In this interview, John Pollock talks about the motivation behind founding the Heirs’ Property Retention Coalition (HPRC), a network dedicated to preventing the forced sale of ancestral property. He discusses his role in drafting the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (Uniform Act), which aims to preserve family wealth. Pollock describes how the Uniform Law Commission, the chief authority on model state laws, accepted this proposed act, as well as the drafting process after the commission’s acceptance. He talks about the difficulty negotiating with opposition in the commission and various states that have adopted the Uniform Act. Pollock also talks about the links between urban blight and heirs’ property issues and the use of other reforms, including heirship affidavits, to prove ownership. He describes myths surrounding heirs’ property and the issues associated with dividing property between heirs. Lastly, Pollock talks about the difficulties associated with monitoring the success of the Uniform Act and the adverse effects of forced sale.
At the time of this interview, John Pollock was the Coordinator of the Heirs Property Retention Coalition, which works to preserve the ancestral property of low-income families across the country. Apart from his heirs property work, which he does pro bono on the side, he was a staff attorney for the Public Justice Center, where he served as Coordinator of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel, which works to ensure the right to counsel for low-income individuals in civil cases implicating basic human needs. Pollock earned his law degree from Northeastern University School of Law, in Boston, Massachusetts.