Greg R. Vetter

Property, Sec. C, Spring 2012

Course Description

This course covers the doctrine, underpinnings, and policy of property law.

Generally Applicable Syllabus Information

Please read carefully the Generally Applicable Syllabus Information. This document sets forth course policy for attendance, preparation and participation, use of computers, examination and grading, and other items. A complete understanding of this document is necessary to take full meaning from the Class Schedule and Other Information set forth immediately below.

Class Schedule and Other Information

Name: Property
Course # / Section #: 5408 / 18564
Place: 240 BLB
Time:

Tuesday, Thursday & Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
(3 class sessions per week, 4 credit hours)

UHLC Listing: http://www.law.uh.edu/schedule/class_information.asp?cid=11005
 
Required Text:

Jesse Dukeminier & James E. Krier, Property (6th ed., Aspen Law & Business, 2006) [hereinafter "Casebook"]

Required Supplements: Perspectives on Property Law (Robert C. Ellickson, et al. eds., 3d ed., Aspen Law & Business, 2002) [hereinafter "Perspectives"]

Linda H. Edwards, Estates in Land and Future Interests (3rd ed., Aspen Law & Business, 2009) [hereinafter "Estates"]

Certain documents may be assigned from time to time from sources other than the Casebook. These documents will be provided via links in the class assignment table below or in a separate page of class links. Paper copies of these documents will typically not be provided in class, so students should plan to print them or review them electronically.

Other Optional Reading: In the past students have requested resources that might be useful to better understand the economic theory underlying the class materials during the early part of the course. For this need, I can recommend the following:

Jeffrey L. Harrison, Law and Economics in a Nutshell, (3d ed., Thomson-West, 2003)

For property class, the first 92 pages of the Nutshell are most relevant. This reading is in no way required. Those with any economics training may find it redundant.

Prerequisites None.
Grading: The course grade will be primarily based on an open-materials final exam.

"Primarily" means that at least 95% of the course grade will be based on the final exam. Probably 100% of the course grade will be based on the final exam, but I want to have given notice of the possibility of a small percentage of the grade coming from other sources, most likely one or more small exercises. I also give notice that, alternatively, if I assign such exercises I may do so in an ungraded manner, but requiring their completion.

Notwithstanding the above, my assessment of your in-class participation performance will not be a component of your grade.
Brief Description of Coverage: This class will meet in three sessions each week. The coverage goal is approximately fifteen to twenty-five pages per session on average. Assignments will be detailed in the table below as the semester progresses.
 
{reserved} {reserved}
Absences Limit: Assuming three class meetings a week, eight or less absences constitutes attendance meeting the eighty percent requirement. More than eight absences means that the eighty percent requirement is not met.
Attendance will be taken via a roll sheet passed throughout the class each session.
"Pick your seat" seating chart date: The second class session during the first week of class, January 16-20, 2012:
- Thursday, January 19, 2012.
 
Final Exam Date/Time: Friday, May 11, 2012; 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (4 hours)
Final Exam Information:

click here for the Final Exam page.

First day/week's assignment: Read this course web page, the linked Generally Applicable Syllabus Information, the Final Exam page, and the assignments for the first day/week of class detailed in the table below.
 
{reserved} {reserved}
Audio Recording of Class Sessions I will audio tape the class sessions using a portable recorder attached to my person and post links to the audio tracks on the class web site for the sole and limited educational purpose of allowing students to stream the recorded sessions to review or to enable students who missed a class to hear the class presentation. Any audio tracks created will be deleted and destroyed shortly after the final exam for the class. Since I call on students, there is a slight chance that your contributions to class discussion, whether voluntary or while on call, may be included in the audio recording. The chance is slight because the recording technology I use does a poor job of picking up any voices other than my own. Your continued registration in this class indicates your acquiescence to any such incidental recording for the purposes described above unless, if you have concerns about this, you come speak with me as soon as possible but in no event later than the first day of the second week of class.

