The Restatement of the Law Fourth, Property seeks to bring comprehensiveness and coherence to American property law. Subjects to be covered include: the classification of entitlements, possession, accession, and acquisition; ownership powers; protection of and limits on ownership; divided and shared ownership; title and transfer; easements, servitudes, and land use; and public rights and takings.

The following is a tentative Table of Contents.

Volume 1: The Basics of Property

Division One: General Definitions

Section 1. Property

Section 2. Things

Section 3. Ownership

Section 4. Owner

Section 5 Title

Section 6. Relativity of Title

[Possible additional topics: Contracts as Property, Property in Information, Entitlement and Interest, In Rem Rights, Residual Claims, Customary Rights, Quasi-Property]

Division Two: Possession

Chapter 1: Possession

Chapter 2: Adverse Possession

Division Three: Accession

Chapter 1: Newborn Animals

Chapter 2: Earnings on Financial Instruments

Chapter 3: Combinations

Chapter 4: Fixtures

Chapter 5: Air Rights and Subsurface Rights

Chapter 6: Crops and Vegetation

Volume 2: Interferences with, and Limits on, Ownership and Possession

Division One: Property Torts

Chapter 1: Trespass to Land

Chapter 2: Nuisance

Chapter 3: Conversion and Trespass to Personal Property

Chapter 4: Property Torts and Remedies

Division Two: Mutual Default Rights

Chapter 1. Customary Rights and Privileges

Chapter 2. Air and Light

Chapter 3. Water Rights

Chapter 4. Lateral Support

Division Three: Limits on Possessory Rights

Chapter 1. Owner Duties

Chapter 2. Custom

Chapter 3. Public Accommodations

Chapter 4. Antidiscrimination

Chapter 5. Public Policy

Chapter 6. Equitable Limits and Abuse of Right


Division One: Owner Powers

Chapter 1.     Powers in General

Chapter 2.     Power of Alienation

Chapter 3.     Gifts

Chapter 4.    Sales [with pointer to the UCC]

Chapter 5.    Testation and Succession [with pointers to Wills, Trusts, and Estates]

Chapter 6.     Power to Create Lesser Interests

Chapter 7.     Domains of Power

Chapter 8.     Abandonment

Chapter 9.     Destruction

Chapter 10.   Other Powers [pointers to powers of appointment, agent’s powers, equitable powers, reference to creation of security interests]

Division Two: Licenses

Chapter 11.     Licenses Defined

Chapter 12.     Durability of Licenses

Chapter 13.     License Versus Contract

Chapter 14.     Relation to Possessory Remedies

Division Three: Bailments

Section 1. Definition of Bailment

Section 2. Exclusive Possession by the Bailee

Section 3. Types of Bailment Formation

Section 4. Formation of Actual Bailment

Section 5. Formation of Constructive Bailment

Section 6. Circumstances Justifying Constructive Bailment

Section 7. Categories of Bailment Relationship

Section 8. Bailment Scope

Section 9. Rights of Bailors

Section 10. Duties of Bailors

Section 11. Rights of Bailees

Section 12. Duties of Bailees

Section 13. Standards of Care Applicable to Bailees

Section 14. Burdens of Proof

Section 15. Alteration of the Standard of Care by Contract

Section 16. Limitations on Parties’ Ability to Modify Bailee Liability


Division One: The Estate System

Chapter 1.       The Forms of Ownership

Chapter 2.      Present Interests: Classification

Chapter 3.      Future Interests: Classification

Chapter 4.      Maintaining and Simplifying the Estate System

Chapter 5.      Waste

Chapter 6.       Maintaining the Estate System

Chapter 7.       Simplifying the Estate System

Chapter 8.       Waste

Division Two: Co-ownership

Chapter 1.     Co-ownership in General

Chapter 2.     Tenancy in Common

Chapter 3.     Joint Tenancy

Chapter 4.     Tenancy by the Entirety

Chapter 5.     Marital property [pointers]

Chapter 6.     Tenancy in Partnership [pointers]

Chapter 7.     Contribution

Chapter 8.     Accounting

Chapter 9.     Severance

Chapter 10.     Partition

Chapter  11.     Relation to Unjust enrichment and equity [pointer to Restatement Third of Restitution and Unjust Enrichment]

