WK 1 DQ Chapter 2

Post three paragraphs about three things you found most interesting in Chapters 1 or 2Post three paragraphs about three things you found most interesting in Chapters 1 or 2Chapter 1 Introduction to Law and Legal SystemsBlack’s Law Dictionary says that law is “a body of rules of action or conduct prescribed by controlling authority, and having binding legal force.Law has different meanings as well as different functions.  It affects the rights and duties of every citizen and many non-citizens.Law is both prohibitory, meaning certain acts must not be committed, and mandatory, meaning certain acts must be done, sometimes in a set way. Additionally, law is permissive: certain acts are allowed, but not required by the law.A. What Is LawFunctions of LawThe functions of law can serve to (1) keep the peace, (2) maintain the status quo, (3) preserve individual rights, (4) protect minorities against majorities, (5) promote social justice, and (6) provide for orderly social change. Some legal systems.• the empire may have kept the peace—largely with force—but it changed the status quo and seldom promoted the native peoples’ rights or social justice within the colonized nationLaw and Politics • In the federal system, judges are appointed by an elected official (the president) and confirmed by other elected officials (the Senate).• In most nation-states (as countries are called in international law), knowing who has power to make and enforce the laws is a matter of knowing who has political power.B. Schools of Legal ThoughtThere are different schools (or philosophies) concerning what law is all about. Jurisprudence-the Philosophy of law, and the two main schools are legal positivism and natural law.Legal Positivism: Law as Sovereign CommandLaw is only law, in other words, if it comes from a recognized authority and can be enforced by that authority, or sovereign—However, positivism is a philosophical movement that claims that science provides the only knowledge precise enough to be worthwhileNatural LawNatural law, also called the law of nature in moral and political philosophy, is an objective norm or set of objective norms governing human behavior, similar to the positive laws of a human ruler, but binding on all people alike and usually understood as involving a superhuman legislator.Other Schools of Legal ThoughtThis school emphasizes—and would modify—the long-standing domination of men over both women and the rest of the natural world.C. Basic Concepts and Categories of US Positive LawLaws and Legal system of other nations.
Law: The Moral Minimums in a Democratic SocietyThe law does not correct (or claim to correct) every wrong that occurs in society. it aims to curb the worst kind of wrongs, the kinds of wrongs that violate what might be called the “moral minimums” that a community demands of its members. These include not only violations of criminal law, but also torts, and broken promises.The Common Law: Property, Torts, and Contracts• Property Law – deals with the rights and duties of those who can legally own land (real property), how that ownership can be legally confirmed and protected, how property can be bought and sold, what the rights of tenants (renters) are, and what the various kinds of “estates” in land are (e.g., fee simple, life estate, future interest, easements, or rights of way).• Contract Law — deals with what kinds of promises courts should enforce.• Tort Law — deals with the types of cases that involve some kind of harm and or injury between the plaintiff and the defendant when no contract existsState Courts and the Domain of State LawStates had jurisdiction (the power to make and enforce laws) over the most important aspects of business life. The power of state law has historically included governing the following kinds of issues and claims:• Contracts, including sales, commercial paper, letters of credit, and secured transactions• Torts• Corporations• Partnerships• Banking • InsuranceCivil versus Criminal Cases• In a Civil Case – you would not be sent to prison; in the worst case, you can lose property (usually money or other assets).• In a Criminal Case – it involves a governmental decision—whether state or federal—to prosecute someone (named as a defendant) for violating society’s laws.Substance versus Procedure Many rules and regulations in law are substantive, and others are procedural. The substantive rules tell us how to act with one another and with the government. For example, all of the following are substantive rules of law and provide a kind of command or direction to citizens: • Drive not more than fifty-five miles per hour where that speed limit is posted.• Do not discriminate against job applicants or employees on the basis of their race, sex, religion, or national origin.• Do not discharge certain pollutants into the river without first getting a discharge permitD. Sources of Law and Their PriorityIn the United States today, there are numerous sources of law. The main ones are (1) constitutions—both state and federal, (2) statutes and agency regulations, and (3) judicial decisions. • Constitutions – are the foundation for a state or nation’s other laws, providing the country’s legislative, executive, and judicial framework.• Statutes and Treaties in Congress – In Washington, DC, the federal legislature is known as Congress and has both a House of Representatives and a Senate. The House is composed of representatives elected every two years from various districts in each state. In the Senate, there are two senators from each state, regardless of the state’s population.• Delegating Legislative Powers: Rules by Administrative Agencies – The Constitution does not expressly provide for administrative agencies, but the US Supreme Court has upheld the delegation of power to create federal agencies.• State Statutes and Agencies: Other Codified Law – Statutes are passed by legislatures and provide general rules for society. States have legislatures (sometimes called assemblies), which are usually made up of both a senate and a house of representatives.