Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Property, 7th Edition
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on April 3, 2012
As someone else already noted, if you're here, it's because the book was assigned and you have to buy it. But in the slim chance some professor out there is reading this and trying to make a decision, I'll just say this book is terrible. Of course, I can only compare it to other casebooks I have used this year, but this is by far the worst. A few of the main issues:

1. Unedited Cases - As others have noted, the cases could be edited down substantially to isolate relevant legal issues. The failure to do this results not only in wasted time (the enemy of the law student), but also confusion. The confusion arises because a case will include discussion of ancillary issues to the resolution of the case that are discussed elsewhere in the chapter (frequently later) in greater depth, and there's no contextualization about which is the majority, outdated, etc. Because they are often irrelevant to the "point" of the case, this confusion and delay could be easily avoided through more judicious editing. (Also, there are a lot of "throat-clearing" cases, which just announce a new rule. Editors, here's an idea: instead of wasting my time by making me read 6-8 pages of bull, why not just provide a paragraph explaining the historical development, policy, and the new rule? Oh yeah, because the more pages, the more we pay.).

2. "Notes" - I suppose the authors deserve some credit for attempting to do what many casebooks don't by occasionally providing brief snippets explaining black letter law. But it was almost as if the authors just couldn't bring themselves to complete this pedagogical sacrilege, and the result is confusing passages which obliquely discuss legal issues without offering satisfactory or even organized explanations. The entire tone of these passages can best be described as "coy." My advice would be to just read the real thing: an actual treatise designed to be helpful, rather than "prodding" (read: confusing).

3. "Problems" - Closely related to the "notes" are the problems, which are simply infuriating. The book will pose a question, which you are quite justifiably incapable of answering, because it applies some doctrine or exception which you have not yet learned, or reaches a novel conclusion. And instead of offering an explanation, the vast, vast majority of these questions taunt you by directing you to a case dealing with the issue, usually without a parenthetical explanation. Let me put this simply: there is no way I am going to use what limited spare time I have in law school to go read an unassigned case just to get an answer that is put plainly in a hornbook or E&E.

In conclusion, this book is terrible. For an example of a well-done text, check out Glannon and Raven-Hansen's new CivPro book.
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on March 7, 2012
This is the worst casebook I've had thus far in law school. The authors make a habit of introducing terms and concepts without explanation, causing you to flip back and look (in vain) to see where you missed the explanation. Then, a couple pages later they explain the term or concept, and you realize that when they first mentioned it, you weren't supposed to know what it was yet. If that seems like a terrible way to structure a book to you, then you're right, and I agree.

Let me explain a different way: Concept A is introduced and explained. In the explanation the authors distinguish concept A from concept B. Of course, concept B has not been explained yet so the distinction they draw means nothing to you. You wonder if maybe you missed the page where they explained concept B because this is the first time you are seeing it. You look for it in the previous pages but can't find it. So you keep going: Concept A is explained further, an example is given, and then concept B is explained. After you read the explanation of concept B you can go back and re-read the distinction they drew, which will now make much more sense.

There is also, a complete lack of summary or conclusion following each topic, sub-topic, or chapter. Even a list of the rules, terms, and concepts covered in that particular section, appearing at the end of the section, would be extremely useful. Property, arguably more so than other 1st year law classes, has its own extensive language. Most of this language was developed in medieval times based on antiquated concepts with no link to contemporary times. The meaning of most terms cannot be arrived at intuitively. A list of terms with definitions would be a useful tool to have at the end of each topic/chapter. So, lacking that, take really good notes while you read. Otherwise you will find yourself searching back though the dense, structurally obtuse text to find the inwoven italicized words that "highlight" important terms.

My other issue with the book has to do with the review problems. These problems are probably the best way to gain mastery over the material. There are far too few of them, and no answers or explanations are provided for the vast majority of them. This is probably the publisher's decision though; Aspen wishes to sell you a separate problem book. Cha-ching.

This is the only property casebook I have ever read, but compared to my casebooks from other classes, the material on property law that I have found online, and my general knowledge of instructional writing, this book does a poor job at teaching property.
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on December 11, 2010
Dukeminier has the unique gift of making even simple topics as opaque as possible. You will need supplements, lots of them, because of the awful way this book is structured, cases chosen, the odd phrasing and, in particular, how future interests are presented. Want proof - Look at "Acing Property" supplement where they give you a special appendix for the way Dukeminier presents things, particularly Rule Against Perpetuities - something already too complicated on its own that Duke manages to foul up further. I really wish law professors would destroy the forced demand for this terrible (more so than most prop casebooks, and achievement in itself) text.
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on February 13, 2013
I'll just rehash a couple of the points other reviewers have already mentioned: First, this book needs an editor. Or ten. The text rambles not just at points, but frequently. The authors will raise a point, then drop it, then raise it again three paragraphs later only to dismiss it on the grounds that it should be treated IN ANOTHER COURSE. Helpful. Really! The authors are also fond of - instead of explaining the finer points of the topic they treat - sending you to another case (or cases) not included in the book. That would be ok, I guess, if the cases they pointed you to were helpful, but often they're dealing with substantially different situations, with completely different outcomes. And without any commentary to help you reconcile them with what the book contains, well you get the picture.
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on March 29, 2016
This is my favorite text book this semester. The book does an amazing job at explaining hard concepts with notes before just jumping right into the cases. It also provides problems and answers which are a must for property!
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on May 8, 2014
This product was described as in very good condition, with minimal highlighting. But it was actually a former Chegg book with so much dark, haphazard highlighting that it was painful to read through parts. And it took forever to arrive (as was disclosed clearly ahead of time--but they're not kidding! It really take a few weeks.) I wish I had just rented this, which would have been ten dollars cheaper. I give it two stars instead of one because it was an intact book, technically usable, of the title and edition described.
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on February 24, 2014
I'm in law school, so I'm used to boring books that you would much rather run over with your car than read. But this book takes the PRIZE for worst book ever written. It is nearly incomprehensible with writing that reminds me of Chinese mixed with Russian. It is sincerely the absolutely worst book I've read in my lifetime, to date (which is saying a lot because I was an English major in undergrad and a bibliophile since the age of 4). If your school assigns this to you, I feel for you, but if you don't have a choice - GET THE EMANUEL OUTLINE and just skim through this horrendous mess if you have to.
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on February 16, 2012
Well, we all know that if you're looking at this, you have to get it. Bah. Or, you could do what I did. The difference between the 7th and the 6th editions is minimal. The cases are (I think to a fault) identical, you just miss out on a chunk of stuff on estates that's covered in the 7th edition and glossed over in the 6th. My solution? Get the older edition, get a brief book keyed to the current edition of the textbook, and teach myself estates from the Examples and Explanations, because that was much clearer anyway. If you ever get stuck now knowing what page is assigned (can happen after the estates section, but not before, really), just ask a classmate what case you're on, and there you go, back on track for the rest of the semester.
I felt like this book liked to play tricks, like set up cases that seemed like they should morally come out for party A just to turn around and say that it's coming out for party B, and only then explain whatever rule it was that determined it. I get frustrated when my casebooks play hide-the-ball. My professors do enough of that!
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on September 23, 2015
Delivery was spectacular, arrived as expected. I'm an adjunct professor for Common Law Property and this textbook, however, is terrible. It spends way too much time explaining all the history and theory around the topics the students must learn and only like a page or two on the actual topic at hand. It's a lot of fluff. I'm shopping for a better text for my students.
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on December 11, 2014
Ok casebook, but now there is a newer edition. I did not care for the way it continually tells you to see these additional resources for more information. Like a 1L has time to read additional law review articles!
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