Select Page

Property I
University of Pennsylvania School of Law
Ross, Richard J.

PROPERTY: Fall 2009, Richard Ross
Index (by Subject)
Accounting                                                                                                                                                                    43
Adverse Possession                                                                                                                                                      14
        Against Government                                                                                                                            20
        Boundary Disputes                                                                                                                              17
        Disability                                                                                                                                                20
        Good Faith v. Bad Faith                                                                                                                     16
        Tacking                                                                                                                                                                  19
Caveat Emptor & Changes to Nondisclosure/Misrepresentation Requirements                                             65
CC&Rs/HOA                                                                                                                                                                84
        standard of review/reasonableness & city ordinances                                                                                  85
        & zoning regulations                                                                                                                            86
Chain of Title                                                                                                                                                                71
Color of Title                                                                                                                                                                 15, 18
Constructive Possession                                                                                                                                              12, 18
Contingent Remainder & Alt.                                                                                                                                    32
        Destructibility                                                                                                                                       32
Custom                                                                                                                                                                           5
Deed                                                                                                                                                                               66
        Fraud & Forgery                                                                                                                                   72
        Types: General Warranty, Special Warranty, Quitclaim                                                              66
        of Deed                                                                                                                                                   67
        of Possession v. Delivery of Title                                                                                                       51
Double Recovery (Problem of)                                                                                                                                  13
Easement                                                                                                                                                                       72
        appurtenant v. in gross                                                                                                                        73
        by grant                                                                                                                                                                  73
        by estoppel                                                                                                                                            74
        by implication or necessity                                                                                                                 74
        by prescription                                                                                                                                      73
        ex ante v. ex post analysis                                                                                                                                  76
        expansion to non-dominant estate/expansion of use                                                                   77
        negative easement                                                                                                                          72, 79, 81
        neighborliness doctrine                                                                                                                        76
        relocation of                                                                                                                                          79
        statute of frauds                                                                                                                                   75
Executory Interest                                                                                                                                                        28,33
Fair Housing Act                                                                                                                                                           47
        & Civil Rights Act                                                                                                                                 47
        Familial Status                                                                                                                                      49
        Mrs. Murphy exception                                                                                                                       47, 51
        Starrett City                                                                                                                                           48
Fee Simple                                                                                                                                                                     24
        Determinable                                                                                                                                         28
        Subject to Condition Subsequent                                                                                                      28
Fee Tail                                                                                                                                                                           25
Fungible Property v. Heirloom                                                                                                                              25, 27, 40
        Radin Article                                                                                                                                         9, 40
Future Interests                                                                                                                                                             32
Gift                                                                                                                                                                                  20
        Conditions                                                                                                                                             23
        Delivery                                                                                                                                                  21
        Revocability                                                                                                                                          22
Holdover Tenant                                                                                                                                                          47, 52
Imagined Audience for Legal Rules                                                                                                                         6
Innocent Improver Doctrine                                                                                                                                      17
Joint Tenancy                                                                                                                                                               36
Labor Theory of Property                                                                                                                                           8, 26
Landlord – Tenant Law Reform/Revolution                                                                                                           52, 57
Leaseholds                                                                                                                                                                     45
Legal Realism                                                                                                                                                               10
Life Estate                                                                                                                                                                     23, 25
Lockouts                                                                                                                                                                        59
        Bargaining Endowment v. Regulatory Endowment                                                                      60
Lost/Abandoned/Mislaid Property                                                                                                                           12, 13
Market Inalienability                                                                                                                                                   9
Marketability of Title                                                                                                                                                                  64
Naturalist View                                                                                                                                                             10
Notice: actual, constructive, inquiry                                                                                                                        69, 71
Partition In Kind v. Sale                                                                                                                                              40
Persona as Property                                                                                                                                                     8
Positivist View                                                                                                                                                               10
Privity                                                                                                                                                                             19
        estate & K                                                                                                                                              52
        horizontal & vertical                                                                                                                            80
Property Rule v. Liability Rule Protection                                                                                                          18, 40, 77
        Protection of Covenants by                                                                                                               84
Real Covenants                                                                                                                                                            79
Recording System                                                                                                                                                        69, 76
Relativity of Title                                                                                                                                                         12, 70
        Deeds                                                                                                                                                      70
        Subsequent Possessors                                                                                                                        12
Restraints on Alienation v. Restraints on Use                                                                                                         30
Restraints on Marriage                                                                                                                                                31
Right to Destroy                                                                                                                                                            11
Right to Exclude                                                                                                                                                           9
Rule Against Perpetuities                                                                                                                                            32
        Reforms                                                                                                                                                 36
Rule of Capture                                                                                                                                                            6, 9
Servitudes                                                                                                                                                                      80
Shelter rule                                                                                                                                                                     70
Statute of Frauds                                                                                                                                                          61, 75

