Seaport BUS-C110 discussions

| August 31, 2016

Question

Chapter 1

Assignment: What Is Law? Consider Burma (named Myanmar by its military rulers). What political rights do you have that the average Burmese citizen does not? Post your response.

Overview: Law has different meanings as well as different functions. Philosophers have considered issues of justice and law for centuries, and several different approaches, or schools of legal thought, have emerged. In this chapter, we will look at those different meanings and approaches and will consider how social and political dynamics interact with the ideas that animate the various schools of legal thought. We will also look at typical sources of “positive law” in the United States and how some of those sources have priority over others, and we will set out some basic differences between the US legal system and other legal systems.

Chapter 3

Assignment: Posttrial Motions -What is the defnition of res judicata? What if there was not a doctrine of res judicata? What would the legal system be like? Post your response.

Background: In the United States, law and government are interdependent. The Constitution establishes the basic framework of government and imposes certain limitations on the powers of government. In turn, the various branches of government are intimately involved in making, enforcing, and interpreting the law. Today, much of the law comes from Congress and the state legislatures. But it is in the courts that legislation is interpreted and prior case law is interpreted and applied.

Chapter 4

Assignment: Basic Aspects of the US Constitution – Suppose the Supreme Court declares that Congress and the president cannot authorize the indefinite detention of terrorist suspects without a trial of some sort, whether military or civilian. Suppose also that the people of the United States favor such indefinite detention and that Congress wants to pass a law rebuking the court’s decision. What kind of law would have to be passed, by what institutions, and by what voting percentages? Post your response.

Overview: The US Constitution is the foundation for all of US law. Business and commerce are directly affected by the words, meanings, and interpretations of the Constitution. Because it speaks in general terms, its provisions raise all kinds of issues for scholars, lawyers, judges, politicians, and commentators. For example, arguments still rage over the nature and meaning of “federalism,” the concept that there is shared governance between the states and the federal government. The US Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of those disputes, and as such it has a unique role in the legal system. It has assumed the power ofjudicial review, unique among federal systems globally, through which it can strike down federal or state statutes that it believes violate the Constitution and can even void the president’s executive orders if they are contrary to the Constitution’s language. No knowledgeable citizen or businessperson can afford to be ignorant of its basic provisions.

Chapter 5

Assignment: Administrative Agencies: Their Structure and Powers -Explain why Congress needs to delegate rule-making authority to a specialized agency. What would happen if this did not occur? Post your response.

Background: From the 1930s on, administrative agencies, law, and procedures have virtually remade our government and much of private life. Every day, business must deal with rules and decisions of state and federal administrative agencies. Informally, such rules are often called regulations, and they differ (only in their source) from laws passed by Congress and signed into law by the president. The rules created by agencies are voluminous: thousands of new regulations pour forth each year. The overarching question of whether there is too much regulation—or the wrong kind of regulation—of our economic activities is an important one but well beyond the scope of this chapter, in which we offer an overview of the purpose of administrative agencies, their structure, and their impact on business.

Chapter 33

Assignment: Introduction to International Law -Using news sources, find at least one nation in the world where other nations are officially commenting on or objecting to what goes on within that nation’s borders. Are such objections or comments amounting to an infringement of the other nation’s sovereignty? Post your response.

Chapter 6

Assignment: Why is ignorance of the law no excuse? Why shouldn’t it be an excuse, when criminal laws can be complicated and sometimes ambiguous? Post your response.

Overview: At times, unethical behavior by businesspeople can be extreme enough that society will respond by criminalizing certain kinds of activities. Ponzi schemes, arson, various kinds of fraud, embezzlement, racketeering, foreign corrupt practices, tax evasion, and insider trading are just a few. A corporation can face large fines, and corporate managers can face both fines and jail sentences for violating criminal laws. This chapter aims to explain how criminal law differs from civil law, to discuss various types of crimes, and to relate the basic principles of criminal procedure.

Chapter 7

Assignment: Purpose of Tort Laws -Why are costs imposed on others without their consent problematic for a market economy? What if the law did not try to reimpose the victim’s costs onto the tortfeasor? What would a totally nonlitigious society be like?

