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The Case of the Landlord's Dilemma

 Todd Rakoff and Joseph William Singer  
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25 pages
Product Type:
Workshop-Based Case Study
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This case involves counseling a landlord of a three‚Äźdecker residential building in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who faces a dispute between two of his tenants. One tenant complains that another tenant (the landlord's nephew) is sexually harassing her in common areas of the building. The harassment is serious enough that she has moved out of the apartment and is staying in a hotel. The complaining tenant asks the landlord to evict the harasser and pay for her hotel bills.  The case presents a host of legal issues which run the gamut of all the first year courses, including procedure, torts, contracts, property, criminal law, and regulatory/administrative law, as well as constitutional law.

Learning Objectives

  • Begin to develop a systematic approach to problem solving when faced with an unresolved issue or new situation.
  • Understand that more than one doctrinal area may apply to the same situation and learn the relation among these different sources of law and legal rights.
  • Learn how to avoid getting bogged down in details and legal theory and instead focus on the law relevant to the client's central problem.
  • Discuss how to help clients clarify their goals and desired outcomes and how best to evaluate and present options for the client. 
  • Discuss how to arrive at the salient facts in a case and the importance of understanding the various perspectives of parties involved.

Subjects Covered

Real estate law, legal issues, client-lawyer relations, soft skills


Geographic: United States, Massachusetts

Industry: Rental Property

Event Year Begin: 2009


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Additional Information

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