Professor Grimmelmann

New York Law School

Fall 2009

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.

Class Meetings

We meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:00—7:40 in room W401.

Here’s what I expect from you in class:


You’ll need:

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.

The page ranges assigned typically include cases, notes, and problems I expect you to read the notes and to think about the questions they raise; often they’ll be questions I ask, as well. I also expect you to attempt to answer the problems before coming to class. I highly recommend using the casebook’s interactive features to look up relevant maps and pictures.


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 6:00 PM on Monday, December 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 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: Monday 10:00 to 12:00, and by appointment


Personal Property (4 classes)





Real Property (4 classes)



Destruction and Adverse Possession I

Adverse Possession II

Other Kinds of Property (2 classes)



Co-Ownership (4 classes)

Fee Simple and Life Estate

Defeasible Fees


Marital Property

Landlord-Tenant (4 classes)

Leases I

Leases II

Leases III

Leases IV

Buyers, Sellers, and Neighbors (6 classes)

Land Transactions


Title Assurance

Easements I

Easements II and Covenants

Common Interest Communities

Government (3 classes)


Eminent Domain

Regulatory Takings

Final Exam