This Article examines the spread of “successful” common-law doctrinal innovations in the law of torts. Its analysis reveals recurring influences upon and tendencies within the diffusion of novel tort doctrines across the states. The studied diffusion patterns also document a trend toward common-law doctrinal “stabilization” over the past quarter-century. As detailed herein, this stabilization owes in part to altered adoption dynamics associated with the ongoing shrinkage and fragmentation of the common-law tort dockets entertained by state supreme courts. Prevailing conditions will make it difficult, this Article concludes, for even well-received common-law doctrinal innovations of the future to match the rapid diffusion rates associated with tort-law innovations that spread during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.
The Diffusion of Doctrinal Innovations in Tort Law,
99 Marq. L. Rev. 75
Available at: https://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/mulr/vol99/iss1/5