» Donald Kochan
Professor, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development
Parker S. Kennedy Professor in Law

Dale E. Fowler School of Law
Donald Kochan
Office Location:
Kennedy Hall 442
(714) 628-2618
Western Michigan University, Bachelor of Arts
Cornell University, Juris Doctor

Donald Kochan is the Parker S. Kennedy Professor in Law and the Associate Dean for Research & Faculty Development at Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law. 

During Fall 2018, Professor Kochan will be a Visiting Scholar in residence at the Center for the Constitution at Georgetown University Law Center, working on his forthcoming book, Framing the Constitution: The Impact of Labels on Constitutional Interpretation, to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2020.

Professor Kochan’s scholarship focuses on areas of property, environmental law, administrative law, natural resources, constitutional law, law & economics, and jurisprudence, among others. His scholarship has been cited in dozens of books (including many leading law textbooks) and more than 350 published law review articles, and his articles have been downloaded more than 14,000 times from SSRN and BePress.  He has published more than 40 scholarly articles and essays in well-respected law journals, including in the Cardozo Law Review, BYU Law Review, Florida State University Law Review, University of Richmond Law Review, Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law, Berkeley Journal of International Law, and Virginia Journal of Social Policy & Law, to name a few.  Professor Kochan is also the co-author (with the late Calvin Massey) of Emanuel Law Outlines: Property – Keyed To Dukeminier, Krier, Alexander, Schill & Strahilevitz, Eighth Edition (Wolters Kluwer, 8th Ed. 2018) and the forthcoming Emanuel Law Outlines: Property – Keyed To Dukeminier, Krier, Alexander, Schill & Strahilevitz, Ninth Edition (Wolters Kluwer, 9th ed. 2018) (forthcoming September 2018).

Professor Kochan is an elected member of the American Law Institute (ALI); and, he was appointed by ALI in July 2016 to serve as an Adviser to the Restatement of the Law Fourth, Property project.  He has also been a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation (ABF) since his election to ABF in 2014.  Professor Kochan received the 2014 Valerie Scudder Award from Chapman University, a merit-based award selected by peers in recognition of outstanding achievement in scholarship, teaching, and service, and one of the highest honors given to a faculty member at the University.

Among his numerous activities, Professor Kochan currently is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Legal Education; serves as Chair of the Real Property Legal Education Committee and Co-Chair of Trusts & Estates Legal Education Committee for the ABA Real Property, Trust & Estate Law (“RPTE”) Section; serves as the Chair-Elect of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Real Estate Transactions Section; serves as the Vice-Chair of the Committee on Environment & Natural Resources Regulation for the ABA Section on Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice; serves as a member of the ABA Advisory Commission to the Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress; and serves as an inaugural co-editor and founder of the Property Section of JOTWELL.  Other recent activities have included serving from 2015-2018 as a Contributing Editor of the “Keeping Current-Property” section in Probate & Property, the bi-monthly magazine of the ABA’s RPTE Section; and serving as the 2017 Chair for the Section on Property Law for the AALS; serving as the 2016-2017 Chair of the Planning and Nominations Committee for the AALS Section on Associate Deans for Academic Affairs & Research; and serving in 2017-2018 as an ABA Section Advisor to the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) Study Committee on Adverse Possession.  

Professor Kochan has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and before a special federal lands committee of the State of Idaho Legislature.  He has presented his work at national legal conferences and at law schools domestic and foreign, including to speak at the ABA’s Real Property, Trust & Estates Section 2017 and 2018 Spring Symposiums on the “Professors Panel” and to speak at the ABA’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) 2017 Fall Conference.  He has appeared on national and local radio and cable news broadcasts.  Further, in addition to his scholarly publications, Professor Kochan has published opinion editorials in leading newspapers across the country, including in the Wall Street Journal, the L.A. Times, the Boston Globe, the Detroit News, and the Legal Times, among others.

