BL 2413 Legal Environment of Business by 06mW5637


									                  COURSE SYLLABUS BL2413               SUMMER 2009

BL 2413 Legal Environment of Business        Summer, 2009
Dr. Gloria J. Liddell, Attorney at Law, Assistant Professor, Business Law
Dept. of Marketing, Quantitative Analysis and Business Law
Room: 324N McCool Hall           Phone: 325-3163 (This is the best way to reach me.)
Check your official university email account regularly. Frequent communications may be made
using this medium.
Graduate Assistant: Contact the GA, Katie Compton, at, for questions regarding
grade and attendance records. Graduate Assistant: Katie Compton,, for questions
regarding grade and attendance records.
Office Hours: By appointment
Class Meeting: Section 51 - 10:00a – 11:50a, Room 126, McCool Hall
Text: The Legal Environment of Business, 3 Edition; Eshee, et. al ; Rockwell Press (2008)
Ethics Text: Ethics Essentials for Business Leaders, Brian T. Engelland and William D. Eshee, Jr.,
Rockwell Press, 2007
Grade Scale: A=90-100; B=80-89; C=70-79; D=60-69 F=below 60
You are required to attend every class and be on time. It is your responsibility to find out about any
assignments missed because of an absence. Quizzes cannot be made up, except by approved extra credit
work (see below). Homework and Tests can be made up only with a written medical excuse, or
documentation of an official school outing. It is your responsibility to immediately contact the professor
to arrange to take a make-up test within one (1) day after the date the test was given Failure to take a make
up within the prescribed time will result in an “F” for that test.

All corrections to attendance records must be made no later than the next class after the incorrect
attendance record was recorded. All final corrections must be requested by July 27, 2009.

 If you do not sign the roll you are absent from class. You may not sign the roll if you are tardy (more
than 10 minutes late). You may not sign the roll for anyone but yourself. On test days no one will be
admitted to class after the test has begun. Check the web daily or ask to see attendance records.

Attendance Rule: Attendance affects your grade. You are allowed one absence during the semester
regardless of the reason without losing any points. Since you may catch a cold, have car trouble or have a
family emergency or something else that may cause you to have to miss a day, use your absences wisely.
You will lose 1% off of your final grade per absence after the 2nd absence regardless of the reason, unless
it is an officially approved school outing/activity; or you have a documented disability for which the
documentation states certain absences are required during the semester. If you have an official school
outing, please email me so that those outings won’t be included in your one absence. If you have a
documented disability that prevents you from attending class, please provide me the documentation.
Official recorded roll taking begins on Tuesday, July 7. Signing the roll for someone other than you is
considered cheating and academic misconduct, will result in an “F” in the course and also will be reported
to the appropriate university official. WE SPOT CHECK SIGNATURES!

Courtesy Requests:
*Arrive in class on time. If you must be late, walk in quietly. Do not leave class early except with prior
approved permission. (By the way, pop quizzes may be given right at the beginning of class.)
*Do not sleep in class or lay your head on the desk, unless the professor is sleeping too ☺.
*All cell phones, laptops and other electronic devices turned off BEFORE entering class and kept put
*Do not read newspapers, information on laptops or other materials other than business law materials that
you should be reading in class.
*On homework due days, fold homework vertically before entering class and put your name, section, date
and homework number on the outside. Place homework on the front table before sitting.
*No eating or drinking in the classroom (unless you bring enough for everybody, including THE
TEACHER! She loves to eat - especially pound cake!)
*Remove hats and keep your underwear “under” as a sign of respect.
*No throwing spit balls or other flying objects at the teacher (ok, you are allowed to ball up a paper on
which you are mad about the grade you got, but you can’t put any rocks or other hard objects inside of it,
and you can’t ball it up any tighter than the size of a fist - a BIG fist.)
If you need academic accommodations based on a disability, contact the office of Student Support Services
in Room 01 Montgomery Hall (325-3335) or email Julie Berry at

Description of Course:
This is a basic survey course describing the legal environment of business. A basic working knowledge of
the law as well as a review of the role the law fulfills in training the business manager for the decision-
making process will be provided. A special emphasis will be made to master “legal jargon” in order to
better understand legal concepts and materials in this class and in the everyday business world. You will
also be expected to keep apprised of current events that relate to instructional material.

