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NORTH SEATTLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

BUSINESS 201, BUSINESS LAW


COURSE SYLLABUS, SUMMER QUARTER 2013

“Although we often succeed in teaching our pupils


subjects, we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them
how to think: they learn everything, except the art of
learning." - Dorothy Sayers

Instructor: Michael E. Chaplin


Office: IB3417
E-mail: michael.chaplin@seattlecolleges.edu
Class Hours: Monday & Wednesday, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Office Hours: Monday & Wednesday, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., and by
appointment
Textbook: Essentials of Business Law (4th Edition – 2012 copyright) by
Beatty & Samuelson, published by South-Western Cengage.
The ISBN 13# is 9780538473804. It is available at the
NSCC bookstore, and through on-line bookstores.

DISCLAIMER: Although the instructor is an attorney, any legal information


provided in this introductory college course should not be taken as personal legal
advice for an individual student, nor is the instructor to be considered to be the
student’s attorney. Students are advised to seek individualized legal advice
regarding their specific situation, from an attorney of their choosing.

TRANSFER: This class transfers to the University of Washington, Central


Washington University, Washington State University, and several other four-year
schools in Washington as part of the Direct Transfer Agreement. If you are
planning to transfer to Seattle University or Seattle Pacific University, or another
school, you should check with them directly to confirm transferability. You are
responsible to be in the right class for your transfer needs!

INSTRUCTOR BIO: I am a graduate of the University of Washington, Foster


School of Business and the Notre Dame Law School. I practiced law for
approximately seven years and have, since 2007, taught various legal courses in
California and Washington. Prior to entering law school, I owned and operated
three small businesses in Snohomish County. My legal practice was varied,
though I spent most of my time litigating contract disputes. As an instructor, I
have taught numerous business law courses (e.g., torts, contracts, business
associations, agency, employment, and commercial law), paralegal studies and
introduction to business courses.

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NORTH SEATTLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
BUSINESS 201, BUSINESS LAW
COURSE SYLLABUS, SUMMER QUARTER 2013

READING REQUIREMENTS: All students are expected to keep up with the


reading for this class. We will have at least 100 pages of reading each week,
counting the text, current law cases and other materials. A facility in English
speaking, listening, reading and writing is essential to successful completion of
this class.

COURSE OBJECTIVE: The objective of this course is to acquaint the student


with fundamental legal concepts, structures and functions of the American legal
system, and specifically with Business Law topics – including Contracts (common
law & UCC sale of goods), Business Crimes, Business Torts, Property Ownership
and Leasing, Agency & Employment Law, Business Entities, Litigation and
Alternate Dispute Resolution, Secured Transactions & Bankruptcy, etc. We will
examine the role of law, and the “evolving” nature of law as it relates to our
society, and especially how it affects each of our lives on a daily basis. We will
look at the legal system as a framework for the avoidance of problems in the
future; and for resolving problems that inevitably arise in a complex society. This
course is not intended to make the student into a lawyer, and cannot be an in-depth
examination of all the topics to be introduced. It is intended to provide an
overview of the legal system as it relates to business, so students know where to
look to find basic information, and how to contact legal professionals when they
need help.

NSCC ESSENTIAL LEARNING OUTCOMES:


1. Knowledge: The student will learn how to examine facts,
theories, perspectives and methodologies within and across
disciplines.
2. Intellectual & Practical Skills, including: The student will
develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.
3. Integrative & Applied Learning: The student will engage in
synthesis and application of knowledge, skills and
responsibilities to new settings and problems.
APPROACH: We will approach the law from several points. We will use the text
as an introduction to topics. We will then look at direct sources of information,
such as actual cases, state and federal statutes, and look at sources of information
available on the Internet.

STUDY SUGGESTIONS:

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NORTH SEATTLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
BUSINESS 201, BUSINESS LAW
COURSE SYLLABUS, SUMMER QUARTER 2013

1. Terminology. Law has a language all its own. As you read through a chapter,
write down each word that is “new” to you. Write down in your own words
what you think it means. Compare your definition with the glossary at the
back of the book or with a law dictionary (e.g., Black’s Law Dictionary, in the
NSCC library) for accuracy and completeness. See if you can write a sentence
using the new word that makes sense. This will help you develop a mastery of
the terminology.

2. Questions and Problem Cases. At the end of each chapter there are a series
of sample cases or questions. See if you can answer them. Check with other
students in class to see if you are in agreement. Some of these cases are based
on real cases. Compare your analysis with how the court ruled.

3. Study Groups. Most students find it helpful to have a weekly group get-
together at the library or a home, to review the reading or class discussions to
gain a deeper understanding of the materials.