Beyond mentions in articles and books, Professor Kochan’s scholarship has received other notable attention, including being cited in a U.S. District Court opinion; cited and quoted at length in dozens of amicus briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal and state courts; cited in testimony at the confirmation hearings of now-Justice Elena Kagan in 2010; and the direct subject of a question posed to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the 2011 State Department budget hearings; to name a few.  One of his articles was selected as the June 2011 Article of the Month by the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning (ILTL).

Stories in various news outlets have featured quotations to his research or expertise, including in the Wall Street JournalNational Public Radio, the Investors Business Daily, the Associated Press ”Big Story” (a wire story later appearing in scores of outlets including the Washington PostFortuneCBS NewsABC News, and regional and local newspapers and other sources across the country), the Orange County Register, the Colorado Springs GazetteHigh Country News, and the Idaho Statesman, among others.

Professor Kochan’s work has been featured or discussed on numerous legal blogs.  Among the noteworthy blog commentary garnered, for example, one of Professor Kochan’s scholarly articles was described as “fascinating and very useful” by a federal judge who proceeded to “urge federal civil practitioners and members of the Academy who are interested in federal civil procedure to read Professor Kochan’s especially thoughtful and incredibly detailed analysis. . . . Professor Kochan’s article proves, once again, that dedicated law professors can really help judges and practitioners when they put their minds to it.” 

Immediately before coming to Chapman in 2004, Professor Kochan was an Olin Fellow at the University of Virginia School of Law for the 2003-2004 academic year. During 2002-2003, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law where he taught courses in Property and Environmental Law.

Professor Kochan received his Juris Doctor from Cornell Law School, where he was a John M. Olin Scholar in Law and Economics and managing editor of the Cornell International Law Journal. During law school, he also served as editor and executive editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy symposium issues in 1997 and 1998. He received his B.A. from Western Michigan University, magna cum laude, with majors in both political science and philosophy and where he studied as the John W. Gill Medallion Scholar (full scholarship plus) and was honored as the Presidential Scholar (awarded to the top graduate in the political science department).

After graduating from law school, Professor Kochan was a law clerk to The Honorable Richard F. Suhrheinrich of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Following his clerkship, Professor Kochan was an associate with the firm of Crowell & Moring LLP in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in natural resources & environmental law.

In Spring 2019, Professor Kochan will be teaching Property and Administrative Law & Practice.  His other courses include Natural Resources Law & Policy, Real Estate Transactions, Commercial Leasing, Law & Economics, Corporations, Agency & Partnership, and Federal Courts.

