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Business Law (BUS 316 3.0 Cr)
Business & Management

Course Description

Virtually every business activity is affected in some way by laws. Legal issues dominate the commercial world, from the planning stage of any project to the actual conduct of business, and a capable business person will be aware of the importance of knowing about the laws that govern business activities and the necessity of abiding by them. It is important to understand that the law is not ethics, nor is it morals per se. Rather, what we call "law" is the set of rules within which a society operates. For those who are interested in determining how to stay "within the rules" or how to avoid or minimize costly problems or situations, this course will prove useful.

In this course, students will study a wide variety of legal topics. The areas studied will be diverse--from criminal law to real property to employment and worker issues. The common factor will be that each of the topics covered directly affects the conduct of business.

Learning Objectives
After completing this course, students will be able to:

• Describe the federal and state court system and various alternative systems of dispute resolution
• Understand the basics of contract law--how contractual obligations are created, satisfied and breached
• Comprehend the liability issues associated with negligent conduct or products
• Describe legal differences among various business formations and their significance
• Understand the regulation of business conduct in the areas of antitrust, environmental controls, and land use
• Discuss the legal implications of the evolving areas of e-commerce
• Examine a business situation and understand the legal ramifications of any particular course of action
• Explore the ethical implications of different legal positions

Breadth of Assignments
This course utilizes a variety of methods for explore the topics of Business Law including: textbook reading assignments, online flash presentations designed to present the material in an engaging way, web resources, self-assessment quizzes, collaborative projects and individual assignments involving case studies and discussion boards encouraging students to share opinions of various subject matter topics.

Required Resources
Cross, Frank B. and Roger LeRoy Miller. (2003). West's Legal Environment of Business with the Online Research Guide, (5th Ed). Mason, OH: South-Western College Publishers. ISBN: 0-324-15465-8

Business Law
Business & Management
Module/Topics

Module 1: Creation of the Legal Structure
• The importance of law in the business world, and the importance of ethics in decision-making
• The organization of the judicial system and the structure of the legal process
• Distinguish between the sources of law, such as constitutional law, statutory law, administrative law, and case law
• The benefits and procedures of alternate dispute resolution

Module 2: General Principles of Public Law
• Constitutional review, the process by which laws are judged constitutionally valid or invalid
• How administrative regulations are proposed and promulgated and how to locate such regulations through Web resources
• Analyzing a business situation to see whether criminal liability will attach to a particular course of action
• Determining what international legal principles might apply to business conduct
• The ethical implications of some of the public law and international law issues

Module 3: Private Rights and Liabilities: Contracts and Torts
• How a valid contract is created and the potential obstacles to enforcing such a contract
• Identifying adequate performance of a breach of contract
• Analyzing a commercial transaction to determine what provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code apply
• The principles of negligence law, including the duty of care, forseeability, and breach of the duty of care
• The law of product liability

Module 4: Business Organizations: Money and the Law

• The increasingly complex legal issues associated with e-commerce and web activities
• Analyzing a commercial situation to determine the rights and liabilities of parties in a creditor-debtor relationship and how to protect your rights in such a situation
• What a partnership is, how it is created, and the benefits and disadvantages of partnerships
• The different forms of bankruptcy and the legal characteristics and ramifications of each
• The corporate form, its characteristics, structures, and liability implications

Module 5: Agency and Employment
• How an agency relationship is created and terminated
• The rights and liabilities of both the agent and the principle in a particular business situation
• The statutory and regulatory principles that govern employee-employer relations
• The laws that govern the hiring and firing of employees, specifically those that prohibit discrimination in hiring or firing
• The role unions play in the employment environment

Module 6: The Regulators
• The applicability of consumer protection laws regarding advertising, sales, and credit protection to various business situations
• The various environmental protections and zoning laws that restrict business activity
• The principles of real estate ownership, leasing and transfer
• The general principles of antitrust and restraint of trade laws
• The various securities regulations that control transfer of securities in the United States


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