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Terms in this set (139)

In deciding whether to dismiss the suit, the court in California first should look to primary sources of law, or sources that establish the law. Another resource for the court are the statutes passed by the United States Congress and the state legislatures . If the court cannot find any sources of law that establish or direct their decision to dismiss the suit, the court should then turn to secondary sources of law for guidance.
Assessment question
If the California court turns to prior court opinions to determine if it should dismiss the suit, it is looking for precedent . The system of prior court opinions is called case law .
Assessment question
The California court will follow the decision of the United States Supreme Court because of the doctrine of stare decisis . The United States Supreme Court decision is binding on the California courts. Because of the United States Supreme Court opinion and the prior California cases regarding clauses of this type, the California court will not enforce the clause in the contract.
Assessment question
Because of the precedent set, the California court will not dismiss the suit and the case will be heard in California .
Assessment question
What If the Facts Were Different?
What if the United States Supreme Court had not issued the prior opinion and California courts also had not decided that those clauses contravene a strong public policy?
This case would be a case of first impression in California. Without the prior guidance, the California courts likely would look to persuasive authorities to help them reason through a decision.
Freedom of religion is divided into two major categories. The first prevents the government from establishing a state-sponsored religion, promoting or preferring religion. The second component of religious freedom guarantees that people can believe what they want to believe and is called the free exercise clause. The free exercise clause has an absolute protection related to beliefs but the government may restrict an individual's actions in order to maintain order.
Assessment question
In order to financially support himself, Evander either had to continue working for the military division or needed to receive unemployment benefits. In order to receive unemployment benefits, Evander could not quit voluntarily , but instead had to be terminated . Evander's company did not terminate him; instead, it allowed him an opportunity to continue working, but for the military division.
Assessment question
Evander alleges that the state denied him unemployment because he quit rather than work in a location where his religious beliefs would be violated, and he claims a violation of the free exercise clause. In order to infringe upon Evander's rights in this way, the state must have a compelling interest that can only be served by infringing upon his rights.
Assessment question
According to Evander, continuing to work for the military division would violate Evander's religious beliefs. Because of the state's regulation, Evander either had to violate his religious beliefs and continue working for the military division or give up unemployment compensation. Because the state forced Evander to choose between his religion and his unemployment benefits, the state did violate his free exercise rights.
Assessment question
What If the Facts Were Different?
Assume instead of the military equipment issue, Evander's religion required that he take a break at noon every day to take illegal drugs. The drugs are considered "Schedule 1" drugs, meaning the government has evaluated them and determined that the drugs have no medicinal value but have a high risk of addiction or serve as "gateway" drugs, leading users to even more serious drugs. The state relies on studies linking drug use to criminal activity and violence.
A court is likely to find that the state's interest in reducing illegal drug activity, and the associated criminal activity, is a compelling interest that would justify violating Evander's religious freedom. If the court considers the state's reasons sufficient, it is likely to find that the regulation that violates Evander's religious freedom is valid if the regulation is the only way to meet that government objective.
There are four different aspects of a decision that a business should evaluate in order to maximize profits and be a good corporate citizen. In evaluating the first of the four factors, Grey should determine whether his failure to report the results to the Food and Drug Administration is a violation of the law . In this case, Grey did have a legal duty to perform internal tests on food produced at his plant to check for contamination. Grey did not have a legal duty to report the initial test results to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Merely complying with the law is known as the moral minimum .
Assessment question
In evaluating the second factor, Grey should analyze what the media might say if the shipped food caused sickness or death. Knowingly or recklessly allowing someone to become sick from the food because the company continued to test the food until the salmonella test was negative would be a public relations problem. In evaluating the third factor, Grey would look at the safety risks for consumers and employees. Grey's instructions to repeat the tests until the results were negative, did not support the health and safety of consumers.
Assessment question
To assess the fourth factor, Grey should evaluate how much it might cost the company to continue to test until the salmonella result is negative. Grey's approach to profits in making this decision seems to be short run profit maximization. In this case, Grey should consider not just the cost of testing, but also the cost of potential lawsuits or settlements.
Assessment question
In evaluating the four factors, it seems that Grey's decision was unethical . If Grey had thought through his options as if all food manufacturers would make the same decision, he would be applying Kant's categorical imperative . If Grey had analyzed his options using utilitarianism , he would have evaluated the costs and benefits of each option to determine the greatest good for the greatest number and most likely would not have shipped the food.
Assessment question
What If the Facts Were Different?
To address the widespread and growing concern of contaminated food causing serious injury and death to individuals throughout the United States, Congress passed a law stating that anyone intentionally distributing contaminated food is subject to criminal prosecution, civil fines, or both. Congress included a provision that any company with a corporate food safety compliance policy approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would avoid criminal prosecution, but not civil fines. To be approved, the company policy must require the company to report to FDA any test results that indicate salmonella is present and consult with that agency before shipping any possibly contaminated food.