• Judicial Decisions: The Common Law – Common law consists of decisions by courts (judicial decisions) that do not involve interpretation of statutes, regulations, treaties, or the Constitution.Priority of Laws• The Constitution as Preemptive Force in US Law – The US Constitution takes precedence over all statutes and judicial decisions that are inconsistent.• Statutes and Cases – Statutes generally have priority, or take precedence, over case law (judicial decisions).• Treaties as Statutes: The “Last in Time” Rule – A treaty or convention is considered of equal standing to a statuteCauses of Action, Precedent, and Stare Decisis• Causes of Action – Your cause of action is thus based on existing laws, including decided cases• Precedent – How closely your case “fits” with a prior decided case• Stare Decisis (Latin for “Let the decision stand”)  – court considering one case would feel obliged to decide that case in a way similar to previously decided cases. E. Legal and Political Systems of the WorldOur legal and political traditions are different both in what kinds of laws we make and honor and in how disputes are resolved in court.Comparing Common-Law Systems with Other Legal SystemsThere are differences among common-law systems (e.g., most nations do not permit their judiciaries to declare legislative acts unconstitutional; some nations use the jury less frequently), all of them recognize the use of precedent in judicial cases, and none of them relies on the comprehensive, legislative codes that are prevalent in civil-law systems.Civil-Law SystemsA civil-law or code-law system is one where all the legal rules are in one or more comprehensive legislative enactments. The code is used to resolve particular cases, usually by judges without a jury. Moreover, the judges are not required to follow the decisions of other courts in similar cases.
Chapter 2 Corporate Social Responsibility and Business EthicsA great society is a society in which [leaders] of business think greatly about their functions. However, business organizations ignore the ethical and social expectations of consumers, employees, the media, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), government officials, and socially responsible investors at their peril. This chapter has a fairly modest aim: to introduce potential businesspeople to the differences between legal compliance and ethical excellence by reviewing some of the philosophical perspectives that apply to business, businesspeople, and the role of business organizations in society.I.  What Is Ethics?Most of those who write about ethics do not make a clear distinction between ethics and morality. The question of what is “right” or “morally correct” or “ethically correct” or “morally desirable” in any situation is variously phrased, but all of the words and phrases are after the same thing: what act is “better” in a moral or ethical sense than some other act? There are three key points here:1. Although morals and ethics are not precisely measurable, people generally have similar reactions about what actions or conduct can rightly be called ethical or moral.2. As humans, we need and value ethical people and want to be around them.3. Saying that someone or some organization is law-abiding does not mean the same as saying a person or company is ethical.How Do Law and Ethics Differ?There is a difference between legal compliance and moral excellence. There are many professional ethics codes, primarily because people realize that law prescribes only a minimum of morality and does not provide purpose or goals that can mean excellent service to customers, clients, or patients. Here are two propositions about business and ethics. Consider whether they strike you as true or whether you would need to know more in order to make a judgment. (1) Individuals and organizations have reputations. (2) The goodwill of an organization is to a great extent based on the actions it takes and on whether the actions are favorably viewed.Why Should an Individual or a Business Entity Be Ethical?The usual answer is that good ethics is good business. In the long run, businesses that pay attention to ethics as well as law do better; they are viewed more favorably by customers. By focusing on pushing the edge of what is legal, by looking for loopholes in the law that would help create short-term financial gain, companies have often learned that in the long term they are not actually satisfying the market, the shareholders, the suppliers, or the community generally.II. Major Ethical PerspectivesThere are several well-respected ways of looking at ethical issues. Some of them have been around for centuries.  Here, we take a brief look at (1) utilitarianism, (2) deontology, (3) social justice and social contract theory, and (4) virtue theory. We are leaving out some important perspectives, such as general theories of justice and “rights” and feminist thought about ethics and patriarchy.UtilitarianismUtilitarianism is a prominent perspective on ethics, one that is well aligned with economics and the free-market outlook that has come to dominate much current thinking about business, management, and economics. An action (or set of actions) is generally deemed good or right if it maximizes happiness or pleasure throughout society. Rules and Duty: DeontologyIn contrast to the utilitarian perspective, the deontological view presented in the writings of Immanuel Kant purports that having a moral intent and following the right rules is a better path to ethical conduct than achieving the right results. For Kantian thinkers, this basic principle of equality means that we should be able to universalize any particular law or action to determine whether it is ethical. There are two requirements for a rule of action to be universal: consistency and reversibility.  (1) Consider reversibility: if you make a decision as though you didn’t know what role or position you would have after the decision, you would more likely make an impartial one—you would more likely choose a course of action that would be most fair to all concerned, not just you. (2) The second requirement for an action to be universal is the search for consistency. This is more abstract.Social Justice Theory and Social Contract TheorySocial justice theorists worry about “distributive justice”—that is, what is the fair way to distribute goods among a group of people? Even the most dedicated free-market capitalist will often admit the need for some government and some forms of welfare—Social Security, Medicare, assistance to flood-stricken areas, help for AIDs patients—along with some public goods (such as defense, education, highways, parks, and support of key industries affecting national security). It is important to realize that a social contract can be changed by the participants in a community, just as the US Constitution can be amended. Social contract theory is thus dynamic—it allows for structural and organic changes. Another important movement in ethics and society is the communitarian outlook. Communitarians emphasize that rights carry with them corresponding duties; that is, there cannot be a right without a duty.Aristotle and Virtue TheoryVirtue theory, or virtue ethics, has received increasing attention over the past twenty years, particularly in contrast to utilitarian and deontological approaches to ethics. Virtue theory emphasizes the value of virtuous qualities rather than formal rules or useful results. Aristotle believed that all activity was aimed at some goal or perceived good and that there must be some ranking that we do among those goals or goods. Aristotle named fourteen virtues: (1) courage, particularly in battle; (2) temperance, or moderation in eating and drinking; (3) liberality, or spending money well; (4) magnificence, or living well; (5) pride, or taking pleasure in accomplishments and stature; (6) high-mindedness, or concern with the noble rather than the petty; (7) unnamed virtue, which is halfway between ambition and total lack of effort; (8) gentleness, or concern for others; (9) truthfulness; (10) wit, or pleasure in group discussions; (11) friendliness, or pleasure in personal conduct; (12) modesty, or pleasure in personal conduct; (13) righteous indignation, or getting angry at the right things and in the right amounts; and (14) justice.Josephson’s Core Values Analysis and Decision ProcessMichael Josephson, a noted American ethicist, believes that a current set ofcore values has been identified and that the values can be meaningfully applied to a variety of personal and corporate decisions. When asked what values people hold dear, what values they wish to be known by, and what values they wish others would exhibit in their actions, six values consistently turn up: (1) trustworthiness, (2) respect, (3) responsibility, (4) fairness, (5) caring, and (6) citizenship.III. An Ethical Decision Model A. Josephson’s Core Values ModelOnce you recognize that there is a decision that involves ethical judgment, Michael Josephson would first have you ask as many questions as are necessary to get a full background on the relevant facts. Then assuming you have all the needed information, the decision process is as follows:1. Identify the stakeholders. That is, who are the potential gainers and losers in the various decisions that might be made here?2. Identify several likely or reasonable decisions that could be made.3. Consider which stakeholders gain or lose with each decision.4. Determine which decision satisfies the greatest number of core values.5. If there is no decision that satisfies the greatest number of core values, try to determine which decision delivers the greatest good to the various stakeholders.The Core ValuesTrustworthiness: Be honest—tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; be sincere, forthright; don’t deceive, mislead, or be tricky with the truth; don’t cheat or steal, and don’t betray a trust. Respect: Judge people on their merits, not their appearance; be courteous, polite, appreciative, and accepting of differences; Responsibility: Be accountable—think about the consequences on yourself and others likely to be affected before you act; Fairness: Treat all people fairly, be open-minded; listen; consider opposing viewpoints; Caring: Show you care about others through kindness, caring, sharing, compassion, and empathy; Citizenship: Play by the rules, obey laws; do your share, respect authority, stay informed, vote, protect your neighbors, pay your taxes;IV. Corporations and Corporate GovernanceA. Legal Organization of the CorporationShareholders elect directors, who then hire officers to manage the company. The directors of a corporation do not meet that often, it’s possible for the officers hired (top management, or the “C-suite”) to be selective of what the board knows about, and directors are not always ready and able to provide the oversight that the shareholders would like. But as owners, shareholders have the ultimate power to replace nonperforming or underperforming directors, which usually results in changes at the C-suite level as well.B. Shareholders and StakeholdersThere are two main views about what the corporation’s duties are. The first view—maximizing profits—is the prevailing view among business managers and in business schools. In terms of the legal organization of the corporation, the shareholders elect directors who hire managers, who have legally prescribed duties toward both directors and shareholders. In law, this is called the manager’s fiduciary duty. Directors have the same duties toward shareholders.Maximizing Profits: Milton FriedmanEconomist Milton Friedman is often quoted as having said that the only moral duty a corporation has is to make the most possible money, or to maximize profits, for its stockholders. Friedman’s beliefs are noted at length (see sidebar on Friedman’s article from the New York Times), but he asserted in a now-famous 1970 article that in a free society, “there is one and only one social responsibility of business.