    (1) To familiarize the student with our legal system, its history and its methods of operation, including
        certain issues peculiar to business organizations;
    (2) To enable the student to acquire a working knowledge of basic legal terminology;
    (3) To develop in the student a recognition of moral, global, and diversity principles that arise in
        daily activities in the workplace particularly pertaining to laws that affect our society;
    (4) To develop law related communication skills.

Area of Common Body of Knowledge Covered:
The student will be exposed to the background of the law and as it pertains to business organizations.

Specific Topics covered: (May be revised) (Ethics covered throughout the course.)

Unit 1: The Philosophy of Law
Chapters 1, 2, and 3 ,

Unit 2: Public and Private Law, International Law (Global Issues)
Chapters 4, 5, 7 and Ethics Ch. 1, 2, 3

Unit 3: Business Organizations
Chapters 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and Ethics Ch. 1-6

Unit 4: Contracts and the UCC, Employment Law and Bankruptcy Law
Chapters 14, 15, 18 and 22

Detailed Daily Agenda (May be revised):
(On certain days less material is covered to accommodate pop quizzes, group quizzes and oral
presentations. On other days more material may be covered than scheduled. Be prepared by staying at least
one chapter ahead.)

Mon., July 6               “Get-to-know-you”; Syllabus
                            Chapter 1 – The Significance of Law

Tues., July 7              Chapter 2 - American Courts and Nongovernmental Resolution of Disputes
                                  “Ethics Essentials” – Chapter 1

         Syllabus Quiz - Roll taking begins

Wed., July 8         Chapter 3 – The Civil Trial - Pages 69-108
        Homework #1 Due

Thurs, July 9            Chapter 3 – The Civil Trial – Pages 109-113
                         “Ethics Essentials” – Chapter 2

Friday, July 10          TEST #1 (no ethics on this test)

Mon., July 13            Chapter 4 - Criminal Law and White Collar Crime
                         Chapter 5 - Torts
                         “Ethics Essentials” - Chapter 3

Tues, July 14             Chapter 6 –
                          Presentations of Midterm Papers

         Turn in Mandatory Midterm Paper - Hwk#2 (“F” in the course if paper not turned in on time.

Wed., July 15             Ethics Discussion

Thurs., July 16          Chapter 7 – International Law
                         Review for Test 2

Fri., July 17            TEST #2 (Includes all ethics to date)

Mon, July 20             Chapter 8 & 9 – Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships
                         Chapters 10 – Corporations Part I

Tues., July 21           Chapters 11&12 – Corporations Part II
                         “Ethics Essentials” - Chapter 4

Wed., July 22         Chapter 13 - LLC’s
                      “BL Survivor”
         Homework #3 Due

Thurs, July 23           Ethics Discussion – “Ethics Essentials” Chapters 4, 5, 6

Fri., July 24            TEST #3 (includes ethics)

Mon., July 27             Chapter 14 – Contracts
                          “How to Make a Baby” and “How to Make a Pound Cake” (both involve eggs!)
         Last Day Extra Credit Presentations
         Last Day to request correction to grade and attendance records
Tues, July 28            Chapter 15 – UCC pages 567-590
Wed., July 29             Chapter 18 – Employment Law
                         Oral presentation of Lexis Nexis Cases

        Homework #4 Due

Thurs., July 30          Chapter 22 – Bankruptcy Law
                         Liddell Jeopardy – Chapters 14, 15, 18, & 22
Fri., July 31              TEST 4 (no ethics)

There will be five unit tests. These tests will count as 50% of your grade. There will be various quizzes and
homework assignments, which will count as 25% of your grade. The Final Exam will count 25% of your
For homework you will receive either an “S” if you do it right, “I” if you do it incorrectly or incomplete, or
a “U” if you do not do it at all. If you receive an “I” on your homework you will have until the next class
period to turn it in corrected or it will become a “U”. Failure to type homework earns a grade of “U”.
These quizzes and homework assignments will count together as 25% of your grade. All homework
combined counts as three quiz grades; therefore if you get an “S” on all your homework you receive three
quiz grades of 100.

