Legal Environment

Learning Goal:

  • Students will understand the purpose of the law
  • Students will understand the difference between statutory and common law
  • Students will understand basic elements of tort law, including concepts of negligence, strict liability, product liability claims, and types of damages
  • Students will understand be able to explain the purpose and characteristics of intellectual property law
  • Students will understand basic elements of contract law
In class, we'll cover the following sections from our book using the links and materials below.

The Meaning and Purposes of Law

Why do we have laws? Add some reasons to this collaborative page

We'll look at the official definition of law from your book and the purpose of our laws. 

According to your book, the rule of law is, "a legal principle that law should govern a nation ..." We'll check out this short video on the rule of law. 

Team up with someone sitting next to you or across from you. Find a country that does not have the rule of law. How does that impact its citizens? Add what you found to the collaborative page above. Be ready to share. 

Find a recent civil court case and current legislation (local, state, or federal laws) that is trying to be passed. 


Statutory vs. Common Law

With a partner sitting across from you or beside you, use this section of the book to complete this graphic organizer comparing & contrasting statutory and common law. Add the examples of current legislation and a current court case you found. Be ready to share. 

Here are two recent cases involving legislation. Here is an example of a recent civil court case. We'll use your book look at the definitions of statutory law and common law. 

We'll watch the video and check out this link on precedent and stare decisis. Here is a current example of case setting precedent in the news. 

The Assignment - Landmark Case Paragraphs 20 pts

Find a landmark case where the Supreme Court set a nationwide precedent. Here are two links to get you started. Do some research on the case you choose. Write at least one paragraph that describes the case and gives background. Write at least one paragraph on how the precedent that was set in the case impacts your life and a reflection (thoughts, feelings, reactions, etc.) on the case itself. In your paragraphs, include examples of other cases that have used the case you chose as precedent. Make sure to use proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Also, make sure to use your own words. Send the paragraphs to me on Schoology. 

Tort Law, Liability, and Damages | Intellectual Property | Contracts

We will break the following the following three sections of your book up into chunks. 
  • Tort Law, Liability, and Damages
    • Tort Law - 1
    • Product Liability & Pursuing a Claim of Product Liability - 2
    • Grounds of Strict Liability - 3
    • Compensatory and Punitive Damages - 4
  • Intellectual Property - 5
  • Contracts
    • Define contract & four elements of a legally enforceable contract - 6
    • Define breach of contract & legal remedies for breach of contract - 7
Each group will learn and teach their section to the class. Your 'lesson' needs to incorporate two of the four learning styles found on this image. Also, create up to three quiz questions to check for understanding. Use Mural to work together as a group and add your learning materials/workspace to this collaborative page (make sure to include group member's names). You will have no more than twenty minutes to create your lesson and five minutes to teach it, so work quickly and be concise.  

The Assignment - Who Is Suing Whom? Case Summary & Mind Map 25 pts

Below are the modified instructions from this link to your book. 

Most people are familiar with the lawsuit in which a woman sued McDonald’s after being burned by their hot coffee, but did you know that Uber drivers may be owed millions of dollars in back pay or that a judge recently blocked 100 million WhatsApp users? Lawsuits against businesses or between businesses (Microsoft vs. Oracle) fill court dockets around the world. The issues in these cases range from patent infringement to product liability, and many of them are decided or settled without the public knowing about it. However, these lawsuits can have an impact on customers (higher prices), the availability of new products (fewer, in cases of patent infringement), and even national economies (Facebook banned in Korea).

Your Task
  • Use a Google Document to complete the following case summary.
  • Use the link provided below to access Entrepreneur magazine’s “Court Case” section: Entrepreneur: Court Cases. There you will find a wide range of court cases that involve some of the biggest names in business. You can find a case from a different site as long as it involves business.
  • Select one of the cases on the site as the basis for your written assignment. You may get your basic information from the Entrepreneur magazine site, but don’t limit yourself to this one source. Google the case and see if there are additional facts or developments that you need to consider before completing this assignment.
  • Write a case summary that includes the following information:
    • Parties to the case and names of defendants and plaintiffs.
    • The primary issue at the heart of the lawsuit (e.g., copyright, labor law, unfair competition) and the reasons or events that caused the plaintiff to file the lawsuit.
    • *Provide a brief summary of the keys facts in the case from the perspective of all parties. Generally, these will be the claims of the plaintiff and the defenses of the defendant. 
    • If a decision has been made in the case, what was it? If damages were awarded, how much were they? If the damages were not monetary, what did the court order the parties to do or not do because of the lawsuit?
    • If the case has not been decided, then what is the plaintiff asking the court to do if it prevails?
    • *Regardless of whether the case is decided or not, what are the implications or potential implications for the businesses involved and the stakeholders of those businesses? 
After you have completed your case summary, create a mind map that includes the parties from the case, primary issues, and key facts. You could use Coggle (create an account, export as an image), Google Drawing, or another tool to create your mind map. You can work with one other person on this project. Send me your case summary and mind map on Schoology. 

Legal Environment Chapter Review

Use this review guide to study for your legal environment quiz.