Dear JLI Student,
Find a penny, pick it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck. - Children's Aphorism
We’ve all found pennies, and perhaps even nickels or dimes. Maybe you were fortunate enough to find a larger bill of money: A dollar, a twenty or a hundred?
A few years ago, Art Cochell, Floris, Iowa, was dismantling an old clothesline pole in his backyard. When he removed the pole from the ground, several coins slid out. Excited by this unexpected discovery, he returned to the area with a metal detector and some tools and continued to unveil a generous stash of coins. In a media interview, Cochell said that, “this is a dream find for metal detectors.”
Matters become more complicated, though, when there are a handful of claimants. In some cases, there can be a whole host of potential takers. If, for example, the treasure were found on someone else’s property, the homeowner might claim that it belongs to him. The finder will also like feel like the treasure’s rightful owner. Past owners of the property are likely to come forth as well.
There are other kinds of accidental treasures as well—when a purchased item, for example, turns out to be worth more than anyone expected. Our second lesson will explore how we disentangle competing claims in these kinds of situations.
I look forward to seeing you in class this week.