Under California's former general partnership law, a partner was a "coowner with the other partners of specific partnership property holding as a tenant in partnership." Former Cal. Corp. Code § 15025(1). Whether this was actually the case was
somewhat debatable. In all material respects, Section 15025(1) was in equivalent to Section 25 of the former Uniform Partnership Act, about which it was observed:
Although stating that each partner is a co-owner of the partnership property, the [§ 25 of the Uniform Partnership] Act systematically destroys the usual attributes of ownership . . . . . Functionally, despite the literal language, the partnership owns its property and the partners do not. The Act would be better if it conceded this rather than accomplishing it by indirection.Employers Casualty Co. v. Employers Commercial Union Ins. Co., 632 F.2d 1215, 1219-1220 (5th Cir. 1980) (quoting Crane and Bromberg, Law of Partnership, § 40(b) (1968). Apparently, the Messrs. Crane & Bromberg were not in accord with Emily Dickinson's views ("Tell all the truth but tell it slant — Success in Circuit lies").
California's current law abandons indirection and unequivocally provides:
Cal. Corp. Code § 16501.
A partner is not a coowner of partnership property and has no interest in partnership property that can be transferred, either voluntarily or involuntarily.