NEW AS OF 2/13/2012:

Moved class of Tuesday, 3/6/2012

The class scheduled for Tuesday, 3/6/2012 will be held a day earlier, on Monday 3/5/2012, at 9:00 a.m., in BLB 144. This is to allow Section C students to attend the oral arguments of the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals when it sits at the Law Center on March 6 and 7. For details of the sitting, see this page.

Days When the Class Will Not Meet (four class sessions are gained by extending class from 10:07 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.)

Fri., Feb. 17, 2012
Fri., Mar. 9, 2012
Fri., Mar. 30, 2012
Tues., Apr. 17, 2012

Cancellation Days Requiring Makeup

none

Review Session

The review session will be held during the last regular class session: 4/27/12, at 9:00 a.m. in the regular classroom.

Questions received by email before 5 p.m. on the day before the session will be addressed first during the review session. Thereafter, the review session will go on as long as there are questions. One email question per student, please.

I plan to audio-tape the review session for posting on the course web page.

Contact Information and Office Hours

These are posted on my home page at:

www.law.uh.edu/faculty/gvetter/

 

Course Materials Links by Category

The links below are for reference and may be used for some class assignments.

General

{ forthcoming }

  • Selected laws . . .

Course Coverage Table

The table immediately below provides the detailed assignments for this course. It may also provide links to materials for each class and other items related to the course. In order to allow flexibility in the course, assignments beyond those posted for the next week are subject to change; therefore, students who wish to read ahead are urged to contact the professor before doing so. The rate of progress through the modules depends on the class dynamics.

Class presentation slides are provided as links below in association with each module title. I will generally have the slides available at least a few days before we start a new module. If students want hardcopy of the slides for use during class, please download and print the linked slides file.

After each class session, the class date will have an active hyperlink to the audio for that class.

The Casebook makes some use of "problems" - which sometimes are fact patterns adopted from actual cases. The problems' purpose is to illustrate twists in doctrine and provide additional context. When a problem is included in the assigned reading, there is no reason to write out an answer to the problem. Rather, it is sufficient to think about the problem and if desired make a few notes. Problems in the assigned reading may be the focus of class discussion, but will not always be touched upon in class.

Case names are listed in the table below as assignments. Sometimes there are several paragraphs of introduction before the case when the case is the lead case in a new subheading in the book. These introductory paragraphs are part of the assignment and should be read along with the case. Notes after the case are also part of the assignment and should be read unless indicated otherwise or those pages are not assigned.

The call group assignment list will be posted here for downloading as a .pdf file, with a password required to open the file. That password will be given out in class.

In the table each Casebook assignment is given a page range to go with the assignment title. Unless the "Comment/Note" column indicates otherwise, read the entire assignment, encompassed on the indicated pages, including any notes or associated problems.

Most entries in the table are from the Casebook, and are given in a non-italicized font. Reading assignments from Perspectives are in this alternative font. Reading assignments from Estates are in this other font.

