Assignment In this assignment you are to select and make a business recommendation for one of the business legal issues listed in table 1.0. You will need to conduct the necessary legal research to support your recommendation. You are to (1) clearly identify the legal issue, (2) identify any business risk associated with the issue, (3) conduct the necessary research to support your recommendation using high quality sources and (4) Provide a recommendation that demonstrates critical thinking through a careful analysis of the problem. Your paper should be 3 – 4 pages in length, double spaced. The report must include legal citations in support of your recommendation and conclusions. Your effort on this assignment will be evaluated using the attached scoring rubric. The due date is available on the course website. I will be checking your citations. A General Research Strategy There is no one right way to conduct legal research, however the following general search strategy is considered a practical approach: Step 1: Frame the issue (try to figure out what the case is about/what legal issue or issues need to be researched. Step 2: Brainstorm search terms (think up synonyms and related terms – e.g. negligence, liability, duty of care, etc.) Step 3: Determine the jurisdiction. Step 4: Decide which format to use (print or electronic – using the internet or print library.) Step 5: Locate, read and update secondary sources (legal encyclopedias, restatements of the law, American Law Reports, legal periodicals, books,) Step 6: Locate, read and update primary authority (cases, statutes, and regulation.) Step 7: Lookup rules of procedure, ethics, non-legal and other materials if needed. Step 8: repeat the above steps as needed, depending on your search results. “Legal research is the process of identifying and retrieving information necessary to support legal decision-making. In its broadest sense, legal research includes each step of a course of action that begins with an analysis of the facts of a problem and concludes with the application and communication of the results of the investigation.” From: J. Myron Jacobstein and Roy M. Mersky, Fundamentals of Legal Research, 8th ed. (Foundation Press, 2002) p. 1. Your Next Steps 1. Pick ONE business legal issue from Topic List 1. If you have an idea for a business legal issue not on this list, please see your instructor for prior approval of an issue before you do your research. 2. Read the supplement provided at the course website: Primer: Legal Research and Case Citation 3. Review the links provided at the Blackboard site for this assignment (10 links): Click on the “Legal Research” button from the course menu. 4. Conduct your research: online and/or library. 5. If you are confused about the assignment, please schedule an office hour visit with your instructor. He is happy to help with any questions that you may have. 6. Write the paper: a) Give a summary/facts of the situation as you understand them b) Discuss the legal issue presented by the situation c) explain the relevant law that should be applied to the case and site any similar cases that you reference from your research d) explain what you believe should be the outcome of this case so as to resolve the business impact e) list the citations for any cases that you use a reference and any laws that you cite as references. See the grading rubric below (entitled BUS 10 SLO) 7. Submit your paper via Canvas by the posted due date. Again: If you have any questions or need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. Office hours are posted at the course website. FAQ: What is the difference between a primary legal source and a secondary legal source? In the legal field, source classification is important because the persuasiveness of a source usually depends upon its history. Primary sources may include cases, constitutions, statutes, administrative regulations, and other sources of binding legal authority, while secondary legal sources may include books, articles, and encyclopedias. Legal writers usually prefer to cite primary sources because only primary sources are authoritative and precedential, while secondary sources are only persuasive at best. BUS 10: Grading Rubric for Legal Research Assignment Note: To achieve a score of 4 on the Information Literacy Criteria: please find at least 4 sources of law; at least two sources should be relevant decided United States cases: Here are three sample case citations 1) Lucy v Zehmer Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia, 196 Va 493, 84 S.E. 2D 516 (1954) 2) Hertz Corporation v. Friend United States Supreme Court 130 S.Ct. 1181 (2010) 3) Lefowitz v. great Minneapolis Surplus Store, Inc. Supreme Court of Minnesota 251. Minn. 188, 86 N.W. 2D 689 (1957) For your other law sources you may use state or federal statutes, constitutions, Administrative law/regulations, treaties, Executive orders. Your paper should be 3 – 4 pages in length, double spaced. Points may be deducted if the paper is too short in length; please check your spelling and grammar. Assignment Points Possible: 4 criteria x 95 points possible = 380 points total; range 0 to 380. BUS 10 SLO: Students will apply legal research in evaluating and formulating legally sound and practical solutions to legal issues impacting the business environment. Criteria 0. No measurable achievement (0 points) 1. Beginning (60 points) 2. Developing (75 points) 3. Competent (85 points) 4. Accomplished (95 points) Legal Issue Recognition Unable to recognize critical business law issues. Understands that a business issue exists, but unable to state the legal issue. Identifies the legal issue, but the explanation of key elements and defenses is vague or inaccurate. Clearly states the legal issue, but not all key elements and defenses are identified. Clearly identifies the legal issue, including key elements of the law and defenses. Information Literacy Does no research. Conducts minimal research, sources lack credibility and thoroughness. Few statements about basic facts are relevant and correct Conducts research, but sources need to be more objective and properly cited. Some statements about basic facts are relevant and correct. Conducts moderate research, and properly cites sources, but research is not well balanced and credible. Most statements about basic facts are relevant and correct. Conducts extensive research on both legal issues and