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Full Course Lecture Notes Full Lecture/Exam notes from the start of the class till the last lecture.

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Shelley Mc Gill

BU231 - Business Law Monday Sept 13th Outline Law Public Private Tort Intentional Unintentional Negligence Owners Liability Product Liability Duty to War Contract Corporate Social Responsibility three elements of responsibility Ethics - responsibility to make ethical decisions, responsible to a higher standard than just the law - always outpaces the law, but the law slowly is changed by ethics Legal - responsibility to not exposing the business to legal liability, both to the Government and to other third parties including customers and suppliers Economics - responsibility to make money Goals of the Course Risk Management - knowing if you have a legal risk Identify Legal Risk Recognize Potential for Legal Liability Understand the link between law and ethics Corporate Social Responsibility Develop Legal and Ethical risk management strategies Five Steps to Legal Risk Management Identify legal risks Evaluate the size, likelihood and frequency of the risk - does it happen a lot but small (parking ticket), rare but large (BP spill) or both decide on a an action plan implement plan regularly review plan 9 g What is Law a P BU231 - Business Law An adopted set of mandatory standards that society accepts as predictable and organized behaviour necessary for a just society focus on laws that get the most people to follow without having to memorize it, if too many people cannot follow it, then it is often questioned as a good law Tools to obtain compliance with the Law, things the government can do to enforce laws Civil Liability - Government does not enforce, only sets up courts so that people can take the law into their own hands and sue Regulatory Liability - shorter jail time, fines Criminal Liability - longer Jail time, more serious both Regulatory and Criminal often only the attempt is needed to enact punishment Civil Liability is taken care of by individuals (law suits) often only one time of enforcement is used but the Government can use all three for some offenses. the more society is outraged the more types of liability they will use What are Ethics Values and standards of conduct considered advisable in an honourable person How are Law and Ethics linked? Law is modeled after widely accepted ethics What does the Course Cover Public Law Law governing relationship between individuals and the Government maybe be personal affairs (marriage) but the government is still involved Private Law Law governing relationship between individuals Other terms International vs. Domestic law - laws that are international (arent really any because there is no enforcement) international law is called soft law because its based on compliance Public vs. Private - is the government involved or not Constitutional Law vs Constitution Act - the constitution outlines the structure of the countries, the charter of rights and freedoms, outlines the goals of the society but only affects government, so government cannot make laws that violate it can be sued, but businesses cannot be attacked with it Role of the Charter - used by business, but is not sued with it Civil Law vs Common Law - the system which the court system is structured Common Law - British system Judges are empower to make law (judges can make law not just government) BU231 - Business Law whenever a Judge makes a decision ever other court below it must follow the decision, can only be overuled by that same level court laws are then refered to by the court case law is therefore a culmination of thousands of binding decisions by judges order of courts Supreme Court of Canada Ontario Court of Appeal Superiour Court of Justice Small Claims Court Civil Law - used by Latin (especially French) countries Laws are summed up in Civil Codes all laws are listed in that Code Judges then interpret the law laws are very similar between the two but the way the are enforced and made are very different Civil Law Language Plaintiff (person who complains)/Defendant (person who defends) Cause of Action - legal reason for suit Liability - responsibilities Pleadings Burden of Proof Standard of Proof - how sure you have to be to make the decision (beyond reasonable doubt) (criminal courts need to me more sure than civil courts, that is why OJ simpson lost in civil court but not in criminal) Damages - what your after (almost always money) Dissent Binding Wednesday Sept 15 Tort Law A Tort - is a loss resulting from someone elses wrongful act or failure to act a Category of Civil law that covers many different causes of action There are intentional and unintentional torts usually intention is not the issue - Fault is two kinds of Torts Intentional Unintentional 9 The Goal of a Tort suit is not to punish the wrongdoer but to simply compensate e for the loss a P BU231 - Business Law Key Concepts in Tort Law LIability - the assigning of legal responsibility, in most Tort cases the biggest issue is assigning liability Fault versus No Fault Fault implies you set the chain of bad events in motion in some cases cases are deemed No Fault meaning nobody is held liable There is whats called a Threshold - if a wrongdoing is bad enough than it meets the Threshold and it becomes Fault - if a wrongdoing is not that bad than it is No Fault Strict Liabiity means that wether or not you were at fault, you are still held Liable eg. in Ontario, if your dog causes damages regardless of wether the owner is at fault, the owner is held liable for damages, the Strict Liability over-rules Fault this concept also covers environment damage, if a company is involved in any damage it does not matter that they may not be at fault, the government says that if they want to be involved in that industry they will be held liable for any damage and will price that risk into their products Vicarious Liability someone who is not involved but because of their relationship to the person at fault, can be held liable some people say that parents should be held liable for the Torts of their children even though they may not be directly involved with vicarious liability the person who is at fault is not off the hook, both the person who is at fault AND the person who is at vicariously at fault are held liable Class action When a large group of people with the same cause of action, sue as a group corporations realized that the could rip off small amounts off many customers, because each individual will not sue for a small offense Eg. a large company tacking on a $1 charge on every customer, no individual will sue for 1 dollar (costs more just to file the suit) Contingency Fees fees are paid only if suit is won - this removes risk from the Plaintiff so now more lawsuits occur Unintentional Torts Negligence
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