California Western -- Janet Bowermaster
Courses Taught - Janet M. Bowermaster

Torts I

Children and the Law

Domestic Violence Seminar

Family Law

Torts II


TORTS I (3 units)
Examines theories of civil liability for harm, including negligence, intentional wrongdoing and participation in abnormally dangerous activity. Specific torts studied include assault, battery, false imprisonment, intentional inflection of emotional distress, negligence (including medical malpractice and liability of owners and occupiers of land), and nuisance. Defenses to tort actions are also considered, including contributory negligence, assumption of risk and consent.   back to top
This course examines the rights and duties of children and the allocation of power between parents and the state in making decisions affecting children. Topic areas include:  legal rights of the fetus; problems posed by new reproductive techniques;  special applications of constitutional, tort, property, and criminal law to children; the rights of children born out of wedlock; decision-making regarding education, day care, and health care for children; the right of children to support during marriage and after divorce; child abuse and neglect; adoption; and emancipation of children. The course uses a case law approach with heavy emphasis on policy. There is a combination of lecture and discussion.   back to top
This course provides an in-depth study of domestic violence. It begins with an historical overview of violence in marital relationships and takes a close look at the psychological and political aspects of intimate violence. Law enforcement issues are addressed, including restraining orders, police response, prosecutorial and judicial response, and battered women as defendants. Other approaches to dealing with domestic violence are also explored, such as tort remedies and alternative dispute resolution. The course deals significantly with family law issues such as interstate custody and child snatching, substantive custody issues, marital rape, and the interface of domestic violence with child abuse. Other topics such as the medical response and welfare issues are also included.   back to top
FAMILY LAW (3 units)
A study of the law governing marriage and the creation of a family, separation, and the dissolution of marriage. Includes state regulation of the requirements for entering into marriage, common law marriage, historical and sociological trends which influence the marriage model, constitutional limitations on the regulation of marriage and family matters, legal incidents of an ongoing marriage, antenuptial agreements, palimony, traditional and no-fault grounds for divorce, child custody, property division, alimony, and child support. Grading in this course is based on a 3-hour final exam consisting of a mix of essay, short answer, and multiple choice questions.   back to top
TORTS II (3 units)
Continued examination of civil liability for harm arising out of some or all of the following tort areas: negligence, including special duties (such as owners and occupiers, third party liability and governmental entities), nonfeasance and duty arising out of contract, wrongful death and birth; strict liability, including vicarious liability, abnormally dangerous activity, and products liability; nuisance; defamation; invasion of privacy; misrepresentation; economic torts.   back to top

Full course descriptions are available in PDF format on the J.D. Curriculum page.

back to Professor Bowermaster's home page