4. Internet Searching. You will find it helpful to look at a variety of internet


sites for information on legal topics. A couple of sites to start with are:

www.findlaw.com

www.law.cornell.edu/topics/index.html

COURSE GRADE: You have a variety of ways to earn points towards your final
grade in this class. Please take a look at the following grading summary.

COURSEWORK Points Possible


Class Participation 10
Quizzes (2) @ 15 points each 30
Midterm Examination (1) 30
Final Examination (1) 30
TOTAL POINTS POSSIBLE 100
Extra Credit 10

EXAMINATIONS: The quizzes are take-home. You will be given the quiz on a
Wednesday and must return the completed quiz the start of class the following

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NORTH SEATTLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
BUSINESS 201, BUSINESS LAW
COURSE SYLLABUS, SUMMER QUARTER 2013

Monday. The quizzes are open book and open notes, but you are not allowed to
consult any person or service for assistance in answering any quiz questions. All
other testing (mid-term and final) will be in-class, with no opportunity for you to
talk or compare notes with other students, although you will be allowed two pages
of notes (two sheets of paper with notes on front and back) for each exam. You
will need one scantron for each quiz, one bluebook for the midterm and at least
two bluebooks for the final.

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS ON TAKING EXAMS:

Answer each question fully, clearly, and in the order given. Mere conclusions
receive no credit. You should:

1. Discuss the issue.

2. Define and discuss any principles of law, legal theories, etc., relevant to the
question.

3. Fully apply the given facts to the legal principles on which you rely. Do
not ignore any facts, even if they do not support your conclusions. Do not
assume that I know that you know something - tell me in your exam what you
know, defining every legal term used.

4. The actual conclusions you reach could be the least important part of your
answer - but you must base your conclusions on complete and intelligent
applications of the facts to the legal principles involved.

5. If further facts could affect the outcome of the problem, state with
particularity what they are, and how they could affect the outcome.

6. You must use the “IRAC” format, unless otherwise directed.

7. Discuss all issues - some questions have more than one issue.

8. If you need scratch paper to make notes, use your exam itself. Although
you must turn it in, it will not be graded. You may also designate a page of
your bluebook as “notes” and it will not be graded.

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NORTH SEATTLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
BUSINESS 201, BUSINESS LAW
COURSE SYLLABUS, SUMMER QUARTER 2013

9. Caution:

a. Use non-erasable dark blue or black ink for your essays. Do not use
white-out or tear pages out of your blue book. Use a number 2 pencil for
the scantron.

b. You will need one scantron for each quiz and at least one large
bluebook for the midterm and final. Do not write your name on the
bluebook - they will be exchanged in class. When you get the bluebook in
class that you will use for your exam, write your name on the inside back
cover of the bluebook. Do not write your name on the front cover of the
bluebook. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure blind grading.
Write on every line of the blue book. Write on only one side of each page;
however you may use the facing page to insert information. Write your
name on the exam itself. When you complete the exam, place the exam
inside your bluebook and turn in the whole as a package. Failure to follow
all of these directions will cause a 1 point reduction in your exam grade.
Failure to return the exam itself will result in a grade of “F” for the exam.

c. All bluebook exams are closed book. However, you may bring a
maximum of two pages (i.e., two sheets of 8.5 by 11 paper) of notes (typed
or handwritten) to class for each exam. Make sure that all other study
materials are completely out of sight. Make sure that all books, notes (other
than the two pages of notes referenced above), book bags, and purses are
placed on the floor at the start of the exam. There is a presumption of
cheating if any unauthorized study materials are within view during exams.
Note: all cases of cheating result in a grade of “F” for the course and are
referred to the Dean’s office for further action.

PARTICIPATION: Participation is based on your performance in case briefing.


You will be required to present at least two case briefs during the quarter. The
brief will consist of an oral presentation and class discussion where classmates and
your instructor ask questions. You may present your brief individually or as a
team of not more than three members. During the first two class sessions of the
quarter we will spend time learning the mechanics of case briefing and
presentation. Case presentations will begin in the second week.

CASE BRIEFS: To brief cases, case problems and questions, use the following
“IRAC” format:

Issue: What question must be answered in order to reach a


conclusion in the case? This should be a legal question which, when answered,
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NORTH SEATTLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
BUSINESS 201, BUSINESS LAW
COURSE SYLLABUS, SUMMER QUARTER 2013

gives a result in the particular case. Make it specific (e.g. “Has there been a false
imprisonment if the plaintiff was asleep at the time of ‘confinement’?”) rather than
general (e.g. “Will the plaintiff be successful?”). You may make it referable to the
specific case being briefed (e.g. “Did Miller owe a duty of care to Osco, Inc.?”) or
which can apply to all cases which present a similar question, (e.g. “Is a duty owed
whenever there is an employment relationship?”). Most cases present one issue.
If there is more than one issue, list all, and give rules for all issues raised.

