Property, the study of the rights and duties among persons with respect to objects, land, and other assets, is perhaps the least intuitive of all the required courses taught during the first year of law school. The course blends a mixture of abstract relationships and concrete rules, at once a remnant of laws introduced in bygone centuries and a dynamic reflection of changes occurring today.
Property: Examples & Explanations discusses the fundamental definitions, rules, and concepts covered in Property courses. Most of this book's readers will be first-year students either preparing for class, supplementing class discussion, or studying for examinations. We aim to make the book useful at each of these stages of your semester. It will help bring the course materials into focus and provide the many perspectives to help you “think like a lawyer.”
Each chapter contains an introductory overview that supplements (but does not supplant) your daily class assignments and aids in your review for examinations. Each overview provides a clear and accessible exposition of the fundamentals of the law of property, with the object of helping someone focusing on the subject for the first time.
Each chapter also includes a series of Examples that test your understanding of the material and your ability to apply the law to specific problems. We recommend that you think about, analyze, and write answers to as many Examples as you can. Writing out your responses is good practice for writing final examinations. It also forces you to analyze the facts and the law, evaluating possible solutions and ramifications of each choice you make. Alternatively, you might discuss each Example with a study partner or study group, gaining insight from the discussion.
Following the Examples in each chapter are Explanations that give our solutions. The Explanations discuss majority and minority rules and offer insights not readily grasped in class discussions or in the introductory overviews of the chapters themselves. Some Explanations will help you identify your weak areas; others will reinforce your conclusions and analysis. We have strived to make each Explanation a stepping-stone on the path to success in your Property course.
There are no exhaustive citations of authority in this book. What citations are used in the text or in our Explanations we consider helpful either to orient the student reader to casebook materials or to indicate basic writings and leading cases in the field.
We enjoy our magnificent subject and want students to grasp its fundamental rules and concepts, all the while enjoying their experience.