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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Anna C. Mastroianni
LAW H 575
Seattle Campus

Family Law: Selected Topics

Covers current cutting-edge and complex areas of family law that challenge traditional definitions of "family." Examines marriage, dissolution, and parenting disputes through the lens of "nontraditional" families and families created through medical intervention. Prerequisite: LAW A 580 or permission of instructor. Offered: A.

Class description

This seminar course builds on Family Law A580 to address cutting-edge and complex areas of family law that challenge traditional definitions of “family” and are frequently litigated with little legal precedent. It will also analyze recent state (highlighting Washington state law) and federal legislative initiatives relevant to family law practice. Marriage, dissolution, and parenting disputes will be examined through the lens of “nontraditional” families and families created through medical intervention. Such issues include surrogacy arrangements, domestic partnerships, the legal consequences and implications of medical technology use in family building, and property rights in stored embryos. Throughout this examination, students will be encouraged to reflect on the changes in the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA) over time and the UPA’s implementation by courts and child support agencies. Instructors will also highlight political and practical issues arising in legislative drafting. Prerequisite: Family Law A580 or instructor permission.

Student learning goals

Apply legal principles to new and complex issues concerning marriage, domestic partnerships, dissolution, and parenting in nontraditional families and families created with the assistance of medical technology for the benefit of the student’s future legal practice

b. Understand the practical challenges of the legislative and policymaking process in responding to novel applications of family law

c. Describe medical approaches to noncoital reproduction

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Anna C. Mastroianni
Date: 09/19/2012