Most-Cited Tort Law Articles Published in the Last 25 Years — Ted Sichelman

Post by Ted Sichelman

(A description of the methodology used to construct this list follows the table.)

[Editor’s note: Open links added, although not always to the most authoritative version]

Rank Cites Author(s) Title/Hein Link Open Link Journal
1 399 Saks, Michael J. Do We Really Know Anything About the Behavior of the Tort Litigation System-And Why Not [article] 1  140 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1147 (1992)
2 328 Hansmann, Henry; Kraakman, Reinier Toward Unlimited Shareholder Liability for Corporate Torts [article] 2  100 Yale L.J. 1879 (1991)
3 288 Coffee, John C. Jr. Does Unlawful Mean Criminal: Reflections on the Disappearing Tort/Crime Distinction in American Law [article]  71 B.U. L. Rev. 193 (1991)
4 263 Polinsky, A. Mitchell; Shavell, Steven Punitive Damages: An Economic Analysis [article] 4  111 Harv. L. Rev. 869 (1998)
5 224 Schwartz, Gary T. Reality in the Economic Analysis of Tort Law: Does Tort Law Really Deter [article] 5  42 UCLA L. Rev. 377 (1994)
6 219 Henderson, James A. Jr.; Eisenberg, Theodore Quiet Revolution in Products Liability: An Empirical Study of Legal Change, The [article] 6  37 UCLA L. Rev. 479 (1990)
6 219 Mann, Kenneth Punitive Civil Sanctions: The Middleground between Criminal and Civil Law [article]  101 Yale L.J. 1795 (1992)
8 207 Schwartz, Gary T. Beginning and the Possible End of the Rise of Modern American Tort Law, The [article]  26 Ga. L. Rev. 601 (1992)
9 204 Sunstein, Cass R.; Kahneman, Daniel; Schkade, David Assessing Punitive Damages (with Notes on Cognition and Valuation in Law) [article]  9 107 Yale L.J. 2071 (1998)
10 203 Leebron, David W. Limited Liability, Tort Victims, and Creditors [article]  91 Colum. L. Rev. 1565 (1991)
11 198 Galanter, Marc Real World Torts: An Antidote to Anecdote [article]  11 55 Md. L. Rev. 1093 (1996)
11 198 Weinstein, Jack B. Ethical Dilemmas in Mass Tort Litigation [article]  88 Nw. U. L. Rev. 469 (1994)
13 195 Henderson, James A. Jr.; Twerski, Aaron D. Doctrinal Collapse in Products Liability: The Empty Shell of Failure to Warn [article]  13 65 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 265 (1990)
14 190 Schwartz, Gary T. Mixed Theories of Tort Law: Affirming Both Deterrence and Corrective Justice [article]  75 Tex. L. Rev. 1801 (1997)
15 185 Goldberg, John C. P. Constitutional Status of Tort Law: Due Process and the Right to a Law for the Redress of Wrongs, The [article]  15 115 Yale L.J. 524 (2005)
16 182 Daniels, Stephen; Martin, Joanne Myth and Reality in Punitive Damages [article]  75 Minn. L. Rev. 1 (1990)
17 174 Galanter, Marc; Luban, David Poetic Justice: Punitive Damages and Legal Pluralism [article] 17 42 Am. U. L. Rev. 1393 (1993)
18 171 Hensler, Deborah R.; Peterson, Mark A. Understanding Mass Personal Injury Litigation: A Socio-Legal Analysis [article]  59 Brook. L. Rev. 961 (1993)
19 162 Sharkey, Catherine M. Punitive Damages as Societal Damages [article]  19 113 Yale L.J. 347 (2003)
20 161 Lidsky, Larissa Barnett Silencing John Doe: Defamation & Discourse in Cyberspace [article]  20 49 Duke L.J. 855 (2000)
21 158 Henderson, James A. Jr.; Twerski, Aaron D. Closing the American Products Liability Frontier: The Rejection of Liability without Defect [article]  21 66 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 1263 (1991)
21 158 Rustad, Michael; Koenig, Thomas Historical Continuity of Punitive Damages Awards: Reforming the Tort Reformers, The [article]  22 42 Am. U. L. Rev. 1269 (1993)
23 153 Perry, Stephen R. Moral Foundations of Tort Law, The [article]  23 77 Iowa L. Rev. 449 (1992)
24 151 Latin, Howard Good Warnings, Bad Products, and Cognitive Limitations [article]  41 UCLA L. Rev. 1193 (1994)
25 149 Zipursky, Benjamin C. Rights, Wrongs, and Recourse in the Law of Torts [article]  51 Vand. L. Rev. 1 (1998)
26 146 Rabin, Robert L. Sociolegal History of the Tobacco Tort Litigation, A [comments]  44 Stan. L. Rev. 853 (1992)
27 144 Goldberg, John C. P.; Zipursky, Benjamin C. Moral of Macpherson [article]  27 146 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1733 (1998)
27 144 Goldberg, John C.P. Twentieth-Century Tort Theory [article]  27[2] 91 Geo. L.J. 513 (2003)
27 144 Chamallas, Martha; Kerber, Linda K. Women, Mothers, and the Law of Fright: A History [article] 88 Mich. L. Rev. 814 (1990)
30 139 Rustad, Michael In Defense of Punitive Damages in Products Liability: Testing Tort Anecdotes with Empirical Data [article] 30 78 Iowa L. Rev. 1 (1992)


I first performed a search in HeinOnline to retrieve all law journal articles published since 1990, ordered by citation count. Then, I reviewed the title of the 1500 most-cited law review articles and the content of those articles that could plausibly be classified in the area of tort law. (I also reviewed the 500 most-cited articles containing the words “tort” or “torts” in the text as a double-check.) I excluded articles primarily in privacy, family law, health law, and civil procedure. Of course, some of these determinations required judgment, but no more than a few of the articles were close calls in my view.

Note that the citation counts only reflect citations to published law review articles, and not books, cases, practitioner materials, unpublished articles, non-law articles, and other sources. As a check for one of my earlier posts, Most Cited Private Law Articles Published in the Last 25 Years, I ran about ten articles through Lexis and generally found the citation counts on HeinOnline were within 15% of article-specific counts tabulated in Lexis’s “Law Review and Journals” category, so it does not appear that the rankings would change much using Lexis or similar databases.

Last, I only report total citations, which biases the rankings towards older articles. However, I plan to update this list annually, so more recent articles that are highly cited will appear in later iterations.

I apologize in advance for any errors or omissions—if you believe an article should be included, please let me know (, and I’ll do my best to promptly make any deserving corrections.


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