This Business Law Course is intended to enlighten everyone about how business and the law intersect, and how business could not survive without the law regulating its operation. This course will focus on basic skills and knowledge sets that a first year law student would be subject to learning, but all jam packed into a simple and easy to understand course. This course is for beginners, and concepts will be explained in detail, with every step explained along the way. You will find video lectures, supplemental visual charts, quizzes for each section, and other helpful tools. The course may be completed over a few days, or over a few weeks. It all depends on how you choose to learn. The course is structured in a logical manner, with foundational knowledge taught before more complex issues are explained. You should take this course because you need to be educated on how liability issues will impact you in your personal and business life, and you will learn how to better protect yourself against the perils that will be brought with an ignorance of the risks associated with operating a business. I welcome you to this course and I look forward to our journey together.
Here we go over the basic framework of government as constructed by the Constitution. Executive, Judicial, Legislative, and checks and balances.
Why is the Constitution so important? We talk about what this document is and why it is the best document for a system of government yet created.
What is the difference between civil and criminal cases?
What is a burden of proof?
The Burden of Proof is different in a civil case v. a criminal case. We have a discussion about why this is and why the difference in the burden is so important.
What is the difference between getting sued and being prosecuted? There is a distinction between who may bring the case and what the consequences are going to be.
The same act may open you up to civil liability and criminal liability. Take a look at the supplemental chart for an example of how the same act may be both civil and criminal.
The criminal process when a person is charged with a crime. Take a look at the supplemental chart.
The court process in a civil action will be the process most business people will be looking at most commonly. This is the process any time a suit is filed against them. Take a look at the helpful supplemental chart.
A mediation before trial is a way for the parties to sit down and come to a mutual agreement before a trial. It is becoming a more common practice these days and is often times compulsary in modern civil and family law cases.
Mediators v. arbitrators v. judges. It's important to know the differences between these persons before you get yourself into trouble signing a contract that, for instance, contains a "binding arbitration agreement."
What is a tort? Tort law is very important to understand because it serves as the greatest threat to all businesses and a large part of our national economy.
There are many different types of torts. Lets talk about some of them.
Intentional torts have elements that must be proven, much like a crime, but they are on the civil side of those acts. Again, they may be criminal acts as well, but intentional torts are civil actions.
As mentioned, intentional torts may ALSO be crimes. How does this work? Let's chat about it.
Negligence is a type of tort that need not be proved beyond the fact that there was a duty owed, and the tortfeasor breached that duty of care, causing harm to the plaintiff.
You owe some sort of duty to almost everyone. When you are driving in traffic, you owe a duty to other drivers…. when you have a visitor in your home you have a duty to warn them of dangers…. when you have custody of a child you have a duty to protect them. You EVEN owe a duty to trespassers on your property. Let's talk about it.
Here we go over the Doctrine of Attractive Nuisance, which lays out examples of how a person may be held liable for not protecting against attractive dangers that could bring in children. Note the photos in supplemental material. See the differences between someone who has protected against attractive nuisance claims and someone who has not.
Strict Liability is liability that is attached to someone even if they have taken measures to protect against the harm. The nature of the business they are dealing in or the dangerous animals that they keep, for instance, open them up to liability no matter what. Take a look at the supplemental chart explaining Strict Liability theory.
Remedies in Tort are the actions that judges take to make sure the winning plaintiff is put back in the position that they were in prior to the harm that came to them as a result of the Tortfeasor's actions.
A contract is an agreement between two or more parties that is legally binding.
Contracts must be legally binding to be valid.
There are 4 basic elements of a contract in order to make a contract valid and binding. Offer, Acceptance, Consideration, and Capacity.
An offeror makes an offer awaiting acceptance from an offeree.
Offeree accepts the offer from the offeror, making a valid acceptance.
Consideration is something of value given in exchange within the agreement to make it valid.
Courts do not look to the adequacy of the consideration in order to determine whether a contract is valid, only that there is consideration present.
A party to a contract must have capacity to enter into that contract. If they do not have capacity, they are either not of sound mind, not of age, etc. so they cannot appreciate the consequences and the duties of the contract and its terms.
Learn the difference between when a contract is voidable by a party v. when a contract is simply void on its face.
Review a contract's basic elements: Offer, Acceptance, Consideration, Capacity.
The difference between a unilateral and bilateral contract is how the operation of the contract protocol occurs prior to the acceptance of the agreement and how the offer is accepted. Take a look at the two supplemental charts for a comparison.
Contracts aren't just written documents between the parties. There are many types of contracts.
A revocation may occur before the offer is accepted. The changing of terms in an offer serves as a rejection of the original offer, an expiration of the original offer, and a counteroffer.
An option contract is a rare breed of contract where one party "buys time" from another.
Only five types of contracts must be in writing to be valid. This is called the Statute of Frauds. Take a look at the supplemental chart.
A contract may be terminated in many different ways, some good (like actually completing the terms) and some not good (like breach).
Remedies available to plaintiffs who win their cases in Contract Law Suits.
Even if there is no valid or written contract, a plaintiff may have a cause of action in equity against a party who made a promise upon which the plaintiff relied to her detriment.
Did you know that when you suffer losses due to someone else's breach, even though you have the right to sue them to recover your damages, you have a duty to mitigate your losses, which means you must take every step possible to "stop the bleeding" or prevent continued unnecessary losses that could be prevented if you take action.
