Prince has given us all so many gifts. Most importantly, his music got me through my college years. He gives law professors a particular set of gifts. Since 2006 I've been teaching a property problem around his landlord-tenant dispute with Carlos Boozer. (I call it "Prince's Purple Pain Property Practice Problem.") And this spring I asked one short question about this on my trusts and estates final -- how his property will be distributed if, as appears likely, he died intestate. (Equally to his siblings is the answer -- under Minnesota law as well as the UPC, which is what I was testing on my exam in case any of my students are reading this. Neither Minnesota nor the UPC treat half-siblings any differently from full-blood siblings.) Prince's estate will be the way to explain that doctrine going forward. Every trusts and estates casebook will use him, I'm sure.
At the New York Times Brent Staples is talking about Prince's lack of estate planning. Really shocking that someone with, what, 1/3 of a billion dollars would die without a will, isn't it? Borderline malpractice for his lawyers, I should think.
I've been meaning to talk about the Times editorial (which I'm guessing Staples had a lot to do with) about the revelation that the Jesuits sold hundreds of humans and used the money to finance building at Georgetown University. They make the case for reparations in the form of scholarships for descendants of people once owned by the Jesuits. But teaching and pro bono work this spring has prevented me from doing as much blogging as I would have liked. Once I get on the other side of grading I hope to talk some about a bunch of projects -- black power in a prison library in the 1970s (there are some surprising jurisprudence angles on this, I think); William Saunders and the "rule of law" and the Klan in Reconstruction-era North Carolina; and trusts used to manage and occasionally free enslaved people.
In the interim, happy graduation to everyone!