hero image
Jo Carrillo - UC Hastings College of the Law. San Francisco, CA, US

Jo Carrillo Jo Carrillo

Professor of Law | UC Hastings College of the Law

San Francisco, CA, UNITED STATES

Contacts: carrillo@uchastings.edu


Jo Carrillo, J.D., J.S.D. is a Professor of Law at UC Hastings.

I publish and teach (or as I understand the process, I publish to teach) on the topic of property and marital property systems, financial intimate partner violence, consumer protection issues, and what I call legal humanities. Currently, my legal research centers on how specific statutes and constellations of statutes can encourage relational equality in intimate partnerships and friendships. I am also interested in mapping financial torts and crimes that are perpetrated in the family.

In the last decade, I have worked to better understand and advance the field of California community property law, the most complex marital property system in the U.S. if not the world. I edited the eleventh edition of a family property casebook that has been in use for the past 60 years. My other publications in the field include student-oriented texts and academic articles on fundamental changes that marriage equality has initiated in law.

Recently, I completed a monograph on the themes of justice and vigilantism in James M. Cain's early work. I started archival research for the monograph in 2012. My analysis is more historical than literary.

I am an elected member of the American Law Institute. I am a member of the Modern Language Association. I am a former trustee of the Law and Society Association. I have served on the Herbert Jacob Book Prize Selection Committee. I was on the Board of Authors for the Felix Cohen Handbook of Federal Indian Law (2005).

I am a peer reviewer for different academic journals. For example, I most recently served as a peer reviewer for the start-up Museum of Science Fiction (MOSF) Journal of Science Fiction. When it comes to science fiction I am particularly interested in how speculative fiction imagines and/or re-imagines the institution of property, identity (especially gender), and intimate partnerships.

My permanent academic appointment is at UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. I have held temporary appointments over the years. I served as a Visiting Professor at Stanford Law School (1998-99). I was named a Lillian and Harry Hastings Research Chair at UC Hastings (2006-07). I spent a year as a Visiting Scholar at The Center for the Study of Law & Society at UC Berkeley (2006-07). My current CV is available above.



Jo Carrillo Publication Jo Carrillo Publication Jo Carrillo Publication Jo Carrillo Publication





Areas of Expertise (11)

California Community Property

Comparative Marital Property

Community Property Systems in the U.S. and Beyond

Economic and financial aspects of intimpate partnerships

Archival Research About the Representation of Law in Culture

Property Law and Property Theory

Property Related Mediation

Laws Concerning Indigenous Nations and Persons in the U.S.

James M. Cain

Science fiction: property gender and relationships in

Property law as a public institution

Accomplishments (6)

Chip Robertson Scholarly Publications Fund Award (professional)


Awarded by UC Hastings College of the Law.

Outstanding Mentor Award to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Students (professional)


Awarded by Stanford University.

Roger J. Traynor Scholarly Publication Award (professional)


Awarded for outstanding scholarly achievement by UC Hastings College of the Law.

Mediator Certification (professional)


Conferred by the Center for Mediation in Law.

Outstanding Service & Achievement Award (professional)


Awarded by UC Hastings 1066 Faculty Foundation.

Hastings Research Chair (professional)


Awarded by UC Hastings College of the Law.

Education (3)

Stanford Law School: J.S.D., Law

University of New Mexico: J.D., Law

Stanford University: B.A., Undergraduate Studies

Affiliations (16)

  • American Law Institute : Member
  • Modern Language Association : Member
  • Felix Cohen Handbook of Federal Indian Law (2005) Board of Authors
  • The Center for the Study of Law and Society UC Berkeley Visiting Scholar
  • Stanford Law School Visiting Professor of Law
  • Law and Society Association Former Trustee
  • MOSF Journal of Science Fiction peer reviewer
  • Journal of Legal Education: Editorial Board
  • American Indian Law Review: Peer Review Panel
  • Book Series Co-editor Mapping Racisms Temple University Press
  • Law and Society Review Peer Review Panel
  • Law and Society Association Herbert Jacob Book Prize Selection Committee
  • Political and Legal Anthropology Review (PoLAR) Peer Review Panel
  • Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Chair Anthropology Section
  • Equal Rights Advocates: Board of Directors
  • American Men's Studies Association (AMSA)

Media Appearances (1)

Facebook Marriage: Zuckerberg's Property Status, Post-Marriage

CNBC  online


"This means the day after the marriage, whatever anyone earns is co-owned by the marital estate,” said Jo Carrillo, a law professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. But the lines between community and separate property can get fuzzy pretty quickly after that, particularly over many years of marriage. Separate property, for instance, remains separate unless that money is commingled with “community,” or joint, money and the couple does not keep records of where the money came from or who paid what, Professor Carrillo said...

view more

Event Appearances (7)

Law, Literature, and the Possibility of Justice

Modern Language Association Annual Meeting  Chicago, IL.


Why James M. Cain Matters to American Law

Invited Presentation  Brooklyn Law School, New York, NY.


Reading Law: How Property Law Influenced Seven Novels of the 20th Century

Property Works in Progress  University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.


Sharks and Currents: Mortgage Troubles on Main Street

The Mortgage Meltdown: Northern California Law Librarians Annual Meeting  San Francisco, CA.


