Schwartz Lecture with John C.P. Goldberg - 10-15-19

About the Lecture: The honoree of this lecture, Victor Schwartz, is equally at home in two “places.” One is tort law. The other is Washington, D.C. This might seem an odd pairing. After all, tort law is overwhelmingly made in state courts and legislatures, not in our nation’s capital. Yet, as Mr. Schwartz himself has noted, Washington—and in particular the U.S. Supreme Court—influences tort law in ways both obvious and subtle. This will explore and expose some of the myriad occasions on which our highest court (notwithstanding its foreswearing of the general common law in Erie Railroad v. Tompkins has actively shaped 50-state tort law. At the same time, it will suggest, respectfully, that the Court’s decisions are often predicated on an impoverished understanding of tort law and its place in our legal and political system. Topics to be addressed will range from constitutional torts and proximate cause to federal preemption and punitive damages. About The Speaker: Professor John C.P. Goldberg, an expert in tort law, tort theory, and political philosophy, is a faculty member at Harvard Law School. Goldberg is co-author of Tort Law: Responsibilities and Redress (4th ed. 2016), as well as The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law: Torts (2010). An associate reporter for the American Law Institute’s Fourth Restatement of Property, Goldberg also serves as an advisor to the Third Restatement of Torts. Professor Goldberg earned his B.A. from Wesleyan University, M. Phil. from Oxford University, M.A. from Princeton University, and J.D. from New York University School of Law. He clerked for Judge Jack Weinstein of the Eastern District of New York and for Supreme Court Justice Byron White.