Current Students

Property and Estates Law

Please make your selection from the list below:

Community Association Law (PROP7711)

2 credits. Lecture.

Community associations (condominiums, cooperatives, homeowners associations) are the most popular form of residential development in the United States and among the least understood by lawyers. Tens of millions of Americans live in these common interest communities. This course is structured to provide an introduction to the substantive law of community associations. Included subjects are: creating common interest communities; association functions, powers and governance; design standards and control; enforcement of covenants, rules and regulations; developer transitions; and liability of board and members.

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Estates and Trusts (PROP7701)

4 credits. Lecture.

Prerequisites: Property or Property I and II.

This course studies legal mechanisms for the transmission of wealth from one generation to the next. It includes: intestate succession and special problems of adopted and illegitimate children; protection of the family; wills, their execution and revocation; incorporation of unattested documents; republication and revival; will substitutes; trusts, their origin and nature; creation of trusts; transfer of beneficiaries' interests; termination of trusts; constructive and resulting trusts; charitable and honorary trusts; and policy determinants, emphasizing freedom of testation.

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Land Finance (PROP7704)

3 credits. Lecture.

Prerequisites: Property or Property I and II.

This course studies mortgage transactions and other aspects of land financing including: financing of subdivisions, condominiums and cooperatives; commercial real estate transactions; secondary mortgages; construction financing and shopping centers; use of leases as a financing device; impact of tax law on real estate financing; financing of low and middle income housing and assistance to private financing in redevelopment; role of various receiverships; truth-in-lending; public sale of real estate securities; syndication and sale and lease-back transactions.

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New Jersey Land Use Practice (PROP9709)

2 credits. Seminar.

Prerequisites: Property or Property I and II

This seminar is designed to introduce students to the world of practice before municipal land use planning and zoning boards. The class will briefly review the history and state authorization of land use regulation. Procedural requirements of the practice and jurisdictional pitfalls especially in the areas of the requirements for public notices of meeting, filings and conflict-required recusal of board members will be extensively covered. A substantial portion of the course will be devoted to the nuts and bolts of presenting matters to boards and will deal with such practical topics as: how to determine which is the legally appropriate board to approach; how to obtain (or convince a board to deny) the required relief (subdivision and site plan approvals, bulk variances or use and other (variances); how to prepare a case for presentation including the required legal proofs, and political, timing and related considerations; how to mount effective opposition to an application; and how and when to appeal from an adverse decision. Extensive class participation is expected and students will hear from outside planning, traffic and engineering experts. The grade will be based on writing assignments and class performance.

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Property and Its Limits (PROP9706)

3 credits. Seminar.

Prerequisites: Property or Property I and II.

Like all AWR seminars, this course has two goals. First, this course will examine the boundaries between the individual's rights in his or her property versus public rights with respect to that same property. When should property rights be limited or expanded for the common good? We will begin by exploring some of the major academic theories of private property, including Law & Economics, theories of property and community, and commodification theory, and proceed to the discussion of contested areas of property law. The second purpose of the seminar is to improve academic writing skills and to produce AWR papers. To that end, students will be asked to read a handbook on scholarly writing before the beginning of the semester and to pick a paper topic very early on. For instance, one might write about recent changes in the Rule Against Perpetuities, which create greater rights in private property.

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Estate Planning and Drafting (TAXN8115)

2 credits. Lecture.

Prerequisites: Estates and Trusts

Students will focus on the lawyer in an office practice and as counselor in the family community. Development of drafting skills will be emphasized in short drafting assignments throughout the semester. The course will cover the lawyer's ethical responsibilities, planning and drafting for wealth transfers by will and the alternatives, including gifting inter vivos, and drafting for beneficiary protection and to minimize gift, estate and generation-skipping taxes.  

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Elder Law (PROP7710)

2 credits. Lecture.

Representing clients as they age with a focus on: health care and long term care needs, Medicare and Medicaid eligibility and services; representing clients with diminished capacity and surrogate decision-making options including guardianship; end-of-life, hospice and palliative care planning; estate planning, including financial needs, long term care insurance, strategies to protect assets, protection against spouse impoverishment and support rights, and use of Medicaid qualifying trusts, family law issue in the context of elder law representation, and consumer protection law for older clients.

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Property, Law, and Society (PROP9708)

3 credits. Seminar

Prerequisite: Property or Property I and II.

This seminar explores property law and rhetoric as they are applied in the real world. It spans a number of different fields. AWR papers may address topics in intellectual property; environmental and natural resources law; zoning and land use; cultural property (including rights of indigenous peoples, cultural patrimony, and art law); Indian law; eminent domain and regulatory takings; property aspects of critical race, feminist, and queer analyses of law; traditional property jurisprudence; comparative property law; and the legal history of property. The seminar readings will draw on sociolegal, comparative, theoretical, and historical approaches to property, as well as case studies. Seminar readings will likely include liberal, libertarian, communitarian, and evolutionary theories of property; the tragedy of the commons and Elinor Ostrom’s Nobel-prize winning work partially rebutting it; the problem of the anticommons; commodification and its limits; the idea of personhood property; claims to own culture and objects imbued with cultural significance; and extensions of the doctrine of regulatory takings to claims of judicial taking and the right to be compensated for regulatory delay. Case studies will likely include coastal land management; marriage as cultural property; property practice in squatter communities; the sale of body parts; and hate crimes as informal segregation.

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Zoning, Planning and Land Use Property (PROP7707)

2 credits. Lecture.

Prerequisites: Property or Property I and II.

This course is a comprehensive study in governmental land use controls through zoning and planning. Subjects studied include: the validity of zoning and planning; zoning and planning procedures; nonconforming and conditional uses; variances; exclusionary zoning; the Fair Housing Act; regional zoning; and environmental land use controls.

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Estate and Gift Tax (TAXN8110)

3 credits. Lecture.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation and Property or Property I and II.

This course provides a critical analysis of the policy and substance of the system of wealth transfer taxation through a study of the leading cases, Revenue Rulings, the Code and Regulations; it includes a detailed consideration of estate and gift taxation, the generation-skipping transfer tax, and the 1990 estate freeze system of taxes.

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Real Estate Development (PROP7716)

2 credits. Lecture.

Prerequisites: Property or Property I and II.

This course undertakes a critical examination, from the owner/developer point of view, of the practical process and legal issues involved in evaluating, budgeting, constructing and marketing commercial real estate. It will include site investigation, project feasibility, return computations, infrastructure, market demand, political issues, zoning, construction, environmental concerns and market acceptance.

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