Friday, August 27, 2010

A Poem for Friday

As two of my co-bloggers on this site have academic interests in cemeteries (see: here, here, here, and here), I can't resist linking to this excellent poem (and reading) from Billy Collins, poet laureate of United States:

Cemetery Ride, by Billy Collins.


Steve Clowney

(pic: Homewood Cemetery, Pittsburgh, where I worked as a groundskeeper in summer of '98)

August 27, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Litigating Takings Conference at UC Berkeley

From John Echeverria (Vermont)

On November 5, 2010, the 13th Annual Conference on Litigating Takings Challenges to Land Use and Environmental Regulations will be held at Berkeley Law in Berkeley, California.  This year’s conference, sponsored by Vermont Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, Berkeley Law and others, will feature a discussion of constitutional review of property rulings in the aftermath of Stop the Beach Renourishment, takings claims in the era of climate change, eminent domain practice five years after Kelo, takings claims arising from water regulation, and other issues.

The program brochure and registration information are available at:

CDs of the program materials and conference proceedings also will be available.

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August 26, 2010 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Fight in the Negev

The New York Times details a land dispute between the Bedouins of the Negev Desert and the Israeli government:

The contest over this small patch of desert reflects a clash of cultures, of modern and traditional lifestyles and laws of ownership and increasingly, for many Bedouin, of loyalties and faith. Part of Israel’s Arab minority, the southern Bedouin, who now number more than 170,000 and make up a quarter of the population of the Negev, established good relations with the young Israeli state. Unlike most Arab and Muslim citizens of Israel, many have volunteered to serve in the Israeli military. But none of that has eased the tensions over the land in the Negev. The area lies in Israel proper, not in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, which the Palestinians want as part of a separate state. Originally nomads, the Negev Bedouin had settled into a largely sedentary lifestyle by the time the Israeli state was founded. Israel did not recognize their land claims, and about a third to half the Bedouin of the Negev now live in dozens of unrecognized villages . . .

Steve Clowney

August 26, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Orth's Reappraisals in the Law of Property

Orth_Reappraisals John Orth's charming and insightful Reappraisals in the Law of Property has just appeared in Robin Paul Malloy's "Law, Property, and Society" series. The book collects a series of Orth's essays, many of which have appeared in the Green Bag. Here's the description from Ashgate's website:

Some of the most basic doctrines of property law are very old, many dating to the medieval era. How can legal rules that were born so long ago remain viable today? In Reappraisals in the Law of Property, author John V. Orth considers various topics in order to discover the forces that have been made and are continuing to remake these areas of the law. Orth proposes three forces in particular that have shaped the development of property law over time: the inertial force of tradition, the reforming power of judicial and legislative activism, and the constant challenge of academic criticism. Together, these themes form the foundation of a critical and challenging work, one that re-evaluates property law and demonstrates both its enduring consistency and the unique and often drastic ways in which it has evolved in the modern era.

I am certain that property profs will enjoy reading Orth's commentary on areas of property, such as tenancy by the entirety, leases, and easements, as well as his speculation on the importance of "driving forces," like intention, competition, and fiction.  And I hope that you'll encourage your library to add this to their collection.

Al Brophy

August 25, 2010 in Books, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Rental Safety Inspections

The fellows over at the Daily Dish have highlighted the issue of rental safety inspections:

In the last two towns where I have lived (Burlington, VT and State College, PA) both had local laws requiring that rental units had to be inspected at regular intervals. In other words, once a year (or so) renters are legally required to allow a government employee to conduct a search for illegal [supposedly just safety-related] activity.  If they catch a violation either the resident or landlord can be fined depending on who's at fault.  In Burlington if you refuse them they will just come back with a warrant regardless of probable cause.  In State College there is just a flat fine for not having had it done.  I don't think you could invent a more straightforward violation of our 4th amendment rights than to get searched at regular intervals, without probable cause, to make sure that no one is acting illegally. I seem to be completely alone in actually caring.  Am I missing something?

As a homeowner in a college town where unsavory landlords continually (and illegally) convert single family homes into mini-fraternity houses, I'm not very sympathetic to this argument (the Homevoter Hypothesis in action!).  More substantively, I think the author is also wrong on the legal issues.  Courts generally conceptualize regulatory sweeps as local property regulations and, as a result, give them considerable deference.  Additionally, as Nicole Garnett details in her excellent book, Ordering the City, the rise of aggressive land use policies actually stems from a judicial attempt to bolster 4th Amendment -- as judges cracked down on police discretion, cities turned to property regulations (PrawsBlawg book club: here).  In theory, the presence of regulatory sweeps allows cities to maintain order without involving the police.  Moreover, the system of regular check-ups in State College may actually be preferable to the system we have here in Lexington, which seems completely arbitrary and ineffectual.  

Steve Clowney

August 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

ALPS Meeting Registration is Open

This year's Association for Law, Property, and Society annual meeting will be held on March 4-5, 2011, at Georgetown Law School.  Registration is now open at the ALPS website.  Last year's meeting was great, and I hope that many of you can make it.

Ben Barros

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August 24, 2010 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

When Neighbors Attack

A lime-green paint-job raises questions about neighborliness, nuisance, self-help, and strong property rights.

Steve Clowney

August 24, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)