You are on page 1of 4


004 (12994) Fall 2005
REQUIRED TEXT : Clarkson Miller Jentz Cross, West’s Business Law, West Publishing Company, 9th Edition Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. SOM1.217 Lee Ann E. Butler, JD Thursdays, 11:30 – 12:15 (or by appointment -- see the instructor before class to arrange a time)


COURSE OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this course is to educate the student about the nature and function of the law in the United States; to give the student an appreciation of the Law as an institution, together with some idea of its importance and pervasiveness in our society; to help the student understand the legal framework within which business decisions must be made and executed; to facilitate the student in acquiring a basic understanding of the fundamental concepts, legal vocabulary, and the rules of law that apply to business; to teach the student how to spot potential legal problems as they arise in business; and to invite the student to consider the ethical implications of the law and the ethical/moral dilemmas that business people face day to day. At the end of the course, students should be able to apply learned legal principles to various factual situations and to analyze them from the perspective of a businessperson seeking the advice of his or her attorney. PREPARATION: Students will be expected to read all of the assignments before the day they will be discussed in class. (The first reading assignment and the second should be combined and completed prior to the second class meeting.) If you don't keep up with the readings your understanding of the information presented in class will be significantly diminished. The principles of the Law taught in this class are not hard to understand, but the application of those principles can be somewhat convoluted. Because I want this to be a practical course, I will stress, in class and on exams, the application rather than mere memorization of what we study. I will often discuss topics not mentioned in the book, so don't assume that if you miss class you can catch up simply by reading the text. You should do well if you attend regularly, keep up with the reading, "study" rather than merely "read," and think about the implications of what we discuss rather than just memorize terms.

PARTICIPATION: Your attendance and participation in class discussion is expected in this class. You should be prepared to intelligently discuss the topic of the day when called on, and you should volunteer your thoughts and questions during the class. 10% of your grade will be based on participation and attendance. An attendance sign-in sheet will distributed at he beginning of each class. It is the responsibility of each student to sign the sign-in sheet AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH CLASS. Credit for attendance will not be given if the attendance sheet is not signed. Signing the attendance sheet on behalf of another student is considered an act of scholastic dishonesty and students who commit this act are subject to disciplinary penalties. I shall try to adhere to the schedule set forth in this syllabus, but the order and/or timing of various lectures or exams may need to be changed depending on how the course goes. Any updates will be announced in class. It is your responsibility to attend class and be aware of any changes that it becomes necessary to make. Regardless of whether or not you attend, you are responsible for all the material that we cover in class and all announcements that are made, including any announcements made on the first day of class. You should get missed notes from a classmate, not from the instructor. GRADING: Your final grade for the course will be determined based on the four exams given and class attendance and participation. Each exam will be worth 22.5% of your grade. Attendance and class participation will account for the remaining 10%. The final will not be cumulative (unless you missed a scheduled midterm or the regularly scheduled final exam.) The approximate dates of the exams are indicated on the schedule, but these are subject to change upon notice from the instructor. Each exam will be comprised of 25 true/false and 25 multiple-choice questions of equal value. Each exam will require a Scantron Form 882. It is the responsibility of each student to provide the required Scantron form. If the required Scantron is not submitted, there will be a deduction of 10 points from the student’s grade. Exam grades are based exclusively on academic achievement and are not a reflection of need, desire, or even effort (although students who work hard tend to make better grades than those who do not.) A typical scale will be used for assigning letter grades: 97-100 = A+, 92-96 = A, 88–91 = A-, 85–87 = B+, 82–84 = B, 78-81 = B-, 75-77 = C+, 72-74 = C, 68–71 = C-, 65-67 = D+, 62–64 = D, 58–61 = D-, and below 57 = F. Grades are non-negotiable. It is your grade to earn, not mine to give. As previously stated, there will be no make-up exams. If you miss an exam and can, and do, produce documentation of a University approved excuse you will take a cumulative final exam worth 45% of your grade (the total of the scheduled midterm and the final exam.) Should you feel that an exam has been graded incorrectly, I will gladly re-grade the exam in question if, and only if, you write up a description of how the grading is incorrect, attach the re-grade request to the exam, and personally hand the re-grade request to me within the week immediately following the date the exam is returned to you.

ASSIGNMENT OUTLINE: The “reading assignment” refers to the chapters in the text book that you should read BEFORE THE CLASS FOR WHICH IT IS ASSIGNED. All dates, topics, and reading assignments are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor:


DATE 08.18 08.23 08.25 08.30 09.01 09.06 09.08 09.13 09.15 09.15 09.20 09.22 09.27 09.29 10.04 10.06 10.11 10.13 10.18 10.20 10.25 10.27 11.01

TOPICS Introduction to Business Law Civil Process Constitutional Law Administrative Law Personal Property Real property – Landlord/ Tenant Wills, Trusts, Elder Law FIRST EXAM !!!! Intro. to Contracts, Illegal Bargains, Capacity Assent & Conduct Invalidating Assent Consideration, Requirement of Writing Third-Parties to Contracts Performance, Discharge Breach, Remedies SECOND EXAM !!!! Sales / Lease Contracts – Formation; TRII Sales / Lease Contracts – Performance; Breach Sales / Lease Contracts – Warranties Sole Pros & Parts Corps LLP/LLC & Business Ethics THIRD EXAM !!!! Agency

READING ASSIGNMENT 1 2/3 4 43 47 48/49 51

9/12 10/13 11/14 15 16 17

19/20 21/22 23 35/36 37/38 41/42



11.03 11.08 11.10 11.15 11.17 11.22 TBA

Labor & Employment Law Creditors’ Rights Consumer Protection & Bankruptcy Strict Liability / Product liability (Negligence & Strict Liability) Criminal Law Intentional Torts FINAL EXAM !!!

33/34 28/29 5/30 44 6 8

CLASSROOM ETIQUETTE, ET CETERA: Show up to class on time. Don’t leave early. Doing either is disruptive, inconsiderate, and will subject one to more attention than may be desired. Turn cell phones and beepers off before entering the classroom or leave them at home. If a cell phone goes off during class, I reserve the right to answer said phone myself. Do not cheat on your exams. University policy on academic dishonesty will be strictly enforced. That said, and so I never have to tell you that “ignorance of the law is no excuse”, here is the University Policy on Cheating: Students are expected to be above reproach in all scholastic activities. Students who engage in scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and dismissal from the University. "Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts." Regents' Rule and Regulations, Part One, Chapter VI, Section 3, Subsection 3.2, Subdivision 3.22. Students requiring accommodations or modifications because of a documented disability should meet and discuss this need with the instructor at the beginning of the semester (i.e., before the third scheduled class.) Do not ask the professor for legal advice. Professor Butler is licensed in Louisiana, Indiana, and Florida – but not Texas.