Friday, April 27, 2012

Property as a statutory course

Torts, necessarily, must be taught mostly from cases. But, property is largely taught from cases, which strikes me a missed opportunity. Property law is a great opportunity to teach statutes, especially since most property doctrines have been statutized. 

While I think teaching the FHA is important, I am not sure it should be the first statute students see. Even with the roommate question resolved, it's a complicated statute. Far better to introduce students to statutory interpretation with something like adverse possession.

My former colleague at Arizona State, Dennis Karjala, posts links to the relevant Arizona statutes on the course website. When I taught there, I borrowed from his approach and I thought it was a valuable exercise. Since I haven't taught property since Arizona State, I haven't gotten a chance to try it elsewhere.

Does anybody else do this?

Brian Sawers

| Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Property as a statutory course:


I include an exercise whereby students compare the provisions of the NJ and Iowa adverse possession statutes - I give a hypo, change the facts several times, and get the students to dissect the statutory provisions. AP lends itself to statutory analysis, and provides a great opportunity to get the students into a lawyering exercise. I also typically post to Blackboard New Jersey's "Anti-Eviction Act", which includes 18 for-cause reasons that a landlord may dispossess a tenant. Students are generally surprised to learn that a landlord may institute eviction proceedings for seemingly innocuous conduct, such as "habitual lateness" with rent payments.

Posted by: T-N Henderson (Rutgers Law) | Apr 27, 2012 3:38:56 PM

I agree; in some jurisdictions, the law is really statute law (with some cases on interpretation thrown in), and should be approached that way.

Posted by: Thomas Gibbons NZ | May 2, 2012 9:33:42 PM

Post a comment