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Tort Law: Principles in Practice: Principles in Practice, Third Edition

  • James Underwood
Series / Aspen Casebook Series
Teaching Materials
Table of contents

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Underwood’s Tort Law: Principles in Practice offers a user-friendly introduction to first-year Torts students in a refreshing, thought-provoking balance of theory and practice.

Tort Law: Principles in Practice is an approachable and engaging casebook, with a variety of pedagogical features and tools to examine tort law doctrine and rules and their application in practice. Introductory text for each chapter, subsection, and case frames the issues under discussion, aiding student comprehension. Features include text boxes and photographs, sample pattern jury instructions, checklists, and end-of-chapter essay questions.

New to the Third Edition:

  • New key cases (e.g., a case arising out of the 2016 presidential election where a court analyzes whether a Trump supporter committed a battery against a critic via Twitter, along with a 2021 ruling on the issue of whether Amazon was a product “seller” potentially liable for personal injuries caused by the use of a product purchased on Amazon).
  • Revised notes and problems to enhance usability and readability.
  • Continued focus on making this book as useful as possible for the schools and professors who are increasingly focused on preparing students for practice.

Professors and students will benefit from:

  • A blending of both old classics and modern relevant cases
  • Easy to follow organization with clear topic headings
  • Useful but concise text to introduce the larger picture context for each section and case
  • Focused, limited notes following each case to engage the students
  • Numerous strategic problems within each section to stimulate further thinking
  • Engaging text boxes and pictures to capture the students’ imagination
  • Sample pattern jury instructions throughout the book to illustrate courts’ efforts to describe the law to jurors
  • Checklists to demonstrate proper analytical approaches to the issues
  • Helpful perspective notes at the end of each major section to summarize and highlight key facets of the materials
  • Practice end-of-chapter essays to permit students to practice “pulling it all together”


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About the authors
James Underwood
Professor of Law
Baylor University

Professor of Law Jim Underwood teaches Torts, Business Torts, Complex Litigation, and Appellate Advocacy & Procedure. He has been at Baylor Law School since 2006. Prior to coming to Baylor, he was a member of the faculty at Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg, Fla., where he taught Civil Procedure, Complex Litigation, Pretrial Practice and Trial Advocacy. Underwood has received awards at both Stetson and Baylor for teaching, including Baylor University's 2008-09 Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching among all academic disciplines. "A good teacher is one who is genuinely interested and excited about the material, knows why the material will be important to the students, and takes joy in watching students master the subject," he said on what qualities make an exceptional teacher. Baylor Law Dean Brad Toben said those qualities apply to Underwood. "Professor Underwood is a natural educator," he said. "He delights in helping his students find the light in the morass of difficult legal problems they encounter in their legal studies. He brings unbridled energy to the classroom, simultaneously challenging, stimulating and encouraging the students. His methods bring life to the material and enable the students to learn how to learn for themselves." Underwood received his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1984 where he was a Kerr Scholar in Public Affairs. He graduated first in his class from Ohio State University's College of Law in 1987, where he served as the executive editor of the Ohio State Law Journal and was the author of an award winning case comment. He served as an extern to the Honorable Alan E. Norris of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Following graduation he was a law clerk for the late Honorable Jerry Buchmeyer, United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. After 14 years as a Texas trial lawyer, Underwood entered academia. He spent 10 years (including five as a partner) with the firm of Thompson & Knight in its Dallas and Houston offices and then four years as a partner in the Dallas office of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. He handled a wide variety of cases during that time, including extensive representation of doctors in medical malpractice cases as well as the prosecution and defense of complex commercial litigation matters. Included among his successes were obtaining a federal court jury verdict in Midland, Texas, in 1990, of $175 million in a business fraud case (the largest jury verdict returned in the United States that year) and a 1998 jury verdict in Houston in excess of $28 million in a suit on an indemnity agreement. His last four years of practice consisted primarily of defending against nationwide consumer class actions. His pro bono efforts included providing legal representation to defendants in federal criminal prosecutions. Underwood has published extensively in the area of torts and complex litigation. He has authored several books, including Torts: Principles in Practice (Aspen Casebook Series, April 2014) and Fundamental Pretrial Advocacy: A Strategic Guide to Effective Litigation (West April 2012). He has also has been actively involved in coaching various moot court teams in nationwide competitions.

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Third Edition
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Tort Law
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