Rule:The rule is the law which applies to the issue. It should be stated as
a general principal, (e.g. “A duty of care is owed whenever the defendant should
anticipate that her conduct could create a risk of harm to the plaintiff.”) not a
conclusion to the particular case being briefed, (e.g. “The plaintiff was
negligent.”).

Application: The application is a discussion of how the rule applies


to the facts of a particular case. While the issue and rule are normally only one
sentence each, the application is normally paragraphs long. It should be a written
debate - not simply a statement of the conclusion. Whenever possible, present
both sides of any issue. Do not begin with your conclusion. The application
shows how you are able to reason on paper and is the most difficult (and, on
exams, the most important) skill you will learn.

Conclusion: What was the result of the case?

With cases, the text gives you a background of the facts along with the judge’s
reasoning and conclusion. When you brief cases, you are basically summarizing
the judge’s opinion. With case problems, the editors have given you a summary of
the facts of an actual case, but have not given you the judge’s opinion. Your job is
to act as the judge in reasoning your way to a ruling, again using the IRAC format.
While most of these case problems are followed by a question, ignore the question
and instead brief the problem.

Most briefs are one to two pages long. They must be brought to class on the day
they are to be discussed. Once an assignment has been discussed, you no longer
need to bring it to class.

EXTRA CREDIT: You may do one of the following assignments for up to 10


points. Prepare a typed report and turn it in at the start of class by Monday,
August 5. Your choices are:

 Visit a superior court proceeding and write a two-page memorandum


concerning your observations and comments.

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NORTH SEATTLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
BUSINESS 201, BUSINESS LAW
COURSE SYLLABUS, SUMMER QUARTER 2013

 Interview (preferably in person, but can be by phone) a local practicing


attorney or judge, and write a two-page written commentary (memorandum)
of the interview. The interview may not be done online (e.g., via email or
instant messaging) or via texting.

The extra credit is governed by the following: Grading will be based upon
completeness, conciseness, and clarity of expression. The
memorandum/summary must be word-processed, single-spaced, times new
roman, 12 point font. Neatness and organization also count. Deductions
will be made for poor grammar, spelling and sentence structure, as well as
for failure to follow the designated format and posting instructions.

GRADING SCALE:

At the end of the quarter, your total score will be compared to the following table
to determine the grade you have earned for the class.

4.0 93-100
3.7 90-92
3.3 87-89
3.0 83-86
2.7 80-82
2.3 77-79
2.0 73-76
1.7 70-72
1.3 67-69
1.0 63-66
0.7 60-62
0 Below 60

ABSENCES: Appropriate absences during the quarter include ill health, work or
family emergencies. Consistent attendance and participation is important. Part of
your grade is dependent upon your participation in class, which will not be
possible if you do not attend! If you miss a class, it is your sole responsibility to
obtain class notes and other lecture materials that may have been handed out, from
other students. Get the phone numbers and/or e-mail addresses of at least two
other students in the class so that you may share information. In general there will
be no makeup exams, and you must turn in your homework on the days they are

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NORTH SEATTLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
BUSINESS 201, BUSINESS LAW
COURSE SYLLABUS, SUMMER QUARTER 2013

due. Any requests for changes on due dates must be made prior to the due dates.
The best way to reach me is to use my e-mail address.

CLASSROOM RULES:

CLASSROOM ETIQUITTE:

1. Please respect the opinions expressed in class by your classmates. If you


disagree with someone’s opinion, state so respectfully, and not as a personal
attack.

2. Please turn off or silence all computers, cell phones, pagers, PDAs, or other
electronic devices at the start of class. If you do have a device that goes off
during class, please turn it off right away, and wait to respond to it after the
class is over.

3. Please allow others to be able to hear what the instructor or class`


participants are saying, by not engaging in “side” conversations.

4. Students are expected to comply with NSCC student conduct policy and
procedures. Information on student responsibilities and rights is available at
the following website:
https://northseattle.edu/policies/student-rights-and-responsibilities

POLICY ON COURSE WITHDRAWAL: The instructor may initiate


administrative withdrawals of students who do not come to class during the first
three days of the quarter in order to accommodate other students seeking entry into
the class; or if the student is not participating in class or turning in assignments or
taking exams/quizzes. The student may withdraw according to the deadlines
established by the college.

