black-big.pngThis morning I had a meeting with Washington Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara A. Madsen. We exchanged ideas regarding her concurring opinion in Gorman v. City of Woodinville in which she suggested the legislature should eliminate adverse possession. I presented ideas regarding the Washington Legislature’s new adverse possession law RCW 7.28.083.

Almost beyond coincidence, upon my return my inbox contained an email from some of my friends in the survey community seeking to confirm that the obituary of William B. Stoebuck was for the man who has had such a tremendous impact on Washington real property law. It is!

Concluding his career as an Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Washington, William Stoebuck’s first law review article published in 1960 was titled: The Law of Adverse Possession in Washington. It includes a review of all of Washington State’s adverse possession appelate (i.e. Supreme Court) cases from the commencement of statehood until its publishing in 1960.

Stoebuck concluded his article by stating that “subjective intent” or as is sometimes also known “good faith” should not be an element of inquiry in deciding adverse possession cases. In 1984, Chaplin v. Sanders followed this recpmmendation.

In light of all the activity now surrounding adverse possession, it almost seems that Professor Stoebuck’s passing is a harbinger of the end of adverse possession. What do you think? 

At any rate, this is a click through to Professor Stoebuck’s obituary. His was a life well