Calculate your final grade as follows: Multiply .50 x your test average and multiply .25 x your
quiz/homework average and multiply .25 x your final exam average. Add these three scores together. (If
you are exempt from the final your tests count as 67% and your quizzes and homework count as 33%.)
Don’t forget your homework grade equals 3 quiz grades and must be averaged into your quiz average.
Then deduct 1% from this average for each absence after the first two absences and this is your final grade.

All corrections to grade records must be requested no later than one week after the disputed grade is posted
on the web or made available in class, whichever is sooner. ALL final corrections to disputed grade records
and attendance records must be requested by July 27, 2009 (except for Test 4 and homework 4).

 Remember, “what you make is what you get.” Do not ask for any special consideration or extra
assignments to make up poor grades you have earned (not even for one twenty-eighth of a point) except
as stated in “Extra Credit Opportunities” pertaining to missed quizzes. Just study hard and come to class.
Remember, this is a reading and memorization course to a great extent, therefore it does not usually pay to
wait until the last minute to cram – there is just too much stuff. But if you make note cards as you go along
or keep good notes in a notebook, chances are you will retain more info for test time. (Ask about the “right
pile/wrong pile” game as a study tool - it works!)

You are responsible for reading all material covered in the text outlined above before you come to class
each day and all material covered in class which may not be in the text.
The standing assignment is to be prepared for the material to be covered in class. We may cover more
chapters in one day, so be prepared. Pop quizzes will be given.
All homework assignments are due on time. Late assignments will not be accepted unless you have a
written medical emergency, in which case the late assignment must be turned in no later than the first class
period after your medical emergency is over. All homework assignments must be typewritten.

MANDATORY MID-TERM PAPER (see homework schedule)
The report is due on Tuesday, July 14, 2009, within the first ten minutes of the start of class - no
excuses. Computer disk or printer problems, among other things, are not acceptable excuses. Failure to
complete this paper will result in an “F” in the course. You will receive both a homework grade and two
quiz grades for this exercise. This, like all homework, is not a group project and must be all your own
work. If not, you will receive an “F” in the course and this will be treated as a cheating incident+.

Notebook Quizzes: Unless stated otherwise, your own personal notes in spiral bound notebooks only
may be used for pop quizzes. Your notebook must have your name signed on the outside and each page of
the notebook. (No sharing of notes.) Using the notes of any other student or former student for a quiz or
any other assignment constitutes cheating+.
At the discretion of the professor you may have an opportunity to earn extra credit quiz grades on non-test
days when there is time. Ask permission to discuss a current event that developed within the past 12
months on a topic covered in our syllabus. To do this you must first ask permission to prepare a 750-word
written report on this event to be presented to the class in an oral presentation using notes from your written
report. You will receive an extra credit grade for your presentation. E-mail me in advance with your
proposed topic and wait for approval of the topic before you begin. You may not present the report if
someone else has already received permission to report on this event. The grade on this extra credit
assignment will replace your lowest quiz grade. You can do only one per class and three for the semester, if
there is time and no one else has presented a paper on that topic. At least six references must be
incorporated and footnoted in your written report. Your report should include at least one paragraph of your
opinion about the topic. The last day to do extra credit is Monday, July 27. Do not wait until the last
minute since you may not know until it is too late that you need to do extra credit.

