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October 18th, 2013 — By — In News & Events

10th Annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia

We are currently attending, along with a number of legal scholars, practicing lawyers and law school students, the 10th Annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference at William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia.  The Conference began Thursday evening with the presentation of the Brigham-Kanner Prize to Professor Thomas W. Merrill, the Charles Evan Hughes Professor at Columbia Law School.

For the last 10 years, the presentation of the award has taken place at the College of William & Mary’s historic Wren Building in a room in which 3 U.S. Presidents have studied (Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and John Tyler), The Great Hall.  Last night, Professor Merrill was the 10th property scholar to receive the award during a lovely event in that very room.

Today the Conference continues with four panels exploring Professor Merrill’s scholarship as well as the impact of recent Supreme Court takings cases and the transition of property rights through shifting conditions and circumstances, such as new advances in technology, knowledge and public needs. More on those panels, panelists and topics later.

One of the most enjoyable benefits of attending this conference, beyond the interesting dinner conversation on Thursday evening is visiting the City of Williamsburg and historic sites of Colonial Williamsburg.  (Though, we thoroughly enjoyed discussing the post-Revolutionary history and the taking of Loyalist property by the Patriots with Professor Jim Ely.)

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Employees of Colonial Williamsburg dress in Revolutionary period costume.

There are numerous home and gardens in the Colonial district to visit and enjoy.

There are numerous home and gardens in the Colonial district to visit and enjoy.

A few private residences are located within the historic district, including this one.  Although not open to the public, it has been maintained in a true historical manner.

A few private residences are located within the historic district, including this one. Although not open to the public, it has been maintained in a true historical manner.

There are daily reenactments and working artisans who impart history lessons upon visitors through their actions and conversation.

There are daily reenactments and working artisans who impart history lessons upon visitors through their actions and conversation.

And, yes, you can take a carriage ride in Colonial Williamsburg.

And, yes, you can take a carriage ride in Colonial Williamsburg.