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications
Playing with Real Property Inside Augmented Reality: Pokémon Go, Trespass, and Law’s Limitations, 38 WHITTIER LAW REVIEW 70 (2018) (symposium).
Public Lands: Pride, Place, Proximity & Power, 25 VIRGINIA JOURNAL OF SOCIAL POLICY & THE LAW 1 (2018).
Reason-Giving, Rulemaking, and the Rule of Law, 87 UMKC LAW REVIEW __ (forthcoming 2018) (symposium).
Chapter 3: Eminent Domain Law and Reform in Illinois: A Brief Overview, in AN ILLINOIS CONSTITUTION FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY (Joseph E. Tabor ed. 2017) (with introduction by Richard A. Epstein and foreword by George F. Will).
I Share, Therefore It’s Mine, 51 UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND LAW REVIEW 909 (2017).
The Sharing Stick in the Property Rights Bundle: The Case of Short Term Rentals and HOAs, 86 UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI LAW REVIEW __ (forthcoming 2018).
The Commenting Power, Agency Accountability through Public Participation, 70 OKLAHOMA LAW REVIEW 601 (2018)
When Inquiring Minds Ought to Know . . ., PROBATE & PROPERTY, July/August 2017, at 57-63 (with James Charles Smith).
Same Base, Different Taste: The Cultural Ingredient in Property Law, JOTWELL (May 3, 2017). [reviewing Taisu Zhang, “Cultural Paradigms in Property Institutions,” 41 YALE J. INT’L L. 347 (2016)]
The Progression and Evolution of International Law Scholarship Over the Past 50 Years: Some Quantitative Observations, 22 BUFFALO HUMAN RIGHTS LAW REVIEW 1 (2016).
Deeds and the Determinacy Norm: Insights from Brandt and Other Cases on an Undesignated, Yet Ever-Present, Interpretive Method, 43 FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 793 (2016) (printed April 2017).
Incumbent Landscapes, Disruptive Uses: Perspectives on Marijuana-Related Land Use Control, 3 TEXAS A&M JOURNAL OF PROPERTY LAW 35 (2016) (symposium).
Virtual Liquid Networks and Other Guiding Principles for Optimizing Future Student-Edited Law Review Platforms, 32 TOURO LAW REVIEW 263 (2016) (Associate Deans Symposium).
Midnight Monuments, THE HILL: CONGRESS BLOG, Oct. 3, 2016.
Hamilton’s Take on 2016 Politics: The Federalist Papers Caution Against Populism and Demagogues, L.A. TIMES, Oct. 27, 2016, at A15 (Online Title: Take heart voters: No matter who gets elected, the president can’t destroy the republic).
Property as a Vehicle of Inclusion to Promote Human Sociability, JOTWELL (January 22, 2016) (reviewing Daniel B. Kelly, The Right to Include, 63 EMORY L.J. 857 (2014)).
Economics-Based Environmentalism in the Fourth Generation of Environmental Law, 21 JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL & SUSTAINABILITY LAW 47 (2015) (symposium).
Bubbles (or, Some Reflections on the Basic Laws of Human Relations), 26 FORDHAM ENVIRONMENTAL LAW REVIEW 133 (2015).
A Framework for Understanding Property Regulation and Land Use Control from a Dynamic Perspective, 4 MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL & ADMINISTRATIVE LAW 303 (2015)
Constituencies and Contemporaneousness in Reason-Giving: Thoughts and Direction after T-Mobile, 37 CARDOZO LAW REVIEW 1 (2015).
Dealing with Dirty Deeds: Matching Nemo Dat Preferences with Property Law Pragmatism, 64 UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS LAW REVIEW 1 (2015).
Corporate Social Responsibility in a Remedy-Seeking Society: A Public Choice Perspective, 17 CHAPMAN LAW REVIEW 413 (2014) (symposium).
The Mask of Virtue: Theories of Aretaic Legislation in a Public Choice Perspective, 58 SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY LAW JOURNAL 295 (2014).
While Effusive, “Conclusory” is Still Quite Elusive: The Story of a Word, Iqbal, and a Perplexing Lexical Inquiry of Supreme Importance, 73 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH LAW REVIEW 215 (2011) (actually printed for the first time in March 2013).
The Property Platform in Anglo-American Law and the Primacy of the Property Concept, 29 GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 453 (2013).
The “Reason Giving” Lawyer: A Practical, Ethical, and Pedagogical Perspective, 26 GEORGETOWN JOURNAL OF LEGAL ETHICS 261 (2013).
Certainty of Title: Perspectives After the Mortgage Foreclosure Crisis on the Essential Role of Effective Recording Systems, 66 ARKANSAS LAW REVIEW 267 (2013) (symposium).
