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Business Law Scenarios

1. Bob is at the Boston Biceps Bodybuilding Club riding an exercise bike. Bob wants to change the station on the television which is mounted high on a nearby wall. He reaches for the remote control device, and finds that another member has accidentally taken the remote control device and left behind a cellular phone. Bob drags the exercise bike over to the television. He stands on the seat of the exercise bike in order to reach the television, but the seat post breaks and Bob falls to the floor. Bob is not injured, but cannot control his temper. He puts his 180 pounds of all muscle/no fat into destroying the exercise bike. He throws it across the room against the wall, breaking it into several pieces. The handlebars land on the running track. Bob finds another exercise bike and continues his workout. Another patron, Randy, trips over the handlebars while running on the track about 30 minutes later. Randy sues both Bob and the Club for negligence. Discuss separately the case against each defendant, and the potential for a case against the bike manufacturer.

2. Joanne is a nurse who needed a job and she knew the local elementary school needed to fill the vacant school nurse position. She contacted the school district president who was authorized to fill the position and offered to be the school nurse for weekly compensation of $1,000 from September to June. The president agreed to consider the offer and subsequently responded to Joanne in writing stating that he agreed to hire her as school nurse for the compensation of $200 per day. Discuss in detail whether there is a valid contract between Joanne and the school.

3. Hank works in the accounting department at a large retailing operation. Hank was having lunch with one of the clerks who works under him and was discussing ways to prevent embezzlement. Soon Hank was discussing how he and the clerk could embezzle funds rather than how they could prevent embezzlement. Hank and the clerk decided they would use a particular scheme that Hank had read about recently. Several weeks later a computer vendor was visiting with Hank trying to sell Hank's company a new computer system. The vendor offered Hank a $5,000 bribe to get the company to buy the system. Hank accepted the bribe and received $5,000 in cash from the vendor. Hank then ran several test transactions with the vendor's system to see if his embezzlement scheme that he had discussed with the clerk would be detected on the vendor's new computer system. Hank could not tell from this test run whether his embezzlement scheme would work. For comparison, Hank then tried the same scheme on the current system at his company, but was unable to transfer any funds to his own account. Discuss the criminal liability at this point of Hank, the accounting clerk, and the corporation that Hank works for.

4. An American corporation contracted to have athletic footwear manufactured by a foreign company overseas. The American company later was horrified to learn that the foreign company used slave labor to manufacture the shoes and refused to honor the contract. Slave labor clearly violates American law but is legal in the foreign country. The contract in question contained an arbitration clause requiring an arbitration panel made up of members from outside the U.S. to meet and decide in a neutral, third-party country, and a choice of law clause designating the law of the foreign company's location. In what forum would the matter be heard, what law applied, and what is the likely outcome if the foreign company claims breach of contract?

5. Martha is the coach of the female basketball team, and Bobby is the coach of the male basketball team at State University. Both Martha and Bobby have comparable knowledge of basketball, both have comparable skills, both work comparable hours and both have comparable win-loss records. The male team is a revenue generating sport, producing about $5 million annually. The female team does not produce revenues. Martha is paid $30,000 per year for her job but Bobby is paid $100,000 per year for his. Martha sued State University for a violation of the Equal Pay Act. Discuss the arguments on both sides of this case.

6. Nan, Fran, and Ann form a partnership, under a written agreement each signs, to buy, renovate, and resell old houses in an area near a major university. The neighborhood in which they plan to focus their activities is quite rundown, but they and others believe it will rapidly improve once a few properties in the area are renovated. The partnership agreement says that they plan to be in this venture "at least five years, or until they can recover their original investment plus a good profit." Each of the three partners puts up $50,000 in cash. One strategy of the partnership is to avoid bank financing and its associated fees, thus the partners plan to use the proceeds of sale on the first house to invest in a second, and so forth. They spend $90,000 to purchase their first property, on which they spend an additional $40,000 in renovation, and then sell for $160,000. They purchase the second property for $100,000 and have begun renovation that is expected to cost $35,000 when Ann suddenly attempts to withdraw from the partnership. Can Ann withdraw from the partnership? What other legal issues are present in this situation? It has been a year and a half since the partnership was formed.

7. Sue went away for Spring break and when she returned home, someone had built and in-ground pool in her backyard. Sue had never spoken to anyone about a pool. Later, it is discovered that the pool was to go in the neighbor's yard. Sue gets a bill from the pool company for the value of the pool. She refuses to pay. The pool company sues. Discuss the grounds on which the pool company might recover. Would it make any difference if Sue had been home during Spring break, noticed the error, and failed to inform the pool company?

8. Abe is an associate (employee) with that famous Denver law firm, Dewey, Cheatem & Howe. One Thursday Abe and another associate, Gabe, must go to western Colorado for a client's deposition. The deposition is unexpectedly over in midmorning and they start driving back to Denver. As they approach Vail, Gabe reminds Abe that the partners are in Aspen for two days and wouldn't it be nice to be a partner. Abe says, "If they're in Aspen, that means they're not in the office in Denver. I hear the slopes calling for a half day of skiing." They pull off I-70 and are skiing by 1:00. By chance, Abe runs into a client from Denver and they ski together and discuss the client's latest legal matters. As Abe is skiing with this client, Abe and the client both ski through a beginner ski lesson group as the beginner students practice their snowplow technique. Abe and the client each injure one skier. Five law suits are filed: Abe's victim v. Abe; Abe's victim v. the law firm; the client's victim v. the client; the client's victim v. the law firm; and the client's victim v. Abe. Discuss the outcome of each claim, assuming that Abe and the client were solely negligent with respect to their respective victims

There is no amount of words necesary, just so the basic question is covered. Thanks for any Help.

Solution Preview

1. Bob is at the Boston Biceps Bodybuilding Club riding an exercise bike. Bob wants to change the station on the television which is mounted high on a nearby wall. He reaches for the remote control device, and finds that another member has accidentally taken the remote control device and left behind a cellular phone. Bob drags the exercise bike over to the television. He stands on the seat of the exercise bike in order to reach the television, but the seat post breaks and Bob falls to the floor. Bob is not injured, but cannot control his temper. He puts his 180 pounds of all muscle/no fat into destroying the exercise bike. He throws it across the room against the wall, breaking it into several pieces. The handlebars land on the running track. Bob finds another exercise bike and continues his workout. Another patron, Randy, trips over the handlebars while running on the track about 30 minutes later. Randy sues both Bob and the Club for negligence. Discuss separately the case against each defendant, and the potential for a case against the bike manufacturer.

Bob's case:
This falls under "tort law" which is a civil wrong or wrongful act, whether intentional or accidental. Since Randy suffered personal injury due to Bob's intentional act of destroying the exercise bike it could be seen as an intentional tort as it resulted from willful and purposeful actions; however, these actions were not directed at Randy personally, Bob's willful and purposeful actions resulted in Randy's injuries. The burden of proof rests on Randy to prove Bob's liability.
The Health Club's Case:
The health club may be responsible due to the premise injuries Randy sustained. This would fall under negligence since the health club failed to check their equipment. The argument could be that Bob clearly was angry and destroyed equipment. This had to be seen by someone as it surely caused a scene. Employees of the health club and the health club itself are responsible for the safety of their clients, therefore, after Bob's outburst and the destruction of the equipment, employees should have checked to make sure all parts of the bicycle were retrieved and it posed no harm to any other patrons. While this is a flimsy and far reaching, Randy may have a chance of winning a negligence case against the health club.
The Bicycle Manufacturer:
There is no case against the Bicycle manufacturer. Bob did not use the bicycle for its intended purpose, moved the bicycle from its station, and purposely stood on it inappropriately. In order to claim or file a liability case against the manufacturer Bob would have had to be using the equipment appropriately. It's a far stretch for Bob to claim that had the bicycle's post never broken, this incident would never had happened; the flip side to that would be if Bob had never used the bicycle for an inappropriate purpose, this incident would never had happened.

2. Joanne is a nurse who needed a job and she knew the local elementary school needed to fill the vacant school nurse position. She contacted the school district president who was authorized to fill the position and offered to be the school nurse for weekly compensation of $1,000 from September to June. The president agreed to consider the offer and subsequently responded to Joanne in writing stating that he agreed to hire her as school nurse for the compensation of $200 per day. Discuss in detail whether there is a valid contract between Joanne and the school.
A contract is a legally binding exchange of promises or an agreement between parties that the law will enforce. In order for a contract to be legal there has to be:

1. an offer (what the services will be or what the purchase is for).
2. Acceptance of the offer (both parties agree to the term in the agreement)
3. Consideration (bargaining regarding terms, mutual exchange, exchange is something of value)
4. Capacity (in her right mind, can do the job, etc)
5. Intention to be legally bound (lawful meaning it is within the law to do the job). All these are in place with their verbal and written agreement.

Joanne and the president have met the requirements as there was an offer written from the president agreeing to hire Joanne; Joanne accepted the offer; there was bargaining involved in terms of money and exchange of something of value; there were terms agreed to and Joanne has the capacity to perform the duties; The offer is lawful since it is not against the law to pay a nurse for services as long as she can prove she is a nurse and the president has the capacity to offer the job to Joanne. This is definitely a bona fide contract between Joanne and the President of the school.

3. Hank works in the accounting department at a large retailing operation. Hank was having lunch with one of the clerks who works under him and was discussing ways to prevent embezzlement. Soon Hank was discussing how he and the clerk could embezzle funds rather than how they could prevent embezzlement. Hank and the clerk decided they would use a particular scheme that Hank had read about recently. Several weeks later a computer vendor was visiting with Hank trying to sell Hank's company a new computer system. The vendor offered Hank a $5,000 bribe to get the ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses 8 scenarios regarding cases in business law which include a case at Boston Biceps Bodybuilding, A nurse at a local elementary school; embezzlement in an accounting department; an American athletic footwear manufacturer; a male and female coach at a state university for equal pay; a partnership agreement between three women to resell old houses; an in-ground pool mistakenly installed while Sue was away at spring break and finally, a group of lawyers out on a business/pleasure trip who have a skiing mishap. The solutions total approximately 1,000 words.

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