The Law of Remedies

The Law of Remedies
Bob obtained Carter’s iPhone via fraud.
How does Carter right this wrong (without resorting to criminal
law)? The law of remedies is relevant here.
The law of torts tells us that this is an intentional wrong.
Remedies do not determine whether a law/right was violated.
Rather, remedies are the means by which substantive rights are
given their effect.
This class involves the law of remedies.
Don’t focus on substantive law issues (i.e., was there a violation) but
on what remedies are available for that assumed violation.
Classification of Available Remedies
Compensatory Remedies - e.g. damages
Compensate for P’s loss
Coercive Remedies – e.g., Injunctions
Force D to do or refrain from doing something
Declaratory Remedies – e.g., declaratory judgments
Restitutionary Remedies – e.g., rescission, constructive trust
Force D to disgorge unjust gain
Both specific/subsitutionary & legal/equitable
Punitive Remedies - e.g. punitive damages
Punish/Deter behavior
Ancillary Remedies - e.g., contempt, garnishment, execution, atty’s fees
Aid in the enforcement of other remedies
Possible Remedies or Combinations of
Remedies Available to Carter
Some may depend on nature of Bob’s conduct or theory on
which Carter sues
Some may depend on practical concerns
Often different remedies will get Carter to the same place
but in different ways, so special concerns of the client may
matter. Or sometimes different remedies can matter a lot re
P’s recovery.
According to Hatahley: fundamental
purpose of compensatory damages is:
To restore P/injured party to the position they would have
been in but for the D’s/other party’s wrong.
Aka “rightful position rule”
Does the lower court just ignore this rule?
What will district court have to do
differently on remand?
What the DCT did:
Set value of destroyed horses
- $395 (based on P’s personal
testimony & trade value w/
Loss of use of horses – valued
livestock, then gave ½ total
diminution of livestock herds
from 1952-57, applied to all
$3500 pain & suffering to
each P
What DCT will have to do:
Why should courts go to all this trouble?
Why isn’t a reasonably good faith approximation of
damages enough under the rightful position rule?
For that matter why can’t a court intentionally award more
than what plaintiff’s lost?
Example: Why can’t the Hatahley judge award $395 even if he
knows the value of the plaintiffs’ horses is $300?
One-satisfaction rule – corollary to
rightful position rule
Assume the Hatahley Ps had a contract allowing them to
graze cattle on federal land. If the round-up had
occurred without notice, plaintiffs could have sued for
breach of contract in addition to trespass.
Assume Ps did sue for breach of contract. If Ps were fully
compensated for their losses after suing for breach of
contract, could they later file a lawsuit seeking damages
under a trespass theory?