Professor Doug Rendleman, Robert E. R. Huntley Professor of Law, had his article, Common Law Punitive Damages: Something for Everyone, 7 U. St. Thomas L. J. 1 (2009), published in the University of St. Thomas Law Journal. The article was part of Professor Rendleman’s keynote address for the school’s Exxon Valdez Revisited: Rights and Remedies symposium.
The article addresses some of the interesting features inherent in common law punitive damages, including: a civil court meting out quasi-criminal punishment; a sanction and punishment, imposed after mere civil procedure; a civil jury stretching imprecise instructions into Robin Hood justice; a private plaintiff receiving a windfall that exceeds any reasonable estimate of loss; and the Supreme Court wielding the discredited doctrine of substantive due process. Prof. Rendleman examines these features and the countervailing considerations, devoting more attention to substantive due process. He then turns to Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, 128 S. Ct. 2605 (2008) offers a few conclusions.
Congratulations to Professor Rendleman.