Professor of Law
Tel. 714.444.4141 ext. 220
Building Two, Room 220
Child Abuse and Neglect, Juvenile Law
Professor Patton joined the Whittier Law School faculty in 1984 after teaching several years at UCLA Law School. His primary research interest is at the intersection of juvenile law, ethics, and forensic child and adolescent psychiatry which he teaches at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. He has testified as an expert witness, argued several cases in the California Supreme Court, authored many legislative analyses and testified often in various state legislatures regarding pending legislation involving the psychological and jurogenic effects of the legal system on children.
Professor Patton previously served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Associate Dean for Clinical Programs, Assistant Dean of Students, and Externship Director. He has also served as the law school faculty representative to the College Board of Trustees, on the Board of Trustees Academic Affairs Committee, and on Law School Management Committee. He has been the Chair of the AALS Externship Committee and is currently the Chair-Elect of the AALS Section on Children and the Law.
Professor Patton has advocated for children for more than thirty years. He started his legal career as a public defender where he represented children in juvenile delinquency, parental termination, and mental health cases (see, e.g., In re Deborah C., 30 Cal. 3d 125, 177 Cal. Rptr. 852; In the Matter of Bryan S., 168 Cal. Rptr. 556; In re Issac G., 156 Cal. Rptr. 123). While at UCLA Law School he taught in the Child Abuse Clinic and supervised law students in representing clients in the child dependency courts. Professor Patton is the Founding Director of the Whittier Law School Center for Children’s Rights, and he serves on the Board of Directors of the non-profit law firm, Los Angeles Dependency Attorneys.