requires the plaintiff to prove an extra element in a defamation case: Actual Malice
-Actual malice means that the publisher knew the statement was false, or acted with a reckless disregard of the truth
who is mostly target?
Public Official.
-Examples. Mayor, police chief, fire chief
Public Figure. -Examples. Ralph Nader, Donald Trump, Michael Jordan -Others are limited purpose public figures. These people may be thrust into the public eye because they involve themselves in a public controversy, or are drawn into one -Example. Cindy Sheehan, Rodney King
Public Official
. A governmental office holder or official. Any government employee who have substantial responsibilities in public affairs
Public Figure
Some people are so much in the public eye that they are public figures for all purposes. They have such power and influence or pervasive fame and notoriety that they are considered full-time public figures
Commercial Exploitation is a privacy matter
This tort prohibits:
-The use of someone’s likeness or voice
-for commercial purposes
-without their permission
the Defense on Commercial Exploitation 
A defendant can avoid liability if he or she can prove creation of a:
-Transformative work of art
-Parody, caricature, or satire
-Social criticism
-Fictional portrayal
False Imprisonment

-The intentional confinement
-of a person,
-for an appreciable time,
-within fixed boundaries,
-against his or her will
-without justification or consent
Damages for False Imprisonment

-Compensation for lost time
-Inconvenience
-Physical illness
-Mental suffering
-Humiliation
Battery

-The intentional touching of another in a way that is offensive or unwanted.
 
-Contact is offensive if it would offend a reasonable person’s sense of dignity. Casual bumps or tapping someone on the shoulder to get their attention is not enough
Assault


-The party suffering from the assault must be aware of the imminent bodily harm. If their back is turned, and someone aims a bow and arrow at them, there is no assault
 
-A threat of bodily injury may be enough to commit assault: “Give me your car or I will break your arm.” is an assault -Intentional conduct by one person that places another person in fear of immediate bodily harm or offensive contact
 
-There can be assault without battery. An assault claim is based on the mental impact of the defendant’s actions. The damages can include compensation for fright and humiliation

Self-Defense

-When a person reasonably believes that he or she is about to receive unprivileged harmful or offensive contact, or other bodily harm, he or she is entitled to use reasonable force, not intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily harm, to defend him or herself
 
-The danger may not really exist, but the right of self-defense will be available if the person reasonably believes that self-defense was necessary
Trespass

-Intentionally entering land that belongs to someone else or remaining on land after being asked to leave. Also can be leaving your property or an object on another’s land and then refusing to remove it
 
-You are also responsible for trespass if you cause a third party to trespass
Conversion

Taking or using someone’s personal property without permission.
-In addition to taking, this tort includes -Destruction, and -Use of the property in an unauthorized manner  
Good Faith Buyer. A person who buys stolen property is liable to the original owner under a claim of conversion even if they buy the property in good faith and without realizing that the property was stolen. The buyer’s remedy is against the seller
Fraud

A person who intentionally makes a misrepresentation of fact, opinion, intention, or law for the purpose of causing another person to act or refrain from acting in reliance upon it, is liable to the other for the loss caused by the justifiable reliance on his or her misrepresentation
 the Elements of Fraudulent Misrepresentation
A False Misrepresentation of a Material Fact, Opinion, or Law The Statement Was Fraudulent. Made with knowledge of its falsity and the intention to deceive, with the intent to induce the other party to act in a certain way (or not to act) The Recipient Justifiably Relied on the Misrepresentation. Must have actually relied on the misrepresentation. Cannot have a fraud if the receiver of the misrepresentation did not rely on the misrepresentation The Misrepresentation Caused Injury to the Recipient
Single Recovery Principle relating damages

Damages are awarded only once for a given wrong

The court or jury will have to determine at trial all damages for both past and future impact of the wrong inflicted on the plaintiff

All amounts are totaled into one lump sum
Punitive Damages

Rarely Granted
 
Requirements for Granting. Punitive damages may be granted when the defendant has exhibited: -Intentional and outrageous conduct, -Exhibiting malice and/or fraud, and/or evil motive
Punitive Damages
Punishment.
To punish the defendant for his or her extreme and outrageous conduct
Punitive Damages
Example.

To deter similar conduct by others. Some states call punitive damages “exemplary” damages
Constitutional Issues in Punitive Damages

Due Process
The due process clause of the 14th Amendment prohibits grossly excessive or arbitrary punishment on a tort defendant
Constitutional Issues in Punitive Damages

Test for Determining Whether Award is Excessive
Courts must consider three “guideposts” when considering the amount of a punitive damage award
-The reprehensibility of the defendant’s conduct. The worse the behavior, the larger the award might be
-Comparison of the amount of the harm suffered and the amount of the award (Single digit multiplier is OK)
-The difference between the punitive damage award and any civil penalties used in similar cases
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