Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Merrill and Smith's new casebook

Merrillproperty Friday's mail brought Thomas Merrill and Henry E Smith's exciting new property casebook, Property: Principles and Policies, which Foundation has just published.  Pretty interesting organization of the course and it's sure to be a great resource.

From the book's website:

The book presents the subject through vivid cases, including most of those beloved by generations of property teachers. But in contrast to other casebooks, which present property as a hodge-podge of issues, it seeks to organize the material in an integrated way, starting with the idea of property as the right to exclude and systematically developing elaborations, exceptions, and counterfoils to this idea. Issues of contemporary relevance such as intellectual property and regulatory takings are given relatively pervasive and expansive treatment. The emphasis throughout is on fundamental principles and policy questions.

Here's a link to their table of contents.

Alfred L. Brophy


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My problem with this new casebook (which I have only just leafed through) is that it is founded on what I consider to be, in large part, a myth: the old distinction between "in rem" and "in personam." For years, Merrill and Smith have been on a quest to resurrect the distinction, in my view without success. The range of legal relationships, including property relations, simply overwhelm that old Roman law categories.


Posted by: Dan Cole | Mar 27, 2007 2:08:57 PM

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