Professor Grimmelmann

New York Law School

Spring 2011

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 Mondays and Wednesdays, from 11:00 to 12:45 in Room W300. We will take a five-minute break each class session, somewhere towards the middle.

Here’s what I expect from you in class:


You’ll need:

The schedule below is divided into twenty-six assignments. 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 remaining classes will be used to deal with schedule slips, review, breaking events, and topics to be selected.

The reading assignments will typically include a variety of materials:


Under most circumstances, the class will be videotaped and available for viewing through Blackboard within 24 hours.


The final exam is currently scheduled for Thursday, May 12, at 1:30. 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. The tentative format, which is subject to change, is one-third multiple choice and two-thirds essays.

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. Asking me for an adjustment is the best way not to get one.

Course Web Page

This syllabus is at As the semester progresses, I’ll post updates to it here.


Office: 40 Worth St., Room SE941 Phone: (212) 431-2864
Email: james.grimmelmann (at nyls)
Office Hours: Tuesdays, 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM


Real, Personal, and Intangible Property (8 classes)



First Possession


Good Faith

Thefts and Gifts

Gifts (cntd.) and Wills

Intellectual and Intangible Property

Co-Ownership (4 classes)

Fee Simple and Life Estate

Defeasible Estates


Marital Property

Landlord-Tenant (5 classes)

Leases I

Leases II

Leases III

Leases IV

Leases V + Statute of Frauds

Real Estate Transactions (4 classes)

Land Transactions


Title Assurance

Adverse Possession

Other Interests in Land (3 classes)


Easements (cntd.) and Covenants

Cooperatives, Condominiums, and Homeowners’ Associations

Government (3 classes)

Zoning I

Eminent Domain

Regulatory Takings

Final Exam