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Full-Text Articles in Law

Mitigating Catastrophe Risk For Landowners, Stewart E. Sterk Feb 2023

Mitigating Catastrophe Risk For Landowners, Stewart E. Sterk

Articles

Local, national, and global catastrophes entail significant risk for landowners. The government-sponsored National Flood Insurance Program illustrates how subsidizing insurance against catastrophe risk can result in overinvestment in risk-prone properties. Government intervention, however, has largely been a response to the historical failure of the private insurance industry to provide adequate protection against correlated risks, a failure with the potential to generate underinvestment in land and devastate existing owners.

When data is available about the incidence and severity of potential disasters, improvements in technology have made it more feasible for insurers to calibrate premiums and discounts with greater accuracy, and sophisticated …


Inclusionary Takings Legislation, Gerald S. Dickinson Jan 2017

Inclusionary Takings Legislation, Gerald S. Dickinson

Articles

This Article proposes an alternative post-Kelo legislative reform effort called “inclusionary takings.” Like inclusionary zoning legislation, inclusionary takings legislation would trigger remedial affordable housing action to mitigate the phenomenon of exclusionary condemnations in dense urban areas and declining suburban localities. An inclusionary takings statute would also mandate that local municipalities and private developers provide affordable housing in new developments benefiting from eminent domain takings. Such a statute may ameliorate the phenomenon of exclusionary condemnations in dense urban areas that displaces low-income families from urban neighborhoods. An inclusionary taking, like inclusionary zoning, in other words, requires affordable housing contributions from developers …


An Empirical Study Of Implicit Takings., James E. Krier, Stewart E. Sterk Oct 2016

An Empirical Study Of Implicit Takings., James E. Krier, Stewart E. Sterk

Articles

Takings scholarship has long focused on the niceties of Supreme Court doctrine, while ignoring the operation of takings law "on the ground" in the state and lower federal courts, which together decide the vast bulk of all takings cases. This study, based primarily on an empirical analysis of more than 2000 reported decisions ovcr the period 1979 through 2012, attempts to fill that void. This study establishes that the Supreme Court's categorical rules govern almost no state takings cases, and that takings claims based on government regulation almost invariably fail. By contrast, when takings claims arise out of government action …


Resilience And Raisins: Partial Takings And Coastal Climate Change Adaptation, Joshua Galperin, Zahir Hadi Tajani Jan 2016

Resilience And Raisins: Partial Takings And Coastal Climate Change Adaptation, Joshua Galperin, Zahir Hadi Tajani

Articles

The increased need for government-driven coastal resilience projects will lead to a growing number of claims for “partial takings” of coastal property. Much attention has been paid to what actions constitute a partial taking, but there is less clarity about how to calculate just compensation for such takings, and when compensation should be offset by the value of benefits conferred to the property owner. While the U.S. Supreme Court has an analytically consistent line of cases on compensation for partial takings, it has repeatedly failed (most recently in Horne v. U.S. Department of Agriculture) to articulate a clear rule. The …


Law And Artifice In Blackstone's Commentaries, Jessie Allen Jan 2014

Law And Artifice In Blackstone's Commentaries, Jessie Allen

Articles

William Blackstone is often identified as a natural law thinker for whom property rights were preeminent, but reading the Commentaries complicates that description. I propose that Blackstone’s concept of law is more concerned with human invention and artifice than with human nature. At the start of his treatise, Blackstone identifies security, liberty and property as “absolute” rights that form the foundation of English law. But while security and liberty are “inherent by nature in every individual” and “strictly natural,” Blackstone is only willing to say that “private property is probably founded in nature.” Moreover, Blackstone is clear that there is …


Judicial Takings: Musings On Stop The Beach, James E. Krier Jan 2014

Judicial Takings: Musings On Stop The Beach, James E. Krier

Articles

Judicial takings weren’t much talked about until a few years ago, when the Stop the Beach case made them suddenly salient. The case arose from a Florida statute, enacted in 1961, that authorizes public restoration of eroded beaches by adding sand to widen them seaward. Under the statute, the state has title to any new dry land resulting from restored beaches, meaning that waterfront owners whose land had previously extended to the mean high-tide line end up with public beaches between their land and the water. This, the owners claimed, resulted in a taking of their property, more particularly their …


