SMU law students learn adverse possession from an expert

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by CASEY NORTON

WFAA

Posted on November 9, 2011 at 11:55 PM

DALLAS - For 100 SMU law students, Kenneth Robinson is a living case study in adverse possession.

He filed the first affidavit in Denton County to claim a house. People have been knocking on his door for legal advice ever since.

"I have no intention, be it now or before, to take something that belongs to someone else," Robinson said. "I am not a thief."

He said ownership of his house is in dispute. That's why his case is not the same as those in Tarrant County.

Robinson said some of them came to his house, but only half-listened to his story.

"This is not a process that a person should go through for financial gain without having a full understanding of what they're doing," he said.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins listened to Robinson, and agrees there are acceptable cases of adverse possession.

But he is joining three other counties to stop what he calls "traveling con artists."

"We will be on the lookout in Dallas County for people who run this scam," Jenkins said. "They better pick a different place."

Even first-year law students know the law is not black and white.

They question counties who could be endangering a Texas doctrine that has stood for a century.

"From what I can tell talking to legal experts, what Mr. Robinson did appears to be right," said SMU law student Tony Seagroves.

Robinson still lives in his Flower Mound house and said he is still looking for the title holder. If that person returns, he said he will use adverse possession to handle the situation through the law, not a loophole.

E-mail cnorton@wfaa.com

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