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The Path to the T.J. Hooper: Of Custom and Due Care

Richard A. Epstein, 21 J. Legal Stud. 1 7 (1992)

In many a textbook on tort liability, Judge Learned Hand's celebrated 1932 opinion in the case of The T.J. Hooper stands for the proposition that a liability defendant may not argue in defense of a disputed act or omission that it was simply following the customary practice of its trade or business. But the actual facts of the Hooper suit suggest that Judge Hand was employing a bit of creativity, and even sleight of hand, to put across a broader principle than the case warranted.




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