2 Course Syllabus

If you would like to download a pdf version of this syllabus, click here

2.1 Your Instructor

Professor's Picture

Dr. Taleed El-Sabawi



twitter: @el_sabawi

201 N. Greene St., Office A211

Office Hours: By appointment. Book using this link.

(Note: Click on the “service” to see available appointment times. Here is a link to my Webex room: https://elon.webex.com/meet/telsabawi. Appointments can be made 2 hours in advance.)

[All icons used in this course are by Freepix from www.flaticon.com"]

2.2 Course Description

This course provides an overview of property rights and interests situated within their historic and modern contexts. This course focuses primarily on real property law. Topics covered include the acquisition of rights in property, possessory and non-possessory interests, estates in land, concurrent ownership, landlord-tenant relations and land-use regulation.

2.3 Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to

· Evaluate legal claims related to the fundamental rights associated with ownership of property, including the rights to use, transfer, and exclude others from property

· Analyze legal issues that may arise when leasing, selling or financing real property

· Identify and assess restrictions on land use

· Compare the rights accompanying concurrent ownership and marital property

· Differentiate between freehold estates and future interests

2.4 Course Format

For at least the first three weeks of the trimester, this course will be delivered remotely and asynchronously, with a synchronous Q/A session once a week. This Q/A session will be recorded and uploaded so that you can view it at your convenience if you cannot attend live. You will not be penalized for not attending this session live. Although the course is not synchronous, there are deadlines three times a week. These deadlines are meant to encourage you to focus and space out your work. However, I understand that the current pandemic places strains on some students and will continue to do so, in ways that we may not currently anticipate. If illness or other obligations interfere with your ability to meet these deadlines, please contact me directly.

When/if this course changes from remote to in-person delivery, I will update this section with the structure for your in-person course. Currently, we are scheduled to go back to in-person instruction on April 19th, but that may change.

Remote Course Delivery

While this course is being conducted remotely, it will be an asynchronous, online course. Each week you will have 3 modules to complete, one for each scheduled class session. The module may have up to six components: Learning Objectives, Read, View, Do, Review and Interact. I have estimated the amount of time it takes a first-year law student to accomplish the tasks within each component and have calibrated the course assignments so that they meet the ABA’s hour requirement. The following is a summary of each component.

Learning ObjectivesLearning Objectives: Begin by reading the learning objectives for the week. It is my expectation that you will have accomplished the learning objectives during the week. The learning objectives highlight the key concepts and skills for the week’s lessons and provide you with focusing points to guide you in your completion of the other components. It is good practice to return to the weekly objectives after you complete the other components and to check to make sure you have indeed accomplished them.

Icon of person reading READ: The “Read” component will contain your expected readings for the unit. It is up to you how you choose to annotate or brief the text. I will not be requiring case briefs. Your full reading schedule can be downloaded here.

VIEW VIEW: The view section contains instructor-prepared PowerPoint presentations or videos covering key-concepts.

Do DO: We learn not only be reading, but also by doing. The “Do” component will require you to apply the rules of law from your reading to problems. Your responses will count toward your participation grade.

REVIEW REVIEW: This component will ask you to engage in tasks that help you review your “do” performance by reflecting on the material.

Interact Icon INTERACT: If online learning is done in a silo, it can be isolating. To prevent this, the interact component provides you with opportunities to interact with your classmates and professor, in ways that advance your learning. Most weeks, this will be through a live question and answer session once a week.This may also be achieved through group exercises.

2.5 Required Texts

This course requires two books:

1.Textbook: John G. Sprankling and Raymond R. Coletta, Property: A Contemporary Approach (West Academic Publishing 4th ed. 2018). ISBN 978-1-63460-650-9

2.Workbook: Raymond R. Coletta, Workbook on Estates and Future Interests (West 3d ed. 2013). ISBN 978-0314286864

2.6 Reading Schedule

Your reading schedule can be found here. If the entry has “WB” before the page numbers, the reading is in your Workbook. “Txtbk” or no book designation is meant to refer you to your textbook.

2.7 Assessments & Grading

Your grade will be determined by your participation, quizzes and final exam.

