Friday, December 14, 2007

Marco on Just Compensation

Alan C. Marco (Vassar College, Dep't of Econ.) has posted Of Multipliers and Market Value: Just Compensation in a Post-Kelo World on SSRN.  Here's the abstract:

In the wake of the US Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. The City of New London, several state passed regulation increasing the statutory compensation for eminent domain takings. Some of the increases were based on multipliers of market value, yet there has been little attempt to provide an economic justification for the magnitude of the multipliers. In this note, I propose a mechanism to compensate property owners at the average willingness-to-pay rather than the marginal willingness-to-pay.

Ben Barros

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December 14, 2007 in Recent Scholarship, Takings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

McLaughlin on Conservation Easements

Nancy A. McLaughlin (Univ. of Utah) has posted Conservation Easements: Perpetuity and Beyond on SSRN.  Here's the abstract:

Perpetual conservation easements are intended to protect the particular land they encumber for the conservation purposes specified in the deed of conveyance in perpetuity, or at least until circumstances have changed so profoundly that continued protection of the land for those purposes is no longer feasible. To protect the public interest and investment in perpetual conservation easements, and, at the same time, permit adjustments to be made to respond to changing conditions, such easements should be treated like any other form of charitable asset acquired by a government or charitable entity for a particular charitable purpose -i.e., as subject to equitable charitable trust principles. This Article outlines the considerable support for applying charitable trust principles to perpetual conservation easements, including uniform laws, the Restatement of Property, federal tax law, and judicial activity on this issue to date. This Article cautions that perpetual land protection is not appropriate in all circumstances and recommends a more considered use of perpetual conservation easements as a land protection tool. This article also explores the possible use of a number of nonperpetual conservation easements to accomplish land protection goals.

Ben Barros

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December 14, 2007 in Land Use, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Somin on Jane Austen, Property Exams, and Literature

Ilya Somin over at volokh, a common source of great discussions here at propertyprof, is talking now about a final exam question based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.  He concludes with this statement, which warms the heart of this propertyprof:

I'm not going to argue that an understanding of property law is essential to your appreciation of Jane Austen and her work. But it can certainly help! Indeed, property law is probably second only to criminal law as a legal influence on great literature. Yet another reason to study Property (not that we need any more:))! You don't see too many great novels that feature legal issues in corporate law or civil procedure.

Since this is the seasons of exams, I'm inclined to say discuss!  Perhaps I'll start this off with the area I know best--antebellum United States literature.  Certainly a lot of property in there--from Stowe's obscure short story "Love versus Law," to Uncle Tom's Cabin, James Fenimore Cooper's Home as Found and his anti-rent trilogy, to one of my new favorites, Beverly Tucker's George Balcombe.  But I'm sure our friends about at the Conglomerate would want us to remember Theodore Dreiser's The Octopus....

Al Brophy
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December 11, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Who Owns The Declaration of Independence

Washington_declaration_independence Thanks to University of Hawaii Professor Carl Christensen for calling Abbey Goodnough's article " A Tug of War Over a Declaration of Independence" from today's New York Times to our attention.  The article is about the efforts of the state of Maine to recover one of very few surviving copies of the Declaration of Independence.  As near as anyone can tell, the copy seems to have been read by a minister in Wiscasset, Maine, then given by the minister to the town.  And somewhere along the line, the town's records were stored in Anna Plumstead's attic.

After Ms. Plumstead died in 1994, the document was sold at an estate auction. It changed hands several times, ending up with a private collector in Virginia who paid $475,000 for it in 2001. Now Maine is seeking to reclaim it, citing a state statute that says a public document remains public until explicitly relinquished by the government.

Now that sounds like the makings of a final exam question for property!

Endnote: I'd like to use the New York Times' image of the document, printed in 1776 in Salem.  Alas, I suspect that image is copyrighted.  (And here at propertyprof we're appropriately cautious about using other people's images.)  There's something unnerving about a copyright on the Declaration of Independence, it seems to me.  And this takes me back to a debate in Philadelphia my senior year in college about charging admission to Independence National Park in downtown Philly.  Fortunately, that proposal was defeated.  So instead I'm using an image of George Washington's personal copy of the Declaration, from our friends at the Library of Congress.

Alfred L. Brophy
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December 11, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Federal Court Imposes Large Inverse Condemnation Award

The case is Yamagiwa v. City of Half Moon Bay.    Ilya Somin has a post on the case at the VC.  Gideon Kanner also has two posts on the case, here and here.  In case you're wondering why this case was in federal court, it appears that the City removed it from state court.

Ben Barros

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December 10, 2007 in Recent Cases, Takings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)