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Writing to Pollock in 1928, Holmes mentioned that "some cove" was trying to get him to review a forthcoming little book on covenants running with the land and went on, "It gave me a spell of the dry grins too remember and to write that very nearly half a century had gone by since that was a burning question for me." In fact, it was in 1880, in the lectures which became famous as The Common Laz, that Holmes had defined "privity of estate" in real covenants in a manner which for clarity, perspicacity, and practical point has never been surpassed. Holmes's own departures on the Massachusetts supreme bench from these conclusions--made necessary by the force of local precedent--were understandable, but regrettable, as he himself indicates; and other attempts to evade them have been at best confusing, at worst, disastrous. The latest of these is the American Law Institute's Restatement, now almost completed, which has at least been able to give a new and bizarre turn to an ancient subject.

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The American Law Institute’s Law of Real Covenants, 52 Yale Law Journal 699 (1943)

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