2006 Archive

Professor Scheiber Discusses the "Tort Revolution" in California

On October 7, Harry Scheiber, Riesenfeld Professor of Law and History and director of the Institute for Legal Research, will join judicial and academic experts to discuss innovations of the California Supreme Court. The panel, sponsored by the California Supreme Court Historical Society, will examine recent actions by the court including independent state interpretation of constitutional law, the "tort revolution" and more.

When California has been different from other states, it has often been the bellwether of legal change nationally, according to Scheiber. He has chronicled the state's role as an innovator dating back to the first constitutional convention in 1849, when "one delegate denounced the tendency by some toward ‘servilely' copying the constitutions of other states." Scheiber's paper " California as an Historic Seedbed of Legal Innovation" offers numerous examples of the state's leadership from tort reform and no-fault divorce to offshore environmental protection and the application of public trust principles in regulatory law and the environment.

An expert in American legal history, environmental law and modern judicial reform, Scheiber is also past president of the American Society of Legal History.