The Role of Truth in Lending in the Current Housing Crisis

Beyond the Bailout: Risk, Responsibility and the Road Ahead  UC Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, CA.


The Poverty Trap of the Subprime Crisis

West Coast Conference on Progressive Lawyering  Stanford Law School


Popular Culture Themes in the Work of Lawrence M. Friedman

Event in Honor of Lawrence M. Friedman  Stanford Law School



  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader
  • Author Appearance
  • Corporate Training


0 to 5000 *Will consider certain engagements for no fee

Selected Articles (10)

The M Word: From Partial Coverture to Skills-Based Fiduciary Duties in Marriage

Hastings Women's Law


This article discusses the sea change in California law that took place in the 1970s. It emphasizes the shift from the male management approach (the male spouse was the sole legal agent for purposes of managing community personal property) to the equal management approach (either souse can manage and control community personal property). It also discusses disclosure issues and the incorporation of self-updating Revised Uniform Partnership Act provisions into the California Family Code.

view more

The Sound of Silence: The Continuing Debate Over Class Action Rescission Under TILA

Hastings Business Law Journal


In 1995, Congress amended TILA so that massive lender liability could no longer result from minor errors in disclosure. In that same year, Congress passed a moratorium on class action claims under TILA; the moratorium was lifted on October 1, 1995. The new amendments balanced lender and consumer interests by raising the TILA tolerance bar from $10 to $100. Cases that fell above the new $100 tolerance bar could proceed forward on the merits; those that fell below could not. This paper analyzes decisional law on the issue of whether class action TILA rescission remains an available remedy for consumers. it analyzes the policy claims of lenders and borrowers through the lens of one specific class action loan rescission case.

view more

In Translation for the Latino Market Today: Acknowledging the Rights of Consumers in a Multilingual Housing Market

Harvard Latino Law Review


The Federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA) requires lenders to disclose the full cost of credit to borrowers. In the case of linguistic minorities, California law goes one step further. Under California Civil Code section 1632, lenders are required to provide unexecuted translations of loan documents to consumers whose language of proficiency is one of these five protected languages: Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Korean. This Article considers the needs of consumers in a multilingual retail real estate market and then introduces California Civil Code section 1632 as an important step toward affirming the economic, legal, and civil rights of consumers who, by reason of their language proficiencies, are vulnerable in mortgage markets. Subsequent to this article, Cal. Civ. Code 1632 was updated to include mortgage documents.

view more

Dangerous Loans: Consumer Challenges to Adjustable Rate Mortgages

Berkeley Business Law Journal


This article analyzes the relationship between mortgage products, like negatively amortizing adjustable-rate mortgages and interest only mortgages, and the post-2005 wave of consumer legal challenges that were brought under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), 15 U.S.C. section 1601, et seq. (TILA) to challenge these products.

view more

Links and Choices: Popular Legal Culture in the Work of Lawrence M. Friedman

Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal


This article introduces the law and society provenance of Lawrence M. Friedman's ideas on legal culture and on popular legal culture. Lawrence M. Friedman was Jo Carrillo's principal dissertation adviser. Richard Roberts (Africanist, Stanford History Department) and William Simon (Columbia Law School) being the other two.

view more

Conversion as a Remedy for Interference with Home Equity

Banking and Financial Services Policy Report: A Journal on Trends in Regulation and Supervision 28:9 (2010): 5-11.


This article explores the application of conversion as a common law remedy for interference with home equity. Conversion is typically available only for tangible personal property. Thus this article discusses the merger by doctrine theory.

view more

Financial Interpersonal Violence: When Money and Transactions become Weapons

Domestic Violence Report


Distinguishes between economic and financial interpersonal violence. Discusses specific ways a state can address financial interpersonal violence by comparing Alaska and California law. Forthcoming 22 Domestic Violence Report __ (forthcoming 2016).

This Little Loan Went to Market: The Consumer-Lender-Investor Equation of Federal Truth in Lending

Banking and Financial Services Policy Report: A Journal on Trends in Regulation and Supervision 28:8 (2009): 7-12.


Explores the balance between consumers, lenders, and investors under Federal Truth in Lending (TILA) regulations.

view more

Surface and Depth: Some Methodological Problems with Bringing Native American Histories to Light.

New York University Review of Law & Social Change 20:2


This article discusses the methodological problems of incorporating oral histories into official documentary histories, particularly in a colonial context where genocide has occurred.

view more

To Influence, Shape, and Globalize: Popular Legal Culture and Law

Cambridge University Press


To Influence, Shape, and Globalize: Popular Legal Culture and Law, in LAW IN SOCIETY AND HISTORY: ESSAYS ON MAJOR THEMES IN THE WORK OF LAWRENCE M. FRIEDMAN, 69-89 (Robert W. Gordon & Morton Horwitz, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2011).

view more

Courses (4)

California Community Property

Covers the California community property system, which is one of the most extensive code-based family justice systems in the world.


Coverage of first year property topics including real, personal, intangible, and tangible properties.

Financial Basics for Lawyers

Introduction to financial issues relevant to litigation and state court. The course is taught by a collaborative law method.

Law of Lending

Covers mortgages, car loans, student loans, credit cards, truth in lending laws, consumer finance issues, tax deferred accounts, and basics of investing.