Friday, November 14, 2008

Property Section Newsletter/AALS Section Panels

Thanks to Kali Murray, the Secretary of the Property Section, this year's Property Section Newsletter is now available:  Download property_newsletter1_nov1.pdf.  Among other things, the Newsletter highlights the Section's two panels at the AALS conference in San Diego:

First, the Section is sponsoring an extended session titled Hernando de Soto and Property in a Market Economy.  Speakers include:  Gregory S. Alexander, Cornell Law School; Nestor Davidson, University of Colorado School of Law; Rashmi Dyal-Chand, Northeastern University School of Law; Nicole Stelle Garnett, Notre Dame Law School; Larissa Katz, Queen’s University, Ontario; Daniel B. Kelly, Harvard Law School; Eduardo M. Peñalver, Cornell Law School; Carol Rose, University of Arizona Rogers College of Law; Ezra Rosser, American University Washington College of Law.  Here's the panel description:

Hernando de Soto is one of the world’s leading public intellectuals. His books The Mystery of Capital and The Other Path have been tremendously influential. He has been included on Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world, and has received praise from politicians from across the political spectrum. His work also has been controversial, and some of his arguments have received sustained criticism.

One of de Soto’s core ideas is that the institution of private property is necessary for the proper functioning of a market economy. Many property scholars closely follow de Soto’s work, but de Soto’s ideas have been strangely neglected in property scholarship within the legal academy. His work has been widely discussed in the context of property in developing countries, but has not had the same impact on the property issues that arise in mature market economies like the United States.

This program seeks to remedy this neglect. It brings together a diverse group of scholars to apply de Soto’s work to a wide range of contemporary issues in property law and theory.

The Property Section business meeting will immediately follow the Hernando de Soto panel.

Second, as we did last year, the Section is sponsoring a Junior Scholars Works-in-Progress Panel.  Two papers will be presented: Strategic Spillovers: Using Externalities to Extract Payments by Daniel Kelly and An Efficient Breach of the Numerus Clausus by Leah Theriault.  Congratulations to Dan and Leah, whose papers were selected from a very strong group of submissions!

Ben Barros

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November 14, 2008 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Korngold on the Mortgage Crisis

Gerald Korngold (New York Law School) has posted Legal and Policy Choices in the Aftermath of the Subprime and Mortgage Financing Crisis on SSRN.  Here's the abstract:

This essay, delivered at a symposium at the University of South Carolina in October 2008 and forthcoming in South Carolina Law Review, sets out initial thoughts to the legal and policy choices that decision makers must address in the aftermath of the subprime crisis that has since triggered a global financing crunch. After tracing a narrative of how subprime lending grew into a mortage financing crisis and then a broader financial dislocation, the essay addresses two issues. First, while it is commonly stated that increased regulation will be required in secondary mortgage markets going forward, the essay explores competing policy considerations that legislators and regulators must balance in developing effective regulation and not overregulation. These policy issues include: the benefits of the secondary mortgage; the globalization of capital; prevention of fraud and predatory lending; personal responsibility vs. paternalism; market discipline vs. regulation; ending racial discrimination in lending; the role of intermediation in creating the crisis; the current state of the American dream of home ownership; and addressing risk shifting vehicles.

The second part of the essay examines how the development of the secondary market has changed mortgage law in the various states. It discusses the benefits, and costs, of the nationalization of real estate documents and terms brought by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and speculates on how conservatorship of these institutions may affect this trend. The essay also looks at modernization of state mortgage law in light of the secondary market, through vehicles such as MERS, and the lessons that the crisis teaches about the modernization trend. It argues that the beneficial aspects of modernization should be retained and suggests other changes that would better reflect commercial reality (e.g., changes in assignment rules for mortgages, documentation for foreclosure), but asserts that increased consumer protection and transparency are also necessary for fair and effective secondary market transactions.

Ben Barros

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November 12, 2008 in Real Estate Transactions, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Never Forget The True Owner In Finding Cases

A while ago, we noted a dispute between a contractor and a homeowner about a bunch of 1920s currency found in a wall.  Classic finder v. owner of the locus dispute, right?  Well, the publicity generated by the dispute brought the true owner's descendents out of the woodwork, and they'll get a share.  Of course, the lawyers will probably get the biggest share.

Ben Barros

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November 9, 2008 in Personal Property, Recent Cases | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)