The Legal Environment of Business

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9780130199089: The Legal Environment of Business

For one-semester courses in The Legal Environment of Business, or others dealing with legal issues in business. Exceptionally readable, practical, and student-friendly, this text provides comprehensive coverage of private and public law topics that today's businesspersons need to understand to proactively deal with legal issues, and to avoid legal problems which affect business. An abundance of hands-on exercises, case studies, and readings from the business press-together with both practical and academic insights into the primary legal issues -prepare students to address legal problems when they do arise, to know when to call a lawyer and what to discuss, and to know how to participate in the solutions.

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From the Inside Flap:

PREFACE

Welcome to the study of legal issues in business. Just as business students must learn the basic principles of accounting, marketing, economics, finance, management, statistics, and information, so must they master the fundamental knowledge of critical legal and regulatory issues affecting business. As a result of the authors' combined 60 years of experience in teaching and practicing law, The Legal Environment of Business presents both practical and academic insight into the primary legal issues that businesspeople need to understand. We believe this text is one that students will read, understand, remember, enjoy, and most importantly, use in their present or future careers.

The Legal Environment of Business will not create lawyers, nor should it. Rather, it will help prepare businesspeople to recognize and avoid legal problems. If each student can avoid one legal problem in the future because of something learned here, this book will have made a worthwhile contribution to the student and to society. Our text will help students address legal problems when they arise, know when to call a lawyer and what to discuss, and know how to participate in the solutions to legal problems. TARGET AUDIENCE

This textbook is primarily designed for business students who are beginning their study of law. Every aspect of this book has been developed to maximize the "real world" nature of the various legal principles presented. We have tried to take complex material and break it down into bite-sized chunks that can be easily digested. We are attempting to speak directly to the non-law student in a common-sense, practical manner. The coverage of important legal topics, while current and comprehensive, is clear and readable. CONTENT COVERAGE AND ORGANIZATION

The Legal Environment of Business contains comprehensive coverage of private and public law topics. When possible, we have grouped subjects together in a manner that emulates their evolution as legal principles. For example, our discussion of contracts is followed by the discussion of laws of sales, warranties, and product liability, which represent modern adaptations and expansions of the earlier theories.

This practical approach allows us to demonstrate how and why topics in the law change over time. By doing this we better prepare students to become businesspeople who, by virtue of their understanding of legal evolution, are better prepared to anticipate and plan for future changes.

Among the key topics we address are the following:

Judicial and alternative forms of dispute resolution (Chapters 2 and 3) The Constitution and business (Chapter 4), including recent court decisions that address the "Federalism" cases International Law (Chapter 6), including detailed discussions of the European Union, NAFTA, and WTO Business ethics (Chapter 7) Agency and business organizations (Chapters 8 and 9), including treatment of limited liability partnerships and limited liability companies Business torts and business crimes (Chapter 11) Real, personal, and intellectual property (Chapter 14), including Internet and cyberspace legal issues Environmental law (Chapter 15) Employment law (Chapters 19, 20, 21, and 22), including extensive coverage of contemporary legal issues in employment, equal opportunity in employment, and labor management lave and regulations. STUDENT-ORIENTED FEATURES

The Legal Environment of Business contains the following features to help students better understand and retain the material:

Learning Objectives and Outlines begin each chapter and help students organize the chapter content and highlight key content. Key Terms are defined in the margin as they are introduced in the text and are included in the glossary at the end of the book. Social /Ethical Issues boxes appear throughout the chapters and raise questions concerning current social and ethical controversies in the legal environment of business. These questions require critical thinking and analysis and are good vehicles for class discussion. "A Memo from Your Lawyer" boxes offer practical advice concerning legal subjects covered in the chapters. "In Consultation" features appear periodically throughout the text and offer students an opportunity to put themselves in business situations dealing with realistic legal issues. Readings and Cartoons from The Wall Street Journal, U. S. News and World Report, EPA Journal, and other sources help to explain the law and demonstrate its relevance to the business world. Cases were chosen and edited for each chapter (three and four per chapter) on the basis of relevance, interest, and when possible, currency. While some cases are very recent, others represent classic cases. Each case is one to two pages long and has a Facts/Decision/Case Questions format. The case questions raise several legal and ethical questions designed to assist students in analyzing the case. Unlike in some legal textbooks, the language used in the court cases (while often the court's own) is edited to ensure it includes only words and phrases explained elsewhere in the chapter. End-of-Chapter Problems raise both legal and ethical issues. Questions often arise from actual court cases, and in those cases the citations are included for optional reference. Practical Exercises offer a unique learning tool. One of these exercises appears at the end of each chapter and allows students to either independently or collaboratively analyze a hypothetical situation based on the material presented in the chapter. Use in our own classrooms has shown that these "learning-by-doing" exercises can significantly aid students' retention of the material. Web sites of interest are listed at the end of each chapter, providing students with resources for additional exploration and study. AACSB STANDARDS

The 1992 revision of the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) standards state that the undergraduate and MBA curricula of all business colleges should provide the following:

A(n) understanding of perspectives that form the context for business. Coverage should include Ethical and global issues The influence of political, social, legal and regulatory, environmental, and technological issues The impact of demographic diversity on organizations

How does The Legal Environment of Business address these issues? First, we thoroughly cover ethical and global issues in law. Chapter 6, International Law, discusses the intricacies of doing business beyond the borders of the United States. Chapter 7 is dedicated to ethical theories and their relevance to corporate decision making. This chapter is practical in nature and shows students how to analyze and apply ethical principles to real business situations. Furthermore, both international and ethical issues are addressed in boxed features and cases within the chapters, as well as exercises at the end of each chapter.

