Greg R. Vetter

Property, Spring 2017

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 / 11869
Place: TUII 240
Time:

Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. (75 minutes per class)
(3 class sessions per week, 4 credit hours - which is 2,800 minutes of class time)
Class will meet 37 times (plus one final session that is part class and part review). We will go until 11:45 a.m., which means we need 37 class sessions, plus 25 minutes, to complete the semester.

UHLC Listing: http://www.law.uh.edu/schedule/class_information.asp?cid=14417
 
Required Text:

Open Source Property - A Free Casebook [hereinafter "Casebook"] (www.opensourceproperty.org)
by: Stephen Clowney, James Grimmelmann, Michael Grynberg, Jeremy Sheff, and Rebecca Tushnet
Please download the Complete Casebook Build by Prof. Jeremy Sheff from this page:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/75tn8hcbv1rkrod/OSP_FullBuild_Sheff_2016_12_15.pdf?dl=0 (.pdf file version)
See also: https://opensourceproperty.org/download/

Required Supplements:

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 Resources Estates and Future Interests:

In past years when teaching property I have used the book given below for the Estates and Future Interests part of the course. For Spring 2017 property we will learn the material from the casebook's treatment, but anyone having difficulty with (the notoriously difficult) area of Estates and Future Interests should consider acquiring this book.

Linda H. Edwards, Estates in Land and Future Interests (4th ed., Aspen Law & Business, 2013)

Other Resources for Estates and Future Interests:

I am not strongly familiar with this site, but it was recommended to me, and a cursory review indicates that it might be helpful to some students: www.propertylessons.com

Other Resources: www.cali.org
https://www.cali.org/category/1l-first-year-lesson-topics/property-law
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 twenty 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:
- Thursday, January 19, 2017.
Remote Presence: Students will have eight times during the semester where they can attend class remotely via the Zoom internet video conferencing software. I will mark you as "Remote" on the roll sheet for these days. Remote days do not count as an absence.
To do this, there are several requirements: (i) your computer must have a working video camera and quality audio capability, joining by audio-only will be treated as an absence (you may need an external mic or headset for sufficient audio quality); (ii) you must identify yourself with your class roll name in the Zoom videoconferencing software; (iii) you must present your face and upper body area professionally in the video stream; (iv) you must be able to fulfill your responsibilities if called on to discuss a case or course materials; and (v) you must manage the mute "button" when remote to keep a professional demeanor.
Lawyers increasingly work through internet video conferencing. No student is required to use this capability, but one reason to offer it is that it affords a chance to experience it before using it in a real job setting. The other reason I offer this is that it reduces absence-taking for reasons related to illness, life events, or travel difficulty in Houston.
Finally, when remote, hearing students speak in the class room may not be optimal.
Remote Presence Zoom Link: https://uhlc.zoom.us/j/951813953
 
Final Exam Date/Time: Tuesday, May 8, 2017; 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}
Recording of Class Sessions I will audio tape the class sessions using a portable recorder 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 after the final exam for the class. Since I call on students, there is a chance that your contributions to class discussion, whether voluntary or while on call, may be included in the audio recording. Your continued registration in this class indicates your acquiescence to any such incidental recording for the purposes described above. Additionally, if the course is in a room that allows the Law Center to video record the class sessions using its Mediasite technology, that capability will be turned on.
Mediasite video recording of classes: http://uh.mediasite.com/mediasite/Catalog/catalogs/law-property-vetter (requires cougarnet login) (unfortunately, the first class session, 1/18/2017, was not recorded by MediaSite; use the audio recording link below for that day)
Days When the Class Will Not Meet

Mon., Jan. 16, 2017 (MLK Holiday)
Thurs., Feb. 9, 2017
Wed., Feb. 22, 2017
Thurs., Apr. 6, 2017
Thurs., Apr. 27, 2017

Class Teaching Assistant

Tera J. Stone
University of Houston Law Center | J.D. Candidate 2017
Email: tjstone2@central.uh.edu
Office Hours: TTh 1-4 pm 
Location: Basement outside the journal offices

Review Session

The review session will be held during a regular class time slot: 4/26/2017, at 10:30 a.m. in the regular classroom. The review session is during the regular class session time; but, regardless, attendance will not be taken. It will be recorded in the various ways regular class sessions are recorded.

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, through lunch, but ending before 12:50 p.m. One email question per student, please.

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 before the class period in which they are used. 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 Quickstream 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.

The current document for "white board items" and policy perspectives is here.

