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Publication Types
Categories
Joseph W. Singer, No Freedom without Regulation: The Hidden Lesson of the Subprime Crisis (Yale Univ. Press 2015).
Categories:
Banking & Finance
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Government & Politics
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Property Law
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Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
Consumer Finance
,
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Financial Markets & Institutions
,
Financial Reform
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Contracts
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Consumer Protection Law
,
Housing Law
,
Law & Political Theory
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Administrative Law & Agencies
,
Property Rights
,
Real Estate
Type: Book
Abstract
"Almost everyone who follows politics or economics agrees on one thing: more regulation means less freedom. Joseph William Singer, one of the world's most respected experts on property law, explains why this understanding of regulation is simply wrong. While analysts as ideologically divided as Alan Greenspan and Joseph Stiglitz have framed regulatory questions as a matter of governments versus markets, Singer reminds us of what we've willfully forgotten: government is not inherently opposed to free markets or private property, but is, in fact, necessary to their very existence." -- Book jacket.
Joseph W. Singer, We Don’t Serve Your Kind Here: Public Accommodations and the Mark of Sodom, 95 B.U. L. Rev. 929 (2015).
Categories:
Property Law
,
Constitutional Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Religion
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LGBTQ Rights Law
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Race & Ethnicity
,
Law & Public Policy
,
Civil Rights
,
Gender & Sexuality
,
Religious Rights
,
Public Accommodations Law
Type: Article
Joseph W. Singer, Property Law Conflicts, 54 Washburn L. J. 139 (2014)
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
,
Property Law
Sub-Categories:
Conflict of Laws
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Property Rights
,
Real Estate
Type: Article
Abstract
What law applies to real property? At one time the answer to this question was simple: the law of the situs. But then the choice-of-law revolution came and legal scholars began to see reasons to depart from the situs law rule. As interest analysis and the most-significant-relationship test developed, legal theorists undermined the logical and normative basis for such a simple solution to the choice-of-law problem. In recent years, however, the situs rule has been rehabilitated and increasingly defended by some scholars while others have continued to subject it to criticism. And in fact, the rule was never dislodged in practice and it remained the presumptive rule in the Second Restatement of Conflict of Laws. Even today, courts generally apply situs law to real property issues, although important exceptions have developed over time and some brave judges have deviated from the rule in certain classes of cases. Rather than argue for or against the rule, this article explains the difference between the false conflicts cases where only one state has a legitimate interest in applying its law and the true conflicts cases where two (or more) states have such interests. That analysis shows cases under which situs law clearly should and clearly should not apply, as well as the true conflict cases that are hard because they present value conflicts generating good reasons both for application of situs law and for deviating from it. Those hard cases are of four types: (a) conflicts between situs law and the law of the domicile of one of the parties; (b) conflicts between situs law and the place where a contractual relationship is centered; (c) nuisance-type cases where the conduct is in one state and the injury is in another; and (d) the special case of federal Indian law which involves the paradoxical case of overlapping situses. The article concludes by addressing the renvoi problem. Real property law has traditionally required application of renvoi for issues involving title to real property. This article explains the reasons why that is so and why those reasons are less powerful than we may have thought.
Joseph W. Singer, The Indian States of America: Parallel Universes & Overlapping Sovereignty, 38 Am. Indian L. Rev. 1 (2014).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Native American & Tribal Law
Type: Article
Abstract
Tribal sovereignty is complex and not well-understood. That is partly because most Americans were not taught an accurate history of the United States and its relations with Indian nations. The process by which the US came to possess most of the land within its territory and its longstanding government-to-government relationship with Indian nations should be more widely known both among lawyers and the general public. That process can be better understood if we revisit standard maps of the United States as they reflect colonial acquisition of territory from both foreign nations and from Indian nations. In addition, when questions are asked about the legitimacy of tribal sovereignty, it is important to know how to answer them. This lecture is directed at those for whom tribal sovereignty is not well-known and it provides three arguments for tribal sovereignty based on history, equal protection of the laws, and democracy.
Joseph W. Singer, Essay: Anti Anti-Paternalism, 50 New Eng. L. Rev. 277 (2016).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Legal Theory & Philosophy
Type: Article
Joseph W. Singer, Should We Call Ahead? Property, Democracy, 5 Brigham-Kanner Prop. Rts. Conf. J. 1 (2016).
Categories:
Government & Politics
,
Property Law
Sub-Categories:
Administrative Law & Agencies
,
Property Rights
Type: Article
Max Weinstein, Melanie B. Leslie, David J. Reiss, Joseph W. Singer & Rebecca Tushnet, Brief for The Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School and Law Professors as Amici Curiae Supporting Appellee, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Recorder of Deeds v. Merscorp Inc., 795 F.3d 372 (2015) (No. 14-4315).
Categories:
Property Law
Sub-Categories:
Real Estate
Type: Other
Abstract
MERS represents a major departure from and grave disruption of recording practices in counties such as Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, that have traditionally ensured the orderly transfer of real property across the country. Prior to MERS, records of real property interests were public, transparent, and provided a secure foundation upon which the American economy could grow. MERS is a privately run recording system created to reduce costs for large investment banks, the “sell-side” of the mortgage industry, which is largely inaccessible to the public. MERS is recorded as the mortgage holder in traditional county records, as a “nominee” for the holder of the mortgage note. Meanwhile, the promissory note secured by the mortgage is pooled, securitized, and transferred multiple times, but MERS does not require that its members enter these transfers into its database. MERS is a system that is “grafted” onto the traditional recording system and could not exist without it, but it usurps the function of county recorders and eviscerates the system recorders are charged with maintaining. The MERS system was modeled after the Depository Trust Company (DTC), an institution created to hold corporate and municipal securities, but, unlike the DTC, MERS has no statutory basis, nor is it regulated by the SEC. MERS’s lack of statutory grounding and oversight means that it has neither legal authority nor public accountability. By allowing its members to transfer mortgages from MERS to themselves without any evidence of ownership, MERS dispensed with the traditional requirement that purported assignees prove their relationship to the mortgagee of record with a complete chain of mortgage assignments, in order to foreclose. MERS thereby eliminated the rules that protected the rights of mortgage holders and homeowners. Surveys, government audits, reporting by public media, and court cases from across the country have revealed that MERS’s records are inaccurate, incomplete, and unreliable. Moreover, because MERS does not allow public access to its records, the full extent of its system’s destruction of chains of title and the clarity of entitlements to real property is not yet known. Electronic and paper recording systems alike can contain errors and inconsistencies. Electronic systems have the potential to increase the accessibility and accuracy of public records, but MERS has not done this. Rather, by making recording of mortgage assignments voluntary, and cloaking its system in secrecy, it has introduced unprecedented and perhaps irreparable levels of opacity, inaccuracy, and incompleteness, wreaking havoc on the local title recording systems that have existed in America since colonial times.
Joseph W. Singer, Multistate Justice: Better Law, Comity, and Fairness in the Conflict of Laws, 2015 U. Ill. L. Rev. 1923 (2015).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
,
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Conflict of Laws
,
State & Local Government
,
Courts
Type: Article
Joseph W. Singer, Justifying Regulatory Takings, 41 Ohio N.U. L. Rev. 601 (2015).
Categories:
Property Law
,
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Administrative Law & Agencies
,
Eminent Domain
,
Property Rights
Type: Article
Joseph W. Singer, Justice Breyer, Grokster, and the Four Chords Sing, 128 Harv. L. Rev. 483 (2014).
Categories:
Property Law
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Biography & Tribute
,
Intellectual Property - Copyright
Type: Article
Joseph W. Singer, Bethany R. Berger, Nestor M. Davidson & Eduardo Moises Penalver, Property Law: Rules, Policies, & Practices (Wolters Kluwer L. 6th ed. 2014).
Categories:
Property Law
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Legal Education
Type: Book
Joseph W. Singer, Property as the Law of Democracy, 63 Duke L.J. 1287 (2014).
Categories:
Property Law
,
Constitutional Law
Sub-Categories:
Property Rights
Type: Article
Joseph W. Singer, Private Law Realism, 1 Critical Analysis L. 226 (2014).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
,
Government & Politics
,
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Private Law
,
Legal Theory & Philosophy
,
Congress & Legislation
Type: Article
Joseph W. Singer, Titles of Nobility: Poverty, Immigration, and Property in a Free and Democratic Society, 1 J. L. Prop. & Soc’y 1 (2014).
Categories:
Property Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Law & Public Policy
,
Poverty Law
,
Civil Rights
,
Property Rights
Type: Article
Joseph W. Singer, Property (Wolters Kluwer L. & Bus. 4th ed. 2013).
Categories:
Property Law
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Legal Education
Type: Book
Abstract
The book offers clear explanations of property law through textual treatment, with numerous examples, analytical discussion of key cases, and issues followed by hypotheticals.
Joseph W. Singer, The Rule of Reason in Property Law, 46 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1369 (2013).
