Professor Stewart E. Sterk to be honored with Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize in October

  • Accolades
    Accolades  Professor Sterk's peers praise him for his "insightful and balanced analysis of issues touching on property rights and land use regulation" and for his writing, which "invariably has new and interesting things to say about the subject across the board."  
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Professor Stewart E. Sterk of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law has been named recipient of the 2018 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize from the William & Mary Law School Property Rights Project.

Sterk will be honored during the project’s 15th annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference at William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Va., on October 4-5, 2018. The prize is presented annually to a scholar, practitioner or jurist whose work affirms the fundamental importance of property rights.

Sterk is H. Bert and Ruth Mack Professor of Real Estate Law and Director of the Center for Real Estate Law & Policy at Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University in New York City. He earned his B.A. in 1973 and J.D. in 1976 from Columbia University. His areas of expertise include Conflict of Laws, Copyright, Estates, Land Use Regulation, Property Law, Real Estate Law and Trusts.

While in law school, Sterk served as managing editor of the Columbia Law Review, and he subsequently clerked for Chief Judge Charles D. Breitel of the New York Court of Appeals. The winner of a number of teaching awards at Cardozo, he has taught as a visiting professor at Columbia and at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sterk’s publications span a wide variety of areas, ranging from property and land use regulation to trusts and estates, copyright, and the conflict of laws. A member of the American Law Institute, he served as an advisor in the preparation of the Restatement (Third) of Property (Servitudes). He has co–authored casebooks on Trusts and Estates and on Land Use, and he also edits the New York Real Estate Law Reporter, a monthly newsletter published with the assistance of Cardozo students.

“Stewart Sterk is known by his colleagues in the fields of property and land use law as a generous colleague and as a thoughtful, prolific scholar,” said Eduardo M. Peñalver, Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law at Cornell Law School, and a collaborator of Sterk’s. “His insightful and balanced analysis of issues touching on property rights and land use regulation make him a fitting recipient of the Brigham-Kanner Prize.”

Professor James Krier, Earl Warren DeLano Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School and recipient of the 2012 Brigham-Kanner Prize, has known and admired Sterk and his work for many years. 

“His writing on property law invariably has new and interesting things to say about the subject across the board,” Krier said. “He makes constructive use of economic analysis, without taking that discipline as dogma. He has been extraordinarily productive. In the course of working with Stew, I came to realize (and envy) that he has complete command of his subject and is probably the most efficient scholar I’ve ever met—never distracted, never troubled, comfortable changing direction when what he learns departs from what he had initially thought, always pushing ahead, no wasted effort, just always bringing to bear his great intellect and extraordinary energy.”

The Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize, which has been awarded annually since 2004, honors the work of Toby Prince Brigham, founding partner of Brigham Moore, LLP, and Gideon Kanner, professor of law emeritus at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, for their contributions to the advancement of property rights.

Previous recipients of the Property Rights Prize include Professor Frank I. Michelman of Harvard University (2004), Professor Richard Epstein of the New York University School of Law (2005), Professor James W. Ely, Jr., of Vanderbilt University (2006), Professor Margaret Jane Radin of the University of Michigan Law School (2007), Professor Robert C. Ellickson of Yale Law School (2008), Professor Richard E. Pipes of Harvard University (2009), Professor Carol Rose of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law (2010), retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (2011), Professor James E. Krier of the University of Michigan  Law School (2012), Professor Thomas W. Merrill of Columbia Law School (2013), Michael M. Berger of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips (2014), Professor Joseph William Singer of Harvard Law School (2015), Hernando de Soto, President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy (Lima, Peru) (2016), and Professor David Callies of the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law (2017).

To request a brochure about the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference, or for more information about the event, please email Ali Trivette at or call (757) 221-7466 or visit the conference website.

About William & Mary Law School

Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America’s oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.