January 23, 2014
• What is the law? Cases, statutes, constitutions (treaties), administrative rules and
• Duress: blackmailing someone into signing a contract; example of signing a
contract with a minor.
• Consequentialist theories: ends are always justified, means don’t matter. Eg.
Soccer goal. You make the goal ,it doesn’t matter how you did it.
• Individualist theory (inconsequentialist): means will never justify the end. E.g.
soccer goal made but you punched 5 people out on the way.
• Consequentialist theory
1. Teleology: an act is morally right if it produces a desired end result. Doesn’t
matter who gets hurt in the process.
A. Egoism: an act is right if it is beneficial to the individual.
B. Enlightened egoist: you decide something less best for you, but not something
bad for you. Take in consideration of others slightly. E.g. Green companies.
C. Utilitarianism: it benefits the greatest number with the greatest good. E.g.
taking your dream job when you have a family.
2. Relativism: lets get a group consensus. Majority rules = ethical.
• Rights based theories/ categorical:
1. Libertarianism: minimal interference from gov’t
2. Deontology: the ends are never justified if the means are infringing on individual
rights. Even by using util. any behavior is ethical if it supports individual rights.
KANT: if you’re about to act in one way, would it be ok for others to act that way
a. Rule deontologist: did someone adhere to the moral principle
b. An act by act basis, did it effect individual rights?
3. Virtue ethics and Justice (what it means to be a good person e.g. what would
Gandhi do in this situation):
4. Ethics: innate or learned?
In class exercise: nuts and bolts for Mississippi river bridge have 3 percent defect rate.
1. teleology: should not tell
2. util: wouldn’t tell because looking at greater good
3. relativism: look at company policy, ask his company
• rights based:
1. libertarian: look at bridge users, or contractors family
2. justice/ethics: should disclose BSL212
3. deont: should disclose; means are not justified
Ch.3: Civil Dispute Resolution
• Plaintiff vs. defendant in the US in a dual court system: state vs national
• US District courts US courts of appeals US Supreme court
• What each court can do in order: Original jurisdiction (fact finding is done, jury),
appellate jurisdiction (can appeal, authority to hear appeals of lawsuits), appellate
jurisdiction, and ltd. Original jurisdiction
• Jurisdiction: authority to hear a case
• Remand: to send it back to the lower court (make a correction)
• 9 justices in Supreme Court
• Most cases go to state court, not federal court
• 1 million in federal, 30 million in state annually
• Jurisdiction tells you which court you can file in
• Two types of jurisdiction: a court must have both to hear a case
1. Subject matter: list of offenses involved
2. In personam (personal): authority over persons; can court exercise authority
over those involved. E.g. in order to be sued somewhere, you have to have a
relation to the state where you’re being sued.
• US Solicitor General: the person who represents the government in supreme court
; don morelly
• Attorney general: eric holder, represents the US
January 30, 2014
Ch. 3 cont.
• Appellate courts can: remand the case, make a new decision (reverse), or they can
affirm it (no prejudicial error found)
• In order to get to the Supreme Court: they pick and choose which cases they want
to hear (res); only picks up 1 percent of the cases that effect constitutional rights
or natnl. security interests i.e. big bases
• Trial courts: tax courts, superior courts: justice of the peace court (inferior) and
municipal courts (inferior)
• Jurisdiction: Subject Matter and Personal Jurisdiction
• Motion: request to move the case to federal court
• Subject Matter Jurisdictio :
1. Exclusive Federal: only federal courts can hear the case
2. Concurrent federal jurisdiction: both federal and state courts can hear the case.
For federal court, must have: federal question jurisdiction and amount in
controversy >75,000 (diversity)
3. State jurisdiction = all other cases: for all matters
4. Diversity exists when plaintiffs are from different states from defendants, foreign BSL212
country sues US citizen, US citizen sues foreign citizen
5. Very few case go to federal for the reasons
• In Personam (Personal) Jurisdiction: which parties can go to this court?
1. Has to protect their due process rights
2. Requires: notice, opportunity to be heard, and for defendant, “minimum
contacts” with the state
3. How to obtain: parties consent in a K or for Plaintiff, by filing a case in
the court, serving process on the party within the state in which the court
is located, and reasonably notifying a party if a state’s longarm statute
applies (long arm statute: applies over the country, can bring someone in
from a different state if they have minimum contact with a state)
4. In Rem Jurisdiction: authority over real property based on a claim
involving the property
• Civil Dispute Resolution: We have an adversarial system
• How a lawsuit works: complaint, motion, answer, discovery, trial
• The judge and jury hear the case
• Types of discovery: (1)depositions: inquiry under oath, (2) requests for
admission: want the other side to admit something in writing, (3) interrogatories:
• Most cases don’t go to trial: plea bargains, settles, etc.
• Motions before trials can dispose of the case
• Preemptory challenge: can remove jury member if you just don’t like them
• What the Supreme Court has the final say as to federal law. State supreme court
has final say as to state law. Same level decisions don’t effect each other.
February 6, 2014
Ch. 9: Contracts
• The Uniform Commercial Code: state common law is the default
• Goods: any thing you can buy
• Non good: employment, services, intangible, involves intellectual property rights
• Predominant factor test: which was it? Service or good more. The UCC applies.
