Torts

Superhero Hideouts – Do you have a permit for this space station?

by on Sep.16, 2009, under Federal and State Regulations, Torts

Every superhero needs a place to retreat and think about a case, lick their wounds after a fight, or even occassionally bring a date1. Depending on the hero’s means and persona, that place can take many forms: a one-bedroom apartment, a mansion, a cave, a whole building, a satellite, or a base on the moon2. From time to time these sanctums are infiltrated so many crime fighters put measures in place to prevent, and even repel, trespassers. What duty do the owners of these hideouts owe to would-be intruders? For that matter, what right do they have to build these hidden fortresses without permits and without paying taxes?
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Superheroes – All for one, vicarious liability for all

by on Sep.09, 2009, under Criminal Law, Torts

“Each of you bring something different to the table: strength, speed, stealth,whatever, but we’re all equal in at least one way, each of us is willing to make the sacrifices a hero needs to make, even the ultimate one . . . We can be proactive, we can do some real good in the world, but we’re gonna have to be organized. J’onn1 will be up here keeping an eye on everything, he’ll be the one deciding who goes where and when. I know a lot of you are used to making those decisions by yourself [sic], but from now on we have to be more coordinated than that. We can’t be cowboys anymore…or cowgirls.” – Superman’s address to the Justice League
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The Superhero Calling vs. The Superhero Day Job

by on Aug.26, 2009, under Ethics, Torts

Crime takes place all around us. Those who step up to do something about it are considered heroes, but what about the rest of us? What duty does the average citizen (or the average superhero for that matter) have to protect those around them? And for those who choose to don the mantle of a crime fighter, what effect does dispensing their own brand of justice have on the rest of their lives?
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“Self” Defense of Others – “Here I come to save the day!”

by on Aug.19, 2009, under Criminal Law, Torts

In a dark alley behind a theater a wealthy couple is walking with their son. Two figures emerge from the shadows; one man with a gun demands money and jewelry while the other stands watch by the street. There’s a struggle; two shots ring out and the couple fall to the ground. Just as the robber is about to pull the trigger on the boy a costumed superhero intervenes deftly subduing the man with the gun. After making sure the boy is alright he gives chase to the lookout and apprehends him a few blocks away. In situations like these there is no question that our hero saved a life but what right did he have to do so? What amount of force was he privileged in using, and can the criminal now bring a lawsuit against him for assault or battery?
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Privacy Chapter II – Your friendly neighborhood tortfeasor

by on Aug.12, 2009, under Constitutional Law, Torts

Vigilantes forgo the protections of working with the State allowing them to operate without many of the restrictions that accompany civil liberties. They are outside the system; the system doesn’t work; they have rejected the system to pursue their own justice. This freedom at the expense of their quarry is highlighted by a discussion of invasion of privacy. Unlike government actors, evidence obtained by a vigilante in violation of Constitutional protections is not excluded from trial, in fact, Constitutional protections are not even implicated without a government actor.
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