Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Experiment Begins . . .

Well, I'm back from my last bit of vacation, and begin teaching Property I to my new group of 1ls tomorrow. 

As I wrote earlier in the summer, this year I want to put more emphasis on the political economy of property rights, so instead of starting with Johnson v. McIntosh or Pierson v. Post, I'm actually starting with . . . The Communist Manifesto (chapter two, specifically).  And excerpts from Michael Jensen's Freedom, Capitalism and Human Behavior.  Seriously.

I have no idea whether this will work so I'm a bit nervous, although honestly the change isn't that radical (so so speak): we'll be getting to Johnson on day 2.  But I'm hoping to introduce on Day 1 a theme that we will return to continually throughout the year: the central place of property rights in the human tragicomedy.  I'll let you know how it works! 

Mark Edwards

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August 19, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Bed Bugs -- Ick!

I love the Diane Rehm show, but I just listened to a very disturbing installment regarding bed bugs.  Apparently they are on the rise, particularly in New York City, although several people called in from Cincy, Kansas City, and other larger cities reporting they had problems.  It is also a big issue in college dorms.

A few key points:

1.  They are very difficult to get rid of.

2.  They are very easy to transmit from place to place, including from hotel room to home and from unit to unit in a multi-family development.

3.  They are difficult to detect unless you know what the signs are.

4.  They don't really like mattresses.  They don't like light, so they hide in crevices, clutter, behind pictures, baseboards, etc.

Of course, I think this has all kinds of interesting Property implications.  For example, should states require disclosure of bed bugs along with roof leaks and other latent defects in home sales?  Should landlords be required to disclose bed bugs to tenants?  Should tenants be required to tell their landlords if they have bed bugs in order to prevent transmission to adjoining units? 

I am suddenly very itchy.

Tanya Marsh

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August 19, 2010 in Landlord-Tenant, Nuisance | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Pierson v. Post Overturned!

Hot off the press from LawForAttorneys.Com

In what can be billed as one of the most surprising decisions handed down in recent memory, the ruling in Pierson v. Post, one of the nation’s oldest property-law cases, was reversed this week by the Supreme Court of New York. The court’s reconsideration of the ruling was prompted by new evidence arising from an in-depth autopsy analysis that was performed last month on the remains of the fox at the heart of the famed case. . . .

[E]arlier this summer at the request of Broderick Post, great-great-great-grandson of Lodowick Post, the remains of the fox were exhumed and analyzed, at a personal cost of about $1 million. The long-overdue autopsy found conclusive evidence that, by the time Pierson had discovered the fox, it had already died of exhaustion from Post’s pursuit. Post then petitioned the court to have the case reopened.

Read the whole thing for more on this shocking development in property law!

Ben Barros

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August 19, 2010 in Personal Property | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

One good parking post deserves another

Tanya's comment on my last post raised the question, "Should governments subsidize more vertical parking structures to encourage more density?"  Well, maybe if they looked like the structures below.  The top ten most beautiful parking garages in the world:

10.  Temple Street Parking Garage, New Haven

9. Kansas City Library

8. Milwaukee Art Museum

7. Veranda Parking Structure, Rotterdam

6. Autostadt, Wolfsburg

5. Marina City, Chicago

4. Michigan Theater, Detroit

3. The Parkhaus Engelenschanze, Stuttgart

2.  Santa Monica Civic Center Parking Structure

1.  1111 Lincoln Rd, Miami

Steve Clowney

August 17, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 16, 2010

The $31,000 Parking Space?

In the NY Times, Tyler Cowen takes on the high cost of subsidized parking.  Money quote:

The subsidies are largely invisible to drivers who park their cars — and thus free or cheap parking spaces feel like natural outcomes of the market, or perhaps even an entitlement. Yet the law is allocating this land rather than letting market prices adjudicate whether we need more parking, and whether that parking should be free. We end up overusing land for cars — and overusing cars too. You don’t have to hate sprawl, or automobiles, to want to stop subsidizing that way of life.

Steve Clowney

August 16, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)