Module 1: Concept of Property (slides) (example multiple choice)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Class Introduction (read this web page and its linked documents relating to administration of the course)
n/a
include the Final Exam web page in your reading for the first day of the course
Jan. 18
All
Ownership - Blackstone
2-3
Jan. 19
All
Right to Exclude - Jacque v. Steenberg (Wisc 1997)
3-8
Jan. 23
R
Marsh v. Alabama (1946)
8-14
Jan. 25
R
State v. Shack (NJ 1971)
14-19
Jan. 26
R
Other right to exclude materials
19-21
Jan. 30
L
Other rights of ownership
21-22
Eyerman v. Mercantile Trust Co. (Mo. Ct. App. 1975)
23-29
Hohfeld
30-37
Merrill & Smith
37-40
Smith
40-46
Module 2: Subject Matter (slides) (example multiple choice)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Cohen
47-51
Feb. 1
L
Hinman v. Pacific Air Transport (9th Cir. 1936)
51-56
Property in Persons and Related Issues - The Amistad (1841)
56-63
Feb. 2
L
Additional Topics in Property in Persons
63-66
Radin, Market Inalienability
66-67
Intangible Property - Kremen v. Cohen (9th 2003)
67-79
Intellectual Property
92-95
Feb. 6
R
Copyright - Three Boys Music Corp. v. Bolton, 212 F.3d 477 (9th Cir. 2000)
Module 3: Allocation (slides) (example multiple choice)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Initial Allocation of Chattels - Pierson v. Post (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1805)
96-105
Feb. 8
R
Ghen v. Rich (D. Mass. 1881)
106-112
Notes 1, 2, 3, 6
120-125
Initial Allocation of Land - Blackstone and note afterwards
125-126
Hobbs
126-127
Blackstone
127
Locke
128-130
Johnson v. M'Intosh (US 1823)
131-138
Feb. 13
L
Note 1
144
Note 4
148-149
Fugitive Resources - Keeble v. Hickeringill (1707)
150-154
Other fugitive resources - Tyler v. Wilkinson (D. R.I. 1827)
155-160
Coffin v. Left Hand Ditch Co. (Colo. 1882)
161-165
Feb. 15
L
Greer, The Ownership of Petroleum and Natural Gas In Place
165-171
Notes 3 to 5 (Hardin, Demsetz)
171-174
stop before "C. Allocation of Intangibles"
Notes 1 to 3
184-188
Module 4: Property Torts and Crimes (no slides; no example multiple choice for this module)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Real and Personal Property based torts and crimes
190-197
Feb. 16
L
Module 5: Found and Stolen Property (slides) (example multiple choice)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Armory v. Delamirie (King’s Bench, 1722)
198-203
McAvoy v. Medina (Mass. 1866)
203-207
Module 6: Adverse Possession (slides) (example multiple choice)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Introductory materials
208-211
Feb. 20
R
Tieu v. Morgan (Ore. App. 2011)
211-222
"Hostility" and Intent - Cahill v. Morrow (R.I. 2011)
223-230
Feb. 23
R
Dombkowski v. Ferland (Me. 2006)
230-233
Finer points of adverse possession law
233-236
stop before "D. Adverse Possession of Chattels"
Module 7: Bailments and Liens (slides) (example multiple choice)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Allen v. Hyatt Regency-Nashville Hotel (Tenn. 1984)
253-265
Feb. 27
L
Module 8: Improvers and Good Faith Purchasers (slides) (example multiple choice)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Introduction
283
Wetherbee v. Green (Mich. 1871)
284-290
Mar. 1
Module 9: Estates and Future Interests Introduction (slides)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Introduction
303-310
Basic Estates and Future Interests
311-314
Mar. 2
L
Construing Ambiguous Grants - In the Estate of Dalton Edward Craigen (Ct. App. Tex. 2010)
315-320
Waste - Jackson v. Brownson (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1810)
320-327
Mar. 6
R
Module 10: Estates and Future Interests Advanced Treatment (slides delivered by class email) (example multiple choice for module 9 and 10)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Introduction
328-329
Step One
329-338
Step Two
338-355
Mar. 8
R
Future Interests Summary and Review (excluding problem 7, pg. 359-360)
355-360
Module 11: Preserving Marketability (slides) (example multiple choice)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Introduction
361-362
Ford v. Allen (Ct. Civ. App. Tex. 1975)
362-368
Mar. 9
R
Wills v. Pierce (Ga. 1951)
369-371
Smedley v. City of Waldron (8th Cir. 1984)
371-373
RAP tutorial with 33 questions (skip question 30)
n/a
Mar. 20
L
