1. Tuesday, January 7: No Property class. Introduction to Legal Skills meets in this time slot.
2. Thursday, January 7: No Property class. Introduction to Legal Skills meets in this time slot.
3. Tuesday, January 14:
a. The first Property class will meet on Tuesday, January 14th at 8:00-9:15 am in LH2 (1st floor).
b. Read Pages 1-5 of the photocopied Supplement. Consider carefully the questions posed at pages 4-5 of the Supplement.
c. Read and brief the case of Johnson v. M'Intosh at Pages 3-10 in Dukeminier and notes 1, 2, 3 & 7 following the case.
4. Thursday, January 16:
i. What rule(s) of law did the court apply to determine that the attempted transfers by the Piankeshaw Indians to Johnson in 1773 and 1775 were invalid?
ii. Why did the Supreme Court follow the pre-constitutional, Colonial rules about land conveyances by Indians? Could the Court have chosen not to follow the Colonial rules?
b. Pierson v. Post at pages 18-22 and notes 1-4 following the case.
i. What is the legal rule (and its elements) for when a person gains title to property in unowned animals that are free in nature on public land?
ii. Do you agree with the judge in the dissenting opinion? What test does the dissenting judge propose for when a person gains title to wild animals like foxes?
c. Ghen v. Rich at pages 26-28 and notes 1-3 following the case. Why did Ghen get title to the whale? Did he fulfill the elements of Title by Occupancy?
5. Tuesday, January 21:
a. Consider the following hypothetical: Megan Rich is a multi-billionaire treasure hunter. She has built a ship at a cost of $100 million and installed state-of-the-art technology capable of finding any treasure buried in the ocean bottom. At the moment, Megan is pursuing a Spanish sunken ship full of treasure off the coast of San Diego. When should Megan be held to be in possession of the sunken treasure and, therefore, obtain title by occupancy? Possible scenarios:
(1) Launches the ship from San Diego harbor?
(2) Finds the Spanish vessel and positions her ship over it?
(3) Sends a sub down to retrieve the treasure?
(4) Actually retrieves some gold treasure?
b. Keeble v. Hickeringill at pages 30-31 and notes 1-3 following the case. Do problem 1 on page 33 and read notes 1 and 2 on pages 37-38.
i. Summarize, in writing, the rules and dicta from Pierson v. Post, Ghen v. Rich & Keeble v. Hickeringill concerning “possession” of an object by a finder sufficient to satisfy the possession element of “title by occupancy.” Bring a print copy of your summary to class.
(1) If Lodowick Post used Keeble v. Hickeringill as authority, would he succeed in an action to recover damages against Pierson?
(2) Should mortal wounding of a fox be enough to satisfy the possession element of Title by Occupancy?
(3) Should we apply the rule of “Title by Occupancy” to water, oil and other “fugitive” resources?
c. Some students have asked about whether there are tutors for Property. Please see the document in this link: Tutors in Property
6. Thursday, January 23:
a. Pages 4-5 of the Supplement.
b. Dukeminier pages 39-50 and notes 3, 4 and 5 at pages 52-53.
c. Board of Regents of State Colleges, et. al. v. Roth, at pages 6‑12 of the Supplement and the notes following the case.
i. What are the meanings of these Quotes?
(2) “It is the purpose of the ancient institution of property to protect expectations upon which people rely.”
(3) “Property is a man-made institution which creates and maintains certain relations between people”
(4) “The basic problem of property is nothing more or less than determining the relationship of the individual to the community in regards to the use and exploitation of resources.”
d. State v. Shack at page 90-92 and notes 1-3 following the case. In New Jersey, the statutory definition of crime of “Trespass” is: “The [non-consensual] [entry or intrusion] onto the [real] [property] of [another].” The N.J. Supreme Court found that the defendants, Tejeras & Shack, were not guilty of trespass. Which element of the crime of trespass was not satisfied by the prosecution?
e. Why did we study Title by Occupancy? Read this.