You’ll need some important information about when and where our property law class meets, how the classes will run, the learning tools we’ll use, and so on. Our class (CML 1108B for the 2017-18 academic year) will meet as follows:

  • Mondays (Sep 18, Oct 2, 23, Nov 6, 13, 20, 27, Dec 4) from 16:00-17:50, in FTX 302,
  • Wednesdays from 08:30-09:50, in FTX 302, and
  • Fridays from 08:30-09:50, in FTX 302.

Click the calendar icon while logged in to load the course schedule into your University of Ottawa or Google Calendar . You can find the class topic and assigned readings in the details of each event.



Everyone learns differently. Some people are visual, or hands-on; others like lectures. Discussion works in certain cases, but sometimes reading is preferred. We use various teaching methods to suit different students’ styles.

Classes cover distinct but interconnected topics, organized into thematic lessons that cover the basic principles of property law. To put everyone on the same page—those who are prepared, and even those who aren’t—most classes begin with a brief introductory overview the day’s topic. That’s followed by in-depth analysis, small group conversations and plenary discussion of the cases and other materials we’re tackling during that class. Some classes also involve exercises in legal drafting, moot debates and other activities.

Music playlists, film clips and other popular culture references routinely reinforce key points and learning objectives. Monday classes (when we do meet Mondays) will feature cinema classics, modern films, documentaries or guest speakers about the law of property.

Visual presentation aids guide students’ paths through each part of the course, and are available online to refresh students’ memory afterwards. These prezis are continuously being updated and are available online. Because the Prezis are being updated as we go, I don’t recommend using them before class. In fact, they’re only designed to guide our class discussions, and aren’t intended for download at all.

Website updates, emails to the class, an iCal subscription, and the Twitter tag #PropertyLaw from @jdebeer convey important logistics updates, and connect students with real-world impacts of property law through media reports related to course topics, which often find their way onto exams. A package of audio, video and presentation aids from each class is webcast at at “Echos” at and archived for later reference by students.

Our readings in this course come primarily from A Property Law Reader: Cases, Questions and Commentary, 4th ed. (Toronto: Carswell, 2016). Here’s the first 19 pages, if you don’t get a chance to buy the book before our first class. This is Canada’s leading property law casebook, and I don’t just say that because I’m its co-author with Bruce Ziff, Doug Harris and Margaret McCallum. It’s true: more 1L property students use this book than any other. If you want to supplement your casebook readings, there’s an excellent companion textbook written by Bruce Ziff, Principles of Property Law, now in its 6th edition. I’ve put several copies on reserve in the library. We won’t reference this often during class, but some students find it quite useful.