Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  A few years ago, I blogged about my conservative, traditional approach to Thanksgiving.  I have to confess that, for various family reasons, we are going to a restaurant this year.  I may very well get the prime rib.

Ben Barros

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November 26, 2008 in Miscellaneous | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How to Read a Legal Opinion . . . .

Professor Orin Kerr has published a nice article that is certainly helpful for first year, first semester law students but that also might be very helpful for disappointed students who are returning for their second semester of their first year.  The article, "How to Read a Legal Opinion:  A Guide for New Law Students" is very straightforward and easy to digest.  I teach property as a first semester, first year course and have assigned the article as required reading.  Even if you do not assign  it to your class as a whole, you should consider offering it to individual students who have not performed as well as they would have liked and are now coming to you in search of answers for how to do better moving forward.

Folks have asked where this article is posted.  You can locate it at

Carol N. Brown

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November 25, 2008 in Teaching | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Penn Central Transportation Company v. New York, Noteworthy Event

Those of us who teach Penn Central Trans., a seminal landmark preservation case, noted the passing last month of Dorothy Miner.  Ms. Miner was counsel to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission and played a critical role in litigating the Penn Central case.  A NY Times article discussing her important contributions entitled "Dorothy Miner, 72, Legal Innovator, Dies" can be found at .

I always like to share these types of articles with my students to help make the cases more relevant and to, at times, give insight into the personal sacrifices that are often behind some of our most compelling and enduring legal decisions.  Also, I find that one way to encourage students to embrace the materials is to ask them to be aware of interesting property / land use / real estate stories in the news and to forward them to me.  If a student sends me something interesting, I will post it on Blackboard or maybe even hand out hard copies of the story in class and take time to discuss the story.  This article was actually forwarded to me by a student I taught last year in the first year property course.  It was very affirming that, even a year later, she is moved by these types of property stories.

Carol N. Brown

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November 24, 2008 in Land Use | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)