Susan Fletcher French

Professor of Law Emerita

  • A.B. Stanford, 1964
  • J.D. University of Washington, 1967
  • UCLA Faculty Since 1989

Susan French taught Property, Wills and Trusts, and Common Interest Communities for many years. Her areas of expertise include the law of wills, trusts, future interests, servitudes (easements and covenants) and common interest communities.

After graduating from law school where she was articles editor of the Washington Law Review, Professor French practiced law in Seattle, Washington, and then joined the UC Davis law faculty in 1975. She was a visiting professor at the University of Michigan Law School in 1980, the UCLA School of Law in 1988-89, Harvard Law School in 1990, Duke Law School in 2001 and 2007, and the University of North Carolina in 2005. She spent a sabbatical year at the University of Chile in Santiago during 1982-83 and part of a sabbatical leave at the University of Sydney Faculty of Law in 2002.

Professor French was the Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law, Third, Property (Servitudes) (2000). She currently serves as an adviser to the Restatement of the Law, Fourth, Property and served as an adviser to the Restatement of the Law, Third, Property (Donative Transfers). She has also advised the California Law Revision Commission on revision of laws relating to common-interest developments and the Probate Code. She is co-author of Cases and Texts on Property (with Gerald Korngold, 7th ed. 2019), and Community Association Law (with Hyatt, 2d ed. 2008). Professor French is also the author of A California Companion for the Course in Wills, Trusts and Estates, now in its 8th edition for 2019-2020.


  • Books
    • Cases and Text on Property (with Gerald Korngold). 7th ed. Aspen Casebook Series (2019).
    • A California Companion for the Course in Wills, Trusts & Estates. 8th ed. Aspen Publishers, Wolters Kluwer Law & Business (2019-2020).
    • Community Association Law: Cases and Materials on Common Interest Communities (with Wayne S. Hyatt). 2nd ed. Carolina Academic Press (2008). First edition: 1998.
    • Restatement of the Law Of Property, Third, Servitudes (Susan F. French, Reporter). The American Law Institute (2000).
    • California Will Manual (edited by Susan F. French). Will Manual Service (1982).
  • Articles And Chapters
    • Inflection Point: Private Land Use Covenants, the Housing Crisis and the Warming Planet, John Marshall Law Review (forthcoming). Symposium Issue, 2018 Kratovil Conference on Land Development.
    • McLear-Gary v. Scott Got It Wrong: Court Confused Adverse Use with Adverse Possession, 42 Real Property Law Reporter 57 (2019). Full Text
    • Making Easements is Easy; Remaking Them is Hard: Should the Law Help Out?, Probate and Property (September/October 2013).
    • Gruen v. Gruen, A Tale of Two Stories, in Property Stories, 2nd ed. (edited by Andrew Morriss & Gerald Korngold, Foundation Press, 2009).
    • Basic Easement Law: California and the Restatement (Third) of Property: Servitudes, in Easements and Boundaries: Law and Litigation, (CEB, 2008). Updated Annually.
    • Perpetual Trusts, Conservation Servitudes, and the Problem of the Future, 27 Cardozo Law Review 2523 (2006).
    • The American Restatement of Servitudes Law: Reforming Doctrine by Shifting From Ex-Ante to Ex-Post Controls on the Risks Posed by Servitudes, in Towards a Unified System of Land Burdens, (edited by S. Van Erp and B. Akkermans, Commune Europaeum Series, Intersentia, 2006).
    • Making Common Interest Communities Work: The Next Step, 37 Urban Lawyer 359-69 (2005).
    • Perpetual Trusts, Conservation Servitudes, and the Problem of the Future, UCLA School of Law Public Law & Legal Theory Working Paper Series (December, 2005). Full Text
    • What’s a Poor Land Trust To Do? Alternatives for Dealing With an Opportunistic World, 44 Natural Resources Law Journal 563 (2004).
    • Can Covenants Not to Sue, Covenants Against Competition and Spite Covenants Run with Land? Comparing Results Under the Touch or Concern Doctrine and the Restatement Third, Property (Servitudes), 38 Real Property, Probate and Trust Journal 267-93 (2003).
    • Relocating Easements: Restatement (Third), Servitudes § 4.8(3), 38 Real Property, Probate and Trust Journal 1-15 (2003).
    • Common Interest Communities: The Dilemma of Shared Resources in Residential Housing, CPR Digest (Winter/Spring, 2000). Newsletter of the International Association for the Study of Common Property (IASCP).
    • Highlights of the New Restatement (Third) of Property: Servitudes, 35 Real Property, Probate & Trust Journal 225-42 (2000).
    • The Touch and Concern Doctrine and the Restatement (Third) of Servitudes: A Tribute to Laurence E. Berger, 77 Nebraska Law Review 653-66 (1999).
    • Servitudes Reform and the New Restatement of Property: Creation Doctrines and Structural Simplification, 73 Cornell Law Review 928-55 (1998).
    • Creating Subdivision Covenants (CC&R’s) in California: A Note on Citizens for Covenant Compliance v. Anderson, 14 California Real Property Journal 25-30 (1996).
    • Tradition and Innovation in the New Restatement of Servitudes: A Report from Midpoint (Restatement Third of Property), 27 Connecticut Law Review 119-29 (1994).
    • The Constitution of a Private Residential Government Should Include a Bill of Rights, 27 Wake Forest Law Review 345-52 (1992).
    • Perpetuities: Three Essays in Honor of My Father, 65 Washington Law Review 323-56 (1990).
    • Design Proposal for the New Restatement of the Law of Property–Servitudes, 21 UC Davis Law Review 1213-31 (1988).
    • Imposing a General Survival Requirement on Beneficiaries of Future Interests: Solving the Problems Caused by the Death of a Beneficiary Before the Time Set for Distribution, 27 Arizona Law Review 801-36 (1985).
    • Antilapse Statutes Are Blunt Instruments: A Blueprint for Reform, 37 Hastings Law Journal 335-75 (1985).
    • Toward a Modern Law of Servitudes: Reweaving the Ancient Strands, 55 Southern California Law Review 1261-319 (1982).
    • Exercise of Powers of Appointment: Should Intent to Exercise Be Inferred from a General Disposition of Property?, 1979 Duke Law Journal 747-806 (1979).
    • Application of Antilapse Statutes to Appointments Made by Will, 53 Washington Law Review 405-40 (1978).
    • A Comparison of the Uniform Probate Code and California Law with Respect to the Law of Wills (with Robert L. Fletcher), in Comparative Probate Law Studies, 327-558 (edited by Lawrence Newman and Richard V. Wellman, American Law Institute, 1977).
  • Other
    • Emerging from a Doctrinal Snarl into the World of Modern Servitudes Law, 75 Connecticut Bar Journal 104-07 (2001).
    • Report on Proposed California Law Revision Commission Study of Laws Affecting Common Interest Development (November, 2000).