ry, though held as a custom by those in power – not always for the common good
Ghen v. Rich
Beachcombers and whales.
Custom: when a whale is marked with a lance (which has a specific seal on it), it has been adequately marked as possessed.
Question: Do we follow custom in creating possessory rules? 
Results: Customary rules (giving reward to beachcombers) incentivize coordination, letting hunters know where the whales wash up, rather than having to employ a giant beachcombing team. 
Custom v. Law:
·         Custom:
o    Group knows it own needs
o    Legitimate expectations: people will follow what they’re used to.
o    Implicit ratification: they haven’t rioted, it must be ok.
·         Law:
o    Those in control have likely manipulate the system, the beachcombers aren’t unionized. 
o    Both parties are repeat players, and the parties are fixed on their sides.
o    Need an authority, to appeal to and ensure fairness
o    Customs may not be as flexible as they need to be. Or maybe be variable from town to town, how do you decide?
Keeble v. Hickeringill
Ducks in a pond.
Keeble: pond owner
Hickeringill: malicious shoots a gun to drive the ducks away.
Keeble was rightfully using his property, creating a pond as a means of livelihood. 
You have constructive possession of wild animals on your land, even if you don’t have physical possession.
Hickeringill had an equal right to set up his own decoy pond and compete, but not to hinder Keeble’s property.
Encourage competition: once the ducks are in the commons, anyone can capture them and claim possession. 
Prevent maliciousness: Hard to prove, but if it can be proven, we don’t want to honor malicious behavior.  
Fugitive resources
Why they’re difficult
No incentives. 
                                                               i.      No fixed players to coordinate
                                                              ii.      In unclaimed land
                                                            iii.      Short term players
                                                            iv.      High organization costs.
Forced cooperation
Government regulation
                                                               i.      First in time: first to put a resource to reasonable and beneficial use has a right superior to later appropriators.
Defined: Where the costs of doing something outweigh the benefits.
Internalizing: institutionalizing these problems, resulting in a change in property rights. 
Communal property
High policing costs
High negotiating costs, not possible to bring full costs and benefits to bear on current users
H.        Contexts Favoring Use of Custom: Parking Hypo
1.          no power imbalance; no one can coerce the other
2.          doing the act a lot, so common knowledge
3.          no great incentive for cheating
4.          parties have identical goals (diff. roleseach time, but will play each role), therefore incentive to pick fair customs fair to everybody
5.          whaling industry in Ghen perhaps not best choice for application of custom since there was a power imbalance, incentive for heating, and parties have different goals
I.          Present Applications of Customary Rules
1.          use of beach, parking lots/spots, free paper
II.                       Acquisition of Property by First Possession: Creation (Class 4)
A.        Cheney Bros. v. Doris Silk Corp. case v. INS v. AP case
1.          Cheney Bros. v. Doris Silk Corp.: creator gets not property right to the idea, but does get it to the physical thing (property right to the actual dress designed, but not the idea)
2.          INS v. AP: there is a quasi property right in news
3.          Property systems (we are told) are there to protect things of value
(a)       a philosopher writes a great article — I am prohibited from copying it and making it my work, but I can read and then talk about its ideas; why no protection for the idea?
(b)       depends on your start point: assume that most things are property and only a few narrow exceptions OR that most things/ideas are just out there ad only a few narrow exceptions fall under copyright?
(c)        problem with assigning property based on value
i)           philosopher’s ideas are valuable to him, but not property
ii)          turns out value is circular: the news stories have property value because the court chose to recognize it, but gives no independent criterion to determine if a thing should be or shouldn’t be protected with property rights
iii)        descriptive problem: things that are valuable such as dress patterns have not been called valuable, but news stories have been
iv)        normative matter: value is subjective
4.          Why is copying OK sometimes and sometimes not?
(a)       lead time advantage: gives creator time to survive
(b)       if lead time advantage not enough, might them something more, a quasi-short term monopoly as in INS v. AP  in contrast, court thought there was enough lead time advantage to protect the original dress maker (one season head start)
5.          Smith v. Chanel: is lead time, snob appeal, and mystique enough?
6.          POINT: Cheney is the norm, INS is the exception
7.          HYPO: Bob Mackie dress designer & LL Bean comes along notes his designs and makes knock-offs for half price – (assume no Cheney only INS)
fairness; opportunism of LL Bean
Labor –> personal dessert
serving public interest cuz cheaper
labor –> social utility
protect initial investment
promote, competition desirable
International News Service v. Associated Press
Main points: Competition. Acquisition by creation. 
Question: Is there property in news?
There is quasi-property in news: not against the public, but against one another.