Briefing Room


Symposium to focus on torts, civil rights law

November 4, 2013 | Events

The Ohio State Law Journal will explore the theoretical and doctrinal affinities and clashes between tort and anti-discrimination law at a Nov. 15 symposium, “Torts and Civil Rights Law: Migration and Conflict.”

The public is welcome to attend this free symposium, which will be held at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. CLE credit is available. Click here to register.

Increasingly, courts and commentators have labeled federal statutory anti-discrimination claims “torts” or “tort-like” claims, without thoroughly discussing the implications of this classification. Particularly since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2011 ruling applying the controversial concept of “proximate cause” to a claim of employment discrimination, the lower courts have stepped up their efforts to reshape a number of anti-discrimination doctrines to align with general tort concepts, often with the effect of limiting the scope of statutory civil rights protection.

Thus, tort law is playing a more prominent role in statutory interpretation under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

Scholars at the symposium will discuss whether the connections between tort and anti-discrimination law are strong enough to justify robust use of tort principles in anti-discrimination analysis and whether anti-discrimination law should be interpreted through a torts lens. They also will discuss whether tort law should selectively adopt anti-discrimination norms and analysis.

The Ohio State Law Journal would like to thank our co-sponsors for their generous support: The Center for Interdisciplinary Law and Policy Studies, the ACLU–Moritz Chapter, and the Black Law Students Association.

To view the day’s program, please click here.