Module 1: Acquisition of Property (slides)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
Class Introduction
n/a
Tues., Jan. 17
All
Discovery - Johnson v. M'Intosh (US 1823)
1-17
1.1.a
Thurs., Jan. 19
All
Discovery - Johnson v. M'Intosh (US 1823)
1-17
Fri., Jan. 20
All
Capture - Pierson v. Post (Sup. Ct. NY 1805)
17-23
1.3.a
Tues., Jan. 24
L
Rose: Possession as the Origin of Property
180-190
Ghen v. Rich (U.S. Dist. Ct. 1881)
23-27
1.11.a
Thurs., Jan. 26
L
Keeble v. Hickeringill (Queen’s Bench 1707)
27-31
stop before "PROBLEMS: . . ."
Introduction (Ch. 1)
1-6
n/a
Inheritance terms
183-185
start at bottom of pg. 183, stop on pg. 185 before "NOTES . . ."
n/a
Fri., Jan. 27
Problems 1 & 2
31-32
stop before problem 3
Tues., Jan. 31
R
Notes . . .
33-35
Demsetz, Toward a Theory of Property Rights
35-50
Thurs., Feb. 2
R
Garrett Hardin: The Tragedy of the Commons
119-129
Coase: The Problem of Social Cost
200-209
Fri., Feb. 3
R
Ellickson: Order without Law
210-221
Tues., Feb. 7
L
Creation - INS v. AP (U.S. 1918)
51-55
Cheney Bros. v. Doris Silk (2d 1929)
55-57
Possessory Estates (Ch. 2)
7-19
n/a
Thurs., Feb. 9
L
Baird: Common Law IP and Legacy of INS v. AP
57-59
Nichols v. Universal Pictures (2d 1930)
59-60
Diamond v. Chakrabarty (1980)
60-62
White v. Samsung (9th 1993)
62-65
Fri., Feb. 10
L
MGM v. Grokster (2005)
65-69
Tues., Feb. 14
R
Heller & Eisenberg: Can Patents Deter Innovation?
159-169
Goffman: Asylums
1-7
Limitations Added to Possessory Estates (Ch. 3)
21-37
n/a
Thurs., Feb. 16
R
Property in One's Persona / Person - Moore v. Regents of Cal. (Cal. 1990)
69-86
Tues., Feb. 21
L
Radin: Property and Personhood
8-19
Jacque v. Steenberg (Wisc 1997)
86-88
State v. Shack (NJ 1971)
88-93
Thurs., Feb. 23
L
Radin: Market-Inalienability
336-345
Future Interests Retained by Grantor (Ch. 4)*
39-49
n/a
Fri., Feb. 24
L
Module 2: Subsequent Possession (slides)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
Find - Armory v. Delamirie (King’s Bench, 1722)
95-98
2.1.a
Tues., Feb. 28
R
Hannah v. Peel (King’s Bench 1945)
99-104
McAvoy v. Medina (Mass. 1866)
105-112
Estates Followed by Remainders (Ch. 5)
51-69
Thurs., Mar. 1
R
Adverse Possession - Van Valkenburgh v. Lutz (NY 1952)
112-126
Fri., Mar. 2
R
Claim of Title / Color of Title
126-129
** Mon., Mar. 5 **
L
Problems 1 and 2
130
Mannillo v. Gorski (NJ 1969)
130-136
Howard v. Kunto (WA, 1970)
136-141
Tacking Problems
141-142
Disabilities Problems
142-143
Thurs., Mar. 8
L
Adverse Possession Against the Government
143-144
Acquisition by Gift - Problems
157-159
Merrill: Property Rules, Liability Rules & AP
190-199
Tues., Mar. 20
R
Module 3: Estates and Future Interests (Casebook slides)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
Historical Perspectives on the Estate System
173-183
stop before "PROBLEMS" on pg. 183
Historical Perspectives on the Fee Tail
186-189
stop before "NOTES . . ." on pg. 189
The Life Estate - White v. Brown (TN, 1977)
190-195
Notes - Restraints on Alienation and Valuation
195-197
Estates Followed by Executory Interests (generally considered) (Ch. 6)*
71-83
n/a
Thurs., Mar. 22
R
Baker v. Weedon (MI, 1972)
197-206
stop before "PROBLEM . . ." on pg. 206
Defeasible Estates - Mahrenholz v. School Board (IL App. 1981)
206-215
Fri., Mar. 23
R
Additional Future Interests; Class Gifts; Subsequent Divesting (Ch. 7)
85-96
n/a
Tues., Mar. 27
L
Mountain Brow Lodge v. Toscano (CA App. 1968)
215-222
Ink v. City of Canton (OH, 1965)
222-224
