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A CONCISE TREATISE
CIVIL LIABILITY AT COMMON LAW AND UNDER
TO PERSON AND PROPERTY
FRANCIS M. BURDICK
DWIGHT PROFESSOR OF LAW IN COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
AUTHOR OF "THE LAW OF SALES," "THE LAW OF PARTNERSHIP,” ETC.
BANKS AND COMPANY
ALBANY, N. Y.
endeavor to state, with
The present volume is the result of an endeavor to state, with brevity but with accuracy, the legal principles involved in tort litigations of to-day. While neither they history nor the theory of the subject has been ignored, the discussion of those topics has been subordinated to the exposition of established rules of law.
No attempt has been made at originality in classification. The first six chapters present a sketch of the history of tort development in our law; a statement of the general principles determining tort liability ; a brief account of tort remedies, and of the manner in which tort liabilities may be discharged. The remainder of the volume is devoted to a discussion of the most important classes of torts.
The order, in which particular torts have been dealt with, is quite different from that observed by many modern writers. It is not made to depend upon the motive, intent, or state of mind of the wrong-doer, but upon the sort of harm inflicted. Those torts, which are directed principally against the person of the victim, are first considered : then, those which are aimed at his property; and, lastly, those which are clear invasions of both the personal and the property rights of another.
A considerable saving of space has been secured by frequent cross-references. For example, Chapter III, entitled Harms that are not Torts, contains a statement of the principles which excuse or justify acts which are apparently tortious. These principles are not repeated in the chapters, devoted to particular torts, such as Assault and Battery, Trespass and others; but are referred to in frequent foot-notes. Still, the moderate dimensions of this book are due not so much to the space-saving device, just mentioned, as to the deliberate purpose of the writer to prepare a hand-book; not a series of monographs, nor a collection of commentaries, nor a digest of all reported decisions. He has sought to aid his brethren of the profession by stating, as concisely as possible, the rules of law on this subject; by expounding the reasons for such rules, as these are set forth in judicial decisions ; by noting the conflict of opinion which exists on many points, and especially, by referring only to those cases which bear directly and helpfully upon the topics to which they are cited. In order to make these citations as useful as possible, recent cases have been preferred to older ones, whenever the discussion of principles and authorities has been equally valuable; reference has been given not only to the official report, but to unofficial publications in which the case has appeared, and the date of each decision is noted.