Does The Compensation Clause Burden The Government Or Benefit The Owner? The Compensation Clause As Process, Joshua Galperin Jan 2011

Does The Compensation Clause Burden The Government Or Benefit The Owner? The Compensation Clause As Process, Joshua Galperin

Articles

One of many ideas indelibly drawn in the legal vernacular is that “if a regulation goes too far it will be recognized as a taking.” This workhorse of a phrase has shouldered the bulk of the regulatory takings doctrine since the first half of the last century. So much ink has been spilled in an attempt to parse the meaning of “too far,” and yet the academic and judicial communities have made little progress towards a better understanding. This article, therefore, seeks to divert some attention away from the meaning of “taking”, and put a little more focus on the …


Law As Design: Objects, Concepts, And Digital Things, Michael J. Madison Jan 2005

Law As Design: Objects, Concepts, And Digital Things, Michael J. Madison

Articles

This Article initiates an account of things in the law, including both conceptual things and material things. Human relationships matter to the design of law. Yet things matter too. To an increasing extent, and particularly via the advent of digital technology, those relationships are not only considered ex post by the law but are designed into things, ex ante, by their producers. This development has a number of important dimensions. Some are familiar, such as the reification of conceptual things as material things, so that computer software is treated as a good. Others are new, such as the characterization of …


Public Ruses, James E. Krier, Christopher Serkin Jan 2004

Public Ruses, James E. Krier, Christopher Serkin

Articles

The public use requirement of eminent domain law may be working its way back into the United States Constitution. To be sure, the words "public use" appear in the document-and in many state constitutions as well, but the federal provision applies to the states in any event-as one of the Fifth Amendment's limitations on the government's inherent power to take private property against the will of its owners. (The other limitation is that "just compensation" must be paid, of which more later.) Any taking of private property, the text suggests, must be for public use. Those words, however, have amounted …


Eminent Domain Economics: Should ‘Just Compensation’ Be Abolished, And Would ‘Takings Insurance’ Work Instead?, Steve Calandrillo Jan 2003

Eminent Domain Economics: Should ‘Just Compensation’ Be Abolished, And Would ‘Takings Insurance’ Work Instead?, Steve Calandrillo

Articles

In a defeat for staunch property rights advocates, the Supreme Court ruled this spring that a prohibition on land development in the Tahoe basin did not amount to a de facto taking of land such that the constitutional mandate of just compensation was triggered. The Tahoe decision highlights the struggle in eminent domain jurisprudence over the proper treatment of so-called regulatory takings. It has long been taken for granted that when the government exercises its power of eminent domain to take private property in the name of the public good, it must reimburse displaced landowners. While compensation for physical takings …


The Rise Of The Perpetual Trust, Jesse Dukeminier, James E. Krier Jan 2003

The Rise Of The Perpetual Trust, Jesse Dukeminier, James E. Krier

Articles

For more than two centuries, the Rule against Perpetuities has served as the chief means of limiting a transferor's power to tie up property by way of successive contingent interests. But recently, at least seventeen jurisdictions in the United States have enacted statutes abolishing the Rule in the case of perpetual (or near-perpetual) trusts. The prime mover behind this important development has been the federal Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax. This Article traces the gradual decline of the common law Rule against Perpetuities, considers the dynamics behind the recent wave of state legislation, examines the problems that might result from the rise …


Property In Writing, Property On The Ground: Pigs, Horses, Land, And Citizenship In The Aftermath Of Slavery, Cuba, 1880-1909, Rebecca J. Scott, Michael Zeuske Jan 2002

Property In Writing, Property On The Ground: Pigs, Horses, Land, And Citizenship In The Aftermath Of Slavery, Cuba, 1880-1909, Rebecca J. Scott, Michael Zeuske

