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PARLGL-105 - Tort Law - Gary Collis

Course:Tort Law
Professor:Gary Collis
  • Online
  • OnlineLive
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Gary Collis

My name is Gary Collis.  Starting in 1990, I attended the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and studied in the College of Commerce.  I graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in human resources management.  After finishing at the University of Illinois, I immediately began studying law at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu.  As a student, I participated in moot court and wrote for the Pepperdine Law Review.  I also served as an intern with a federal judge in Illinois and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office during law school.  I graduated from Pepperdine with a Juris Doctorate degree in 1997.  Before starting my work at COC, I worked for 20 years as a lawyer with a few large firms in Los Angeles.  I represented large and small businesses (as well as individuals) in legal disputes.  My cases involved a wide-variety of disputes including torts, bankruptcy, breach of contract, and many others.  

Course Description

This court introduces tort law including the study of negligence, strict liability, and intentional torts.  By the end of this course, students should be able to analyze which torts have been committed, including any defenses thereto, based upon hypothetical fact patterns.  

What to Expect in this Course

This course is taught partially online - through Canvas, COC's online "learning management system" - and partially online via Zoom videoconferencing technology.  The class will meet via Zoom every Thursday during the semester from 6:00 p.m. until 7:20 p.m.  Attendance is required.  

Students must have a computer capable of connecting with the class sessions - both audio and video - via Zoom.  Both Zoom and Canvas require a computer device having both a web browser installed and a strong and reliable connection to the internet. 

Exams may be administered with the assistance of virtual proctoring software that works alongside either the Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge web browers.  This means that students may be required to complete exams in front of a functioning web camera on a desktop or laptop computer - no phones or tablets.    

The "Carnegie Unit" is the standard method for measuring workload in a college course.  Under this scale, calculating the time it takes to succeed in a college course requires multiplying the number of college units by either 2-3.  In other words, a 3-unit class will require 3 hours of "inside of class" work each week and another 3-6 hours of work each week "outside of class."   Thus, a successful student in any 3-unit class, like this one, should expect to work 6-9 hours each week on average.  That is the time commitment that the law says a college professor may reasonably expect of students.   

Types of Assessments

In this class, students will take at least two exams (a mid-term and a final).  Students will also complete weekly graded assignments (discussions, quizzes, case studies, and other sorts) and at least one larger writing assignment. A portion of a student's grade is also attributable to participation in the class meetings.

Textbook Information

Our textbook is: J. Stanley Edwards, Tort Law (7th Edition) - ISBN: 9780357454800.  I always recommend that students buy the textbook either from COC's bookstore or directly from Cengage, the textbook publisher, to ensure that you're purchasing exactly what is needed. 

Other Relevant Course Information

As a course taught partially online and partially online (via Zoom), students in this class must be highly organized and prepared to work independently.  Closely following due dates on the Canvas calendar is crucial to success in the class.

Students must also possess and understand the technology that will be used in the course, especially those who haven't taken online classes in the past.  The instructional "modality" by which this class is taught - i.e., online and "OnlineLIVE" - is far different from the traditional face-to-face modality with which many people are more familiar.  Students experiencing technical challenges with their computers/devices, Canvas, Zoom, the internet, or software, will be expected to resolve those difficulties by contacting the appropriate digital support specialists (i.e., customer service).  The instructor has limited technical skills and can diagnose few (if any) technical interruptions that a student may encounter.  In short, students bear the responsibility for possessing and navigating this course's computing/technical requirements.  However, the instructor will always be willing to help whenever he can and will gladly refer students to other helpful resources when available. 

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 05/27/2022 Sub#: 915