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October 07, 2010

Vampire Legal Issues: "Memory Lane"

TV: The Vampire Diaries

"Memory Lane" was a fun episode, but didn't really have many openings for legal discussions. Did that stop us from rambling about it for a while? Of course not!

Katie: So . . . is it just me or is there just not much to talk about this week?

Christine: I don't think there is. Other than me wanting to know about the testamentary dispositions of various Lockwoods, that is. But nothing from the actual plot of the episode. Mostly what I came away with last week was a greater love for Uncle Mason.

Katie: Well, tell me what you want to know about testamentary dispositions. That's fun to say.

Christine: It IS. I'd love to know who owns the Lockwood place now. It seems like it passes from eldest son to eldest son, so I am assuming that most of the property passed to Tyler, and that Mrs. Lockwood is the guardian/conservator of the estate (depending on the terminology Virginia uses). Mrs. Lockwood probably also got some money herself, and perhaps a life estate in the house. Didn't you have a theory about primogeniture and why Tyler was able to call off Mason when he was attacking Caroline?

Katie: Oh, I did! That was just about the wolves, though, not the property. My theory is that leadership of the pack passes to oldest son, which means that when his father died, Tyler became head wolf, not Mason.

I'm not convinced about the house thing, though. What makes you think Tyler owns it? Mystic Falls is weird, but it's not THAT weird, and I think it would be bizarre for a modern couple to arrange things that way, instead of having the parents co-own the house and so have Mrs. Lockwood be the owner now. Isn't that how this usually works?

Christine: Yes, but in this case I am thinking of the house more as a family estate (like you'd have in aristocratic families) than as a family home. The Mayor could have given Mrs. Lockwood a life estate- i.e. she has the right to reside in the house for the rest of her life- without actually passing title to her. (The life estate thing often happens when the testator leaves his second wife a life estate, but actually devises the house to children from his first marriage. This way the Mayor could provide for Mrs. Lockwood without running the risk that she'd have a midlife crisis and marry the FedEx guy and leave him the estate, instead of Tyler.)

And how would the head wolf thing work since as far as we know the Mayor never activated the curse and so wasn't a wolf?

Katie: Ah, interesting. Okay.

Do we really know that the Mayor never activated the curse? I guess I'm not necessarily believing anything Mason says.

Christine: You'd think Tyler would have noticed if his father always disappeared on the full moon. And the Mayor looked terribly confused when the Gilbert device affected him. Mason could be lying, of course, and he doesn't seem to have been close to his brother, so he could also be wrong. Did the Lockwoods keep journals? I wonder if they passed on their werewolf knowledge with the vampire knowledge and Tyler just hadn't been inducted yet.

Katie: That's my guess - that even if the Mayor hadn't actually transitioned, he knew all about it, and just hadn't told Tyler about it yet. One would assume they kept journals. Hmmm.

Christine: You'd think. All those founders seemed set on preserving their brilliance for future generations.

Katie: Anything else? Or are we just hoping that there will be more legal stuff tonight?

Christine: I think the latter. I am hoping for total awesomeness tonight.

Katie: Indeed. See you next week, folks!

Posted by Kat at October 7, 2010 05:00 PM
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