INITIAL ASSIGNMENTS Property § 1 Winter Semester 2016 Prof. Freyermuth Note that the first class meeting will be Tuesday, January 19, 2016. A. Assignment prior to first class: Please write a note (about a page in length) giving me some biographical information about yourself, including: (1) where you’re from, (2) your background, (3) why you came to law school, (4) the most important thing you think you learned last semester; (5) your outside interests, and (6) any other information that will help me get to know you better. Submit this to me by e-mail at [email protected] no later than Saturday, January 16. B. Assignment for Classes #1 and 2, Tuesday, January 19 and Wednesday, January 20. Read pages v-vii in the Preface of the casebook and pages 1-11 (including the excerpt from the Calabresi and Melamed article Property Rules, Liability Rules, and Inalienability: One View of the Cathedral). For the first two classes, I have included a set of hypothetical situations below. Is the concept of “property” relevant in the resolution of these situations? If so, what is the “property” and why should the law protect it as “property”? If not, why not? If you were asked as a judge or an arbitrator to “decide” the dispute, how would you rule and why? 1. Last week, Steve’s computer suffered a catastrophic failure. He went into the library and took the laptop sitting in Jamie’s study carrel. When Jamie confronted Steve and demanded the return of the laptop, Steve refused. Jamie wants to know if she can recover the laptop from Steve, although she admits that she does not like the computer, was about to replace it, can’t remember where she purchased it, and no longer has a receipt that proves she purchased it. 2. John Jenkins has been employed at the State’s Department of Natural Resources for fifteen years. Last month he was fired because of a personality clash with his supervisor. He has come to you, an expert in all matters pertaining to property, to seek advice. 3. Sheldon and Penny were sitting on a park bench when a piece of trash blew by. Sheldon got up to retrieve the trash and properly dispose of it. When Sheldon got up, Leonard sat down on the bench next to Penny and refused to get up when Sheldon returned. 4. Donald decided to build a new home. He commissioned a renowned architect to design it and spent $50 million building it. The home is a work of art, and its large front yard overlooks a public park. Crowds gather in the park to view the home and take pictures, much as they would a painting in a museum. Donald has decided that people should help contribute to the expense of maintaining the home if they are going to enjoy looking at it, and he wants to charge a fee to take pictures of the home. 5. Donald’s home (the same home as in Question 4) is so spectacular that the local board of tourism and development plans to place a picture of the home on the cover of its 2015 tourism brochure. Donald believes that the local board of tourism and development should not be able to use a picture of his home unless they pay him the $200,000 he has demanded for his consent. 6. For the last twenty years, Phil has always slept on the right side of the bed, nearest the light and the bathroom. His wife Claire wants to begin sleeping on the right side of the bed, but Phil refuses to move. 7. Dave has owned a successful restaurant for 30 years. In a frame behind the counter, he displayed the first $20 bill he received from his first customer. Earlier today, a thief took the $20 bill, and used it to buy liquor later that day at Walt’s Liquor Store. The thief was caught an hour later and confessed. The police found the $20 bill in the cash register at Walt’s Liquor Store. [There is no question of identification; Dave had a photograph of the bill, and the serial number of the bill matches the picture.] Dave wants the bill returned, but Walt’s refuses.