Saturday, December 03, 2011

the descendants and the rule against perpetuities

i saw the descendants this afternoon and i believe it is the second major motion picture that uses the rule against perpetuities as a plot device. the RAP is infamous for torturing generations of law students, even though it won't ever come up in their post-law school careers for the vast majority of those tortured students.

anyway, the first RAP film is body heat. but that film got the rule wrong. "the descendants" doesn't quite give enough information to tell, but it is possible that it is consistent with the hawaiian version of the RAP. (the life in being would presumably be one of the people alive when matt king's ancestor who set up the trust died, and then that life in being person then died 14 years before the beginning of the film, giving the king family seven more years before the savings clause kicked in and dissolved the trust) which means that the alexander payne film may be the first to use the rule against perpetuities correctly as a plot device.

however, i could be wrong. law school was a long time ago and i haven't thought much about the RAP in a while. it hasn't yet come up in my post-law school career.