Archive for February, 2010

The Enforcement of Trusts in the Medieval Legal System (2010-2-27)

Trusts have been employed in the English legal system for hundreds of years.  In 1979, Prof. R.H. Hehnholz reviewed court records to examine the early history of trusts. Prof. Hehnholz started by noting, “As a means of avoiding feudal incidents and of evading the common law rule prohibiting devises of freehold land, the feoffment to […]






Change of Property Ownership Triggers Big Tax Bill (2010-2-20)

The California Supreme Court recently considered when a transfer of ownership occurs in the context of an estate planning trust.  The dispute arose in under Proposition 13, which sets the rules for property tax reassessment. According to the court, “When Helfrick died, the residence’s assessed value for tax purposes was $96,638, with total taxes due […]






Agent Not Liable for Breach of Fidicuary Duty Without Proof of Damages (2010-2-12)

In the recent case of Sharabianlou v. Karp, 2010 DJDAR 2039 (Feb. 8, 2010), the court considered the following facts. “Sharabianlou [the buyer] offered to purchase a commercial building owned by Berenstein Associates.   The [buyer] engaged real estate agent Ronald Karp to represent them in the transaction.  Soon after the offer was made, however, the […]






Judge Posner Writes on Blameworthiness in Contract Theory (2010-2-5)

Continuing his recent discussion of fault in contract law, Judge Posner explains that, “The idea of ‘good faith’ is an example.  We generally want people to be honest and aboveboard in their dealings with others.  But there is no general duty of good faith in contract law.  If you offer a low price for some […]