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Introduction to Business Law

 Introduction to Business Law


Extra Credit Options

Students may earn a maximum of 50 points of extra credit throughout the course. Several options are listed below. Students may only do one extra credit assignment from each of the categories listed below. Students may propose other extra credit options for the instructor’s approval.

Please note that any incident of cheating on extra credit work will result in the forfeiting of all extra credit points in the class.Examples of cheating would be – using descriptions of films from Wikipedia, turning in work originally created by someone else, working together and turning in substantially similar papers, etc.


1)         SUPPLMENTAL INSTRUCTION (5 points per exam)

Complete 3 SI sessions before each exam.These are not cumulative.You must attend three before exam 1 to get 5 points, 3 more before exam 2 to get 5 points and 3 more before the final exam to get 5 points.

2)         INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS (Up to 10 points)

You may sign up with the instructor at the beginning of the term to complete an international business component for one of the course topics.You are responsible for researching how the topic is treated in a foreign nation (e.g. copyright in China) and then giving a 5 minute presentation to the class about that issue.You will turn in a 2-3 page (double-spaced) paper on the issue and its treatment in that foreign nation.

3)         POP CULTURE (Up to 15 points each –may only do one from each category)

Deadline: The first class period after Thanksgiving break


Watch a documentary movie such as:The Corporation (copyright dated 2005 and available at Cline Library with call number DVD 1315).Who Killed the Electric Car, Fast Food, Fat Profits: Obesity in America, The Last Mogul: The Life and Times of Lew Wasserman, Something Ventured, Food, Inc., Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Blackfish, Downloaded, or The Supreme Court (Cline Library:DVD 2517) – 4 volumes.There are others – please pop me a note and get my approval.Students must turn in a 5 page minimum, double-spaced paper with an analysis of legal and ethical issues related to the birth and growth of the corporation in America.Please note that parts of this documentary are not politically neutral.Feel free to agree or disagree with any of the information set forth.Share what surprised you, angered you, etc.


  1. COURT

Attend at least 2 hours of a business-related trial (could be civil or criminal but must have a business focus – most likely a business as a party) and write a 5 page minimum, double-spaced paper on what you observed and the issues from this course that came up during the trial.



Watch one of the following movies:A Civil Action, Philadelphia, Liar, Liar, The Rainmaker,Monsters, Inc.or Runaway Jury.Students must turn in a 5 page minimum, double-spaced paper with an analysis of legal and ethical issues seen in the film.Do NOT just give me a summary of the film, but use short descriptions of events in the film to discuss legal and ethical issues that you see that relate to a business law course.Discuss what the characters (or companies) did that was concerning and how they could have avoided the problems that arise because of their actions.



Watch any 5 or more episodes of a reality television show with a business focus.Examples are The Apprentice, Shark Tank, or Undercover Boss)and write a 5 page minimum paperwith a very brief description of the task to introduce the legal and ethical issues.Students should use direct examples of legal or ethical conflicts from the show and should discuss legal and ethical issues that the participants should be thinking about given the task they are to complete.Students will not get points if they merely describe the episodes.


(For example, if the task is to run a lemonade stand, the paper should discuss selection of corporate form, employment law, advertising issues, etc.).Episode 1 of Season 6 of the Apprentice cannot be used as it is the example.The following page would be an acceptable analysis of episode 1.



In Episode 1 of the Apprentice 6, the teams were assigned to work a car wash.Each team was responsible for promotion and sales.The team earning the most money would be the winner.There are several legal and ethical issues that could arise from such a task.First, water is a scarce resource, especially in California.One must consider the ethics of promoting the use of water for washing cars.Issues to investigate would be the use of reclaimed water, recycled water, etc.Second are issues related to safety and disposal of the chemicals or detergents used in washing cars.Other issues to consider in the car wash industry generally would include liability for damage to the cars or property within the cars, labor issues if people are hired to do the washing and drying rather than a machine wash, tax issues (social security, Medicare, state and federal income taxes, sales taxes, etc.).Advertising also could be an issue.


For example, in the episode, one team, assigned to the largely gay neighborhood of West Hollywood, chose to hire male models to promote the car wash with their shirts off.One should consider the ethics of using sex or sexuality to sell a product or service.Also, one should consider the ethics of stereotyping clientele based on the neighborhood or location. In this situation, the team should consider if anyone would be alienated by the use of half-nude male models. The other team in the episode chose to lure customers in for a $10 car wash and then “push” upgraded washes.There are ethical considerations, and potential legal considerations here. Was this tactic a form of bait and switch, where one item is advertised and then pressure put on to purchase a different and more expensive product?Is it ethical to offer something and lure in customers and then use sales tactics to get an upper hand?

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