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Rights of Reverter and Statute Quia Emptores, 36 Yale Law Journal 593 (1927)


"It was little the disposition of English lawyers," wrote Professor

Gray in commenting upon the meagerness of the consideration

given in English Law to determinable fees, "to trouble

themselves about questions which did not come up practically."

The same thing could even more truly be said of American lawyers.

If determinable fees and rights of reverter dependent

upon them were of no more frequent occurrence in the United

States than in England, there would certainly be no sufficient reason

for giving further time to their discussion. But such is

not the case. American courts have been frequently called upon

to determine the nature and validity of such estates, and the

cases involving them in new and unexpected relationships appear

to be increasing in number and importance. This peculiar

fact is probably due to the sense of rapid change felt in a new

country, even in land uses to be expected, causing grantors and

testators to anticipate that the purposes and uses for which gifts

of land are made may not persist in perpetuity. But whatever

the reason, it is clearly desirable that American lawyers should

come to a more satisfactory understanding of the true nature

of rights of reverter than is now possessed.

Date of Authorship for this Version


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