Study slides 92 to 101
n/a
Statutory RAP summary
Another short RAP treatment
n/a
Module 12: Trusts and Corporations (slides) (example multiple choice)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Introduction
374-375
Rothko v. Reis (In re Estate of Rothko) (N.Y. 1977)
376-385
Module 13: Co-Ownership and Marital Property (slides) (example multiple choice)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Introduction
391-392
Mar. 22
L
U.S. v. Craft (2002)
392-394
Tenants in Common - Martin v. Martin (Ky. Ct. App. 1994)
394-397
Notes
397-407
Partition - Delfino v. Vealencis (Conn. 1980)
407-419
Mar. 23
L
Joint Tenancy
420-425
Harms v. Sprague (IL, 1984)
425-436
Marital Interests - Tenancy by the Entirety - U.S. v. Craft (2002)
436-449
Mar. 27
R
Community Property
449-452
Module 14: Leasing Real Property (slides) (example multiple choice)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Types of Leases
453-457
Effel v. Rosberg (Tex. App. 2012)
457-461
Lease Hypotheticals
461-462
Holdovers - Tenancy at Sufferance
462-464
Professional Development (2L and 3L years, course selection, etc.)
n/a
Mar. 29
R
Hannan v. Dusch (VA 1930)
464-468
Stop at "4. Tenant Selection"
Mar. 30
R
Exiting a Lease
481-487
Problems
487-488
Apr. 3
L
Limiting the Right to Transfer - Julian v. Christopher (Md. 1990)
489-496
Stop at "New York Real Property Law § 226-B"
Problems
497-498
Start at "Problems" near the bottom of pg. 497
Abandonment and the Duty to Mitigate - Sommer v. Kridel (NJ 1977)
498-507
Apr. 5
L
Eviction - Berg v. Wiley (Minn. 1978)
508-518
Stop at "D. The Quest for Clean, Safe, and Affordable Premises"
Module 15: Gifts (slides) (example multiple choice)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Introduction to Transfers
556
Gifts
557-559
In re Estate of Evans (PA 1976)
559-567
Stop at "Gruen v. Gruen"
Irrevocability of Gifts and Exceptions
577-582
Stop at "2. Conditional gifts"
Apr. 10
R
Module 22: Easements (slides) (example multiple choice)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Introduction
873-874
Creating Easements
875-882
Prescriptive Easements - Felgenhauer v. Soni (Cal. App. 2004)
882-887
Irrevocable Licenses - Richardson v. Franc (Cal. App. 2015)
888-894
Apr. 12
R
Transferring and Terminating Easements
894-896
Negative Easements/Conservation Easements
896-897
Apr. 13
R
Public Use Rights
897-899
Stop at "Matthews v. Bay Head Imp. Ass’n"
Module 23: Restrictive Covenants (slides) (example multiple choice)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Introduction
906-907
Tulk v. Moxhay (47 Eng. Rep. 1345 [1845])
907-914
Creation of an Enforceable Restrictive Covenant
914-916
Apr. 17
L
Neponsit Prop. Owners’ Ass’n v. Emigrant Indus. Sav. Bank 15 N.E.2d 793 (N.Y. 1938)
916-923
Restatement (Third) of Property (Servitudes)
924-925
Shelley v. Kraemer 334 U.S. 1 (1948)
925-930
Modification and Termination of Covenants - El Di, Inc. v. Town of Bethany Beach 477 A.2d 1066 (Del. 1984)
930-938
Module 19: Recording Acts (slides) (example multiple choice)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Introduction - Rose, Crystals and Mud in Property Law
711-717
Apr. 19
L
Argent Mortgage Co. v. Wachovia Bank N.A. (Florida Dist. Ct. App. 2010)
717-722
Exercise with three types of recording statutes
721-722
Apr. 20
All
Hartig v. Stratman (Indiana 2000)
722-726
Board of Ed. of Minn. v. Hughes 136 N.W. 1095 (Minn. 1912)
726-728
Apr. 24
All
Nat’l Packing Corp. v. Belmont (Ohio Ct. App. 1988)
728-734
Recording discharge papers - an example
Note 1, first two paragraphs of the note
736-737
Problems
742-743
{ end of course coverage }
END
Levitin, Securitization, Foreclosure, and the Uncertainty of Mortgage Title
734-739
Note on Recording Systems and Informal Title
739-742
Module 17: Land Transactions
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
AccessUH for course evaluation
Module 20: Nuisance
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Module 21: Zoning
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Module 25: Takings
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Module 16: Wills and Intestacy
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Module REVIEW
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
{resv}
Date
Call Group
Review Session
Apr. 26

Last modified on April 26, 2017, by Greg R. Vetter