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University of Baltimore Journal of Land and Development

Abstract

The law of the dead is now precipitating a lively debate in the legal community. Scandals are increasingly rocking the death care industry, an industry enjoying greater attention with the aging Baby Boom generation. Regulators and attorneys now must address an array of issues that revolve around death. And the law of the dead is a unique animal. It is neither property nor health care; real estate nor contract; yet it has elements of each of those areas of the law, as well as environmental law, zoning, and general torts, but it lies comfortably in none of these fields entirely. This hybrid area of the law can be confusing for those who do not often practice the law of the dead, as many of the odd realities surrounding corpses has led to unique jurisprudence. What do you do when a cemetery is in the path of your development project? Are we so strapped for burial space that people need to bury loved ones in their suburban yards? How do you protect yourself as an employer when an employee has sex with a corpse on the job? All of these questions and more are included in this review and analysis of the recent jurisprudence of the dead that will serve as a primer for anyone dealing with the law of the dead.

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