Legal Environment DB

1. Review the Constitution in Appendix A and  choose one of the following sections of the U.S. Constitution or a specified amendment to use as the basis for your initial response: Any of Congress’s enumerated powers under Article I, Section 8 1st Amendment 4th Amendment 5th Amendment 14th Amendment

Identify the section of the Constitution or its amendment that you have chosen. Discuss how this section of the Constitution or its amendments both limit and protect business in general. Describe an example of how the section of the Constitution or its amendment that you have chosen could be applied to your professional life (past, present, or future). In your example, discuss whether the section of the Constitution you have chosen to address limits business or protects it.

2.  Use three philosophical theories from Chapter 4 to analyze whether it is more important for a business to be ethical or lawful. Provide one example of a situation in which it seems to be more important for a business to be ethical rather than lawful, and one example of a situation in which it seems more important for a business to be lawful rather than ethical.

3. Which do you believe presents the greatest threat to civil society: a corporation that commits crimes (e.g., murder, environmental crimes, or bribery, etc.), or persons who commit crimes that harm businesses (e.g., embezzlement, fraud, or larceny, etc.)? Defend your response, using at least one example from current events.

4. After viewing the  Chinese Imports & Food Safety  Video, consider whether U.S. retailers that utilize products or raw ingredients that are imported from China and that are poorly regulated should be liable in tort for injuries to consumers who are harmed by those products. Answer parts 1 and 2 of the following question:

Answer part a or part b   a. If U.S. companies should not be liable, then they could be legally exempt from tort liability. Discuss the consequences of such a policy to U.S. consumers.   b. If the U.S. companies should be liable, then those companies would not be legally exempt from tort liability. Discuss the consequences of such a policy to U.S. businesses.            Regardless of your response to part 1 of this question, assume that U.S. retailers do have legal liability for defective products. What steps could U.S. retailers and manufacturers take, when using products imported from China that would minimize their liability exposure? For example, they could warn consumers about the potential, though speculative, dangers when using products comprised of poorly regulated ingredients or components. Given your strategy, what challenges would exist for U.S. businesses that implemented your strategy?

5. After viewing  The Crisis of Credit Visualized  video, respond to each of the following:

1. How could government regulations have prevented or mitigated the credit crisis of 2008? 2. Discuss whether too much governmental regulation of business or too little governmental regulation of business presents the greater danger to:

a. the greater good b. business

6. Some argue that government needs to increase its regulation of business for the good of society as a whole, while others believe that the marketplace is self-regulating and that government intervention through needless regulation places an unfair, costly burden on businesses in  general and on small businesses in particular. What role do you believe government regulation should play to ensure ethical conduct by businesses? How do different political viewpoints potentially shape the answer to this question?

7. Private University, a private nonprofit educational institution located in California, decides to issue “Shares in Learning” certificates in a one-time offering to the public. These shares will be sold for $500 each and entitle the bearer to redeem each certificate for two undergraduate or one graduate college credit in any of its schools at any time in the future. The shares may also be resold without restrictions by the initial purchaser. The offering will be made via the Internet.

Will the offering need to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the Securities Act of 1933? Explain. Does your answer differ if “Shares in Learning” are issued by Private College, a proprietary for-profit institution that does business in all 50 states? Why?

8. Read Malorney v. B&L Motor Freight, Inc. in Section 21.2 of your textbook. Discuss what duty or duties a business has with regard to checking the background of potential employees before hiring.  Do you agree that businesses should be liable for injuries resulting from negligent hiring? Why or why not?

9. Review the “At&t pulls $39 billion t-mobile bid after U.S. opposition.” article.

In 2011, AT&T attempted a merger with T-Mobile. The Justice Department sued under the act, claiming that the merger would constitute a violation of the antitrust laws. In 2012, AT&T dropped its attempt at the acquisition.

If AT&T had merged with T-Mobile, would the merger have violated antitrust laws? Why or why not? Do not be unduly influenced by the Justice Department’s stance on the issue. Use your own analysis to reach a conclusion.

10. Not all discrimination is prohibited by law. For example, employers routinely discriminate between potential employees based upon education or experience. Other types of discrimination are more subtle, but still legal. For example, some employers discriminate between potential employees based upon personal characteristics such as weight or attractiveness. Should employers be permitted to discriminate based upon attractiveness? Take a side and argue that an employer should or should not be permitted by law to discriminate against persons who are not attractive.

11. After reading “The ‘Six Sins of Greenwashing’: A Study of Environmental Claims in North American Markets”, discuss the tension between businesses interests in maximizing profits and the public’s interest in receiving complete, truthful, and non-misleading information about products that they purchase. From a business perspective, what are the dangers of “greenwashing”? If you were a marketing executive, would you have a policy against “greenwashing”? Why or why not?


12. Read the U.S. Small Business Administration’s article, titled  Environmental Regulations , and visit the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s “Laws & Regulations” page.

Identify one environmental law that is relevant to your past, current, or future employer. Apply that law to a business situation created by that employer. How does (or did) that employer maintain compliance with that statute?  Do you believe that environmental regulations help or hinder business? Why or why not?




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