“The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits”A corporation is an artificial person and in this sense may have artificial responsibilities, but “business” as a whole cannot be said to have responsibilities, even in this vague sense. T]he manager is that agent of the individuals who own the corporation or establish the eleemosynary institution, and his primary responsibility is to them. Stakeholder TheoryStakeholders of a corporation include its employees, suppliers, customers, and the community. Stakeholder is a deliberate play on the word shareholder, to emphasize that corporations have obligations that extend beyond the bottom-line aim of maximizing profits. A stakeholder is anyone who most would agree is significantly affected (positively or negatively) by the decision of another moral agent.The key concept for corporations is the legal fact of limited liability. The benefit of limited liability for shareholders of a corporation meant that larger pools of capital could be aggregated for larger enterprises; shareholders could only lose their investments should the venture fail in any way, and there would be no personal liability and thus no potential loss of personal assets other than the value of the corporate stock. According to stakeholder theorists, corporations (and other business organizations) must pay attention not only to the bottom line but also to their overall effect on the community.Corporate Culture and Codes of EthicsA corporation is a “person” capable of suing, being sued, and having rights and duties in our legal system. Moreover, many corporations have distinct cultures and beliefs that are lived and breathed by its members. What follows is a series of observations about corporations, ethics, and corporate culture.Ethical Leadership Is Top-DownPeople in an organization tend to watch closely what the top managers do and say. Regardless of managers’ talk about ethics, employees quickly learn what speech or actions are in fact rewarded.Accountability Is Often WeakClever managers can learn to shift blame to others, take credit for others’ work, and move on before “funny numbers” or other earnings management tricks come to light.Killing the MessengerWhere organizations no longer function, inevitably some employees are unhappy. Managers like to hear good news and discourage bad news. Intentionally or not, those who told on others, or blew the whistle, have rocked the boat and become unpopular with those whose defalcations they report on and with the managers who don’t really want to hear the bad news. In many organizations, “killing the messenger” solves the problem.Ethics CodesEthics codes have been put in place—partly in response to federal sentencing guidelines and partly to encourage feedback loops to top management. The best ethics codes are aspirational, or having an ideal to be pursued, not legalistic or compliance driven. The Johnson & Johnson ethics code predated the Tylenol scare and the company’s oft-celebrated corporate response. Ethics Hotlines and Federal Sentencing GuidelinesThe federal sentencing guidelines were enacted in 1991. The original idea behind these guidelines was for Congress to correct the lenient treatment often given to white-collar, or corporate, criminals. They can show this by providing evidence that they have (1) a viable, active code of ethics; (2) a way for employees to report violations of law or the ethics code; and (3) an ethics ombudsman, or someone who oversees the code.Managing by the NumbersIf you manage by the numbers, there is a temptation to lie about those numbers, based on the need to get stock price ever higher. It dictates not only how people judge the worth of their company but also how they feel about themselves and the work that they are doing. And, over time, it has clouded judgments about what is acceptable corporate behavior.Managing by Numbers: The Sears Auto Center StorySears Roebuck & Company has been a fixture in American retailing throughout the twentieth century. The authorities were alerted by a 50 percent increase in consumer complaints over a three-year period. New Jersey’s division of consumer affairs also investigated Sears Auto Centers and found that all six visited by investigators had recommended unnecessary repairs.Conscious CapitalismCompanies that practice conscious capitalism embrace the idea that profit and prosperity can and must go hand in hand with social justice and environmental stewardship. The “conscious business” has a purpose that goes beyond maximizing profits. It is designed to maximize profits but is focused more on its higher purpose and does not fixate solely on the bottom line. This requires that company managers take a “servant leadership” role, serving as stewards to the company’s deeper purpose and to the company’s stakeholders.

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WK 1 DQ Website #1Explore the site and write a two paragraph summary of what you found.http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/
WK 2 DQ Chapter 4Why would Congress have power under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to require restaurants and hotels to not discriminate against interstate travelers on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin? Suppose the Holiday Restaurant near I-80 in Des Moines, Iowa, has a sign that says, “We reserve the right to refuse service to any Muslim or person of Middle Eastern descent.” Suppose also that the restaurant is very popular locally and that only 40 percent of its patrons are travelers on I-80. Are the owners of the Holiday Restaurant in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? What would happen if the owners resisted enforcement by claiming that Title II of the act (relating to “public accommodations” such as hotels, motels, and restaurants) was unconstitutional?

 

 

WK 2 Assignment Chapter 3Answer the following three questions.1. Why all of this complexity? Why don’t state courts hear only claims based on state law, and federal courts only federal-law-based claims?2. Why would a plaintiff in Iowa with a case against a New Jersey defendant prefer to have the case heard in Iowa?3. James, a New Jersey resident, is sued by Jonah, an Iowa resident. After a trial in which James appears and vigorously defends himself, the Iowa state court awards Jonah $136,750 dollars in damages for his tort claim. In trying to collect from James in New Jersey, Jonah must have the New Jersey court certify the Iowa judgment. Why, ordinarily, must the New Jersey court do so?

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