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
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.
We will be using two resources: (1) Ehrlich, Assignments & Supplement; and, (2) Dukeminier, Property (8th ed). All of the Assignments for the course are contained in the photocopied materials or on-line via this link: Assignments for the entire Semester. Assignments the next few classes will always be posted below. As time passes, you can find earlier assignments at the following link: Past Assignments.
Note: Hit the “refresh” button on your browser to make sure that you are looking at a current version of the assignments, rather than a cached version on your computer.
Professor Barton and Professor Ehrlich will be swapping classes on the following dates:
Wednesday, October 8th: Property class will be taught during the Civil Procedure time slot (11:50-1:05 in Room 2B). The class will be recorded for Part-Time students.
Thursday, October 16th: Civil Procedure class will be taught during the Property time slot (8:00-9:15 in Room LH2). .
1. Midterm Exam
a. There will be a Property midterm exam on Tuesday, October 28th, during regular class time: 8:00-9:15 am. Detailed information about the exam will be handed out in class. Please make sure you note the date on your calendar. More information about the exam is here: Midterm Exam Info
2. Thursday, October 16: Civil Procedure meets during Property time slot.
3. Tuesday, October 21
a. 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 that case 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?
b. Read Defeasible Life Estates at pages 271-273.
c. Modern Curtailment of Defeasible Fees: Read the statutory provisions of the California Civil Code at pages 39-41 of the Supplement. Be prepared to explain the purpose of each statutory section. Prepare, in writing, a short explanation of the purpose of each statutory section.
d. 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 286-285. 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.
4. Thursday, October 23
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
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..
v. The answers to the Rule Against Perpetuities Hypos are online. Answer the hypos first, then check your answer against these: Answers
5. Tuesday, October 28:
a. Midterm Exam. More information can be found here: Midterm Exam Info
b. BE IN SEAT & READY TO START BEFORE 8:00 AM
c. No books, food, drinks, computers, phones or electronics at seat except for 2 pages of notes and pen or pencil. Please, no strange color pens. Use blue or black.
6. Thursday, October 30:
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 conveys 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.
b. Harms v. Sprague and notes 1-3 following the case at pages 354-359.
c. 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?
7. Tuesday, November 4:
a. Partition & Relations Among Concurrent Owners:
i. Pages 361–362. Delfino v. Vealencis and notes 1,2, 4 and 5 following the case at pages 362-371.
ii. 2. Note “b” at page 371. Spiller v. Mackereth and notes 1-3 following the case at pages 372-375.
8. Thursday, November 6:
a. Relations Among Concurrent Owners:
i. Swartzbaugh v. Sampson1 and notes 1-3 following the case at pages 375-380.
(1) It is helpful to note that Mrs. Lola Swartzbaugh is the plaintiff and there are two defendants: Sam Sampson (the lessee) and Mr. John Swartzbaugh (Lola’s husband and co-owner).
(2) Read the notes at pages 380-382.
b. Read the following interesting excerpt from Powell on Real Property
c. Accounting & Contribution:
i. Read & answer the hypos at this link: Accounting & Contribution Hypos. Pay special attention to Hypo #5. Many treatises state that Ann is liable to her cotenants for all of the profits received by Ann. Why are the treatises probably wrong?
9. Tuesday, November 11:
10. Thursday, November 13:
11. Tuesday, November 18:
12. Thursday, November 20:
13. Tuesday, November 25:
14. Thursday, November 27: Thanksgiving Holiday
15. Tuesday, December 2
16. Thursday, December 4
17. Tuesday, December 7
18. Thursday, December 9
There is a password for some documents on this website. It will be announced in class and emailed to you.
2. Answers to the Rule Against Perpetuities Hypos : Answers
7. California Codes. 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.
If you have a question that you would like answered, e-mail Prof. Ehrlich at: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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:
E-mail: email@example.com – Please
put the word “Property” in the Subject line.
Office: Room 313, Administration Building (225 Cedar St.)
I’m often available, please knock.