Division Three: Landlord and Tenant

Chapter 1.     Types of Leases

Chapter 2.     Term of Years

Chapter 3.     Tenancy at Will

Chapter 4.     Periodic Tenancy

Chapter 5.     Tenancy at Sufferance

Chapter 6.     Dependent and Independent Covenants

Chapter 7.     Transfers of the Landlord Interests

Chapter 8.     Transfers of the Tenant Interests

Chapter 9.     Assignments

Chapter 10.     Subleases

Chapter 11.     Approval Clauses

Chapter 12.     Agricultural, Commercial, and Residential Tenancies

Chapter 13.     Tenant’s Possessory Rights

Chapter 14.     Rent

Chapter 15.     Security Deposit

Chapter 16.     Illegal Leases

Chapter 17.     Quiet Enjoyment

Chapter 18.     Constructive Eviction

Chapter 19.     Implied Warranty of Habitability

Chapter 20.     Termination in General

Chapter 21.     Eviction and its Limits

Chapter 22.     Mitigation of Damages

Chapter 23.     Surrender

Chapter 24.     Forfeiture

Chapter 25.     Abandonment

Chapter 26.     Merger/Extinguishment

Chapter 27.     Regulation of Short-Term Rentals

Chapter 28.     Tenants’ Relationship with Mortgage Lenders

Chapter 29.     Leases of Personal Property

Division Four: Common Interest Communities

Chapter 1.     Defined

Chapter 2.     Condominiums

Chapter 3.     Cooperatives

Chapter 4.     Creation

Chapter 5.     Association Powers

Chapter 6.     Rule Making

Chapter 7.     Rights of Association Members

Chapter 8.     Board Powers

Chapter 9.     Assessments

Chapter 10.     Enforcement

Chapter 11.     Amendments

Division Five: Trusts

Chapter 1.     Legal and Equitable Title [pointer to Wills, Trusts, and Estates]

Chapter 2.     Protection against Third parties

Chapter 3.     Good Faith Purchasers

Chapter 4.     Organizational Property


Division One: Title

Section 1.       Title Defined

Section 2.       Nemo Dat 

Section 3.      Definition of Encumbrance

Section 4.      Satisfaction of Encumbrances

Section 5.      Bar on Encumbrances by Laches, Statutes of Limitation, and                              Marketable Title Acts

Division Two: Transfer

Chapter 1.      Contracts for Purchase and Sale of Present Estates in Real                                Property

Chapter 2.      Deeds of Conveyance

Division Three: Recording

Chapter 1.    Recording Requirements and Documents Eligible for Recording

Chapter 2.    Recording Acts

Chapter 3.    Bona Fide Purchasers

Chapter 4.    Types of Notice

Chapter 5.    Defects That Cause Documents to Fail to Impart Record Notice

Chapter 6.    Marketable Title Acts

Chapter 7.    Title Disputes and Quiet Title Actions

Division Four: Mortgages

Chapter 1.     Security Interests in General

Chapter 2.     Non-Mortgage Liens

Chapter 3.    Creation of Mortgages

Chapter 4.      Future Advances

Chapter 5.    Mortgagor’s Equity of Redemption and Mortgage Substitutes

Chapter 6.    Rights and Duties of the Parties Prior to Foreclosure

Chapter 7.    Transfers of Mortgaged Real Estate and Mortgages

Chapter 8.      Payment and Discharge

Chapter 9.       Priorities

Chapter 10.     Foreclosure

Chapter 11.     Security Interests in Personal Property [pointer to the UCC]

Volume 6: Servitudes

Division One: Servitudes

Chapter 1.       Definitions

Chapter 2.      Creation of Servitudes

Chapter 3.      Validity of Servitude Arrangements

Chapter 4.      Interpretation of Servitudes

Chapter 5.      Succession to Benefits and Burdens of Servitudes

Chapter 6.      Common-Interest Communities

Chapter 7.      Modification and Termination of Servitudes

Chapter 8.      Enforcement of Servitudes

Division Two: Easements

Chapter 1.      Defined

Chapter 2.      Contrasted with Licenses, Leases, and Reciprocal Default                                    Rights

Chapter 3.       Appurtenant Easements

Chapter 4.      In Gross Easements

Chapter 5.      Positive Easements

Chapter 6.      Negative Easements

Chapter 7.      Types of Easements (incl. Conservation, Preservation, Solar,                              Wind)

Chapter 8.      Creation of Easements

Chapter 9.       Grant

Chapter 10.     Necessity

Chapter 11.     Implication

Chapter 12.     Prescription

Chapter 13.      Estoppel

Chapter 14.      Private Eminent Domain [pointer eminent domain, Volume 8]

Chapter 15.      Misuse of Easements

Chapter 16.       Alteration of Easements

Chapter 17.      Termination of Easements

Chapter 18.      Servitudes on Personal Property

Division 3: Covenants

Chapter 1. Defined

Chapter 2.       Relation to Contract

Chapter 3.       Public Policy

Chapter 4.       Restraints on Alienation

Chapter 5.       Running

Chapter 6.       Alteration

Chapter 7.       Termination of Covenants

Chapter 8.       Valuation

Chapter 9.       Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions [incl. pointer to Vol. 4, Div. 4]