• CISG: governs the sale of goods between CISG countries
• Contract: binding agreement that the court will enforce. A promise: a duty to
• Breach: fail to perform on your promise/contract
• The five basic requirements of contracts:
1. Must be legal
2. Must have capacity: no minors considered
3. Must be in writing; most don’t have to be
• Express contracts: written in words or oral
• Implied contracts: inferred from conduct; BSL212
• Bilateral: both parties exchange promises
• Unilateral: only one party makes a promise
• Promissor: who makes the promise
• Promisee: who receives a promise
• Executed: contract that has been fully performed by all of the parties
• Executory: contract that has yet to be fulfilled
• Non contractual remedies: remedies that can be awarded even when there is no
1. Promissory estoppel
2. Unjust enrichment: usually money back
• Quasi contract: an obligation not based upon contract; law to avoid injustice also
an implied in law contract.
• IRAC: formula for briefing cases and answering BSL 212 q’s
1. I = issue: what was the court asked to decide, should be general
2. R = rule (statement and explanation): what rule of law does the case stand
for? To reach the holding
3. A = application
4. C = conclusion
e.g. White vs. FCI
I = can a plaintiff remove a case to federal court if the complaint did not specify
R = “more probable than not”; in a diversity case if a party meets the 75,000 figure for
damages and if it does not say the amount, the court must look at the preponderance to
remove to federal court
rule: must have minimum contact
February 13, 2014
Ch. 10: Mutual Assent BSL212
• The offer: must be communicated, is effective upon receipt, with intent, must be
definite and certain
• Communicated means as intended, as authorized, and usually in words
• Intent must not include jokes, excited utterances, preliminary negotiations,
auctions, general ads, specific ads. Bidding is an offer, just ads are not.
• The common law allows there to be a little wiggle room
• Offers are effective once given, a reasonable time must be given to accept the
• An Offer always lasts:
1. Until acceptance
2. Lapse of reasonable time
3. Revocation: an offer can be revoked any time prior to acceptance
4. Until rejected
6. Until subject matter is destroyed
7. Until oferror dies
8. Subsequent illegality
• Common law: an option = an irrevocable offer
• UCC: merchants firm offer = an irrevocable offer
1. A merchant is a dealer in a certain type of goods
2. A merchant is a person who holds himself to the public with knowledge
3. A merchant selling goods hires someone who has knowledge about the
goods they’re selling
• Under the UCC to be a merchant you must sign
• An offer can be rejected upon receipt; the offeror must receive the rejection
• A counteroffer can be effective upon receipt; considered a new offer (a rejection +
a new offer)
• An inquiry is not a rejection (a question for more info)
• Silence can be acceptance if it is told so in advance
• Know until the mailbox rule: only effective when I receive it, if unauthorized
means of communicating the acceptance,
• Both the offerror and offerree are merchants:
February 20, 2014
• Assent must be voluntary and knowing
• Four situations that fail the test: BSL212
1. Duress: any threat (physical or mental)
2. Undue influence: contract can be voidable if; dominant party, personal
relationship between parties, unfair persuasion
3. Fraud: in the execution (you don’t actually know what youre signing =
void), in the inducement (much more common; some lie or omission =
• The law requires that the agreement be voluntary and knowing.
• Five elements of fraud
1. Need a false representation (actively concealing something e.g a leaky
roof) [arms length transaction: don’t have to disclose]
2. False representation of a fact: needs to be an actual fact, not an opinion
3. Material: false rep must be about a material fact; something that would
induce them to buy
Scienter: must have the mental intention to deceive; scienter can include
actual knowledge, lack of belief in the truthfulness, or reckless
indifference to its truthfulness.
4. Mistake: parties were mistaken in what they were agreeing to; generally
unilateral: not voidable unless one party knows the mistake is being made;
can also be a mutual mistake: both parties make a mistake of fact; the
contract can be voidable by the party that was harmed.
Can also mistake a meaning of a term: not a mistake of fact, but what a
word in the contract means; contract is void.
• Remedies: you can rescind the contract, or get paid the damages
March 6, 2014
• Need monetary consideration to keep an offer open
• In consideration of 1800 paid to him by
• Modification of a pre existing contract:
1. UCC: needs to be in good faith
2. Common law: buyer friendly, gets more time if need be
• Consideration definition: a legal detriment to the promisee; can also be a promise,
an action, a refraining,
• You can come back and ask for the rest of your debt even after agreed to waive
the rest of the debt by the creditor.
• Make sure the debt is undisputed first. If its disputed, no right to sue
• An accord in satisfaction: both parties agree to have the debt settled fully with a
lesser amount and they cannot come back and sure you later.
Ch. 13: illegal bargains BSL212
March 20, 2014
• For contract need mutual assent, legal capacity, subject matter= legal,
• If someone lies about their license, performs a procedure, do you still have to pay
• Unenforceable contracts:
1. Contracts that violate regulatory licensing law (doctors, lawyers,
beauticians, etc.). unlicensed providers can be paid.
2. Regulatory vs. revenue based: bad haircut (revenue based) vs bad medical
advice (regulatory based, anything with safety)
3. Gambling contracts (unless permitted by stature): federal law rules over
state law; indian reservations can have gambling; gambling in horseracing,
dog racing, casinos in certain states, and lottery are legal)
4. Usurious contracts: violates a statute that violates a maximum interest rate.
Must be loaning money, has to be repayable absolutely, need the interest
rate to exceed max under the law
5. Contracts that restrain trade: trade is any service or how you earn a living.
Anything that restricts commerce or competition; can make a covenant not