February 2007 Vol. 105 No. 4 THE REVIEW

Legal Fictions in Pierson v. Post

Andrea McDowell

American courts and citizens generally take the importance of private property for granted. Scholars have sought to explain its primacy using numerous legal doctrines, including natural law, the Lockean principle of a right to the product of one’s labor, Law & Economics theories about the incentives created by property ownership, and the importance of bright line rules. The leading case on the necessity of private property, Pierson v. Post, makes all four of these points. This Article argues that Pierson has been misunderstood. Pierson was in fact a defective torts case that the judges shoe-horned into a property mold using legal fictions and antiquated “facts” about foxhunting. Moreover, at least one of the judges knew his arguments were farfetched. My conclusions undermine several theories about private property that are based on Pierson v. Post.

   //  VIEW PDF
& Other Current Events

Cultivating Inclusion

Twenty-five years ago, law schools were in the developing stages of a pitched battle for the future of legal...

Aftermarketfailure: Windows XP's End of Support

"After 12 years, support for Windows XP will end on April 8, 2014." So proclaims a Microsoft website with...

Globally Speaking—Honoring the Victims' Stories: Matsuda's Human Rights Praxis

Globally speaking, international law and the vast majority of domestic legal systems strive to protect...

Toward A Multiple Consciousness of Language: A Tribute to Professor Mari Matsuda

I am thrilled to be part of this commemoration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Professor Matsuda's...

House Swaps: A Strategic Bankruptcy Solution to the Foreclosure Crisis

Since the price peak in 2006, home values have fallen more than 30 percent, leaving millions of Americans...
MAILING LIST
Sign Up to Join Our Mailing List