Nebraska Law School 1L Study Guide for Property

Nebraska Law School 1L Study Guide for Property

Property is a fundamental area of law that involves the rights and interests individuals and entities have in tangible and intangible assets. This guide will cover the essential concepts and legal principles that are typically part of a first-year property law class, with a focus on Nebraska law where relevant.

I. Introduction to Property Law
A. Definitions of Property
1. Real property (real estate, land, and improvements)
2. Personal property (tangible and intangible)
B. Types of Property Interests
1. Fee simple absolute
2. Life estate
3. Leasehold interests
4. Easements and covenants
5. Future interests

II. Possession and Ownership
A. Acquisition of Property
1. Discovery, capture, and conquest
2. Adverse possession
– Elements: Continuous, open and notorious, actual and exclusive, hostile
– Nebraska Statute: Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-202 (Time for adverse possession)
3. Creation
– Deeds and conveyancing
– Will and inheritance
B. Finders of Property
1. Lost, mislaid, and abandoned property
2. Treasure trove
C. Bailments
1. Rights and duties of the bailor and bailee

III. Estates in Land
A. Present Estates
1. Fee simple
2. Defeasible fees
3. Life estates and pur autre vie
B. Future Interests
1. Reversions, remainders, and executory interests
C. Co-ownership and Marital Interests
1. Tenancy in common
2. Joint tenancy with right of survivorship
3. Tenancy by the entirety (not recognized in Nebraska)
4. Community property (not applicable in Nebraska)

IV. Land Use Regulation
A. Zoning and Planning
1. Euclidean zoning
2. Variance and special use permits
B. Eminent Domain
1. Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment
2. Nebraska eminent domain laws (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 76-704 et seq.)

V. Landlord-Tenant Law
A. Leasehold Estates
1. Term of years
2. Periodic tenancy
3. Tenancy at will
4. Tenancy at sufferance
B. Landlord-Tenant Duties and Rights
1. Duty to deliver possession
2. Implied warranty of habitability
3. Security deposits (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 76-1416)
4. Eviction procedures

VI. Real Estate Transactions
A. The Sales Contract
1. Statute of Frauds
2. Equitable conversion
3. Risk of loss
B. The Deed
1. Requirements for a valid deed
2. Types of deeds (warranty, quitclaim, special warranty)
C. Recording Statutes
1. Race statute
2. Notice statute
3. Race-notice statute (Nebraska follows the notice statute approach)

VII. Nonpossessory Interests in Land
A. Easements
1. Creation, termination, and types
2. Appurtenant and in gross
B. Real Covenants and Equitable Servitudes
1. Requirements for enforcement
2. Touch and concern the land
3. Running with the land

VIII. Selected Nebraska Case Law
– Nebraska case law can help illustrate and exemplify the above concepts. It is important to review key Nebraska cases and analyze them using the IRAC format (Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion).

Example Case Review in IRAC Format:
Case: Jones v. Smith, 123 Neb. 456 (20XX)
Issue: Does a verbal agreement for the transfer of ownership in a piece of real property satisfy the Statute of Frauds in Nebraska?
Rule: Nebraska Statute of Frauds requires that contracts for the sale of real estate must be in writing to be enforceable.
Analysis: In Jones v. Smith, the plaintiff argued that a verbal agreement took place, and they acted in reliance on that agreement. The defendant claimed that the agreement was not enforceable because it was not in writing. The court examined the Nebraska Statute of Frauds and previous case law to determine if any exceptions applied that would enforce the verbal contract.
Conclusion: The Nebraska court held that the verbal agreement was not enforceable under the Statute of Frauds since there was no written evidence of the contract and no sufficient act of part performance to take the contract out of the statute.

Using case briefs and understanding how to apply the IRAC method will prepare students for examining legal issues on their final exams. Additionally, students should review any supplemental material provided by the professor, complete practice problems, and participate in study groups to discuss and reinforce these concepts.

Remember to check for updates in Nebraska law and any federal laws or Supreme Court cases that may alter the state of property law as it stands. Good luck with your studies.

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