Public Lands and the Federal Government’s Compact-Based “Duty to Dispose”: A Case Study of Utah’s H.B. 148 – The Transfer of Public Lands Act, 2013 BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 1133 (2013).
“Thinking” in a Deweyan Perspective: The Law School Exam as a Case Study for Thinking in Lawyering, 12 NEVADA LAW JOURNAL 395 (2012).
You Say You Want a (Nonviolent) Revolution, Well Then What? Further Thoughts on the Soft Power and Persuasion of Translations for Governments Emerging Out of Peaceful Chaos, 114 WEST VIRGINIA LAW REVIEW 897 (2012).
Legal Mechanization of Corporate Social Responsibility Through Alien Tort Statute Litigation: A Response to Professor Branson with Some Supplemental Thoughts, 9 SANTA CLARA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 251 (2011) (symposium).
“Learning” Research and Legal Education: A Brief Overview and Selected Bibliographical Survey, 40 SOUTHWESTERN LAW REVIEW 449 (2011). [Selected as Institute for Teaching and Learning Article of the Month, June 2011]
On Equality: The Anti-Interference Principle, 45 UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND LAW REVIEW 431 (2011).
Thinking Like Thinkers: Is the Art and Discipline of An “Attitude of Suspended Conclusion” Lost on Lawyers?, 35 SEATTLE UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 1 (2011)
Reading Adam Smith in Arabic, WALL STREET JOURNAL, Feb. 17, 2011, at A17. [Selected notable citation: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was questioned directly and specifically about this op-ed by Senator Ron Johnson at the Senate Appropriations Committee Hearings on the State Department Budget on March 2, 2011 – see 2011 WLNR 4165274]
Black Tuesday and Graying the Legitimacy Line of Governmental Intervention: When Tomorrow is Just a Future Yesterday, 15 NEXUS L.J. 107 (2010) (symposium).
Luxury Needs No Remedy, L.A. TIMES, July 26, 2010, at A15. Reprinted as inter alia, the following newspapers:Founding Father’s Lesson on Wealth, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, Aug. 1, 2010 (Sunday Commentary); Benjamin Franklin on Wealth, PLAIN-DEALER (Cleveland, OH), Aug. 1, 2010 (Sunday edition); Ben’s Wealth Wisdom, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES (FL), July 31, 2010; Government Shouldn’t Regulate Luxury, DESERET NEWS (Salt Lake City, UT), Aug. 1, 2010 (Sunday edition); Wealth is Not a Dirty Word, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, Aug. 1, 2010 (Sunday Edition); Benjamin Franklin on Wealth, DENVER POST, July 29, 2010; Benjamin Franklin Had It Right on Wealth, ATHENS BANNER HERALD (GA), July 31, 2010; Benjamin Franklin Understood the Value of Wealth, AKRON BEACON JOURNAL (OH), July 29, 2010.
Sovereignty and the American Courts at the Cocktail Party of International Law: The Dangers of Domestic Judicial Invocations of Foreign and International Law, 29 FORDHAM INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL 507 (2006).
Boyakasha, Fist to Fist: Respect and the Philosophical Link with Reciprocity in International Law and Human Rights, 38 GEORGE WASHINGTON INTERNATIONAL LAW REVIEW 349 (2006).
The Blogosphere and the New Pamphleteers, 11 NEXUS L.J. 99 (2006) (symposium).
Much Ado About Pluralities: Pride and Precedent Amidst the Cacophony of Concurrences – and Re-Percolation After Rapanos, 15 VIRGINIA JOURNAL OF SOCIAL POLICY & LAW 299 (2008) (with Professors Mathew Parlow and Melissa Berry).
The Soft Power and Persuasion of Translations in the War on Terror: Words and Wisdom in the Transformation of Legal Systems, 110 WEST VIRGINIA LAW REVIEW 545 (2008).
In the Heat of the Law, It’s Not Just Steam: Geothermal Resources and the Impacts on Thermophile Biodiversity, 13 HASTINGS W.-N.W.J. ENVIRONMENTAL LAW & POLICY 35 (2007) (with Tiffany Grant).
Runoff and Reality: Externalities and Traceability Problems in Urban Runoff Regulation, 9 CHAPMAN LAW REVIEW 409 (2006) (symposium).
The Unconstitutionality of Class-Based Statutory Limitations on Presidential Nominations: Can a Man Head the Women’s Bureau at the Department of Labor?, 37 LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO LAW REVIEW 43 (2005).
Ripe Standing Vines and the Jurisprudential Tasting of Matured Legal Wines: Property and Public Choice in the Permitting Process, 24 BYU JOURNAL OF PUBLIC LAW 49 (2009)