Bikinis and Efficient Trespass Law

2013 Utah Law Review OnLaw 290

7 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2013 Last revised: 23 Oct 2013

See all articles by John Martinez

John Martinez

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Date Written: March 1, 2013


On Valentine’s Day 2013, a mother and her two daughters walked into a Barnes & Noble bookstore and put sticky notes strategically on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue featuring Kate Upton in a skimpy bikini. Current trespass law at times emphasizes that a mere physical intrusion suffices. Under that “right to exclude” approach, Barnes & Noble could easily prove that a trespass had occurred. At other times, however, trespass law focuses on the “right to use,” and instead seeks to determine whether any given intrusion interferes with the present beneficial use of the landowner’s premises. Using economic efficiency analysis, this article suggests that the right to exclude approach leads to fewer transaction costs and therefore is the economically efficient - and therefore preferable - legal rule.

Keywords: Trespass, Law & Economics, Economic Efficiency, Transaction Costs, Right to Exclude, Right to Use, Property Law

JEL Classification: A10, B40, K00, K10, K11, K13, K19, K40, K41, K49

Suggested Citation

Martinez, John, Bikinis and Efficient Trespass Law (March 1, 2013). 2013 Utah Law Review OnLaw 290, Available at SSRN: or

John Martinez (Contact Author)

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics