Torts: Cases & Context

by Eric E. Johnson

a free, open‑access, open‑source, OER casebook

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Why choose this book?

Now in version 2.0 (2019), TC&C combines traditional casebook readings with straightforward, textbook-like explanations. The idea is that when students stop to puzzle over something, it should be because the law itself puzzles, not because the book obfuscates.

Students describe the book as easy to read. By being clear and straightforward, the casebook aims to quickly get students to the point where they can navigate regions of gray and build nuanced arguments.

Doctrine is explained upfront, before the cases. After cases, there's no notes-and-questions mishmash. Check-your-understanding questions, questions to ponder, historical notes, etc., are all organized under separate headings.

Readings mix classic cases with very recent ones, such as texting-and-driving and suddenly accelerating Toyotas. Varied primary sources include an opening statement, a closing argument, and an Navajo opinion on tribal law.

A key aim is context—showing how bits of doctrine fit into the bigger picture of tort law and how it all connects to the real world.

Also, this book is free! It costs no money to download, and you can get a print copy at cost. Also, the Creative Commons license ensures the freedom to abridge, expand, repurpose, or adapt the text.


Torts: Cases & Context was written by Eric E. Johnson (CV, bio) professor of law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Professor Johnson has taught torts for over a decade.

The Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI), a non-profit consortium of law schools, provided funding for the creation of the book.

Download it

Volume One (2019)
book cover showing with clean safety cone stenciled with TORTS
Chapters 1-12. Topics: preliminaries, negligence, healthcare liability.
Volume One DOCX file [right click if needed]

Volume Two (2019)
book cover showing with mud-plattered safety cone stenciled with TORTS
Chapters 13-29. Topics: strict liability, products liability, intentional torts, damages, transactional torts, defamation, and more.
Volume Two DOCX file [right click if needed]

Get it in print

Volume One (2019)
Chapters 1-12. Topics: preliminaries, negligence, healthcare liability.
You can download the volume and print it yourself.
Volume Two (2019)
Chapters 13-29
Topics: Strict Liability, Products Liability, Intentional Torts, Remedies, Issues with Parties and Actions, Transactional Torts, Defamation, Privacy Torts
You can download the volume and print it yourself.

Creative Commons licensing

Torts: Cases & Context is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 License (CC-BY-SA 4.0).

This makes the book open source in addition to being free to access. Consistent with the terms of the Creative Commons license that this book is published under, generations of instructors and students will be able to rip and remix this book to suit their needs. This is because the license lets you change up and redistribute the book so long as you share it forward—that is, so long as you make it available to others under the same license.

The CC license is, in essence, a legal trick to keep downstream users from locking the book up with their own proprietary copyright claims.

Get the details here: CC-BY-SA 4.0.


book cover showing with clean safety cone stenciled with TORTS
Volume One [DOCX] [PDF]
Part I: Preliminaries
1. Basic Concepts
2. An Overview of Tort Law
Part II: Negligence
3. Introduction to Negligence
4. An Example of a Negligence Case
5. When and to Whom is a Duty of Care Owed
6. Breach of the Duty of Care
7. Actual Causation
8. Proximate Causation
9. Existence of an Injury
10. Affirmative Defenses to Negligence
Part III: Liability Relating to Healthcare
11. Common Law Liability in the Healthcare Context
12. ERISA Preemption
book cover showing with mud-plattered safety cone stenciled with TORTS
Volume Two [DOCX] [PDF]
Part IV: Dealing with Accidents: Beyond Negligence
13. Strict Liability
14. Products Liability
Part V: Intentional Torts
15. Introduction to Intentional Torts
16. Battery and Assault
17. False Imprisonment
18. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
19. Trespass to Land
20. Trespass to Chattels and Conversion
21. Defenses to Intentional Torts
Part VI: Remedies
22. General Issues in Remedies
23. Compensatory Damages
24. Punitive Damages
Part VII: Special Issues with Parties and Actions
25. Multiple Tortfeasors
26. Thresholds of Life
Part VIII: Oblique Torts
27. Transactional Torts
28. Defamation
29. Privacy Torts
(Note: A third volume is forthcoming, with chapters on constitutional torts, immunities and government liability, and safety and health regulation. Those chapters, without updating, can be currently found as chapters 15, 27 & 28 of Volume Two of the First Edition.)

Version History

A record of previous editions and versions may be found here.