Interesting English legal history questions

March 4, 2014

This isn’t exactly a “puzzle”, but it is an exam question I gave my English Legal History students last time I taught the class. I may post some of these once in a while, with answers to come later. If you know something about English legal history, you can try testing your knowledge.

You are the lawyer to Countess Joan. Before her marriage, she was seised of a parcel of land called Gambrell. During her marriage, her husband, Count Geoffrey, granted the land to Roger. Now Count Geoffrey is dead, Roger is seised of Gambrell, and Countess Joan wants Gambrell back. How would you advise her to litigate this:

a) in 1100?
b) in 1190?
c) in 1230?
d) in 1350?
e) in 1600?

Sasha Volokh lives in Atlanta with his wife and three kids, and is an associate professor at Emory Law School. He has written numerous articles and commentaries on law and economics, privatization, antitrust, prisons, constitutional law, regulation, torts, and legal history.
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