Grey wants to evaluate the outcome for all stakeholders to inform his decision making. Grey first should consider who the stakeholders are to determine the legal and ethical issues related to implementing a corporate food safety compliance policy. After the initial step, Grey should list his possible actions related to the new law and evaluate each option for each stakeholder . Using the information from the first two steps, Grey should work with his staff to come to a consensus and develop a plan of action. Because Grey has used the stakeholder theory to inform his decision making, he has evaluated the protentional outcome for: shareholders , employees and vendors , customers , as well as the community.
Before any court can hear any dispute between Miriam and the trucking company, it must have jurisdiction over the person or company against whom the suit is brought against or over the property involved in that lawsuit. In order for Miriam to sue the trucking firm, she has to file the lawsuit in a court that has in personam jurisdiction over the defendant . The firm's headquarters are in Georgia, although the company does business in Florida, so Georgia and Florida have in personam jurisdiction over the trucking firm. Miriam can sue the trucking firm in both Georgia and Florida state courts.
Assessment question
Miriam would likely NOT want to sue the trucking firm in Georgia because she would need to:
Get a lawyer in Georgia
Make multiple trips to Georgia
Have witnesses travel to Georgia
Assessment question
Miriam would likely want to sue the trucking firm in Florida because:
It is closer to her home
She can better research local lawyers
Assessment question
Miriam can sue the trucking firm in a federal trial court because she and the company are residents of different states and the amount in controversy is over $75,000 .
Assessment question
What If the Facts Were Different?
Assume that the trucking company did not do business in Florida but was just passing through.
Miriam could still sue in Florida because the trucking company has minimum contacts in Florida since it caused the accident in Florida . If the truck did not cause the accident and was just passing through, Miriam could not sue in Florida since there were no minimum contacts. Long-arm statutes allows one state to reach into another state and bring a defendant into the first state's courts.
This case primarily involves an express contract . When a contract's writing is clear and unequivocal, the court will enforce the contract according to its obvious terms. Interpreting a contract's terms from the written document alone is sometimes referred to as the plain meaning rule . If a contract term is ambiguous, a court may consider extrinsic evidence to interpret the contract.
Assessment question
In this case, the meaning of the word "chicken" is ambiguous . Therefore, a court can use extrinsic evidence to interpret the contract between Freight and L.D.T. The extrinsic evidence shows that the term "chicken" was given a broader interpretation by the parties. Therefore, the extrinsic evidence of the contract favors the interpretation of L.D.T. .
Assessment question
In this case, seller L.D.T. could satisfy the terms of the contract by delivering both older stewing and younger broiling chickens to Freight.
Assessment question
A court in this case likely would find that L.D.T. did not breach the contract when it delivered both older stewing and younger broiling chickens to Freight. As a result, L.D.T. would likely win the case.
Assessment question
What If the Facts Were Different?
What if the written contract between Freight and L.D.T. stated that L.D.T. was obligated to deliver "chicken broilers and chicken fryers" instead of simply "chicken"?
In this case, seller L.D.T. could not satisfy the terms of the contract by delivering both older stewing and younger broiling and frying chickens to Freight. A court would not need to use extrinsic evidence in order to interpret the term "chicken" in the contract between Freight and L.D.T. because the meaning of the word "chicken" in this contract would be obvious . As a result, Freight would then win the case.
An offer can terminate automatically when the period of time specified in the offer has passed. In this case, Nolan made an offer that automatically terminated at 5:00pm on August 5th. Before the offer automatically terminated, Kapoor replied to Nolan with changes in the terms of the offer. This constitutes a counteroffer of the original offer.
Assessment question
A counteroffer is a rejection of the original offer and does not have to be accepted. If an original offeror does accept the terms of the counteroffer, a valid contract is created. Nolan received the terms of the counteroffer, but did not accept the terms of the counteroffer. When Nolan was informed that "[y]ou snooze, you lose; the property has been sold," Kapoor had revoked her counteroffer.
Assessment question
When Segal was presented with the terms of the counteroffer made earlier to Nolan, Segal did accept the terms. Segal's acceptance of the terms offered by Kapoor causes a valid contract to be created.
Assessment question
Nolan's subsequent acceptance of Kapoor's counteroffer does not create a valid contract. Therefore, Nolan is likely to lose his lawsuit against Kapoor and Segal is likely the legitimate new owner of the property.
Assessment question
What If the Facts Were Different?
What if, after receiving the counteroffer from Kapoor, Nolan signed the counteroffer, agreed to all of its terms, and returned it to Kapoor.
In this case, Nolan would have accepted the counteroffer of Kapoor. Kapoor and Nolan would have entered into a valid contract as a result. If Segal accepted Kapoor's offer after Kapoor and Nolan agreed upon contract terms, Segal and Kapoor would not have a valid contract because the contract between Kapoor and Nolan to sell the property had already been formed.