Professor Henry H. Perritt, Jr.
Property (Three Hours)
Exam No. ___________
Time: 1315-1615, 18 May 2007
Final Examination in property
1. This examination consists of 5 pages. Please check to make certain you have the complete examination, including the statutory appendix.
2. Read these instructions carefully, read each question, and read the appendix carefully. As you answer each question, make use of any materials in the appendix that are pertinent. Think each problem through before you write and treat every appropriate issue in each question. Be direct and concise.
3. Answers will be graded upon the reasons given as well as the conclusions drawn. If more than one reason is pertinent to an answer, state every reason.
4. While you have been permitted to bring materials into the examination room, answering the questions appropriately will put time pressure on you. You should not do extensive research during the examination. Credit will be weighted according to the time allocations shown. Manage your time accordingly.
5. You may decide, in answering one or more questions, that a complete answer would require legal research. If this is so, you should identify the specific issue that you would research. If you have a mastery of the basic concepts, you will be able to frame research issues very narrowly and precisely.
6. It also may be that more factual information is required to answer a question. If this is the case, you should say what factual information is required and why you need it. A mastery of the underlying concepts will permit you to frame any factual inquiries very narrowly and link them precisely to the legal issue involved.
7. Organization and clarity are very important. A shorter answer that is well organized and evidences a clear understanding of basic concepts and their interrelationships is better than a long answer with disconnected fragments of information.
8. Do not write outside the margins of your bluebook pages, but write clearly. If its not legible, it will not get credit.
9. Write your examination number on your bluebook(s) and on each page of this examination. Do not use your name.
10. When you have finished the examination place it inside your bluebook(s) and deposit them in the appropriate box in the examination room.
Any material including any outlines whether commercially prepared or not, whether accessible by computer or not. No communication by e-mail, cell phone, voice-over-IP, or any form of instant- or text-messaging is permitted during the exam.
18 May 2007
Ardian and Linda are recently married. Ardians parents came
Ardian and Linda perform the song at the festival, on the
first day. At the performance Linda stands on the stage with Ardian and holds
the chord chart so he can see it but does not herself sing or play the çiftelia.
She sways occasionally and taps her foot in time with the music. Their
performance is well receivedtoo well received, in fact. A famous popular
singer, Justfine Timberpond, has been recruited by the county board to perform
on the last day of the festival. There is considerable excitement about his
participation and the crowds on the last day are expected to be huge.
Timberponds problem is that he does not have enough material. He hears about
the Albanian folk song performed by Ardian and Linda and discovers that the
daughter of the mayor recorded their performance. He listens to the recording
and, being very talented, memorizes the song and thinks about how he can
embellish it to make it more appealing. But he has another problem: he does not
have any traditional Albanian folk instruments. He tells the county board that
he will not come unless the board finds a way to get him a çiftelia for
the performance. The county board immediately adopts an ordinance requiring any
resident of the county who owns an unusual musical instrument to make it
available without charge for up to six weeks for any county-sponsored musical
performance. Everyone saw the çiftelia that Ardian and Linda used in
their performance. Ardian and Linda refuse to make the çiftelia available
voluntarily, so the county sheriff goes to their home and seizes it, telling
them he is acting pursuant to the ordinance. Timberpond practices intensively
on the instrument and performs Ardians and Lindas song on the last day of the
festival. The audience is so enthusiastic about his rendition that they insist
that he play it five times. Shortly afterward, Timberpond goes home to
A. (35 minutes) Assume you represent Ardian. What arguments, on what legal theories, would you make in a lawsuit to recover damages from Timberpond for singing the song? Evaluate Timberponds likely defenses and assess Ardians prospects for success.
minutes) Assume you represent Ardian and Linda in a suit against the county or
the State of
minutes) Unfortunately, discord develops in the marriage. Linda accuses Ardian
of being a wimp because he did not resist the sheriff more forcefully, which,
she says, might have prevented the seizure of the çiftelia, and for
not composing a more complicated song which would have made it harder for
Timberpond to appropriate it so easily. While they are fighting, Linda sells
the çiftelia on eBay to Keith Anne Richardson for $600,000, without
telling Ardian. She gives
D. (10 minutes) Linda and Ardian decide to get divorced. Most of the controversy in the divorce proceedings involves the çiftelia and the song. Ardian claims whatever property rights exist in the song and he thinks they developed a pretty good case that property rights do exist in the song, in conjunction with the case developed in response to Question (A). Linda claims the çiftelia. Assume you are the law clerk to the judge in the divorce/property-distribution proceeding. Who should get what and why?
Carl Mark owns a five acre parcel of land on the outskirts
A. (20 minutes) Assume, for purposes of this subquestion, that the easement is recorded and validly indexed. What arguments can the developer make that the easement is not valid? Identify all relevant legal theories, and evaluate their merits in light of probable defenses.
B. (20 minutes) Assume the easement is valid as of the time of its conveyance. Assume also, for purposes of this subquestion, that everyone recorded his or her deeds but the Recorder of Deeds Office is backlogged in updating the computerized index and none of the conveyances are reflected in the index. The developer loses interest in high-density low-income housing, and instead subdivides the property and constructs two palatial single family homes, each on half of the property. He sells one of the houses to Sean Lock and the other to Peggy Thatch. Both record their deeds and both deeds are indexed accurately. Shortly after he moves in, Lock is startled to see a backhoe in his backyard bearing the logo of the cell phone service provider. He discovers that the cell phone provider intends to build a site with associated antennas for a new technology that provides broadband Internet access. In his conversations with the provider, seeking to understand the purpose for the construction, he says, You mean this provides something like cell phone service? The providers representative responds, No. This has nothing to do with cell phone service; it provides Internet access through a completely different technology. Lock asks you to represent him and to take whatever legal action is necessary to prevent the construction of this facility on his property. What legal action would you take, what legal theories would you assert, and what defenses would you anticipate? Would you expect to be successful? Why or why not?
C. (20 minutes) Assume the easement is invalid and void. At the time of the original conveyances to the cell phone provider and the developer, the land was under lease to a local conservation group which makes a practice of obtaining leases to vacant land so that the land will remain vacant during the terms of the lease, enabling local nature lovers to watch and photograph birds and other animals such as coyotes, foxes, rabbits, and diamond-back rattlesnakes. The lease expires one month after the conveyances to the developer and the cell phone provider but the birdwatchers and nature lovers continue to use the property and the conservation group continues to list it on its Web site as available for those purposes. Can the conservation group take any legal action to prevent construction on the property by developer? What would its legal theories be? What would the developers defenses be? Evaluate the prospects for success by the conservation group.
D. (20 minutes) Assume that both the easement and the lease are valid and that Thatch knows about both. Suppose you represent Thatch in a lawsuit against Mark. What arguments, on what legal theories, would you make? Evaluate likely defenses and assess the prospects for success.
765 ILCS 5/30
Formerly cited as IL ST CH 30 ¶ 29
Chapter 765. Property
Act 5. Conveyances Act
5/30. Effect of recording as to creditors and subsequent purchasers
§ 30. All deeds, mortgages and other instruments of writing which are authorized to be recorded, shall take effect and be in force from and after the time of filing the same for record, and not before, as to all creditors and subsequent purchasers, without notice; and all such deeds and title papers shall be adjudged void as to all such creditors and subsequent purchasers, without notice, until the same shall be filed for record.