business risks, using 3 or more highquality, balanced sources. Sources are properly cited. All information presented is relevant Critical Thinking Unable to evaluate and integrate information. Integrates information, but critical evaluation is missing or inconsistent. Integrates information, but provides a limited perspective of the issue. Presents multiple perspectives on an issue, but does not draw independent conclusions. Carefully analyzes and evaluates information to draw independent and well-supported conclusions. Analysis gives compelling support for the conclusion(s). Resolving the Business Impact Unable to identify any business impact of the legal issue Understands that a business impact is likely, but unable to identify specific business issues. Identifies one or a few business risks, but significant risks are missing in the analysis. Clearly identifies key business risks, but plans to address those risks are vague. Clearly identifies key business risks associated with the legal issue, and formulates persuasive plans to address those risks Table 1. Business Legal Issues Issue 1. 1. Title: Employment Discrimination 2. Textbook reference: Chapter 24 3. Possible search terms: ethics, employment discrimination, Title VII, past discrimination 4. Here is the situation: ABC Corporation decides to respond to what it sees as a moral obligation to correct for past discrimination by adjusting pay differences among its employee. Does this raise an ethical conflict between ABC’s employees? Between ABC and its employees? Between ABC and its shareholders? Issue 2. 1. Title: Business Interference 2. Textbook reference: Chapter 7 3. Possible search terms: fair competition, competitive practices, business interference 4. Here is the situation: After less than a year in the athletic club business, Greatbody Club surpasses Goodbody Club in number of members. Greatbody marketing strategies attract many Goodbody members, who then change clubs. Does Goodbody have any legal recourse against Greatbody? What is your recommendation to Goodbody? Issue 3. 1. Title: Negligence and Liability 2. Textbook reference: Chapter 7 3. Possible search terms: duty of care, malpractice, assumption of risk, negligence per se 4. Here is the situation: A water pipe burst, flooding a Small Business Company utility room and tripping the circuit breakers on an electrical panel located in the room. Small Business contacts Tom, a licensed electrician with 5 years experience, to check damage and turn the breakers back on. Without testing for short circuits, which Tom knows that he should do, he tries to switch on a breaker. Tom is electrocuted and sues Small Business for damages. What action do you recommend Small Business take? Issue 4. 1. Title: Intellectual Property 2. Textbook reference: Chapter 8 3. Possible search terms: trademark, cyber squatting, trademark dilution, licensing 4. Here is the situation: Blackhawk Corporation began marketing software in 1990 under the mark “Blackhawk.” In 2002, Blackhawk.com, Inc. a different company selling different products, begins to use “Blackhawk” as part of its URL and registers it as a domain name. Can Blackhawk Corporation stop this use of “Blackhawk”? If so, what must the company show? Issue 5. 1. Title: Agreement 2. Textbook reference: Chapters 9 3. Possible search terms: agreement, definiteness of terms, revocation, termination, detrimental reliance, acceptance 4. Here is the situation: Alan advertises in the San Francisco Chronicle that he will pay $1,000 to anyone giving him information as to the whereabouts of Francis. Nathan sees a copy of the ad in a Tijuana newpaper, in Spanish, and sends Alan the information. Does Nathan get the reward? Issue 6. 1. Title: Consideration 2. Textbook reference: Chapter 10 3. Possible search terms: Consideration, past consideration, option-to-cancel, accord, satisfaction, release, promissory estoppel 4. Here is the situation: Andrea, the president of Standard Corporation, announces to Standard employees, “If you work hard, and profits remain high, you’ll get a bonus, if management thinks it’s warranted.” Profits remain high, but no bonus is paid. If the employees sue, would a court enforce the promise? Issue 7. 1. Title: Capacity and Legality 2. Textbook reference: Chapter 11 3. Possible search terms: legality, negligence, exculpatory clause 4. Here is the situation: International Airlines, Inc., prints on its tickets that it is not liable for any injury to a passenger caused by the airlines negligence. If the cause of an accident is found to be the airline’s negligence, can it use the clause as defense to liability? Issue 8. 1. Title: Mistakes, Fraud, Voluntary Consent 2. Textbook reference: Chapter 7, 12 3. Possible search terms: mistakes, fraudulent misrepresentation, scienter, negligent misrepresentation, undue influence 4. Here is the situation: Robert, an accountant, certifies several audit reports to Standard Corporation, Robert’s client, knowing that Standard intends to use the reports to obtain loans from Big Bank Company (BBC). Robert believes that the reports are true and does not intend to deceive BBC, but does not check the reports before certifying them. Can Robert be held liable to BBC? Issue 9. 1. Title: Third Party Rights 2. Textbook reference: Chapter 13 3. Possible search terms: assignments, notice of assignment, delegations, third party beneficiaries 4. Here is the situation: Valley Construction Company contracts to build a house for Betty. The contract states that “any assignment of this contract renders the contract void.” After Valley Construction builds the house, but before Betty pays, Valley Construction assigns its right to payment to Big Bank Company. Can Big Bank Company enforce the contract against Betty? Issue 10. 1. Title: Agency Formation and Duties 2. Textbook reference: Chapter 20 3. Possible search terms: agency, agent duties, principle duties, rights/remedies of agents, rights/remedies of principals 4. Here is the situation: Bullseye Stores Corporation wants to build a new mall on a specific track of land. Bullseye enters into a contract with Dale to act as its agent to buy the land. When Dale learns the difference between the price that Bullseye is willing to pay, and the price that Mark, the owner, is willing to sell, he (Dale) wants to buy the land and sell it to Bullseye. Can he (Dale) do this?
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