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Property I
University of Kansas School of Law
Outka, Uma

Outka Property Spring 2016
Property Law- how to approach? 1) Identify the property at issue 2) Identify parties fighting 3) Facts that support/undermine each element 4)court’s holding 5) why? Facts/rule/policy/fairness
Applying law 1) relevant case’s holding 2) like/unlike the case,,,,, -elements met? –same public policy consideration? -Best answer/opposing answer?
Concept of property
Why we recognize property = thus protection of property
Five Theories of Property (the law and economics variant of utilitarianism has been a particularly powerful influence in recent and decades)
Protect first possession: first come, first served
-problem: if everybody catches fish, all fish will be distinct (if I don’t catch them, somebody else will)
Encourage Labor: If you use your labor, certain natural resources become yours. Native Americans did not possess the land since they did not cultivate using as much labor as white ppl did
Maximize Societal Happiness: a means toward an end. Recognition A’s title will promote welfare of all members of society by giving her security.For example, if A’s ownership in oil is protected, she could use it for best interest of public.
Ensure Democracy: women can vote via their right to possess land
Facilitate Personal Development: each person has a close emotional connection to certain tangible things, which become part of one’s self. – family photos, love letters, a home. Protection of the items mean protection of herself.
Q- What’s property? Dominion over sth in total exclusion of the right of any other individual in the universe (old def)
*Property changes with context – owning slaves used to be legal. Custom plays a role into what can be property and protected. Today, owning a house with mortgage is natural leading to a problem like mortgage bubble.
*Bailment: responsibility for holding property
Legal Positivism : property exists only to the extent that it is recognized by government.
Two Stories: The Fox and the Celebrity
Pierson v. Post:
Facts) Post found and chased a fox as part of a hunt Using hunting dogs; Pierson then stepped in, killed the fox, and carried it away.
Holding) “mere pursuit” gave Post no legal right to the fox, and that Pierson thus had the right to interfere
Rule)the mere fact that one has spotted and chased an animal is not sufficient to constitute possession.
-context: fox hunting was prevalent thing in early America
-Justice Tompkins: regarding right to wild animals, pursuit alone vests no property or right in the huntsman unless the animal be actually taken. Actual bodily seizure is not necessary to constitute possession of wild animals. However, encompassing and securing animals with nets and toils depriving them of their natural Liberty and rendering escape impossible may be possession.
-Justice Livingston: know where the animal is, or make a declaration of our will respecting it; or whether setting a trap or lying in wait or starting or pursuing would be enough to possess it.
Hypo) Post shoots at a deer from a location 200 feet away; the shot grazes the deer’s ear and temporarily stuns it. Pierson immediately snatches the deer and puts in in a large sack. Post arrives on the scene one minute later, while the deer is still stunned.
*whose act would be detriment to decide ownership?
-Post’s shot on deer’s ear, and stunning deer may be enough to claim possession?
-Pierson actually putting the deer in a large sack may be enough to Claim possession?    
Hypo) Motivated by environmental concerns, Post nets a wild rabbit, paints “Property of Post” on it, and then allows it to run free. Pierson shoots and kills rabbit.
-setting the rabbit free: does it negate his ownership?
-public possession vs actual possession
Hypo) Post’s dogs chase a fox into a shallow cave. But before Post can get to the cave, Pierson shoots the fox and mortally wounds it. Post arrives at the cave two minutes later.
-probably Pierson?
Hypo) Post’s cow strays too unowned land. Pierson finds the cos, places a rope around its neck, and leads it back to his own farm. Two days later, Post discovers the cow on the Pierson’s farm
-cattle vs wild animal
White v. Samsung
Fact) Samsung runs an ad depicting a robot, dressed in a wig, gown and jewelry, which was to resemble the hair and clothing of White. The robot is posed next to a game board, which is recognizable as the wheel of Fortune game show set. D refers to this ad internally as the “Vanna White ad.” White does not consent to the ad, nor is she paid. She sues for, among other things, violation of her common-law right of publicity.
Holding) for Whi

d to the land? Both owns the land. Then, Who’s legitimate to own? A: Native Americans did not have right to transfer the land since their right to retain possession≠ title they could transfer
Chaine of title: the succession of ownership over time. If two different ppl have competing title claims to the same property, the person with better chain of tile will prevail.
Moore v. Regents of the University of California: Use of cells in research. When a person’s. Tissues are extracted as part of a medical procedure, does the patient continue to “own” the extracted materials, so as to control how they are used for “scientific and commercial purposes”? – A:NO
Fact) Moore, leukemia patient at UCLA, claims conversion of his spine. To establish conversion, he should prove the cell line of his spine is his property. Additional fact provided by prf – Moore circled “do not” voluntarily grant his tissue for research.
Maj holding) Moore’s claim is rejected. 1. He did not retain any ownership interest in cell line of his spine. 2. Policy reason of encouraging cell research.
Dissent) Spine is part of Moore’s body, and he owns it. Al east Moore retained the right to transfer his tissue to other researchers, presumably for a profit.
Issue) Should we allow a person to sell their organ? – policy question. (Statute of California bans this) Additionally, at the moment of the incident, such spine during surgery was regarded as physical waste.
Change in Ownership? If Moore owned his feels before the operation, then how exactly did (1) he lose ownership and (2) the defendants acquire ownership?
Where parents provided samples of tissue and blood from their children afflicted with Canavan disease to researchers who used the material to discover and then patent the disease’s genetic sequence, parents were allowed to sue for unjust enrichment.