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Business Law Management

In: Business and Management

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Course Description and Learning Objectives

Every business decision has legal overtones and most business will be involved in some sort of legal action at some point in their progression. The goal of this course is to discuss issues faced by emerging businesses against the background of what the law can and cannot do. As each semester some new scandal or issue makes the press, we will use current events as a springboard for the topics covered in this course, and I invite you to bring your personal experiences into the classroom discussion.

Course Requirements and Classroom Approach

The class will be run as an interactive lecture. It is absolutely essential that all required readings are completed prior to class. We will have some flexibility (within reason) to tailor this class to real life experiences each of you may encounter or to certain areas that are of particular interest to this class.

There is a lot of reading – I strongly recommend you take notes. Attendance is absolutely essential (and is 25% of your grade). We have a lot to cover and a short time to cover it. While the textbook is the primary source, there are supplemental readings and topics that will come up in class, including current events, which may well find their way into an exam. If you cannot attend, it is your obligation to ensure that you borrow someone’s notes so that you do not miss anything.

Blackboard, e-mail and Lexis/Nexis

Supplemental readings will usually be posted on Blackboard and I will also e-mail if there are new postings. Some cases will be accessible through Lexis/Nexis which is available through the Babson Library website. I will navigate you through that website during the class.

You will note that I have two e-mail addresses listed above: my Babson e-mail and my “work” e-mail. I check my “work” e-mail constantly. I try to check the Babson e-mail daily. To be sure I get your message, please send any e-mail communications to both e-mail addresses.


Midterm 25% Class Participation 25% Final 50%

The exams will be take-home exams as we do not have a sufficient number of classes to devote two of them to exams. Please be reminded that home exams are to be done on the honor system and subject to Babson College’s code of academic honesty. Under no circumstances are you to complete your exams as a “group” project. All exams are to be your own work. Unfortunately, given the fact that we have only 8 weeks together, there is not enough time for class projects or extra-credit type assignments. This means that the weight of the exams is high. Please speak with me if you have any questions or issues prior to the exams.


The syllabus is a work in progress, as a class we may decide to spend more or less time on a topic of interest. Unless otherwise indicated, we will follow the outline below.

January 20, 2010 -


Courts and Jurisdiction
• Required reading (note this assignment is larger than normal)

1. International Shoe v. Washington (On Blackboard)
2. Zippo v. Zippo (On Blackboard)
3. Guinness World Records Limited v. Doe, (On Blackboard)
4. Fuselier v. Bartenbach, (On Blackboard)
5. Bagley – Chapter 9, p. 258 – 261 only.
6. Bagley - Chapter 8, p. 203-205 only.

• Be prepared to discuss the movie “A Civil Action” starring John Travolta.

• We will also review the LEXIS/NEXIS search engine which is a valuable tool for legal research.

January 27, 2010

Forms of Business Entities
• Required reading
1. Bagley c. 4 (p. 51-72), c.5 (p.73-86)
2. Knapp v. Neptune Towers Associates 72 Mass. App. Ct. 502 (2008)
3. Pepsi-Cola Metropolitan Bottling Co., Inc. v. Checkers, Inc., 754 F.2d 10 (1st Cir. 1985)

Officers/Directors – Duties and Responsibilities
• Required reading
4. Bagley, c. 6 (p. 109- 130)
5. Dimmitt & Owens Financial, Inc. v. Superior Sports Products, Inc.. 196 F.Supp. 2d 731 (N.D. Ill. 2002)

February 3, 2010

Agency, Employment and Independent contractors
• Required reading
a) Agency Overview (Blackboard)
b) Bagley c. 11 p. 362
c) Commissioner of the Division of Unemployment Assistance v. Town Taxi of Cape Cod, Inc. 68 Mass. App. Ct. 426 (2007).
d) Somers v. Converged Access, Inc., Supreme Judicial Court of MA 2009 (available on LEXIS/NEXIS)

Employment Discrimination
a) Bagley c. 10, (p. 266-305)
b) Windross v. Village Automotive Group, Inc., 71 Mass. App. Ct. 861 (2008)
c) Lockard v. Pizza Hut, Inc., 162 F.3d 1062 (10th Cir. 1998).
d) Alberty-Vẻlez v. Corporaciỏn de Puerto Rico para la Disfruciỏn Pủblica, 361 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2004).

February 10, 2010

• Required reading
a) Bagley c. 8 (p. 180 – 208) (Delete “Effect of Bankruptcy”)
b) Bagley c. 9 (p. 221-236 top)
c) Cabot Corporation v. AVX Corporation, 448 Mass. 629 (2007)
d) Lucy v. Zehmer, 196 Va. 493 (1954)
e) Baer v. Chase, 292 F.3d 609 (3d. Cir. 2004)

• Required reading
a) Bagley c. 8 (p. 209-214)

(If we have time) Product Liability
• Bagley c. 9 (p. 237 (bottom) to 245)


February 17, 2010 No class (public school vacation week for those with children in the public school system)

February 24, 2010

• Required reading

a) Bagley, c. 11( p.343-349 top, p. 353 (Defamation), pp. 357—359, 362-366)
b) Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad, 248 N.Y. 339 (1928
c) Leiberman v. Powers, 70 Mass. App. Ct. 238 (2007)
d) Sheehan v. Roche Brothers Supermarkets, Inc., 448 Mass. 780 (2007)
e) Lanza v. EQR-Lincoln Lawrence, LLC, 69 Mass. App. Ct. 206 (2007)

• Required reading
a) Bagley, c.11 (p. 379-380)
Risk Management
• Required reading
a) Bagley, c. 11 (p.382-383)

March 3, 2010

Intellectual Property
• Required reading
a) Bagley c. 14, (p. 492 – 553 top)
b) Warner Bros. Entertainment, In.c v. RDR Books, 575 F. Supp. 2d 513 (S.D.N.Y. 2008)
c) In re: Bilsky, 545 F.3d 943 (Fed.Cir. 2008)(everyone should read majority decision – we will be dividing up the concurrences and dissents)
d) Sound trademark article (on Blackboard)

March 10, 2010

Creditor Rights/Bankrupty
• Required reading
a) Creditor Rights - Bagley c. 12, (p. 387 – 408)
b) Bankruptcy - Bagley, c. 12, (p.408 – 431)

March 17, 2010 No class. Babson vacation week.

March 24, 2010

Working with an Attorney
• Required Reading
a) Bagley c, 3 (p. 32 – 50)

We will use this class as a general review, to add areas of particular interest to the class, and to cover anything else that needs clarification.


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