Articles

In the most literal sense, the abolition of slavery marks the moment when one human being cannot be held as property by another human being, for it ends the juridical conceit of a "person with a price." At the same time, the aftermath of emancipation forcibly reminds us that property as a concept rests on relations among human beings, not just between people and things. The end of slavery finds former masters losing possession of persons, and former slaves acquiring it. But it also finds other resources being claimed and contested, including land, tools, and animals-resources that have shaped former …


The Dynamic Analytics Of Property Law, Michael A. Heller Jan 2001

The Dynamic Analytics Of Property Law, Michael A. Heller

Articles

The standard property trilogy of private, commons, and state has become so outdated that it now impedes imagination and innovation at the frontiers of ownership. This essay suggests two approaches - creating new ideal types and synthesizing existing ones - that may help update our static property metaphors. Using these dynamic approaches to property analytics, legal theory can move beyond polarizing oppositions that have made jurisprudential debates unsolvable and rendered concrete problems invisible.


The Liberal Commons, Hanoch Dagan, Michael A. Heller Jan 2001

The Liberal Commons, Hanoch Dagan, Michael A. Heller

Articles

Following the Civil War, black Americans began acquiring land in earnest; by 1920 almost one million black families owned farms. Since then, black rural landownership has dropped by more than 98% and continues in rapid decline-there are now fewer than 19,000 black-operated farms left in America. By contrast, white-operated farms dropped only by half, from about 5.5 million to 2.4 million. Commentators have offered as partial explanations the consolidation of inefficient small farms and intense racial discrimination in farm lending. However, even absent these factors, the unintended effects of old-fashioned American property law might have led to the same outcome. …


Three Faces Of Private Property, Michael A. Heller Jan 2000

Three Faces Of Private Property, Michael A. Heller

Articles

Private property is a rather elusive concept. Any kid knows what it means for something to be mine or yours, but grownup legal theorists get flustered when they try to pin down the term. Typically they, actually we, turn to a familiar analytic toolkit: including, for example, Blackstone's image of private property as "sole and despotic dominion"; Hardin's metaphor of the "tragedy of the commons"; and, more generally, the division of ownership into a trilogy of private, commons, and state forms. While each analytic tool has a distinguished pedigree and certain present usefulness, each also imposes a cost because it …


Uncoupling The Law Of Takings, Michael A. Heller, James E. Krier Jan 2000

Uncoupling The Law Of Takings, Michael A. Heller, James E. Krier

Articles

The law of takings couples together matters that should be treated independently. The conventional view, shared by courts and commentators alike, has been that any takings case can be resolved in one of two ways: either there is a taking and compensation is due, or there is no taking and no compensation is due. These results are fine as long as one holding or the other serves the two central concerns of the Takings Clause - eficiency and justice. But a problem arises when the two purposes behind the law of takings come into cordhct, as they readily might. It …


Making Something Out Of Nothing: The Law Of Takings And Phillips V. Washington Legal Foundation, Michael A. Heller, James E. Krier Jan 1999

Making Something Out Of Nothing: The Law Of Takings And Phillips V. Washington Legal Foundation, Michael A. Heller, James E. Krier

Articles

Phillips v. Washington Legal Foundation held that interest on principal amounts deposited into IOLTA accounts is the property of the various clients who handed over the money but expressed no view as to whether the Texas IOLTA program worked a taking, or, if it did, whether any compensation was due. The debates among the justices about the meaning of private property, argued in terms of contextual and conceptual severance, are unlikely to prove fruitful. We elaborate a better approach in terms of the underlying purposes of just compensation. We conclude that efficiency and justice are best served by uncoupling matters …


Deterrence And Distribution In The Law Of Takings, Michael A. Heller, James E. Krier Jan 1999

Deterrence And Distribution In The Law Of Takings, Michael A. Heller, James E. Krier

