From our private database of 33,800+ case briefs...
Union Oil Co. v. Smith
United States Supreme Court
249 U.S. 337 (1919)
The Union Oil Company (Union Oil) (defendant) located five contiguous mining claims on several acres of land. Union Oil was not in actual occupation of the five claims. Smith (plaintiff) and his associates occupied one of the claims while Union Oil was engaged in exploratory drilling on a contiguous claim. Union Oil never found oil on the site occupied by Smith. Both Union Oil and Smith filed claims to the site. Smith brought action against Union Oil in state trial court to resolve the dispute. Union Oil asserted a possessory right to the disputed claim based on the fact that Union Oil had located the five contiguous claims. The trial court ruled in favor of Smith, and the state supreme court affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted a writ of error to review the case.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Pitney, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 604,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 604,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 33,800 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.