1. In some ways, contracts can be very easy to enter into. In fact, we often enter into agreements simply by our actions.
For example, many businesses place small notices near their entryways warning that by entering the building you consent to video recording or by parking in a specific lot you agree that the lot owner is not liable should anything happen to your car (even if you paid to park there).
Are these agreements valid?
Should individuals be held to agreements even if they did not know about them?
Use specific details about contract formation and performance in your response.
Negligence and product liability
2. Each of us makes promises all the time; most we keep, but some we don’t. The question this week focus on when a promise is—or is not—enforceable. Said differently, when will the law make a person keep a promise? Choose one of the scenarios below and explain whether you think that the promise made is enforceable. Be sure to think about the concepts of offer, acceptance, consideration, legality, and capacity.
- Uncle John promises his nephew that he will give the nephew $10,000 on his 18th birthday if the nephew doesn’t drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, do illegal drugs, or engage in any immoral behaviors.
- Bill asks Sally to marry him, and she answers yes. Bill then sells his favorite sports car and pays upfront for a lavish wedding ceremony and a three-week trip to Europe.
- Keith agrees to transport ceramic figurines from Los Angeles to New York City in his moving truck. What he doesn’t know is that each figurine is filled packets of cocaine.
- Maria and Jennifer are having drinks at a local bar, and both are a bit tipsy. As the night goes on, Maria asks Jennifer to trade Jennifer’s three-carat diamond ring for Maria’s 1978 Ford Duster, and Jennifer agrees to the deal.
3. Negligence and product liability are two of our main topics for this week. Negligence is an unintentional tort because it happens by accident. Product liability arises when one is injured by a defective product.
Consider the scenarios below. Choose one and determine if it describes negligence or product liability. Explain your answer and be sure to discuss the elements of any claims that may arise.
- Daisy is driving in her car when her phone chimes. She picks up her phone and sees a text from her friend. While responding to the text, Daisy runs a red light and causes an accident.
- Janet just moved from Florida to Minnesota and is enjoying the scenery of a beautiful snowfall when she sees a person slip and fall on the ice on the sidewalk in front of her house.
- Larry is a lumberjack. He decides to purchase a new chainsaw. The first time Larry uses the chainsaw, the product malfunctions and Larry is injured
types of injuries
4. This week, we’ll be examining how our legal system protects persons who are injured by the purposeful act of another. These types of injuries are called intentional torts. The legal claims of assault, battery, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy and defamation are examples of intentional torts.
For this discussion, choose one of the scenarios listed below and determine the intentional tort that you think applies. Make sure to explain your answer, including the elements of the claim, why you think those elements are or are not present, and what other information you would need to make this determination.
- A group of people protesting a company’s employment practices in the lobby of a building is surrounded by private security guards hired by the company.
- A teenager sends a joking message to his best friend telling him that there is a bomb in his basement.
- You accidentally leave your personal journal at the local coffee shop. Another customer finds it and shares your innermost secrets on his blog, but never identifies you as being the writer of the journal.
- At a family reunion at your parents’ home, you see Dave, a second cousin, take a very expensive bottle of wine from the wine cellar, place it in a duffle bag, and hurry out the backdoor. You quickly go to your father and tell him that Dave stole the bottle, and your father calls the police. In reality, your mother told Dave he could pick any bottle of wine from the cellar as a belated birthday present.
filing a lawsuit in court
5. Today, there are several options for people who want to pursue a legal claim. This includes filing a lawsuit in court, but it also includes alternative forms of dispute resolution (referred to as ADR) such as mediation and arbitration. In both mediation and arbitration, the dispute is resolved outside of court, with the main difference being that mediation requires the parties to voluntarily agree to a resolution, while arbitration requires the parties to abide by the decision of a private arbitrator.
For this discussion, choose one of the disputes listed below and explain whether you think the best way to resolve it is through a lawsuit, mediation, or arbitration.
- A woman is passed over for promotion and instead the job is award to a man with less experience. She believes that this is a case of sex discrimination.
- A truck driver is hit by a motorist who ran a stop sign and will be in the hospital for several months and does not have any savings or disability benefits.
- A child is injured when a very popular folding high-chair collapses, and it appears that the high-chair was improperly designed and unable to reliably support the weight of the average infant.