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The Hess Lecture: The Messages of Matter of Totten
Thursday, May 12, 2011 6:30 PM

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William P. LaPiana, the Rita and Joseph Solomon Professor of Wills, Trusts, and Estates, and the Director of the Graduate Estate Planning Program at New York Law School, will speak on the Matter of Totten, a case we have all heard of but perhaps never read. We all know that the opinion is an important milestone in the creation of nonprobate property arrangements. It also, however, tells us a good deal about American law at the beginning of the twentieth century, the relationship between law and society, the mechanisms of legal reform. Now more than 100 years old, in many ways this apparently “simple” case can still teach us a great deal.