Division One: Zoning

Chapter 1.       The Roots of Zoning Law

Chapter 2.       Fundamental Concepts

Chapter 3.      Regulating Land Use, Structures, and Lots

Chapter 4.       Process

Chapter 5.      Roles of Various Groups in Zoning

Chapter 6.      Flexibility Tools

Chapter 7.      Nonconforming Rights

Division Two: Planning

Section 1.       Planning Authority

Section 2.       Adoption

Section 3.       Relationship of Comprehensive Plan to Zoning

Division Two: Subdivision

Section 1.       Subdivision Authority

Section 2.        Subdivisions Generally

Section 3.        Subdivision Standards

Section 4.        Subdivision Review

Section 5.        Subdivision Approval

Volume 8: Public Rights and Takings

Division 1: Public Rights

Chapter 1.       Defined

Chapter 2.       Common and Public Rights

Chapter 3.        Public Nuisance [pointer to Volume 2]

Chapter 4.        Highways

Chapter 5.        Navigation

Chapter 6.       Public Trust

Chapter 7.       Public Land Grants

Chapter 8.       Dedication

Chapter 9.       Customary Public Rights

Chapter 10.      Escheat, Execution, and Forfeiture

Division 2: Eminent Domain 

Chapter 1.        Defined

Chapter 2.        Taxes Distinguished

Chapter 3.        Public Use

Chapter 4.        Just Compensation

Chapter 5.        Partial Takings

Chapter 6.        Limiting Legislation

Division 3: Basics of Public Foerbearance

Chapter 1.       Defined

Chapter 2.       Role of Regulatory Takings

Chapter 3.        Anti-Retroactivity

Chapter 4.       Vested Rights

Chapter 5.       Due Process


Henry E. Smith

Reporter, The Restatement of the Law Fourth, Property

Henry Smith is the Fessenden Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where he directs the Project on the Foundations of Private Law. Professor Smith has written primarily on the law and economics of property and intellectual property, with a focus on how property-related institutions lower information costs and constrain strategic behavior.

Maureen E. Brady

Associate Reporter, The Restatement of the Law Fourth, Property

Maureen (Molly) E. Brady is an assistant professor of law at Harvard Law School, where she teaches property law and related subjects. Her scholarship uses historical analyses of property institutions and land use doctrines to explore broader theoretical questions. Her current research projects involve the evolution of nuisance rules, the privatization of public space, and state constitutional takings law.

Sara C. Bronin

Associate Reporter, The Restatement of the Law Fourth, Property

Sara Bronin is a Professor at Cornell University and Associate Member of Cornell Law School. She is a Mexican-American architect and attorney whose interdisciplinary research focuses on how law and policy can foster more equitable, sustainable, well-designed, and connected places.

Richard R. W. Brooks

Associate Reporter, The Restatement of the Law Fourth, Property

Richard R.W. Brooks is the Emilie M. Bullowa Professor of Law at New York University. He focuses his scholarship on contracts and agency, among other forms of business and social organization. Brooks’ work also includes articles about contract law and theory, experimental economics, the economics of environmental law, fairness, and perceptions of the legal system.

Yun-Chien Chang

Associate Reporter, The Restatement of the Law Fourth, Property

Yun-chien Chang is a Research Professor at Institutum Iurisprudentiae, Academia Sinica, Taiwan and serves as the Director of its Empirical Legal Studies Center. His current academic interests focus on economic, empirical and comparative analysis of private law (particularly property law), as well as empirical studies of the judicial system.

R. Wilson Freyermuth


R. Wilson Freyermuth joined the University of Missouri Columbia School of Law faculty in 1992. He teaches in the areas of Property, Real Estate, and Secured Transactions, and has co-authored widely-used texts in all three areas. He received MU’s William T. Kemper Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching in 2007, and was appointed a Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2009.

John C. P. Goldberg

Associate Reporter, The Restatement of the Law Fourth, Property

John Goldberg, an expert in tort law, tort theory, and political philosophy, joined the Harvard Law School faculty in 2008. From 1995 until then, he was a faculty member of Vanderbilt Law School, where he served as Associate Dean for Research (2006-08). He is co-author of a leading casebook, Tort Law: Responsibilities and Redress (4th ed. 2016), as well as The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law: Torts (2010).

Brian A. Lee

Associate Reporter, The Restatement of the Law Fourth, Property

Brian Lee is a Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School. His principal research interests are in property and intellectual property, focusing on the intersection between moral reasoning and economic analysis in the law.

Thomas W. Merrill

Associate Reporter, The Restatement of the Law Fourth, Property

Thomas Merrill is the Charles Evans Hughes Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. He writes widely in the fields of property and administrative law. Professor Merrill served as the deputy solicitor general for the Department of Justice in the late 1980s. He previously worked for the firm Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood in Chicago.

Christopher M. Newman

Associate Reporter, The Restatement of the Law Fourth, Property

Christopher Newman is an associate professor Scalia Law. Prior to joining the law school, Professor Newman served an Olin/Searle Fellowship in Law at the UCLA School of Law, where he focused on his research and writing in the areas of property theory and intellectual property. Before that, he was a litigation associate with Irell & Manella LLP in Los Angeles, where he represented clients in disputes involving contracts, business torts, intellectual property, corporate and securities litigation, and appellate matters.

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