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Professional Negligence and Liability

Chapter 1 THE NATURE OF PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY I. INTRODUCTION 1.1 Professional liability derives primarily from the common law principles of tort and contract. Indeed, over the last 30 years litigation concerning professionals has been a major driving force in the development of the common law of negligence. Although the principles are general, much of the focus has concerned their impact on professionals. This chapter explains that impact. It does not attempt to explain the principles in any broader context; that is left for other standard works. 1 Later chapters detail the application of the principles to professional groupings. The objective of this chapter is both to provide a clear explanation of the principles and, by considering the way in which they apply across different professional contexts, to enable analogies to be drawn from one context to another. The chapter is divided into seven parts:

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