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT: In compliance with North Seattle


Community College’s policy and equal access laws, I am available to discuss
appropriate academic accommodations that you may require as a student with a
disability. Requests for academic accommodations should be made as early as
possible to avoid delays in implementing the accommodations. Students should
register with the Disability Services office (located in Student Success Services in
the College Center building) for disability verification and for determination of
reasonable academic accommodations.

ACADEMIC HONESTY: Academic honesty is highly valued at NSCC. A


student must always submit work that represents his/her original words or ideas.

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NORTH SEATTLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
BUSINESS 201, BUSINESS LAW
COURSE SYLLABUS, SUMMER QUARTER 2013

Any academic dishonesty will result in the exam or work being given zero credit,
and the student may be dismissed from the class or the college!

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY COULD INVOLVE:

1. Having a tutor or friend complete a portion or all of your assignment.

2. Having a reviewer make extensive revisions to an assignment.

3. Copying work submitted by another student, or giving another student your


work to copy.

4. Using information from books, magazines, articles, online sources, or other


information services without giving proper citation as to its source.

5. Taking exam answers from another student’s paper, or allowing another student
to copy your exam answers.

6. Using improper materials (i.e., not allowed) to answer exam questions on the
final.

EXAMINATION CONDUCT: Students are expected to complete quizzes and


examinations without the unauthorized use of reference materials, notes, or
classmates, unless with permission of the instructor. The quizzes are open
textbook, open notes, printed dictionaries, and handouts from class. The midterm
and final exams are closed book; however, you are allowed to bring two sheets of
paper (8 1/2 x 11) filled with notes (front and back). NO Electronics –
computers/phones/pdas/mp3s/etc. (including electronic dictionaries). If you need
a foreign-language dictionary – bring a printed one!

CLASSROOM DIVERSITY STATEMENT: Respect for diversity is a core


value of NSCC. Our college community fosters an optimal learning climate and an
environment of mutual respect. We, the college community, recognize individual
differences. Therefore, we are responsible for the content and tone of our
statements and are empathetic speakers and listeners.

RESPECTFUL AND INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT: The instructor and


student share the responsibility to foster a learning environment that is welcoming,
supportive, and respectful of cultural and individual differences. Open and

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NORTH SEATTLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
BUSINESS 201, BUSINESS LAW
COURSE SYLLABUS, SUMMER QUARTER 2013

respectful communication that allows for the expression of varied opinions and
multicultural perspectives encourages us to learn freely from each other.

FRAGRANCE POLICY: Students are encouraged to refrain from wearing


heavily scented products during class sessions, since some individuals experience
chemical sensitivities to fragrances that interfere with their breathing – and that
interferes with learning!

STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES: Students are encouraged to seek campus


support services when necessary to support their learning and academic progress.
Refer to student handbook, brochures/flyers, or college website for information
about:

Disability Services (for ADA accommodations)


Tutoring Services
Library
LOFT Writing Center Plus
Counseling
Women’s Center
Multicultural Services Office
Veteran’s Office

Study Tips for the First and Second Week of Classes


North Seattle Community College Counseling Center
Lydia Minatoya, Ph.D.

1. Read the syllabus for each class you are taking. In the syllabus, the
instructor tells you what assignments you must do, by when. The syllabus
provides information such as: how the instructor will arrive at your grade, how
to contact your instructor if you have any questions about assignments, and
guidelines for behaviors your instructor expects. Let your instructor know
immediately, if you are unclear about any item on the syllabus or if you have
special needs or situations (such as a disability, or a job, family situation, or
bus commute that may occasionally make you late).

2. Do not miss class! If an emergency arises, e-mail the instructor before the
class and explain why you will miss and when you will return.

3. Smile and make friends with your classmates so you can share notes and
ask each other questions about assignments. Consider forming a study
group.

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NORTH SEATTLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
BUSINESS 201, BUSINESS LAW
COURSE SYLLABUS, SUMMER QUARTER 2013

4. Try to study on campus, where there are fewer distractions, so that when
you go home you can relax and pay attention to other things and people in your
life.

5. Study every day. Take notes on what you are reading so you will have a
summary (and less to review) when the test comes around.

6. Break big assignments into smaller tasks. This makes it easier to start.
Study for thirty minutes, take a five-minute break, and go back for thirty
minutes more. When memorizing (vocabulary lists, formulas, etc.) break lists
into shorter lists of three or four concepts/vocabulary words. Learn them, take
a break, and learn four more. If you try to learn a long list all at once, you may
remember the first four items and the last three, but everything in between will
likely be a blur.