Assessment Percentage Date
Quiz 1  20%  4/22
Quiz 2  20%  5/13
Final Exam  50%  6/12
Participation  10%  N/A

2.7.1 Participation

While we are conducting class remotely… Online Participation: While we are conducting class remotely, participation is required. In the online environment, participation is based on the student’s interaction with the course, other students and their professor. Participation will include a mixture of viewing presentations, completing all formative assessments, including knowledge checks, engaging in discussion board dialogues, contributing peer feedback when assigned or otherwise engaging with the materials. For each class, I will outline the expectations for the class and the date and time that each item is due here on on class website. Completing your View, Do, Review and Interact components will fulfill the completion requirements. If, one of the sections is marked “Optional” for that class module, its completion will not be calculated in your participation grade for that module.

Grading of Formative Assessments & Participation: Quantity of responses will be recorded by our learning management systems. I will be looking to determine whether the student has been making a good-faith effort. I reserve the right to deduct points for lack of professionalism, so please be thoughtful in how you conduct yourself online. Quantity, or degree of completion, is worth 5% and quality of responses is worth 5% of a student’s overall grade. When assessments are graded for quality, I will enforce the School of Law’s anonymous grading policy.

When we switch to In-Person Participation… In-Person Participation: Participation in class is required. I expect you to come to class having prepared by reading the assigned material. I will use Poll Everywhere in class to create engagement exercises that mimic the type of exercises that you had for the remote portion of the class. I expect that you will make a good-faith effort to participate. Your participation grade will also be based on your professionalism in class. A Juris Doctorate program prepares you to join a profession. As such, I expect you to act, speak and even dress with this in mind. This is not to say that you need to wear business causal dress to class, but rather avoid clothing that may draw attention to you for reasons other than your thoughtful contributions to class, use an appropriate tone when addressing your professor and classmates, and be respectful of diverging viewpoints. Chronic tardiness can result in deductions of participation points. Cell phones and computers are permitted in class, but they should not distract your classmates, so all sound off and no streaming. Food and drink are permitted but be mindful of what you bring in class.

Attendance Policy: I will take attendance during class. Absences will result in a point deduction unless excused. Absences are excused on a case by case basis by your professor. Recurrent absences may result in your forced withdrawal from the course.

2.7.2 Quizzes & Final Exam

You will be given two quizzes and a cumulative final exam. You will be provided more information as to the format and length of each exam at least one week before the quiz/exam.

2.8 Course Policies

Please read each section of the course policies section carefully.

2.8.1 Late Assignments

All assignments are due on the date scheduled. Due to the pace of the course, late assignments are not accepted, unless approved ahead of time or the student is amidst a crisis. Late assignments are accepted at my discretion, so please do not plan on having the option to submit an assignment late.

2.8.2 Grading Questions

If you have a question about a grade, please bring it directly to the professor. In order to do so, thoroughly read any feedback you have been given, prepare a respectful request or question in writing, and email it to your professor. Then, set up a meeting with your professor. All such questions will be given serious consideration, but changes in points or grades are unlikely, unless due to a mathematical or clerical error.

2.8.3 Etiquette

Please do not refer to any instructors, TA’s or guest speakers by their first name. A Mr., Ms., Professor, or Dr. followed by their last name is the appropriate way to address such persons. Please refer to your instructor as either Dr. El-Sabawi or Professor El-Sabawi.

Please use appropriate email etiquette to communicate with the professor. All emails should be composed of a greeting line, a signature line, full sentences and organized paragraphs, specific questions, and respectful language. Do not send the first draft of an email – reading it over first will increase your chances of getting the response you want. For more general guidance about online communications, see: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/636/01/

2.8.4 Communication

I will communicate with students through in-class announcements and/or emails. When class is scheduled in person, you are responsible for attending class and getting announcements from a peer if you miss class. While the class is administered remotely, you are responsible for checking your email at least once every 24 hours.

Students are encouraged to communicate with the Professor or TA before/during/after class or via email.