Categories:
Property Law
Sub-Categories:
Property Rights
Type: Article
Abstract
Property rights cannot work if they are not clear, and scholars generally assume that the best way to attain this goal is to define property rights by relatively rigid rules. However, recent evidence suggests that the intuitive view may be mistaken. The subprime crisis shows that clear rules do not produce clear titles if owners do not follow those rules. And during the twentieth century property law moved dramatically away from rigid rules toward flexible standards. Standards turn out to be crucial to property law, as well as increasingly important in property doctrine. Empirical evidence and historical experience alike demonstrate that rules cannot be applied without being supplemented by standards to determine the scope of those rules. Conversely, standards achieve predictability through core exemplars, precedent, and presumptions. Thus rules and standards are less distinct from each other than one might imagine. Standards perform crucial functions for property law. They perform systemic functions to shape the infrastructure and the outer contours of the property system by (1) setting minimum standards compatible with the norms of a free and democratic society, (2) protecting the justified expectations of consumers, and (3) responding to externalities and systemic effects of the exercise of property rights. Standards also determine the scope of property rights by (4) distinguishing cases; (5) resolving conflicting norms; (6) excusing mistakes; (7) escaping the "dead hand" of the past; and (8) deterring the "bad man" from abusing property rights.
Joseph W. Singer, Subprime: Why a Free and Democratic Society Needs Law, 47 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 141 (2012).
Categories:
Banking & Finance
,
Property Law
,
Consumer Finance
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Financial Markets & Institutions
,
Consumer Protection Law
,
Housing Law
,
Law & Public Policy
,
Property Rights
Type: Article
Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law (Nell Jessup Newton, Joseph W. Singer et al. eds., LexisNexis 2012).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Native American & Tribal Law
Type: Book
Abstract
Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law is an encyclopedic treatise written by experts in the field, and provides general overviews to relevant information as well as in-depth study of specific areas within this complex area of federal law. This is an updated and revised edition of what has been referred to as the "bible" of federal Indian law. This publication focuses on the relationship between tribes, the states and the federal government within the context of civil and criminal jurisdiction, as well as areas of resource management and government structure.
Joseph W. Singer, Original Acquisition of Property: From Conquest & Possession to Democracy & Equal Opportunity, 86 Ind. L.J. 763 (2011).
Categories:
Legal Profession
,
Property Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Native American & Tribal Law
,
Legal History
,
Property Rights
Type: Article
Joseph W. Singer, Erasing Indian Country: The Story of Tee-Hit-Ton Indians v. United States, in Indian Law Stories 229 (Carole Goldberg, Kevin K. Washburn & Philip P. Frickey eds., Foundation Press 2011).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Native American & Tribal Law
Type: Book
Abstract
Indian Law Stories, penetrates the often complex and unfamiliar doctrine of federal Indian law, exposing the raw conflicts over sovereignty and property that shaped legal rulings.
Joseph W. Singer, Property Law as the Infrastructure of Democracy, in Powell on Real Property 11-1 (Michael Allan Wolf ed., LexisNexis 2011).
Categories:
Property Law
Type: Book
Abstract
The Fourth in the Wolf Family Lecture Series on the American Law of Real Property.
Joseph W. Singer, How Property Norms Construct the Externalities of Ownership, in Property and Community (Gregory S. Alexander & Eduardo Penalver eds., Oxford Univ. Press 2009).
Categories:
Property Law
Type: Book
Gregory S. Alexander, Eduardo M. Peñalver, Joseph W. Singer & Laura S. Underkuffler, A Statement of Progressive Property, 94 Cornell L. Rev. 743 (2009).
Categories:
Property Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Law & Public Policy
,
Property Rights
Type: Article
Joseph W. Singer, Democratic Estates: Property Law in a Free and Democratic Society, 94 Cornell L. Rev. 1009 (2009).
Categories:
Property Law
,
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Legal Theory & Philosophy
Type: Article
Joseph W. Singer, Normative Methods for Lawyers, 56 UCLA L. Rev. 899 (2009).
Categories:
Legal Profession
,
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Legal Theory & Philosophy
,
Legal Services
,
Legal Scholarship
,
Legal Education
Type: Article
Abstract
How can we defend arguments about what the law should be based on considerations of morality, justice, fairness, liberty, rights, or human values? Are such arguments anything more than assertions of personal preferences? In this article, I argue that normative arguments are crucial for the rule of law and that both lawyers (and law students) need to know how to make and defend claims of morality and justice. In recent years, cost/benefit and efficiency analysis appear to have taken over most legal scholarship and many law school classroom discussions. Such analysis suggests that the sole goal of the legal system should be to maximize human welfare and that we can best accomplish this goal by deferring to individual preferences, whatever they happen to be, valuing the relative strength of those preferences by reference to market values, and then choosing results whose social benefits outweigh their social costs. In contrast, I argue that such analysis is wholly without any normative weight unless it occurs within a framework of institutions, laws, and practices that are consistent with minimum standards for social and economic relationships in a free and democratic society. Normative arguments are designed to define that legitimate framework. Moreover, such arguments are not merely expressions of personal preference but are evaluative assertions and moral demands we are entitled to make of each other. Moral and political theory provide resources to help lawyers make evaluative assertions about human values that the legal system should respect. At the same time, lawyers possess substantial expertise in analyzing, shaping, and defending normative claims and the methods used by lawyers should be of interest to moral and political theorists. Because there are better and worse ways of making normative arguments and because both lawyers and law students need to know how to make such arguments, this article explains four basic tasks of normative argument and outlines a number of different ways lawyers accomplish those tasks. It then applies these various normative methods to a basic property law case. Bringing to consciousness these methods will help lawyers improve them and develop the skills needed to use them. Articulating and exploring the contours of the methods used by lawyers to make and defend normative arguments will help all participants in the legal system to articulate normative reasons that can justify legal rights and institutions in a manner appropriate to a free and democratic society.
Joseph W. Singer, Book Review, 15 Soc. & Legal Stud. 605 (2006) (reviewing Johan van der Walt, Law and Sacrifice: Toward Post-Apartheid Theory of Law (2006)).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Legal Theory & Philosophy
,
Foreign Law
Type: Article
Joseph W. Singer, The Ownership Society and Takings of Property: Castles, Investments, and Just Obligations, 30 Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. 309 (2006).
Categories:
Property Law
Sub-Categories:
Eminent Domain
,
Property Rights
Type: Article
Joseph W. Singer & Joseph P. Kallt, Myths and Realities of Tribal Sovereignty: The Law and Economics of Indian-Self-Rule (Harvard Project on Am. Indian Econ. Dev. & Univ. of Ariz. Native Nations Inst. for Leadership, Mgmt., & Pol'y 2004).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Native American & Tribal Law
,
Law & Economics
Type: Book
Joseph W. Singer, Something Important in Humanity, 37 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 103 (2002).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Legal Theory & Philosophy
Type: Article
Joseph W. Singer, The Edges of the Field: Lessons on the Obligations of Ownership (Beacon Press 2000).
Categories:
Property Law
Sub-Categories:
Property Rights
Type: Book
Abstract
In The Edges of the Field Harvard law professor Joseph William Singer offers a cogent look at America's complex relation to property and ownership. Incorporating examples as far-reaching as the experience of Malden Mills owner Aaron Feuerstein, the Torah, and the musical Rent, Singer reminds us that ownership is a curious blend of security and vulnerability between owner and nonowner. He proposes that the manner in which property shapes social relations of power is as important as ownership rights.
Joseph W. Singer, Property and Social Relations: From Title to Entitlement, in Property and Values: Striking an Equitable Balance of Public and Private and Private Interests (Charles Geisler ed., 2000).
Categories:
Property Law
Type: Book
Abstract
Property and Values offers a fresh look at property rights issues, bringing together scholars, attorneys, government officials, community development practitioners, and environmental advocates to consider new and more socially equitable forms of ownership. Based on a Harvard Law School conference organized by the Equity Trust, Inc., in cooperation with the American Bar Association's Commission on Homelessness and Poverty, the book: explains ownership as an evolving concept, determined by social processes and changing social relations challenges conventional public-private ownership categories surveys recent studies on the implications of public policy on property values offers examples from other cultures of ownership realities unfamiliar or forgotten in the United States compares experiments in ownership/equity allocation affecting social welfare and environmental conservation The book synthesizes much innovative thinking on ownership in land and housing, and signals how that thinking might be used across America. Contributors - including David Abromowitz, Darby Bradley, Teresa Duclos, Sally Fairfax, Margaret Grossman, C. Ford Runge, William Singer and others - call for balance between property rights and responsibilities, between private and public rights in property, and between individual and societal interests in land.Property and Values is a thought-provoking contribution to the literature on property for planners, lawyers, government officials, resource economists, environmental managers, and social scientists as well as for students of planning, environmental law, geography, or public policy.
Joseph W. Singer, Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain: The Place of Better Law in a Third Restatement of Conflicts, 75 Ind. L.J. 659 (2000).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
Sub-Categories:
Conflict of Laws
Type: Article
Joseph W. Singer, Entitlement: The Paradoxes of Property (Yale Univ. Press 2000).
Categories:
Property Law
Type: Book
Joseph W. Singer, Property, in The Politics of Law: A Progressive Critique (David Kairys ed., 3rd ed. 1998).
Categories:
Property Law
Type: Book
Abstract
Long considered one of the most important books on the role and operation of the law, The Politics of Law offers a provocative, intelligent critique of traditional jurisprudence.
Joseph W. Singer, No Right to Exclude: Public Accommodations and Private Property, 90 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1283 (1996).
Categories:
Property Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Race & Ethnicity
,
Law & Public Policy
,
Civil Rights
,
Public Accommodations Law
,
Property Rights
Type: Article