+Cheating is taken very seriously in this class. If you are caught cheating on quizzes or tests you will
receive an “F” out of the course automatically, and the cheating incident will be reported to the appropriate
university official as academic misconduct. Any form of plagiarism is also considered cheating. Failure to
put quotes and a footnote reference on quoted material is plagiarism. You are encouraged to review the
MSU Academic Operating Policy and Procedure Manual. All violations of the Honor Code will be dealt
with in accordance with the guidelines and procedures outlined. ( See AOP 12.07--Honor Code and go to ) Mississippi State University has approved an Honor Code that
states as follows: “As a Mississippi State University student I will conduct myself with honor and integrity
at all times. I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor will I accept the actions of those who do.”

If you need any special assistance due to any type of disability, it is your responsibility to advise me and
provide me with appropriate documentation. We will assist you with any reasonable accommodation.
HOMEWORK - No other announcements will be made regarding homework. It is the responsibility of the
student to complete and turn in the assignments by the due date. Homework is due no later than five
minutes after the beginning of the class period. No late homework accepted without medical

                                         HOMEWORK SCHEDULE
      (All homework must be done individually, must be your original work and MUST be typed.)
Assignment No.1 Due Wed., July 8, 2009
Prepare an autobiography of at least 1000 words. In your last paragraph discuss what you expect to learn in
this class and how it relates to your career, either directly or indirectly. If you don’t plan to learn anything,
just pretend.☺

Assignment No.2 Due Tue., July 14, 2009
MANDATORY MID-TERM PAPER: You are required to interview an attorney or judge (city, county,
state or federal). This interview can be done in person, by telephone or email. If you are not able to get
complete answers from the one you selected, you must interview a second person. The following is the

Part I. Background Information
Name of Person Interviewed:
How did you meet this person?:
Title of Person Interviewed:
Office Address of Person Interviewed:
Phone or Email Address of Person Interviewed:
How the Interview was Conducted:
Date of Interview:
Time of Interview:
Length of Interview:
Part II. Biographical Information (re. person interviewed)
Highest Degree Obtained:
Date Degree Obtained:
School Where Highest Degree Obtained:
Undergraduate School:
Undergraduate Major:
Types of Professional Positions Held:

Part III. In Depth Questions (Try to get more than one word answers)
1. How is your personal life affected by your career decision?
2. Why did you choose your career?
3. Has your reason for choosing your career changed since you went to law school?
4. Is knowledge of the law important in your opinion?
5. What kinds of careers are available to a person who goes to law school?
6. What do you do on your job on a daily basis?
7. Do you think a course in business law is important to take for the field I am majoring in?
8. How do you see law affecting the everyday person?
9. How do you see law impacting the world economy and international matters?
10. Do you believe a business person should study ethics?

Failure to do this assignment #2 will result in an “F” in the course.
Assignment No.3 Due Wed., July 22
 Prepare a paper of at least 750 words on a type of business you have or would like to form if you could,
select a name for it, briefly state why you would like to form that type of business, and discuss in detail
which type of business organization you should use to form it and detail why you should select that type.

Assignment No.4 Due Wed., July 29
Do the Lexis Nexis self tutorial at the library web site. (Go to library, indexes & databases, popular
databases on the right, Lexis-Nexis Academic, Legal tab, view tutorials at the bottom). Use Lexis Nexis to
find a case that has your last name as a party in the case.
     1. State the name of the case, the citation (book, volume, page etc. it is found in),
     2. The name of the court that decided the case.
     3. The year the case was decided.
     4. The Facts - Briefly tell what the case was about.
     5. The Issue - what the issue was the court was dealing with
     6. The Decision - what the court decided in conclusion.
     7. The Reasoning – why the court decided the way it did.
      If you cannot find your last name (especially if you have a foreign or unusual name, use the name of
     your closest relative or best friend who has a more common name.) Do not use a case that only has a
     few sentences for the report of the whole case. This paper, as all homework, must be typed and should
     be in a neat format. If the case you found seems hard to understand, find another one.

    Plan to present your case to the class.


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