Some of the most basic doctrines of property law are very old, many dating to the medieval era. How can legal rules that were born so long ago remain viable today? In Reappraisals in the Law of Property, author John V. Orth considers various topics in order to discover the forces that have been made and are continuing to remake these areas of the law. Orth proposes three forces in particular that have shaped the development of property law over time: the inertial force of tradition, the reforming power of judicial and legislative activism, and the constant challenge of academic criticism. Together, these themes form the foundation of a critical and challenging work, one that re-evaluates property law and demonstrates both its enduring consistency and the unique and often drastic ways in which it has evolved in the modern era.
John V. Orth is the William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law. His many books on subjects in law include How Many Judges Does It Take to Make a Supreme Court? And Other Essays on Law and the Constitution (University Press of Kansas, 2006) and The Judicial Power of the United States: The Eleventh Amendment in American History (Oxford University Press, 1991).
'For several years now John Orth has been writing a series of essays that have brought various old property doctrines to life. He has now collected these essays and added to them in this wonderful new book. In his hands the Rule in Shelley's Case, easements, and escheat come to life. Orth adds to these old chestnuts his insights on what forces have driven property law's development. Throughout all of the chapters Orth displays his characteristic wit, modesty, and immensely readable style.' Gregory S. Alexander, Cornell Law School, USA 'Reappraisals is a brilliantly playful examination of property doctrines that in less skillful hands might seem arcane. Leases, covenants, joint tenancies, and a dozen other property concepts have never been so much fun.' James Lindgren, Northwestern University, USA 'The author touches upon some fascinating questions on the role of property and how our concept of property is constructed... Orth's Reappraisals in the Law of Property achieves the distinction of providing a springboard for a host of debates and discussions about the nature of law in society, which must surely be the primary aim of any writer.' Cambrian Law Review 'Reappraisals in the Law of Property is well crafted and written... It addresses the real guts of property law as examined by academic law professors. Orth does a good job making the problems real, showing how practicing lawyers face the reality of these problems.' Law and Politics Book Review 'Reappraisals in the law of Property is well crafted and written... It addresses the real guts of property law as examined by academic law professors. Orth does a good job making the problems real, showing how practicing lawyers face the reality of these problems.' Law and Politics Book Review