Articles

Supreme Court decisions over the last three-quarters of a century have turned the words of the Takings Clause into a secret code that only a momentary majority of the Court is able to understand. The Justices faithfully moor their opinions to the particular terms of the Fifth Amendment, but only by stretching the text beyond recognition. A better approach is to consider the purposes of the Takings Clause, efficiency and justice, and go anew from there. Such a method reveals that in some cases there are good reasons to require payment by the government when it regulates property, but not …


The Boundaries Of Private Property, Michael A. Heller Jan 1999

The Boundaries Of Private Property, Michael A. Heller

Articles

If your house and fields are worth more separately, divide them; if you want to leave a ring to your child now and grandchild later, split the ownership in a trust. The American law of property encourages owners to subdivide resources freely. Hidden within the law, however, is a boundary principle that limits the right to subdivide private property into wasteful fragments. While people often create wealth when they break up and recombine property in novel ways, owners may make mistakes, or their self-interest may clash with social welfare. Property law responds with diverse doctrines that prevent and abolish excessive …


The Tragedy Of The Anticommons: Property In The Transition From Marx To Markets, Michael A. Heller Jan 1998

The Tragedy Of The Anticommons: Property In The Transition From Marx To Markets, Michael A. Heller

Articles

Why are many storefronts in Moscow empty, while street kiosks in front are full of goods? In this Article, Professor Heller develops a theory of anticommons property to help explain the puzzle of empty storefronts and full kiosks. Anticommons property can be understood as the mirror image of commons property. By definition, in a commons, multiple owners are each endowed with the privilege to use a given resource, and no one has the right to exclude another When too many owners hold such privileges of use, the resource is prone to overuse - a tragedy of the commons. Depleted fisheries …


The Cathedral' At Twenty-Five: Citations And Impressions, James E. Krier, Stewart J. Schwab Jan 1997

The Cathedral' At Twenty-Five: Citations And Impressions, James E. Krier, Stewart J. Schwab

Articles

It was twenty-five years ago that Guido Calabresi and Douglas Melamed published their article on property rules, liability rules, and inalienability' Calabresi, then a law professor, later a dean, is now a federal judge. Melamed, formerly a student of Calabresi's, is now a seasoned Washington attorney. Their article-which, thanks to its subtitle, we shall call The Cathedral-has had a remarkable influence on our own thinking, as we tried to show in a recent paper2 This is not the place to rehash what we said then, but a summary might be in order. First, we demonstrated that the conventional wisdom about …


The Takings-Puzzle Puzzle, James E. Krier Jan 1997

The Takings-Puzzle Puzzle, James E. Krier

Articles

My aim here is to unpack the regulatory takings problem in a way that suggests why it is intractable. The idea is to reveal some of the different types of ambiguity necessarily entailed in takings cases. Seeing these ambiguities, we readily can understand why the doctrine in this area is so confused and confusing; why there is, in short, a "takings puzzle." To my mind, it is much more difficult to understand why anyone would expect matters to be otherwise. This oddity I call the "takings-puzzle puzzle."


Property Rules And Liability Rules: The Cathedral In Another Light, James E. Krier, Stewart J. Schwab Jan 1995

Property Rules And Liability Rules: The Cathedral In Another Light, James E. Krier, Stewart J. Schwab

Articles

Ronald Coase's essay on "The Problem of Social Cost" introduced the world to transaction costs, and the introduction laid the foundation for an ongoing cottage industry in law and economics. And of all the law-and-economics scholarship built on Coase's insights, perhaps the most widely known and influential contribution has been Calabresi and Melamed's discussion of what they called "property rules" and "liability rules."' Those rules and the methodology behind them are our subjects here. We have a number of objectives, the most basic of which is to provide a much needed primer for those students, scholars, and lawyers who are …


Property Rights: A View From The Trenches, Michael A. Heller Jan 1994

Property Rights: A View From The Trenches, Michael A. Heller

Articles

How do governments create - or in some countries recreate - basic property rights that citizens demand in the transition to a market economy? My first comment, quite briefly, is on the debate within this Symposium on the relationship between constitutional reforms and the emergence of new property regimes. Second, I will comment on the counterintuitive property rights regime that is emerging from the "big bang" - the post-1989 collapse of the old socialist legal order in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union and its replacement with a new, market-oriented system of property rights.


