Business Law Essay Questions
1) Tom was a tall man who operated a successful restaurant that he owned. He believed that tall people commanded more respect in a restaurant. Accordingly, he never hired a waiter or waitress who was less than six feet tall. Because of this, he had seventeen waiters and no waitresses working at the restaurant. Lucinda, a woman less than six feet tall, applied for a job as a waitress and was not hired. Later, Lucinda learned that a man who was over six feet in height was hired to fill the position. After a few inquiries, she learned of Tom’s height requirements and alleged that she was the victim of illegal discrimination. Decide.
2) Theo, a member of TGI partnership, withdrew from the partnership and duly notified the other members. The firm was an at-will partnership and the parties parted amicably, posting a notice in the local newspaper of the dissolution of their firm. Cosmo, a customer who had conducted business with Theo several times, did not see the newspaper notice and was not informed of the dissolution. Later, Theo approached Cosmo concerning a transaction similar to those Cosmo had engaged in before with Theo acting on behalf of TGI. Cosmo placed an order, gave a substantial down payment to Theo, and received a receipt on TGI stationery from him. Theo thereafter absconded with the down payment, and TGI failed to honor the contract. Cosmo sued the other members of TGI partnership. Discuss their potential liability.
3) Alice, Betty, and Cathy are interested in forming a business venture. Alice is quite wealthy and is ready to contribute money to the venture. Betty has a degree in business from an excellent university, worked for five years as a manager in a major corporation, and currently is a leadership/management consultant. Cathy is a scientist who has developed a process that will, according to her, “revolutionize cancer treatment throughout the world.” Alice, Betty, and Cathy believe it is in their best interest to form a general partnership. Do you agree? Is there a more appropriate form of business you might recommend?
4) Taylor, a securities lawyer for a major Wall Street law firm, worked on numerous successful takeover bids of companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Prior to the public announcement of the takeover bids, Taylor provided information to Rogers (his stockbroker) and to Price (his mistress) about certain planned takeover bids on which he had provided legal services. Rogers, who was aware of the relationship between Taylor and Price, made purchases of the target companies on Rogers’ and Price’s behalf, netting them more than a million dollars in profits each. The SEC brings an action against Taylor, Rogers, and Price under Rule 10b-5 and the Insider Trading Sanctions Act of 1984. Taylor defends that he is an outsider not subject to the 1984 law and Rule 10b-5, and that he received no personal benefit. Rogers and Price defend that they were merely acting on stock market tips received from a person who did not personally benefit from the disclosure. Decide.
5) Sara and Sally rely on the statements of Alice, an accountant. In a lawsuit brought by Sara and Sally against Alice for fraud, Alice seeks to avoid liability based on the fact that neither Sara nor Sally was in privity of contract with Alice. Alice knew Sara might rely on the financial information provided, but Alice did not know of Sally or anyone in her position. Can Sara and Sally recover against Alice?
6) Herman hires Juanita as his accountant. Juanita commits negligence in preparing financial statements for a business Herman owns. Several investors rely on the financial statements and purchase shares of stock in the business. In a state that has adopted the privity rule, what result?
7) The stockholders of the Apex Corporation attended a special meeting of the stockholders called to discuss matters of extreme urgency to the corporation. A quorum was not present when the meeting opened, nor was a quorum present when the matters to be treated in the meeting were discussed. Management, however, felt that the importance of the issue was significant enough to warrant continuation of the meeting without a quorum, and the stockholders voted on the issues presented during the meeting. During the last fifteen (15) minutes of the meeting, just prior to the cocktail hour regularly attended by many stockholders, enough stockholders had arrived to constitute a quorum. Were the issues of this meeting dealt with in a valid manner?
8) Tucker and Hankey were adjoining property owners. Tucker claimed that the fence separating their properties was not located properly and that it should be moved back onto Hankey’s land. Hankey claimed that he owned the strip between the fence and the alleged boundary line by adverse possession. He proved that for forty (40) years there had been on the strip in question a barn with a cement floor, which had been built by the person from whom he purchased his land, and that he had been told by the former owner that the fence was the boundary line. The fence consisted of five-foot-high barbed wire set in cement. Did Hankey own the strip by adverse possession?
9) Peter has been subjected to an unreasonable amount of noise from his neighbor, who constantly plays his stereo at full volume. Peter is angry about his neighbor, but he is even angrier about the excessive pollution being emitted by a local factory that burns old tires in direct violation of a state statute prohibiting such conduct. Do the acts of Peter’s neighbor and the factory constitute nuisances? If they do, give Peter assistance on any possible courses of action to eliminate the problems.
10) Roberts leased a duplex from Hughes. Later, without Hughes’ knowledge, Roberts sublet half of the duplex to Carrera. Carrera did not take proper care of the premises and her part of the duplex was substantially damaged as a result of her negligent use and abuse. Upon discovering the situation, Hughes notified Roberts that he was holding him responsible for any and all damages to Carrera’s portion of the duplex, and that Roberts was to bear the costs of returning the premises to the original state of repair. Roberts replied that he had sublet to Carrera in good faith, had no further dealings with Carrera after the sublet agreement, had no knowledge of negligence, and could not be held liable for damages caused by another. Can Roberts be held liable?
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