- Tuesday, Sept. 29
- Good for up to half the points you missed on the test.
- Legal v. equitable remedies
- Court system
Hi everyone. Hope you’re having a good holiday weekend. Here’s what we’ll be doing in class when we return:
- In BUS 100-01, we’ll be discussing business law on Tuesday and Thursday. (Appendix 2 isn’t in your textbook, so click the link to download the pdf)
- In BUS 100-80, we’ll discuss business ethics and social responsibility.
- In BUS 263-01, we’ll look at constitutional law on Tuesday and Thursday.
- In BUS 263-80, discuss business ethics.
- In PRL 101, the final version of brief 1 is due on Tuesday. We’ll talk about technology and paralegals on Tuesday and constitutional law on Thursday.
Here’s what we’ll be doing in class this week:
- In BUS 100-01, we’ll talk about global trade on Tuesday and business ethics on Thursday.
- In BUS 100-80, we’ll be wrapping up business and economics and moving on to global trade.
- In BUS 263-01, we’ll discuss alternative dispute resolution on Tuesday and business ethics on Thursday.
- In BUS 263-80, we’ll finish up court systems and start discussing alternative dispute resolution.
- In PRL 101, the draft of our first brief assignment is due on Tuesday, when we’ll also discuss legal ethics and professional responsibility. On Thursday, we’ll look at paralegal workplaces.
Here’s a quick round-up of what’s going on in class this week:
- In BUS 100-01, we’ll form teams and begin our study of business on Tuesday and look at economics on Thursday.
- In BUS 100-80, we’ll wrap up our goals matching discussion and start a discussion on business and economics.
- In BUS 263-01, we’ll form teams and begin our study of law and legal reasoning on Tuesday and move on to court systems on Thursday.
- In BUS 263-80, we’ll wrap up our goals matching discussion and start a discussion on law and legal reasoning and court systems.
- In PRL 101, we’ll talk about the paralegal profession on Tuesday and start learning about legal research on Thursday.
This week we begin studying small business organizations, or forms of business ownership. There are four forms of ownership that you need to know about: sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and partnerships. Today we’ll look at sole proprietorships and partnerships, and next Tuesday we’ll look at corporations and LLCs.
Sole proprietorships are the simplest and most common form of business ownership in the US. Sole proprietorships have the benefit of being easy to form (you don’t have to do anything) and very flexible in the way they can operate. There are some downsides to sole proprietorships, however. One is that because there is only a single owner, it can be hard to raise startup capital—the business only has access to the funds that the owner can save or borrow. Given that the number one reason for new businesses to fail is lack of startup capital, capitalization can be a problem for a sole proprietorship, and it’s probably not a good business organization for a business that requires a good deal of capital. The biggest disadvantage of a sole proprietorship, however, is unlimited personal liability. Because the business has no existence apart from the owner, the owner is personally liable for all the debts of the business. Any money the business owes, whether it’s for unpaid bills, loans, or lawsuits, is a debt of the owner, and the business owner can lose everything. See the Simpsons episode “When Flanders Failed” for an illustration of what happens when a sole proprietorship doesn’t work out.
Partnerships are an agreement among two or more persons to operate as co-owners a business for profit. Partnerships have much in common with sole proprietorships: they’re easy to form and flexible in how they can operate. Partnerships can make it easier to raise capital than a sole proprietorship because there are multiple owners who can save and borrow capital, and multiple owners means more sharing of the responsibility of business ownership and a greater range of knowledge, talent, and skills. Like a sole proprietorship, partners feature unlimited liability, so the partners are personally liable for the debts of the partnership. Additionally, partnerships feature joint and several liability for partnership debts. That means that in addition to being liable for the debts together, each partner is personally liable for the entire amount of the debt. Remember the fable of the grasshopper and the ants? What happens if you have a partnership with three grasshoppers and an ant? The grasshoppers blow all their profits on cars and vacations and living a life of luxury while the ant lives frugally and saves up a big nest egg for retirement. When the partnership gets sued, the grasshoppers don’t have any money so the plaintiff collects the entire judgment from the ant, who is now broke. What happens if one partner gets disgruntled, takes out a huge loan in the name of the partnership, and skips town? Who has to pay back the loan?
Next, complete the following assignment to be turned in at the beginning of class on Tuesday, April 21:
We talked about Stella Liebeck’s case against McDonald’s after she suffered serious burns. Here’s a short video from the New York Times about the case, including some photos of Ms. Liebeck’s injuries—be warned, the images are brief but graphic.
Here’s what we’ll be doing in class this week:
- In BUS 100-01, we’ll study small business and entrepreneurship on Tuesday and accounting on Thursday.
- In BUS 100-80, It’s midterm week. Take your exam sometime between this Wednesday, February 25 and midnight next Tuesday, March 3.
- In BUS 263-01, we’ll finish up contract breach and remedies on Tuesday and start on the UCC on Thursday.
- In BUS 263-80, we’ll look at the UCC.
- In PRL 101, I’ll give feedback on your complaint assignment drafts, we’ll discuss tort law, and then review for next week’s test.
Happy Presidents’ Day everyone. Here’s what’s happening in class this week:
- In BUS 100-01, we have our first test on Tuesday, and then on Thursday, we look at small businesses and entrepreneurship.
- In BUS 100-80, We’ll look at small business and entrepreneurship.
- In BUS 263-01, we’ll finish contract formation on Tuesday and then on Thursday we’ll start looking at contract performance, breach, and remedies.
- In BUS 263-80, we’ll look at contract formation and contract remedies.
- In PRL 101, we’ll look at civil litigation and criminal law and procedure. We’ll also get started on the draft of the complain assignment.
Presidents’ Day trivia: the official federal holiday is Washington’s Birthday, but never falls on Washington’s actual birthday; the holiday in Alabama is George Washington’s and Thomas Jefferson’s (but not Lincoln’s) Birthday, even though Jefferson was born in April.
- In BUS 100-01, we’ll finish business organizations on Tuesday and review for the test on Thursday.
- In BUS 100-80, we’ll study business organizations.
- In BUS 263-01, we’ll study criminal law on Tuesday and start contract law on Thursday.
- In BUS 263-80, we’ll study criminal law.
- In PRL 101, the final draft of Brief 1 is due at the beginning of class and then we’ll have our first test.
creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-ND ) flickr photo shared by jk5854
One of the reasons I emphasize arbitration in class so much is because arbitration agreements waive one of the most fundamental constitutional rights in a civil society: the right of access to courts to settle disputes. A recent study shows that a significant number of Americans don’t understand what an arbitration clause means even after reading a clause that was “easier to understand and much shorter than the average credit card arbitration clause”:
We found that almost none of the consumers understood the arbitration clause. Many thought the clause did not take away their rights. Thus, nearly half thought that a clause that said they couldn’t sue in court didn’t say that at all, while only 14 percent realized that it blocked them from suing. Similarly, 48 percent thought that they could be part of a class-action suit under a contract that said they couldn’t be. Just 12 percent recognized that the contract barred them from bringing a class-action suit.