Seaport BUS-C110 discussions

| August 14, 2017

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 17Assignment: 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 18Assignment: 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

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
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″>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
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.

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

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

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

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

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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