Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Vieira Enterprises v. McCoy (Cal. Ct. App. - Feb. 22, 2017)

These sentences from today's opinion neatly encapsulate why Property was the least favorite of my first-year classes in law school:  (Though I like the way Justice Rushing puts them, as well as the snide asides about the quality of counsels' arguments)

"Vieira also contends, if somewhat obliquely, that before being allowed to award such damages, the jury should have been required to determine whether McCoy was an occupant. McCoy, for his part, offers a rather tortured argument to the effect that the occupancy requirement has no application to cases of trespass to an easement, because an easement is an incorporeal hereditament which cannot be occupied or possessed in the usual sense. This contention strikes us as abstract to the point of fanciful. The beneficiary of an easement can certainly be said to occupy or possess, or not to occupy or possess, the land encumbered by the easement."

Oh man.  Trespass to easements and incorporteal heriditaments.  My head is about to explode.

On the downside, reading this 60-page opinion about a $20,000 jury award -- a judgment that gets affirmed in any event -- took away nearly an hour of my life that I'll never get back.

On the upside, at least I didn't have to read the 95-page (!) briefs that the Court of Appeal allowed the parties to file.

So I've got that going for me.  Which is nice.