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2016 Robert S. Marx Lecture to feature Professor Catherine M. Sharkey

Thursday, February 11, 2016
12:15 - 1:15 pm - Room 114
University of Cincinnati College of Law

CLE: 1 hr./general

View the webcast of the lecture2016 Marx Lecture


Catherine Sharkey is the Crystal Eastman Professor of Law at New York University and a Faculty Director of the Civil Jury Project at NYU. She is one of the nation’s leading authorities on punitive damages and federal preemption. She has published more than 40 articles, essays, and book chapters in the fields of torts, products liability, administrative law, remedies, and class actions. Sharkey is co-author with Richard Epstein of Cases and Materials on Torts (11th ed., 2016) and co-editor with Saul Levmore of Foundations of Tort Law (2nd ed., 2009). She is a founding member of the World Tort Law Society, established in 2012, and an elected member of the American Law Institute. Sharkey is an appointed public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States and an adviser to the ALI Restatement Third, Torts: Liability for Economic Harm. She was a 2011-12 Guggenheim Fellow.
In her lecture, Professor Sharkey will discuss the judicially created “economic loss rule,” which bars tort liability where a plaintiff has suffered strictly financial losses without accompanying personal injury or property damage. The Restatement (Third) of Torts: Liability for Economic Harm provides two justifications for tort’s limited (or lack of) protection against purely economic losses: (1) the “floodgates” rationale, i.e., concern about potentially limitless liability; and (2) deference to contract. Courts’ reliance on these twin rationales, however, has bred confusion. Courts often intermingle the rationales or employ them inconsistently in different contexts. Professor Sharkey’s lecture will be an effort to map a clear path through the confusion and to provide a more robust theoretical justification for the economic loss rule, one grounded in the concept of the “cheapest cost avoider”. 
About the Marx Lecture
The Robert S. Marx Lecture was established by Judge Robert S. Marx to enrich the curriculum of the College of Law by bringing eminent scholars from various fields of law to lecture and interact with faculty and students. Judge Marx was a graduate of the College of Law and an outstanding member of the Cincinnati Bar for 51 years. The Lecture was endowed in 1989 through the generosity of the Robert S. Marx Testamentary Trustees.