Property I Class Website

Prof. Scott B. Ehrlich
Fall 2016

Welcome to the Property Class Website

This website provides updated information about the course and assignments. It also contains links to the handouts and materials used in the course, as well as links to sites on the web.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Please note: All materials on this web site are protected by copyright and intended for use only by students enrolled in Property II at California Western School of Law. Students enrolled in the class may copy these materials to their own computers. However, these materials may not be transferred to others or posted on publicly accessible web sites.



Past Assignments: As the semester moves forward, you can find earlier assignments by clicking here: Past Assignments.


Current Assignments: Below are the day-to-day assignments for the course.  They are updated often so hit the “Refresh” button on your browser to assure you are viewing the most recent updates. Many browsers will use a cached version of the website & may not reveal the most recent updates unless you hit the refresh button.  All of the Assignments for the course are on-line via this link: Assignments for the entire Semester. 


Midterm Exam: Thursday, November 3rd -- Click Here For More Info


1.    Tuesday, October 25

a.    Defeasible Estates: Review Mountain Brow Lodge No. 82, Independent Order of Odd Fellows v. Toscano at pages 258-264 and notes 1-2 following the case.  Also read the note on page 243. The will in Mountain Brow Lodge stated:

(1)  "Said property is restricted for the use and benefit of [Mountain Brow Lodge], only; and in the event the same fails to be used by [Mountain Brow Lodge] -- or -- in the event of sale or transfer by the [Mountain Brow Lodge] of all or any part of said lot  --  the same is to revert to the first parties herein, their successors, heirs or assigns."

ii.     Why should both provisions be unenforceable as restraints on alienation?

iii.    Read Defeasible Life Estates at pages 271-273.

b.    Future Possessory Estates

i.      Possibilities of Reverter, Rights of Entry (Powers of Termination): Pages 42-43 of the Supplement.

ii.     Dukeminier pages 275-281.

iii.    Remainders: Pages 281-285. Do all notes, examples and problems.

iv.   Executory Interests: Pages 286-292.

c.    Remainders, Reversions & Executory Interests: Answer, in writing, the hypotheticals at pages 44-47 of the Supplement. Make sure you bring your answers to class. This is a required writing assignment.  On line copies of the hypotheticals:  PDF, MSWord

2.    Thursday, October 27

a.    Review the answers to the remainder hypotheticals:  Answers to Remainder Hypotheticals (available on line after class on Tuesday)

b.    Do the “Estates In Land Worksheet”: PDF, MSWord

i.      The answers to the Worksheet are also available online.  Answer the Worksheet hypos first, then check your answers against the answers: Answers to Estates in Land Hypos

3.    Tuesday, October 29

a.    Some Anomalous Doctrines - Preventing Limitations on Marketability

i.      Read about the Destructibility of Contingent Remainders, and the abolition of the Rule, at pages 303-306.

ii.     Read about the Rule in Shelley's Case, and the abolition of the Rule, at pages 306-307.

iii.    Read about the Doctrine of Worthier Title at page 307

b.    The Rule Against Perpetuities

i.      Read Supplement pages 48-49.

ii.     Read Dukeminier pages 307-312. Do problems 1-4 on pages 312-313.

iii.    Grantor’s Interests: pages 314-315.

iv.   Answer the following Rule Against Perpetuity hypos:  PDF, MSWord

v.    The answers to the Rule Against Perpetuities Hypos are online.  Answer the hypos first, then check your answer against these: Answers

4.    Thursday, October 31

a.    Introduction to Concurrent ownership

i.      Pages 343-348. Read Riddle v. Harmon and notes 1-2 following the case at pages 348-354.

(1)  Challenge Question:  In Riddle v. Harmon, the co-owners took title as Joint Tenants With Right of Survivorship.  Either co-owner could easily sever the joint tenancy survivorship feature at any time prior to death by a new conveyance of his or her 50% interest to a strawman (such as a lawyer), who then immediately conveyed it back to him or her.  This would break the four unities.  Write a simple grant to Ann and Bob in a manner that the survivor will take 100% when the other co-owner dies, and no co-owner can unilaterally change that outcome.

ii.     Harms v. Sprague and notes 1-3 following the case at pages 354-359.

(1)  Respond to this Hypothetical:  Ann & Bob own Blackacre, as joint tenants with right of survivorship. Blackacre is worth $1 million.  Ann needs to borrow $100,000 so she applies to Bank for a loan.  Bank requests a mortgage lien on Ann’s 50% interest in Blackacre as collateral for the loan.  Ann executes a “mortgage” of her 50% interest to Bank.  Does the granting of the mortgage to Bank sever the survivorship component of the JTWROS between Ann and Bob?  Should it sever? If we apply the hyper-technical “4 unities” then the answer will depend on whether or not we are in a “Lien Theory” state or a “Title Theory” States.  In lien theory states, the lien is just an encumbrance on the fee and does not sever.  In title theory states, the mortgage is seen as a conveyance in trust to the Bank and will sever the right of survivorship.  Why are both points of view problematic?

b.    Joint Tenancy

i.      Respond to the following questions:  Ann & Bob own Blackacre as JTWROS.  Ann executes a lease to Carl for 10 years.  Ann dies, devising (by will) her interest in Blackacre to her daughter, Annette.

(1)  Has the survivorship feature been severed by the lease?

(2)  What happens to Carl if the lease has 9 years remaining in the term?         

(3)  If you were Carl, what would you demand before signing the 10-year lease with Ann.  Suppose the property is a house and the rent is $5,000 per month.

(4)  What does Annette get upon Ann’s death?



Links and Reference Materials    

There is a password for some documents on this website.  It will be announced in class and emailed to you.

1.    California Adverse Possession Statutes

2.    California Codes. This link connects you to the official site of the State of California and allows you to search any of the California Codes.  For instance, to find out about tenant security deposits, click “Civil Code” and insert “tenant security deposit” in the search block.

Questions & Answers

If you have a question that you would like answered, e-mail Prof. Ehrlich at: Your name will not be posted, just the question & answer. We have powerful & enthusiastic junk email filters. If you send me email from an outside account (not your law school email account) make sure you put the word “Property” in the Subject line.


The following links will take you to a compilation of questions posed by prior students, and answers posted by Prof. Ehrlich:  


General Questions & Answers

Estates in Land Questions & Answers


Contact Prof. Ehrlich

E-mail: sbe@cwsl.eduPlease put the word “Property” in the Subject line.
Tel: 619-525-1416
Office: Room 309, Administration Building (225 Cedar St.)


Office Hours







Other Times:

I’m often available, please knock.