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Property resources for 1Ls, bar examinees, and other patrons


Property Law is the dominion or right of use, control, and disposition which one may lawfully exercise over things, objects, or land. One of the basic dividing lines of property is that between real property and personal property. Generally, the term real property refers to land. Land, in its general usage, includes not only the face of the earth but everything of a permanent nature over or under it. This includes structures and minerals.

In contrast, personal property is any movable thing or intangible item of value that is capable of being owned by a person and not recognized as real property. The property (real or personal) may be tangible, such as land or a factory or a diamond ring, or they may be intangible, such as stocks and bonds or a bank account. Property law, then, deals with the allocation, use, and transfer of wealth and the objects of wealth.

[Summary from Real Property, Legal Information Institute, (last visited 11/03/2015); Personal Property, Legal Information Institute, (last visited 11/03/2015); and Property Law, Brittanica Academic Edition, (last visited 11/03/2015).] 

Subscription Databases

Bloomberg Law: In the Search & Browse tab, choose All Legal Content. In the Select Sources box, type “property” the box and select a source from the list that auto populates. The majority of Bloomberg Law’s property-related resources focus on intellectual property.

Lexis Advance: Browse Topics—Real Property Law

Browse Sources—Secondary Materials—Texas—Texas Jurisprudence 3d

Westlaw: Under Browse—Topics—Real Property, various resources are listed including Regulations, Secondary Sources, Forms, and Proposed & Enacted Legislation.

Under Tools—West Key Number System:

  • 1: Abandoned and Lost Property,
  • 15: Adjoining Landowners,
  • 20: Adverse Possession,
  • 99: Copyrights and Intellectual Property,
  • 108: Covenants,
  • 120: Deeds,
  • 141: Easements,
  • 154: Estates in Property,
  • 202: Homestead,
  • 206: Improvements,
  • 226: Joint Tenancy,
  • 233: Landlord and Tenant,
  • 240: Life Estates,
  • 315: Property,
  • 318: Quieting Title,
  • 333: Remainders,
  • 373: Tenancy in Common, and
  • 414: Zoning and Planning may provide guidance in finding related materials.

Useful Definitions

Adverse Possession: The enjoyment of real property with a claim of right when that enjoyment is opposed to another person's claim and is continuous, exclusive, hostile, open, and notorious.

BailmentA delivery of personal property by one person (the bailor) to another (the bailee) who holds the property for a certain purpose, usually under an express or implied-in-fact contract.

Chattel: Movable or transferable property; personal property; especially, a physical object capable of manual delivery and not the subject matter of real property.

Deed: A written instrument by which land is conveyed. At common law, any written instrument that is signed, sealed, and delivered and that conveys some interest in property.

Fixture: Personal property that is attached to land or a building and that is regarded as an irremovable part of the real property, such as a fireplace built into a home.

Estate in Lands: Property that one has in lands, tenements, or hereditaments.

Leasehold Estates: A tenant's possessory estate in land or premises, the four types being the tenancy for years, the periodic tenancy, the tenancy at will, and the tenancy at sufferance.

Personal Property: Any movable or intangible thing that is subject to ownership and not classified as real property.

Real Property: Land and anything growing on, attached to, or erected on it, excluding anything that may be severed without injury to the land.

Replevin: A lawsuit to repossess personal property wrongfully taken or detained by the defendant, whereby the plaintiff gives security for and holds the property until the court decides who owns it.

Title: The union of all elements (as ownership, possession, and custody) constituting the legal right to control and dispose of property; the legal link between a person who owns property and the property itself.

All definitions come from Black’s Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019). 

Subject Guide

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Dajiang Nie