Monday, September 9, 2013
Charles E. Rounds, Jr. (Professor, Suffolk University Law School) recently published an article entitled, Old Doctrine Misunderstood, New Doctrine Misconceived: Deconstructing the Newly-Minted Restatement (Third) of Property’s Power of Appointment Sections, 26 Quinnipiac Prob. L.J. 240 (2013). Provided below is the abstract of his article:
The United States Constitution is quickening into an organism with common law attributes, while state common law as enhanced by equity, once a principles-based regime, is suffocating under the weight of layer upon layer of partial, hyper-technical codifications. Major players in the codification movement are the Uniform Law Commission and The American Law Institute. The latter drafts model statutes, while the former drafts legislation, that, when enacted into law by the states, partially codifies or fills perceived gaps in assorted corners of state common law, as that body of law has been enhanced by equity. The Institute doctrinally supports the Commission's efforts via the serial revision of myriad law restatements. Coordinating the entire codification process is a small cadre of academics, some of whom are non-practicing lawyers. One influential cadre member involved in the crafting of the power of appointment sections of the newly-minted Restatement (Third) of Property (Wills and Other Donative Transfers), for example, has had minimal experience practicing in the areas of the law he would presume to reform. Those sections are the subject of this Article. The focus, however, is ultra-narrow and deep, deep into the weeds: I critique their quality. My conclusion: The coverage of power of appointment doctrine in the prior two property restatements was generally superior.