Skip Navigation

LSTD509 - Tort Law

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
11/26/18 - 05/03/19 05/06/19 - 06/30/19 Spring 2019 Session I 8 Week session
12/31/18 - 05/31/19 06/03/19 - 07/28/19 Spring 2019 Session D 8 Week session
02/25/19 - 08/02/19 08/05/19 - 09/29/19 Summer 2019 Session I 8 Week session
04/29/19 - 10/04/19 10/07/19 - 12/01/19 Fall 2019 Session B 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 72 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 15% of your grade.


There are eight Forums (plus one introduction) and your forum participation counts for 20% of your grade. The forums are geared to help students prepare for the midterm and final exam. 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.

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 midterm and final exams will be taken open book. The exams will be posted in the electronic classroom under “Exams.” These exams will be based on your analysis of several fact patterns. Final grades will be posted in the electronic classroom within 7 days after the course ends.

NameGrade %
Forums 20.00 %
Introduction 2.22 %
Week One Forum 2.22 %
Week Two Forum 2.22 %
Week Three Forum 2.22 %
Week Four Forum 2.22 %
Week Five Forum 2.22 %
Week Six Forum 2.22 %
Week Seven Forum 2.22 %
Week Eight Forum 2.22 %
Internal Memo Asgmt 25.00 %
Internal Memo Asgmt 25.00 %
Case Brief 15.00 %
Case Brief 15.00 %
Exams 40.00 %
New Final Exam-April 2018-Week#8 20.00 %
New Mid-Term-December2016-Week#4 20.00 %

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. Links provided inside the classroom in the Lessons section.
Author: No Author Specified

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.