Please note the following important points, however:

· The response time for emails is 48 hours. Please plan ahead and do not ask questions at the last minute. You will likely hear back from an instructor in less than 24 hours, but you should not expect this.

· Please stay on top of any announcements and consult your syllabus frequently. Questions that are answered in the syllabus will not be answered via email. This rule ensures that your Professor and TA can spend their time helping students with the content of the course, as well as other individual problems and questions.

Scheduling Meetings Generally, I have an open-door policy, and if you find me in my office, then I am happy to chat. However, this trimester I will not be on campus, so long as public health officials recommend that we stay home to decrease the transmission of COVID-19. I am available for appointments. My appointment times vary depending on my availability, but are typically between 9:30 am to 5 pm. You must book your meeting at least 12 hours in advance. If you need to schedule a meeting within 12 hours, please email me and I will see if I can accommodate you. (Note: You will need to click on the service “Flex Office Hours” first, before you see my available times.)

General Questions While we are operating this course remotely, I encourage you to post questions in Questions Discussion Board that will be posted for each class module. By posting questions here, your classmates also get the benefits of seeing the questions. I will answer these questions in the weekly Q/A session or on the discussion board.

2.8.5 Collaboration & Honor Code

The Elon University School of Law Honor Code is available at http://www.elon.edu/e-web/law/students/honorcode.xhtml. Students may not collaborate on the answers to the book problems and other posted assignments each week, unless specifically authorized by the assignment. All submitted assignments, quizzes and exams must be a student’s individual work product.

You will note that, after you submit the answers to a problem set during our remote instruction period, you may be presented with the answers for the problem set. However, you may not provide the model answers to another student. Each student may only access this information after submitting their own answers to the problems. Students may discuss these assignments with each other only after the deadline to submit the assignment has passed.

Students may not collaborate on the answers to the exams. These graded assignments must be a student’s individual work product. Students may not discuss, compare, or in any way communicate with another student in the course about exams, until it is graded and the grades returned to students.

Students should not share any of the course materials, including but not limited to the model answers, with anyone outside of their current classmates. Students in the course are prohibited from receiving notes or answers to any problems from students who have previously taken the course.

2.8.6 Add/Drop

Students should confirm their enrollment in this course through their On-Track account. Students who do not appear on the course roll or do not show the correct course/section listed on On-Track should consult with their instructor immediately.

Policies on Dropping or Withdrawing from this Course

Students may drop a course during the designated drop/add period through On-Track. A course that is dropped during the designated drop/add period will not appear on the student’s transcript or grade report.

After the designated drop/add period, students may withdraw from a course without penalty before the course withdrawal deadline in the academic calendar. Withdrawing from a course during this period will result in a mark of “W” that will appear on the student’s academic transcript. Students may withdraw online via OnTrack.

NOTE: Students should not assume that they will be officially withdrawn from a course based on failure to attend class or notifying a faculty member of their intent to withdraw. The student is responsible for following the official process of withdrawing from a class. Students who do not properly withdraw from a course will receive a grade of F.

Students may not withdraw from a course after the published withdrawal deadline. Any exception to this policy is the responsibility of the appropriate academic dean’s office. When granted, withdrawal from a course after this time will result in a grade of “W” or “F” depending on the student’s grade at the time of withdrawal.

2.8.7 Religious Holidays

In supporting religious diversity, Elon has a policy and procedures for students who wish to observe religious holidays that are in conflict with the academic calendar, allowing students an excused absence. Students who wish to observe a holiday during the semester must complete the online Religious Observance Notification Form (RONF) by a specified date.


This policy does not apply during the final examination period. Students are required to make prior arrangements with the instructor for completion of any work missed during the absence. Once the completed RONF is received, the Truitt Center will send an e-mail to the instructor and the student that a RONF has been submitted. Students may contact the Truitt Center staff with any questions (336-278-7729).

2.8.8 Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

If you are a student with a documented disability who will require accommodations in this course, please register with Disabilities Services by calling 336-278-6500 for assistance in developing a plan to address your academic needs. A representative from Disabilities Services is available at the law school twice a month during the academic year to meet with students in person. For more information about Disabilities Services, please visit the website: