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Helping You Navigate Complex Legal Issues

February 2016 Archives

Gregory A. Lang

Property rights: the rocks and the trees and the drones in the sky? p2

The U.S. Supreme Court occasionally weighs in on property rights, and a 1946 decision is particularly on point as we continue our discussion from our Feb. 1, 2016, post. The court was addressing a chicken farmer's complaint that military planes flying over his property resulted in business losses.

Thinking about buying or starting a business this year?

The seasons in Minnesota are truly distinct. Whereas the climate in much of the rest of the nation remains either warm or relatively mild year-round, Minnesotans are accustomed to extreme summers and winters, bookended by visually stunning springs and autumns. It is perhaps in part due to the significant changes in the seasons that Minnesotans tend to be hard-working, strong and creative. After all, one cannot engage in the same occupations year-in and year-out in Minnesota when virtually everything about life tends to change four times annually.

Property rights: the rocks and the trees and the drones in the sky?

When you buy property, what exactly do you buy? Do you buy what is on the ground, like trees and rocks, as well as what is in the ground, like, say, shale and water? Law students -- and real estate professionals, come to think of it -- learn to refer to property rights as a "bundle of sticks." A friend of ours prefers to say that property rights are like pantyhose in the dryer; they can be a tangled mess, and it takes time and patience to untangle them.

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