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 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:
- 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. Bring the supplement with you on days when there are assignments from it.
- The readings include numerous problems (in blue boxes). I will expect you to have thought about and formulated answers to them before you walk into class.
- I expect you to be in class, unless you have a compelling reason to be absent (e.g. illness) and have notified me beforehand. In keeping with the NYLS attendance policy, more than two unexcused absences will be grounds for a reduction in your grade or exclusion from the course.
- 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.
- Internet and cell phone use are prohibited in class, as is anything else that is distracting to me or your classmates.
- John G. Sprankling & Raymond R. Coletta, Property: A Contemporary Approach (2009), ISBN-13: 978-0-314-19104-5 (hereinafter “S&C”). You do not need access to the online version; I will not assign anything that is available only online.
- The course supplement (to be distributed). Unless otherwise noted, any additional readings listed on this syllabus can be found in the supplement.
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:
- You should, by now, be able to identify and remember the important facts of a case, the legal issues the court faced, its specific holding, and the reasoning supporting that holding.
- You should think about the questions asked by the notes in the book; my questions in class will often be taken directly from them.
- Where the book contains problems (in a blue box), you should come to class having written out a brief answer.
- The supplement contains a high proportion of New York cases and statutes. Where I provide you with them, you should ask how the other cases for the day would have come out, had they taken place in New York.
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 http://james.grimmelmann.net/courses/property2011S/. 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)
- S&C 47–57 (Jacque)
- S&C 135–42 (Causby)
- Pile v. Pedrick
- Madden v. Queens County Jockey Club
- Civil Rights Act of 1964
- S&C 68–81 (Sundowner, Prah)
- S&C 739–53 (Boomer, Thomsen)
- New York Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (spite fences)
- S&C 8–15 (Pierson)
- S&C 161–74 (Shaw, Poppv)
- S&C 174–77 (Armory)
- S&C 185–97 (McAvoy, Haslem, Benjamin)
- New York Personal Property Law (lost and found property)
- Atlas Auto Rental Corp. v. Weisberg
- Candela v. Port Motors, Inc.
- Atlas Assurance Co. v. Gibbs
- New York Uniform Commercial Code (voidable title)
- S&C 208–09 (problems in note e)
Thefts and Gifts
- S&C 201–20 (O’Keefe, Gruen)
- Guggenheim v. Lubell
- New York CPLR (statute of limitations for personal property)
Gifts (cntd.) and Wills
- S&C 220–32 (Albinger, Brind)
- Stevens v. Casdorph
- New York Estates, Powers, and Trusts Law (will formalities)
Intellectual and Intangible Property
- S&C 233–41 (Cheney Bros.)
- S&C 274–90 (Chakrabarty, Larami)
- Kremen v. Cohen
Co-Ownership (4 classes)
Fee Simple and Life Estate
- S&C 309–33 (Cole, White, Woodrick)
- Johnson v. Whiton
- New York Estates, Powers, and Trusts Law (estates in land)
- New York Real Property Law (conveyances)
- New York Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (waste)
- S&C 333–37 (overview of defeasible fees)
- S&C 345–48 (Metropolitan Park District)
- Mountain Brow Lodge No. 82 v. Toscano
- S&C 379–402 (James, Tenhet, Ark Land Co., Esteves)
- New York Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (co-tenancies)
- New York Real Property Law (co-tenancies)
- S&C 402—27 (Sawada, Guy, Roccamonte)
Landlord-Tenant (5 classes)
- S&C 439–56 (Neithamer, Kajo)
- Garner v. Gerrish
- S&C 457–75 (Keydata, Clark, Kaminsky, JMB Properties)
- New York Real Property Law (delivery of possession)
- S&C 475–95 (Wade, Teller, Ernst)
- New York Real Property Law (condition of premises)
- S&C 495–512 (Ernst, Kendall, Sommer)
- Holy Properties Limited v. Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc.
- Whitehouse Estates, Inc. v. Post
- New York Real Property Law (assignments and subleases)
Leases V + Statute of Frauds
- S&C 512–29 (Hillview, AIMCo, Berg)
- New York Real Property Law (retaliation)
- New York Real Property Law (termination of leases)
- New York Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (forcible entry)
- S&C 533–42 (Hickey)
- New York General Obligations Law § 5-703 (statute of frauds)
Real Estate Transactions (4 classes)
- S&C 542–60 (Lohmeyer, Brush, Stambovsky)
- S&C 584–90 (Giannini)
- New York General Obligations Law § 5-1311 (risk of loss)
- New York Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (statutory deed forms)
- S&C 576–84 (Wansley)
- New York Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (mortgage foreclosure)
- S&C 599–11 (Luthi)
- S&C 617–20 (notes, including problems on page 619)
- S&C 628–34 (Raub)
- New York Real Property Law (recording act)
- S&C 97–107 (Gurwit)
- S&C 116–22 (Fulkerson)
- S&C 126–34 (Howard)
- Walling v. Przybylo
- New York Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (adverse possession)
- New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (statute of limitations)
Other Interests in Land (3 classes)
- S&C 645–58 (Millbrook Hunt, Van Sandt)
- S&C 665–78 (MacDonald Properties, Kienzle)
Easements (cntd.) and Covenants
- S&C 678–702 (Marcus Cable, Preseault, Tulk)
- Eagle Enterprises v. Gross
Cooperatives, Condominiums, and Homeowners’ Associations
- S&C 702–14 (Narhstedt)
- Vincent Di Lorenzo, New York Condominium and Cooperative Law
- Levandusky v. One Fifth Ave.
- 40 W. 67th St. v. Pullman
Government (3 classes)
- S&C 755–67 (Euclid)
- S&C 777–91 (Smith, Detwiler)
- S&C 797–99 (notes)
- Village of Belle Terre v. Boraas
- Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities
- S&C 892-905 (Kelo)
- Goldstein v. New York State Urban Development Corp.
- Kaur v. New York State Urban Development Corp.
- Miller v. Schoene
- S&C 919–44 (Penn Central, Loretto)