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, 6:00—7:40 in room W401.
Here’s what I expect from you in class:
- Please arrive promptly, be prepared to discuss the day’s readings. Bring your casebook with you or have the interactive version open on your computer.
- 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.
- John G. Sprankling & Raymond R. Coletta, Property: A Contemporary Approach (2009), ISBN-13: 978-0-314-19104-5 (hereinafter “S&C”)
- 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.
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 http://james.grimmelmann.net/courses/property2009F/. 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)
- S&C 1—15 (theories, Pierson)
- S&C 161—67 (Shaw)
- S&C 174—77 (Armory)
- S&C 185—97 (McAvoy, Haslem, Benjamin)
- S&C 197—210 (Reynolds, O’Keefe)
- S&C 210—26 (Gruen, Albinger)
- Stevens v. Casdorph (in supplement)
Real Property (4 classes)
- S&C 47—68 (Jacque, Shack)
- Madden v. Queens County Jockey Club (in supplement)
- S&C 68—81 (Sundowner, Prah)
- S&C 739—53 (Boomer, Thomsen)
Destruction and Adverse Possession I
- S&C 81—93 (Eyerman)
- S&C 97—107 (Gurwit)
Adverse Possession II
- S&C 107—135 (Van Valkenburgh, Fulkerson, Tioga Coal, Howard)
Other Kinds of Property (2 classes)
- S&C 233—41 (Cheney Bros.)
- S&C 274—75 (patent background)
- S&C 283—90 (Larami)
- Kremen v. Cohen (in supplement)
- S&C 15—25 (White)
- S&C 35—47 (Moore)
- United States Constitution, amendment 13 (in supplement)
Co-Ownership (4 classes)
Fee Simple and Life Estate
- S&C 309—33 (Cole, White, Woodrick)
- S&C 333—49 (Marenholz, Metropolitan Park District)
- S&C 379—402 (James, Tenhet, Ark Land Co., Esteves)
- S&C 402–37 (Sawada, Guy, Roccamonte, Marriage Cases)
Landlord-Tenant (4 classes)
- S&C 439—62 (Neithamer, Kajo, Keydata)
- S&C 462—85 (Clark, Kaminsky, JMB Properties, Wade, Teller)
- S&C 485—512 (Ernst, Kendall, Sommer)
- S&C 512—29 (Hillview, AIMCo, Berg)
- Sample leases (to be distributed)
Buyers, Sellers, and Neighbors (6 classes)
- S&C 533—64 (Hickey, Lohmeyer, Brush, Sambovsky, Strawn)
- S&C 599—621 (Luthi, Messersmith)
- S&C 645—78 (Millbrook Hunt,Van Sandt, Berge, MacDonald Properties, Kienzle)
- Marrone v. Washington Jockey Club (in supplement)
Easements II and Covenants
- S&C 678—702 (Marcus Cable, Preseault, Tulk)
Common Interest Communities
- S&C 702—14 (Narhstedt)
- S&C 726—39 (Schaefer, Fountain Valley)
Government (3 classes)
- S&C 755—67 (Euclid)
- S&C 777—91 (Smith, Detwiler)
- S&C 797—99 (notes)
- Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (in supplement)
- S&C 883—905 (Midkiff, Kelo)
- S&C 907—34 (Mahon, Penn Central)