Summary: In civil litigation, contract and tort claims are by far the most numerous. The law attempts to adjust for harms done by awarding damages to a successful plaintiff who demonstrates that the defendant was the cause of the plaintiff’s losses. Torts can be intentional torts, negligent torts, or strict liability torts. Employers must be aware that in many circumstances, their employees may create liability in tort. This chapter explains the different kind of torts, as well as available defenses to tort claims.
Chapter 16

Assignment: Federal Employment Discrimination Laws -Go to the EEOC website. Describe the process by which an employee or ex-employee who wants to make a Title VII claim obtains a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC. Again, looking at the EEOC website, find the statistical analysis of Title VII claims brought to the EEOC. What kind of discrimination is most frequent? According to the EEOC website, what is “retaliation”? How frequent are retaliation claims relative to other kinds of claims? Post your response.

Overview: In chapter 17, we will examine the laws that govern the relationship between the employer and the employee who belongs, or wants to belong, to a union. Although federal labor law is confined to that relationship, laws dealing with the employment relationship—both state and federal—are far broader than that. Because most employees do not belong to unions, a host of laws dealing with the many faces of discrimination shapes employers’ power over and duties to their employees. Beyond the issue of discrimination, the law also governs a number of other issues, such as the extent to which an employer may terminate the relationship itself. We examine these issues later in this chapter.

Even before statutes governing collective bargaining and various state and federal discrimination laws, the common law set the boundaries for employer-employee relationships. The basic rule that evolved prior to the twentieth century was “employment at will.” We will look at employment at will toward the end of this chapter. But as we go through the key statutes on employment law and employment discrimination, bear in mind that these statutes stand as an important set of exceptions to the basic common-law rule of employment at will. That rule holds that in the absence of a contractual agreement otherwise, an employee is free to leave employment at any time and for any reason; similarly, an employer is free to fire employees at any time and for any reason.

Chapter 17

Assignment: A Brief History of Labor Legislation -Use the Internet to find out which countries in the world have legal systems that support collective bargaining. What do these countries have in common with the United States? Does the People’s Republic of China support collective bargaining? Post your response.

Background: Over half of a century, the federal law of labor relations has developed out of four basic statutes into an immense body of cases and precedent regulating the formation and governance of labor unions and the relationships among employers, unions, and union members. Like antitrust law, labor law is a complex subject that has spawned a large class of specialized practitioners. Though specialized, it is a subject that no employer of any size can ignore, for labor law has a pervasive influence on how business is conducted throughout the United States. In this chapter, we examine the basic statutory framework and the activities that it regulates.

Chapter 18
Assignment: Contract Formation -What are the required elements of a contract? Why do you suppose these elements are required? Post your response.

Background: The two fundamental concepts considered the twin cornerstones of business relationships are contract and tort. Although both involve the concept of duty, creation of the duty differs in a manner that is important to business. The parties create contract duties through a bargaining process. The key element in the process is control; individuals are in control of a situation because they have the freedom to decide whether to enter into a contractual relationship.Tort duties, in contrast, are obligations the law imposes. Despite the obvious difficulty in controlling tort liability, an understanding of tort theory is important because it is a critical factor in strategic planning and risk management.

Chapter 9
Products Liability

Assignment: Warranties -1. What are the two main types of warranties and the important subtypes? Are warranties a necessary device in our modern society? Post your response.

Chapter 14

Assignment: Duties between Agent and Principal -Judge Learned Hand, a famous early-twentieth-century jurist (1872–1961), said, “The fiduciary duty is not the ordinary morals of the marketplace.”

Question: How does the fiduciary duty differ from “the ordinary morals of the marketplace”? Why does the law impose a fiduciary duty on the agent? Post your response.