Second, political, social, legal and regulatory, environmental, and technological issues are all discussed within relevant chapters. The use of an "evolution of legal topics" organization uniquely demonstrates the interrelationship of law and these other societal influences.

Finally, our emphasis on the practical application of law to the "real world" along with a complete examination of equal opportunity laws sensitizes students to issues involving diversity within organizations. In addition to coverage within the text narrative, issues involving diversity are presented in readings, feature boxes, and cases. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The authors would like to express their appreciation to their families, first and foremost, without whose support, this text would not have been possible. In addition, we received wonderful support from Prentice Hall. Our thanks to Linda Schreiber, our editor, for shepherding us through the process, to Lynda Hansler (Prentice Hall) and Staci Schnurr (Elm Street Publishing Services), our production editors, for their superb handling of all of the production details, to Marilyn Stone, our copyeditor, for her obsessive attention to detail, and to Debbie Clare, our marketing manager, for her dedication to this project.

We would also like to thank our reviewers who have helped to make this book what it is. They are Elizabeth Cameron, Alma College; William McDevitt, St. Joseph's University; and Daphyne Saunders Thomas, James Madison University.

Michael Bixby
Caryn Beck-Dudley
Patrick Cihon

From the Back Cover:

The Legal Environment of Business aims to be the most readable, understandable, and student-friendly textbook in its field. Covering both classic and cutting-edge business law issues, the book’s 23 chapters offer many practical examples of how the law affects business, and they give students the opportunity to apply the theories in a variety of practical exercises. These features are all designed to help students learn to use and apply, not just memorize, legal concepts.

 

While the book is aimed primarily at the undergraduate “Legal Environment of Business” course, it is also appropriate for a variety of other undergraduate courses as well as business seminars and programs involving legal issues. The authors provide thorough coverage of traditional legal doctrines important to business, such as contracts, torts, property, and forms of business organization; but they also offer full treatment of contemporary issues such as cyberlaw, electronic monitoring of employee activities, developments in Constitutional law, the Microsoft antitrust case, the legality of Internet contracts and various other “e-commerce” issues, and a thorough examination of recent developments in the European Union and other international legal issues important to business. Social and ethical issues are also addressed throughout the text.

 

Because the authors understand that the subject of business law is difficult enough for undergraduates, without shrouding the issues in “legalese,” The Legal Environment of Business strives to be the most readable of all its competitors in the field.

Together, the authors have more than 60 years of experience teaching undergraduate business students, and all three have won teaching awards at their universities. Michael Bixby, professor of legal studies in business at Boise State University, is past president of the Pacific Northwest region of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business, and a member of the governing council of the Business and Corporate Section of the Idaho State Bar. Caryn Beck-Dudley is currently Dean of the Business School at Utah State University, and past president of the national Academy of Legal Studies in Business. Patrick Cihon is an associate professor of law and public policy at Syracuse University School of Management; he is an active member of the ALSB and many other professional associations, and serves as president of the New York Association of University Professors and board member of the American Association of University Professors.

 

Features

• in addition to basic business law issues such as contracts, property, torts, and business organizations, includes up-to-date explanations of rapidly developing issues like intellectual property, cyberlaw, and topics in international and global business.
• features many recent court cases, as well as classics in the field.
• one whole chapter devoted to international legal issues in business, including complete descriptions of the European Union and the World Trade Organization.
• financial and accounting scandals of 2001 onward explored from ethical and legal standpoints; important provisions of ensuing Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 examined over several chapters.
• all new legal terms explained as they are used, many highlighted in bubbles in the margins.
• three to four legal cases presented in each chapter, carefully chosen and edited to show clearly how legal principles operate in “real-life” situations; one case in each chapter presented using only the language of the court, allowing closer analysis of the legal reasoning process
• “Memo from the Legal Department” boxes in each chapter offer practical advice directly to students concerning legal concepts discussed in the text
• “In Consultation” boxes present fictional managers discussing a legal problem with the company lawyer, and a series of questions and answers from the lawyer
• “Social/Ethical” boxes ask student to consider not only legal problems, but the principle and public policy behind various laws; these and the one chapter devoted exclusively to business ethics and social responsibility encourage students to consider their own ethical principles and apply them to business situations.
• End-of-chapter review questions followed by hypothetical dilemmas for which students must propose a solution based on material in the chapter

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