stop before "PROBLEM . . ." on pg. 224
Shifting and Springing Executory Interests (Ch. 8)
97-102
n/a
Chapters 9* & 10 (for review)
103-111
These chapters will not be covered in class but are assigned reading, however, some problems from Appendix D for chapters 7-9 will be covered
n/a
Thurs., Mar. 29
L
Post-Conveyance Developments (Ch. 11)*
113-127
n/a
Tues., Apr. 3
R
More Efforts to Further Alienability (Ch. 12)*
129-136
n/a
The Infamous Rule Against Perpetuities (RAP) & Applying the RAP(Ch. 13 & 14*)
137-166
Another label for the RAP: Rule Against Contingent Remainders Vesting Too Remotely
n/a
Relief from the RAP (Ch. 15)
167-173
n/a
Thurs., Apr. 5
R
Chapter 16 (for review)
175-179
This will not be covered in class but it is assigned reading
n/a
Module 4: Co-Ownership (slides)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
Common Law Concurrent Interests
275-280
Fri., Apr. 6
R
Severance of Joint Tenancies - Riddle v. Harmon (CA App., 1980)
280-284
Harms v. Sprague (IL, 1984)
285-289
stop before "Joint Tenancy Bank Accounts" on pg. 289
Tues., Apr. 10
L
Relations among Concurrent Owners - Delfino v. Vealencis (Conn. 1980)
291-300
Spiller v. Mackereth (Ala. 1976)
300-303
stop before "Swartzbaugh . . ." on pg. 303
Accounting for Benefits, Recovering Costs
308-310
Module 5: Landlord / Tenant (slides)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
Leaseholds
361-364
Thurs., Apr. 12
L
Tenancy at Will - Garner v. Gerrish (NY Ct. App. 1984)
365-368
Tenancy at Sufferance - Holdovers - Crechale & Polles v. Smith (Miss. 1974)
369-373
Lease
373-376
stop before "Selection of Tenants" on pg. 376
Delivery of Possession - Hannan v. Dusch (Virginia 1930)
384-388
Fri., Apr. 13
L
Sublease and Assignment - Ernst v. Conditt (TN 1964)
388-394
stop before Note 3 on pg. 394
Thurs., Apr. 19
R
Defaulting Tenants - Berg v. Wiley (Minn. 1978)
403-410
Sommer v. Kridel (NJ 1977)
410-421
stop before "G. Duties, . . ." on pg. 421
Module 6: Servitudes (slides)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
Private Land Use Controls
667-671
Easements - Willard v. First Church (Cal. 1972)
672-677
Fri., Apr. 20
R
Holbrook v. Taylor (KY, 1976)
677-681
Van Sandt v. Royster (Kan. 1938)
682-688
Tues., Apr. 24
R
Othen v. Rosier (TX, 1950)
689-694
Easements by Necessity
695-696
Easements by Prescription
696-699
stop before note 5, pg. 699
Scope of Easements - Brown v. Voss (Wash. 1986)
716-725
stop before "Termination of Easements" on pg. 725
Thurs., Apr. 26
L
REVIEW CLASS - LAST CLASS DAY
questions posed by students for this class
Fri., Apr. 27
n/a
{material below this row is not covered material for the course}
Negative Easements
736-740
Covenants Running with the Land - Real Covenants - Privity, Benefits and Burdens
740-746
Equitable Servitudes - Tulk v. Moxhay
746-750
Creation of Covenants - Sanborn v. McLean (Mich. 1925)
751-755
Neponsit (NPOA) v. Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank (NY 1938)
755-766
stop before note 7, pg. 766
Module 7: { possibly forthcoming } (slides)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
Payne, A Typical House Purchase Transaction in the U.S. (1966)
453-462
NY Times Article: Goodby, My Sweet Deduction (Nov. 2005)
n/a
To be handed out in class
Module 8: { possibly forthcoming } (slides)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
Module 9: { possibly forthcoming } (slides)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group

Last modified on April 26, 2012, by Greg R. Vetter