Chapter 15
Liability of Principal and Agent; Termination of Agency
LEARNING OBJECTIVES
After reading this chapter, you should understand the following:

1. The principal’s liability in contract

2. The principal’s liability in tort

3. The principal’s criminal liability

4. The agent’s personal liability in tort and contract

5. How agency relationships are terminated

Assignment: Principal’s Contract Liability – 1.Could express authority be established by silence on the part of the principal?
2. Why is the concept of implied authority very important in business situations? Post your response.
In .flatworldknowledge.com/bookhub/reader/6055?e=mayer_1.0-ch38″>Chapter 14 “Relationships between Principal and Agent” we considered the relationships between agent and principal. Now we turn to relationships between third parties and the principal or agent. When the agent makes a contract for his principal or commits a tort in the course of his work, is the principal liable? What is the responsibility of the agent for torts committed and contracts entered into on behalf of his principal? How may the relationship be terminated so that the principal or agent will no longer have responsibility toward or liability for the acts of the other? These are the questions addressed in this chapter.
Chapter 2

Assignment: What Is Ethics?Think of a person who did something morally wrong, at least to your way of thinking. What was it? Explain to a classmate—why you think it was wrong. What is the basic principle that forms the basis for your judgment that it was wrong? Post your response.
Background: Few subjects are more contentious or important as the role of business in society, particularly, whether corporations have social responsibilities that are distinct from maximizing shareholder value. While the phrase “business ethics” is not oxymoronic (i.e., a contradiction in terms), there is plenty of evidence that businesspeople and firms seek to look out primarily for themselves. However, business organizations ignore the ethical and social expectations of consumers, employees, the media, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), government officials, and socially responsible investors at their peril. Legal compliance alone no longer serves the long-term interests of many companies, who find that sustainable profitability requires thinking about people and the planet as well as profits.

This chapter has a fairly modest aim: to introduce potential businesspeople to the differences between legal compliance and ethical excellence by reviewing some of the philosophical perspectives that apply to business, businesspeople, and the role of business organizations in society.

Chapter 18

Assignment: Introduction to Partnerships -Why or why aren’t Partnerships an important part of the development of small business in the United States? Post your response.

Chapter 19

Assignment: Partnership Responsibility and Liability -What is the “fiduciary duty,” and why is it imposed on some partners’ actions with the partnership? What is the partnership’s liability for contracts entered into by its partners? Post your response.

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Chapter 20

Assignment: Limited Partnerships – 1.Why does the fact that the limited liability company provides limited liability for some of its members mean that a state certificate must be filed? 2. What liability has the general partner? The limited partner? Post your response.
Overview: This chapter provides a bridge between the partnership and the corporate form. It explores several types of associations that are hybrid forms—that is, they share some aspects of partnerships and some of corporations. Corporations afford the inestimable benefit of limited liability, partnerships the inestimable benefit of limited taxation. Businesspeople always seek to limit their risk and their taxation.

At core, whether to allow businesspeople and investors to grasp the holy grail of limited liability is a political issue. When we say a person is “irresponsible,” it means he (or she, or it) does not take responsibility for his harmful actions; the loss is borne by others. Politically speaking, there is an incentive to allow businesspeople insulation from liability: it encourages them to take risks and invest, thus stimulating economic activity and forestalling unemployment. So the political trade-off with allowing various inventive forms of business organization is between providing business actors with the security that they will lose only their calculable investment, thus stimulating the economy, versus the “moral hazard” of allowing them to emerge mostly unscathed from their own harmful or foolish activities, thus externalizing resulting losses upon others. Some people feel that during the run-up to the “Great Recession” of 2007–09, the economic system allowed too much risk taking. When the risky investments collapsed, though, instead of forcing the risk takers to suffer loss, the government intervened—it “bailed them out,” as they say, putting the consequences of the failed risks on the taxpayer.

The risk-averseness and inventiveness of businesspeople is seemingly unlimited, as is investors’ urge to make profits through others’ efforts with as little risk as possible. The rationale for the invention of these hybrid business forms, then, is (1) risk reduction and (2) tax reduction. Here we take up the most common hybrid types first: limited partnerships and limited liability companies. Then we cover them in the approximate chronological order of their invention: sub-S corporations, limited liability partnerships, and limited liability limited partnerships. All these forms are entities.

Chapter 21

Assignment: The corporate veil: The Corporation as a Legal Entity -Do you think that corporations should have rights similar to those of natural persons? Should any of these rights be curtailed? Post your response.

Chapter 23

Assignment: Powers of a Corporation -What is an ultra vires act? Research on the internet – the case: Cross v. The Midtown Club – and explain how this case affects your understanding of the ultra vires doctrine. Post your response.

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