When a party is given a value increase in something to the detriment or expense of another, that detriment-stricken plaintiff may have a cause of action for unjust enrichment.
Contracts Course Quiz
1.What is the definition of a contract?
2.What are the four elements of a valid contract?
3.Does a contract have to be in writing to be valid?
4.When a person puts an ad in a newspaper, placing a car for sale, this is called an _____________________.
5.When a person responds to the ad and pays for the car, this is called ___________________.
6.When an ad is placed, awaiting acceptance, this is known as a ________________ contract.
7.When two parties sit down at a table and write out their agreement together, this is known as a __________________ contract.
8.If a person is not of sound mind or age of majority when they sign a contract, they do not have the necessary _________________ to enter into the agreement.
9.If I give you a dollar to make a contract valid, this is called ______________________.
10.If I pay you $1 for a 2014 Chevy Malibu in an otherwise valid contract, and you challenge me in court on the basis of the price inadequacy, a judge will / will not decide that $1 is simply not a fair price for the car and cancel the contract.
11.A contract where one party with less power doesn’t get to negotiate any terms is called a ____________________.
12.If a contract is made for murder, it is ______________________.
13.If a contract is made between an adult and a child it is ________________________.
14.When one party buys (with valid consideration paid) time to decide if they want to exercise their rights under a contract, it is called an ____________________ contract.
15.Under the law, five contract types MUST be in writing to be valid. This is called the ______________________.
16.What are the five types of contracts that must be in writing?
17.When a judge makes the losing party take a certain action to complete a contract, it is called _______________________.
18.If you are harmed in a contract case, and you are actively experiencing ongoing losses, you have a duty to _________________ your losses.
19.When an offeror offers to sell you something and you change the terms, this is a rejection of the original offer and a _________________________.
20.After a counteroffer is made and is rejected by the original offeror, can the offeror of the counteroffer now go back and say, okay well nevermind, I will just go ahead and accept your original offer then. Is this a valid acceptance?
Contracts Course Quiz Answers
We discuss why understanding agency/employee/1099 distinctions are so important
Agency law is very important because it notifies an employer as to the status of his employees (whether they are employees at all) and therefore having knowledge of the extent of liability they may suffer under the law of vicarious liability or Respondeat Superior.
Respondeat Superior or Vicarious liability is the concept under the law that states the employer will be liable for the torts of its employees or agents.
Employers should clarify the status of their staff: are they employees, agents, 1099 independent contractors? Are they employees at all? It makes a big difference in the eyes of the law…. and it makes a difference in who pays when plaintiff wins a lawsuit.
It is important to know the difference between a frolic and a detour. it can mean the difference between an employer being held liable for the torts of its employee or being held not liable. What the employee was doing at the time that the tort occurred will determine who pays and if the plaintiff will get a big payday or not.
Every company should consider a Human Resources Dept and an employee handbook. Here's why.
It is vitally important for a business owner to carefully select their choice of business entity and make sure they are operating under the proper entity selection. How does one know? Well, its a judgement call that involvs weighing the risks, the benefits, the obligations, the tax burdens and benefits, and liability considerations.
Sole Proprietorship has many benefits, but also comes with many risks.
You are the Sole Proprietorship and the Sole Proprietorship is you…. they are not severable.
Partnerships are the easiest way that two or more people can go into business together
The ever-so-popular LLC. It's a popular choice of business entity for a reason. it provides many benefits of Sole Proprietorship, but also creates a separate entity with a corporate veil, liability limitations, articles of incorporation, bylaws, etc.
Many organizations operate as a non-profit for financial incentives and big tax breaks.
An Introduction to ethics and the law.
Ethics are different than morals and laws… What is the difference?
Even though they often times seem the same…. doing what is legal, doing what is moral, and doing what is ethical are three radically different things. They are driven from different external sources and have varying degrees of consequence. Let's begin our philosophical discussion now.
Continuing our philosophical discussion about Morality v. Ethics v. Legality.
A Conclusion of ethics and the law.
There are many crimes that are strictly limited to business settings. You may know them as white collar crimes. Let us discuss some of them now.
Continued discussion on business crimes.
Business Crimes Conclusion
Course Wrap-up. Hopefully you have learned a lot and I encourage you to revisit the course content and material to discover concepts that you missed before.
Business Law Final Examination
ANSWER KEY FINAL EXAMINATION
My name is Preston Ray Tuley, Esq. and I am a philosopher, writer, attorney, educator, tutor, and philanthropist. My educational background includes a Juris Doctorate and an undergraduate degree in Business Administration. I learned a lot through 8+ years of college and even more in the real work practical experience of the workplace… in many different capacities in business.
To tell you a bit about my background: I went to law school in Florida, (Orlando, to be exact) at the Florida A&M University College of Law… I passed the bar exam on my first attempt, and presently I am working as a Florida Attorney in my own small boutique law firm. I work for myself and I am licensed to practice in our state courts (which means I may handle any type of case under Florida's case law jurisdiction.) I handle family law cases, personal injury cases, criminal cases, etc.
I am also licensed in the Middle District of Florida Federal Court, where I handle federal matters such as bankruptcy cases.
In my spare time I write educational books, supplements, I tutor law students, and I always work to continue my education.
I enjoy teaching students the law, and counselling students on business and professional subject matters. My ability to communicate complicated information in a practical and easy to digest manner is, I believe, my greatest gift.
I live in Florida with my wife and my little dog too.