Property I Class Website

Prof. Scott B. Ehrlich
Fall 2015

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.


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.


Password Protected Files: Some web browsers (such as Safari & some versions of Internet Explorer) will not open password protected PDF files.  To open the files, download them to your computer and use Adobe Acrobat or a PDF-compatible browser.


Final Exam Information


1.    Tuesday, November 24

a.    Easements Created by Estoppel

i.      Holbrook v. Taylor and notes 1-3 at pages 820-825.

(1)  Why were the Taylors unsuccessful in establishing an easement by prescription?

(2)  Why were the Taylors successful in establishing an easement by estoppel?

(3)  What are the elements required to establish an easement by estoppel?

b.    Easements Created by Implication:

i.      Van Sandt v. Royster at pages 825-831.

ii.     Notes at pages 831-833.

Thursday, November 26: Thanksgiving Holiday

2.    Tuesday, December 1

a.    Easements Created by Necessity:

i.      Othen v. Rosier at and notes 1-4 following the case at pages 833-842.

b.    Easements by Prescription: 

i.      Notes 1-3 at pages 842-847. Respond to the following two hypotheticals:

(1)  Hypo #1: In 1978 Sam, owner of Lot A, expressly granted a 20' wide access easement, in writing, to Donna, owner of Lot B, as follows: “A non-exclusive, appurtenant access easement for the benefit of Donna and Donna’s successors over the following described strip. . .” Unfortunately, the deed was technically invalid due to a failure to comply with statutory formalities. Donna used the road for 30 years for access & right of way to her parcel.  Over the years, Donna maintained the road, re-graded the road and used it continuously to gain access to Donna’s land. In 2010, Sam’s successor, Rose, discovered the defect in the deed and brought an action to enjoin Donna’s use and quiet title to Rose’s land in fee, free of the easement. Donna has responded that an easement was created by prescription. What should the outcome of the case be?

(2)  Hypo #2: 30 years ago, Dante owned two adjacent lots, Lot 1 and Lot 2. In 1988, Dante granted Lot 1 to Sally but retained Lot 2.  In the deed to Sally, Dante expressly reserved an appurtenant easement for the benefit of Lot 2 over the land granted to Sally described in the deed as “an easement over the northerly 20 feet of Lot 1.”  Both Dante and Sally intended the easement to traverse the southerly 20 feet of Lot 1 but mistakenly stated the “northerly 20 fee” in the deed.  Dante built and used a road over the southerly 20 feet of Lot 1 and used it for 6 years before conveying his land to Dana, who continued to use the southerly 20 feet of Lot 1 for access to Lot 2.  After 20 years, can Dana claim title to an easement by prescription over the southerly 20 feet?

c.    Creation of Easements:  Respond to this hypothetical:

i.      In 1904 Laura Bailey sold Lot 19 to John Jones, retaining Lots 20 & 4.  No easement by implication was established because there was no pre-existing use. In 1905, the sewer is installed when John Jones grants “permission” to Laura to install.  No deed of easement was executed.  Laura installed the sewer line and used it for Lots 4 and 20.  In 1938, Van Sandt (John Jone’s successor to Lot 19) brought an action to enjoin use of the sewer line, claiming no easement exists in favor of Lots 20 & 4. Could Royster & Gray (owners of Lots 20 & 4) assert some other method(s) of easement creation?  Be specific as to the possible success of each method of creation.  You should come up with at least 3 methods of easement creation.

d.    Scope of Easements:

i.      Brown v. Voss at pages 820-826 and notes 1-5 following the case.

ii.     Formulate responses to the following hypos:  Scope Hypos

3.    Thursday, December 3

a.    Termination of Easements: Pages 50-52 of the Supplement.

b.    "Negative" Easements: Pages 842-845.

4.    Tuesday, December 8

a.    Reminder about Backups: This is the magical time of year when students’ laptops break down, get lost or are stolen.  It’s always a good idea to back up essential data like outlines, briefs, notes, papers, etc.  Two backups are better than one: USB flash drives, cloud storage, etc.

b.    Evaluations & Feedback

c.    Review of Multiple Choice Questions:  Questions

d.    Essay Question review.  We will review the following essay question:  Sample Essay Question



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.    Remainder hypotheticals at pages 44-47 of the Supplement. PDF, MSWord. 

2.    Answers to Remainder Hypotheticals

3.    “Estates In Land Worksheet”: PDF, MSWord

4.    Answers to Estates in Land Hypos

5.    Hypotheticals from pages 35-38 of the Supplement.  PDF, Word,

6.    Melms v. Pabst Brewing Co.  For an interesting article about the Melms case see this link: Melms Article.[i]

7.    Adverse Possession Essay Exam #1 and Model Answer

8.    Adverse Possession Essay Exam #2 and Model Answer

9.    California Adverse Possession Statutes

10.  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 313, Administration Building (225 Cedar St.)


Office Hours




10:30-12:00 & 1:30-3:30

Other Times:

I’m often available, please knock.




[i] Some web browsers, such as Safari, may not open password protected PDF files.  If you can’t open the file in your browser, download the file to your computer and open it with Adobe Reader.