New York Law School
About the Course
This course covers the essentials of property law. We’ll study what makes “property” rights distinctive; how they’re created, transferred, and destroyed; and the powers and duties of property owners.
We meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:00–5:40 in room A400.
Here’s what I expect from you in class:
- Please arrive promptly, be prepared to discuss the day’s readings, and bring your casebook with you.
- If you must miss a class session, email me beforehand.
- I call extensively on students, mostly at random. I’ll do everything I can to make the experience supportive and unthreatening.
- Questions are always welcome. I’ll answer as many questions as time constraints permit. If something seems unclear to you, it’s likely that others are also wondering the same thing.
- In class discussions, you should be respectful of and courteous towards your classmates. One of the skills you are learning as law students is how to express disagreement in a friendly and professional manner.
- Thomas W. Merrill and Henry E. Smith, Property: Principles and Policies (2007), ISBN-13: 978-1-59941-011-1 (hereinafter “M&S”)
- The course supplement
The schedule below is divided into twenty-eight asssignments. Unless I tell you otherwise, you’re responsible for reading one assignment per class session. I promise to stick closely to a one-assignment-per-session pace.
I will attempt to audiotape each class and make the recording available through Blackboard, typically within 24 hours.
The final exam is currently scheduled for 1:30 PM on Thursday, May 14. It will be four hours long and closed-book. You’re responsible for anything in the readings or discussed in class, with the emphasis on what has been discussed in class. I’ll announce further details about the exam format later in the semester.
The exam counts for 100% of your course grade, except that I may adjust it by one third up or down for class participation. I consider good class participation to be anything that helps your classmates learn.
Course Web Page
This syllabus is at http://james.grimmelmann.net/courses/property2009S/. As the semester progresses, I’ll post updates to it here.
Office: Room 706, 40 Worth St.
Phone: (212) 431-2864
Email: jgrimmelmann (at nyls)
Office Hours: Tuesday 9:00 to 11:00 A.M. and by appointment
Trespass (4 classes)
- M&S 1–15 (Jacque, Hinman)
- M&S 408–10 (civil actions)
- M&S 937–46 (Adams) (No need to read the notes following the case … yet)
- M&S 40–56 (Baker, Pile, Golden Press)
- M&S 67–77 (Olney)
- M&S 393–400 (Olivo)
- M&S 408–27 (Hamidi)
- Supplement 2–4 (Kremen)
- M&S 442–71 (McConico, Uston, Shelley, Fair Housing Act)
Acquiring Ownership (4 classes)
Possession and Discovery
- M&S 81–95 (Pierson, Ghen, Keeble)
- M&S 108–10 (home run baseballs)
- Supplement 5 (An Act to Authorize Protection to Be Given to Citizens of the United States Who May Discover Deposites of Guano)
- M&S 165–72 (increase, Wetherbee)
- M&S 183–94 (Nebraska v. Iowa, Strain)
- M&S 194–214 (Lessee of Ewing, Carpenter, Howard)
- M&S 220–27 (Armory, Clark, Anderson)
- M&S 229–34 (Goddard)
- Supplement 5–6 (McAvoy)
Divided Ownership (8 classes)
Estates in Land
- M&S 545–62 (exposition, problems)
- Be prepared to answer the examples and the problems.
Rules of the Game
- M&S 562–68 (Williams)
- M&S 587–89 (Johnson)
- M&S 593–612 (Brokaw, Mountain Brow Lodge No. 82)
- M&S 633–64 (exposition, Delfino, Gillmor, Harms, In re Estate of Filfiley)
- M&S 664–83 (O’Brien, Marvin)
- M&S 689–711 (Paradine, McEnany, Sutton, Blackett, Kerr)
- M&S 711–31 (Medico-Dental Building, Javins)
- M&S 735–42 (Sommer)
Eviction and Transfers of Interest
- M&S 428–34 (Berg)
- M&S 742–63 (Mullendore, Jaber, Kendall)
Condominiums, Co-ops, and Common Interest Communities
- M&S 772–774 (start of Hansmann article)
- M&S 782–801 (Nahrstedt, 40 W. 67th St.)
Transfers (6 classes)
Licenses and Bailments
- M&S 481–83 (Marrone)
- M&S 497–518 (Allen, Cowen, The Winkfield)
Abandonment, Gifts, and Wills
- M&S 518–31 (Pocono Springs, Eyerman)
- M&S 536–39 (Irons)
- Supplement 6–8 (Stevens)
Trusts and Corporations
- M&S 801–29 (Adams, Rothko, Wilber, corporations and partnerships)
- M&S 434–39 (Williams)
- M&S 830–55 (Clow, exposition, Murphy)
The Good Faith Purchaser
- M&S 884–900 (Elicofon, Kotis, Hauck, exposition)
- M&S 912–17 (title records)
- M&S 912–36 (exposition, Hood, Mugaas, Zimmer)
- Be prepared to answer the problems.
Neighbors (3 classes)
- M&S 22–29 (Hendricks)
- M&S 946–64 (notes following Adams, St. Helen’s Smelting Company, Luensmann, Boomer)
- M&S 975–97 (introduction, Schwab, Warsaw)
- M&S 1009–13 (Penn Bowling)
- M&S 1013–42 (Tulk, Neponsit, overview, Eagle, Sanborn, conservation “easements”)
Government (2 classes)
- M&S 1049–62 (Euclid)
- Supplement 13–23 (Matthew, Anderson)
- M&S 1220–58 (Kelo, Miller)