7. Plan some leisure time every day (aim for one hour per day) and every
weekend (aim for a three to four hour block) to do something you enjoy! It is
easier to study when you know you have a break scheduled and it is easier to
relax and enjoy yourself when you know you have completed some of your
homework.

The NSCC Counseling Center helps students identify careers, pick programs of
study, strengthen study skills, manage time and stress, deal with depression,
confront prejudice and learn other student success skills.

Feeling depressed? PLEASE see a counselor at the Counseling Center – they have
helped many students over the years!!

REVIEW for Final Exams? Use your take-home exams as a source for
terminology to review, and the terminology-review list provided by your
instructor. Make sure you know each term and how it is used.

"Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes


from one generation to another."

G. K. Chesterton

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NORTH SEATTLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
BUSINESS 201, BUSINESS LAW
COURSE SYLLABUS, SUMMER QUARTER 2013

SCHEDULE OF ASSIGNMENTS1

Class Date Assignment

1 June 24 Ch. 1 (Introduction to Law): Pp. 5-12, 16-20

Ch. 2 (Bus. Ethics & Social Responsibility): Pp. 30-39;


brief Additional Questions2 (“AD”) 8

Ch. 3 (Dispute Resolution): All; brief AD 7/8 (AD 7 and 8


should be read as a single problem)

2 June 26 Ch. 4 (Common Law, Statutory Law & Admin. Law): Pp.
77-81, 84-85, 89-98

Ch. 5 (Constitutional Law): All; brief AD 4 & 9

3 July 1 Ch. 6 (Torts): All; brief AD 1, 5 and 7

4 July 3 FIRST QUIZ

Ch. 7 (Crime): Pp. 161-181

Ch. 9 (Introduction to Contracts): All; brief Exam Strategy


Question (p.241, Honeywell) and Exam Strategy Question
(p. 242, bottom, Hoffman; create one brief based on
Promissory Estoppel and one brief based on Quasi-
Contract)

5 July 8 Ch. 10 (Agreement): All; brief Exam Strategy Question (p.


265, top, Norv)

Ch. 11 (Consideration): All; brief AD 5 & 6

6 July 10 Ch. 12 (Legality): All; brief AD 2

Ch. 13 (Capacity and Consent): All; brief AD 1 & 6

1
NOTE: THIS SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. ANY CHANGES WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN
CLASS. ACCORDINGLY, ATTENDANCE IS CRITICAL.
2
WHILE MOST OF THESE “ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS” ARE FOLLOWED BY A SPECIFIC
QUESTION, IGNORE THE QUESTION ASKED AND INSTEAD BRIEF THE PROBLEM.

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NORTH SEATTLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
BUSINESS 201, BUSINESS LAW
COURSE SYLLABUS, SUMMER QUARTER 2013

7 July 15 Ch. 14 (Written Contracts): All; brief AD 4

Ch. 15 (Third Parties): All; brief AD 1

Ch. 16 (Performance and Discharge): Pp. 380-390; brief


Exam Strategy Question (P. 392, Omega Concrete)

8 July 17 MIDTERM EXAMINATION

Ch. 17 (Remedies): All; brief AD 2 & 7

9 July 22 Ch. 18 (Introduction to Sales): Pp. 426-440; brief AD 4

Ch. 19 (Ownership and Risk): All; brief AD 3 & 5

10 July 24 Ch. 20 (Warranties and Product Liability): All; brief AD 4,


5&7

11 July 29 Ch. 22 (Creating a Negotiable Instrument): Pp. 527-544;


brief AD 6

Ch. 23 (Liability for Negotiable Instruments): Pp. 552-


565, 570-571; brief AD 3

Ch. 24 (Liability for Negotiable Instruments: Banks and


Their Customers): Pp. 578-594

12 July 31 SECOND QUIZ

Ch. 25 (Secured Transactions): All; brief AD 3 & 9

Ch. 26 (Bankruptcy): All; brief AD 8

13 August 5 TURN IN EXTRA CREDIT ASSIGNMENT

Ch. 27 (Agency): All; brief AD 4 & 9

Ch. 28 (Employment Law): All; brief AD 8

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NORTH SEATTLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
BUSINESS 201, BUSINESS LAW
COURSE SYLLABUS, SUMMER QUARTER 2013

14 August 7 Ch. 29 (Starting a Business: LLC’s and Other Options):


All; brief AD 4

Ch. 30 (Corporations): All; brief AD 1 & 7

15 August 12 Ch. 32 (Property): All; brief AD 6

Ch. 33 (Cyberlaw): All; brief AD 4

Ch. 34 (Intellectual Property): All; brief AD 5

16 August 14 FINAL EXAMINATION

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