Answers to Winter 2015
California Bar Exam Questions

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Winter 2015 Bar Question 2

Real Property


Amy and Bob owned Blackacre in fee simple as joint tenants with a right of survivorship.  Blackacre is located in a jurisdiction with a race-notice recording statute.

Without Bob’s knowledge, Amy gifted her interest in Blackacre to Cathy by deed. Amy and Bob then sold all of their interest in Blackacre by a quitclaim deed to David, who recorded the deed.  Shortly thereafter, Cathy recorded her deed.

David entered into a valid 15-year lease of Blackacre with Ellen.  The lease included a promise by Ellen, on behalf of herself, her assigns, and successors in interest, to (1) obtain hazard insurance that would cover any damage to the property and (2) use any payments for damage to the property only to repair such damage. Ellen recorded the lease.

Five years later, Ellen transferred all of her remaining interest in Blackacre to Fred.  Neither Ellen nor Fred ever obtained hazard insurance covering Blackacre. While Fred was in possession of Blackacre, a building on the property was destroyed by fire due to a lightning strike.

David has sued Ellen and Fred for damages for breach of the covenant regarding hazard insurance for Blackacre.

1.      What right, title, or interest in Blackacre, if any, is held by Cathy, David, Ellen and/or Fred? Discuss.

2.     Is David likely to prevail in his suit against Ellen and Fred?  Discuss.


Real Property
Question 2, Winter 2015

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