Law 5400 [1] -- Property SYLLABUS












Law 5400 [1] -- Property

Fall 2013


Monday, Tuesday and Thursday

1:40 - 2:55 pm

Room 102

Professor Shi-Ling Hsu


Office: Room A227C Advocacy Ctr. Office hours: F: 10:00 – 12:00 pm

This course is an introductory course in Property Law. The course will provide an overview on a variety of concepts in Property Law, and the laws, legal institutions and doctrines that have arisen to allocate property in modern society. Every time you learn a new legal rule in this course, I want you to think about how that rule serves to make property more valuable, or at least tries to make property more valuable. That won't always be the case, but understanding the rationale for legal rules is helpful for purposes of remembering, organizing, and applying them.

Course materials

The required text for this course will be Dukeminier, Krier, Alexander & Schill, Property: Cases,

Questions and Commentary, 7th Ed. (Aspen, 2010). I will also post supplemental readings on the course Blackboard site.


Your grade for this class will be based 100% on your final examination, which will take place on

Monday, December 2, at 1:00 pm. You will be responsible for all of the course materials covered in the course, both written and what is discussed in class. The final exam will be closed-book, except that you will be permitted one 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper, written on both sides, that will contain all the notes that you may use on the exam. No other materials will be allowed in the examination room – no casebooks, no notes, no statutes. This will require you to undertake work up-front, but will help you to think about what is truly important about what you learned. I will provide all of the statutes and regulations that you will need to answer the questions on the exam. No cellphones will be permitted in the examination room.

Course outline

The following is an outline of the topics I will cover in this course, along with assigned readings.

Page numbers refer to pages in the text, while (supp) means that the materials will be made available in class or on the course Blackboard site.

I. Briefing and Using a Case:

II. Why do we have property?

A. The Rule of Capture:

B. The Role of Property

C. Adverse Possession

Stambovsky v. Ackley

Pierson v. Post,

, 553-557; Briefing a Case (supp).

18-26; Problems & Notes, 36-39.

Demsetz, Toward a Theory of Property Rights, 39-55;

Hardin, Tragedy of the Commons (supp).

Intro, 116-122; Manillo v. Gorski , Howard v. Kunto, and

Notes & Questions, 131-149; Florida Sen. Bill 1142 (supp).

III. Estates & Future Interests

A. Intestacy

B. Fee Simple and

Life Estates

Florida Probate Code (supp). skim 185-191, read 191-198, Life Estates,

Baker v. Weedon, Woodrick v. Wood ,

White v. Brown, and Notes &

Questions following, including Note on Seisin, 202-222.

C. Defeasible Estates 222-225; Mahrenholz v. Bd. Of Trustees and Notes,

Questions, & Problem, and Mountain Brow Lodge No. 82,

Independent Order of Odd Fellows v. Toscano , 226-242;

Problems, 251.

D. Future Interests

E. Trusts

253-273, 280-284.

273-275; Broadway National Bank v. Adams

Questions , 276-280. and Notes &

F. The Rule Against


285-289; Problems & Note, 289-292

Pergola Properties

; Symphony Space v. and Notes & Question , 292-305;

Reforms, 305-315; Florida Statutes § 689.225 (supp).

IV. Co-ownership

A. Intro 319-324; Riddle v. Harmon and Notes & Questions , 324-

329, Harms v. Sprague and Notes, Questions, & Problem,


B. Relations Among

Concurrent Owners



Delfino v. Vealencis

, Spiller v. Mackereth

and Notes, Questions & and Notes & Questions, and

Swartzbaugh v. Sampson and Notes & Questions , 338-358.

C. Marital Property 359-361; Sawada v. Endo and Notes & Questions, 361-369.


V. Leasehold estates, Landlord-Tenant Law

A. Intro 421-423, Garner v. Gerrish and Question & Problems,

423-426; 427-438.

B. Subleases and


C. Tenant Duties,

Landlord Remedies

Ernst v. Conditt and Notes & Problems, and Kendall v. Ernest Pestana and Problems, 442-459.

459; Berg v. Wiley and Notes & Questions, and

Sommer v. Kridel , and Notes & Questions, 460-481; 505-


D. Landlord Duties,

Tenant Remedies

482; Reste Realty v. Cooper and Notes & Questions,

Problems and Note on Illegal Leases, and Hilder v. St.

Peter and Notes, Questions & Problem, 483-503.

E. Florida Statute Florida Statutes, Chapter 83, Landlord and Tenant, excerpts


VI. Real Estate Transactions

A. Intro Intro and Questions & Problems, 519-529; Statute of

Frauds, Hickey v. Green and Notes & Problems, Note on

Electronic Transactions, 541-547.

B. Disclosing Defects Stambovsky v. Ackley

Questions, 553-563. and Johnson v. Davis and Notes &

C. Deeds 585-590; Brown v. Lober and Questions, Frimberger v.

Anzelotti and Notes, Questions & Problems, 591-599.

D. Title 645-651; Luthi v. Evans and Notes & Questions, Orr v.

Byers and Notes & Problem, and Recording Acts and

Problems & Note, 651-670.

VI. Land Use

A. Nuisance Intro, Morgan v. High Penn Oil , Estancias Dallas v.

Schultz, Boomer v. Atlantic Cement and Notes and

Questions, Spur v. Del Webb and Notes and Questions following, 731-761; Restatement of Torts (2d), on

Nuisance (supp); Coase, The Problem of Social Cost



B. Easements

C. Covenants

D. Common Interest


E. Zoning

F. Eminent Domain and

Regulatory Takings

Intro to Servitudes and Easements, 763-768; Willard v.

First Church of Christ, Scientist and Notes and Questions, and Note on Licenses, 768-774; Holbrook v. Taylor and

Notes and Questions, 774-779; Implied Easements, Othen v. Rosier and Notes, Questions & Problems, 785-794;

Granite Properties v. Mann (supp); Assignability of

Easements, Miller v. Lutheran Conference & Camp Assn. and Notes, Questions & Problem, 812-820; Presault v. U.S. and Notes & Problem, 831-842; Negative and Conservation

Easements, 842-847.

Intro, Tulk v. Moxhay, Sanborn v. McLean, and Neponsit

Property Owners’ Assn. v. Emigrant Industrial Savings

Bank and Notes & Questions following, 847-876;

Whitinsville Plaza v. Kotseas (supp); Termination of

Covenants, Western Land v. Truskolaski, 882-887; El Di v.

Bethany Beach and Blakely v Gorin (supp); Restatement

(3d) Property §7.10, Notes & Questions, 888-892.

Intro, 896-899; Nahrstedt v. Lakeside Village

Condominium Assn . and Notes and Questions and

Problems, 900-913.

Intro, 925-929; Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co. and

Notes & Questions, 930-940; Authority to Zone, 941-945;

Nonconforming Uses, PA Northwestern Distributors v.

Zoning Hearing Board and Problems, Notes & Questions,

945-954; Variances and Special Exceptions, 954-966.

Intro, 1061-1065; Kelo v. City of New London and Notes and Questions, 1065-1080; Hadacheck v. Sebastian and

Notes and Questions following, 1096-1103; Penn Central

Transportation Co. v. New York, 1113-1131; Lucas v.

South Carolina Coastal Council and Notes and Questions following , 1131-1152; Nollan v. California Coastal

Commission, and Dolan v. Tigard, and Notes and

Questions following, 1170-1195.