Some Aspects Of Householding In The Medieval Icelandic Commonwealth, William I. Miller Jan 1988

Some Aspects Of Householding In The Medieval Icelandic Commonwealth, William I. Miller

Articles

There has been much, mostly inconclusive, discussion about how to define the household in a manner suitable for comparative purposes. Certain conventional criteria are not very useful in the Icelandic context, where it appears that a person could be attached to more than one household, where the laws suggest it was possible for more than one household to be resident in the same uncompartmentalised farmhouse; and where headship might often be shared. Definitions, for example, based on co residence or on commensalism do not jibe all that well with the pastoral transhumance practised by the Icelanders. Sheep were tended and …


Dancing On The Edge Of Article 9, James J. White Jan 1986

Dancing On The Edge Of Article 9, James J. White

Articles

Despite the fact that Article 9 is a much more comprehensive personal property security statute than was ever found in American law prior to its enactment, cases continue to present issues on the scope of the Article. Gone are the cases in which a court was called upon to determine whether a "conditional sales contract" could be dealt with under the "factor's lien" law; it is now clear that all such personal property security devices are governed by Article 9. Yet many problems remain for the unwary lawyer. I will identify several and deal in detail with three of these …


The Estate Tax Marital Deduction, Harold Dubroff, Douglas A. Kahn Jan 1980

The Estate Tax Marital Deduction, Harold Dubroff, Douglas A. Kahn

Articles

The estate tax marital deduction, section 2056 of the Internal Revenue Code, was enacted in 1948, along with the split-income provisions of the income tax law and the marital deduction and split-gift provisions of the gift tax law. The purpose was to give married residents of common law states approximately the same federal tax advantages that were available to married residents of community property states. Ordinarily, upon the death of a married resident of a community property state, only one-half of the community property is taxed in the decedent's estate. Section 2056 achieves approximately the same result for married residents …


Transactions Subject To Gift Tax, Douglas A. Kahn, Earl M. Colson Jan 1975

Transactions Subject To Gift Tax, Douglas A. Kahn, Earl M. Colson

Articles

The gift tax is imposed on the "transfer of property by gift." The term gift is not expressly defined either in the Code or in the Treasury Regulations. However, section 2512(b), dealing with the valuation of gifts, states that "where property is transferred for less than an adequate and full consideration in money or money's worth," the difference between the value of the property transferred and the consideration received constitutes a gift. Thus, for gift tax purposes, the determination of whether a gift was made does not turn so much on the intent of the transferor as it does on …


Joint Tenancies And Tenancies By The Entirety In Michigan—Federal Gift Tax Considerations, Douglas A. Kahn Jan 1968

Joint Tenancies And Tenancies By The Entirety In Michigan—Federal Gift Tax Considerations, Douglas A. Kahn

Articles

The establishment of joint tenancy' ownership of property, or the termination of such a tenancy, may have federal gift tax consequences to the co-owners of the property. Consequently, the gift tax is a factor to be weighed before embarking on either of these ventures. The gift tax consequences are determined by the nature of the property rights enjoyed by the joint tenants under the controlling state property law, and accordingly it is desirable, where Michigan property law is applicable, to consider the Michigan law and the significance of that law to the operation of the gift tax. However, before discussing …


Evolving Judicial Attitudes Toward Local Government Land Use Control, Terrance Sandalow Jan 1967

Evolving Judicial Attitudes Toward Local Government Land Use Control, Terrance Sandalow

Articles

The year 1967 begins the second half-century of zoning in the United States. The first comprehensive zoning ordinance was adopted by New York City in 1916. In the fifty years that have elapsed, zoning has become, notwithstanding a growing disenchantment with it on the part of planners, the most widely employed technique of land use control in the United States. At the present time only Houston, of all the major cities in the United States, lacks a zoning ordinance. And, though I have not obtained precise figures, we are all familiar with the increasingly large per centage of small municipalities, …