SyllabusSyllabi (DOC) - Welcome to CUNY - The City University of

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SyllabusSyllabi (DOC) - Welcome to CUNY - The City University of ...





     Authors: Clarkson, Miller, Jentz and Cross

     Publisher: West

The introductory course in law is a PLAS course for numerous reasons. The key reason is that the legal system of

    a country is a mirror of its society’s culture and values. In fact, the legal system of a country can have a profound

    influence on such principles as rights of women, freedom of speech, intellectual property rights, and minority rights.

    One important goal of a liberal arts education is to teach students the importance of integrity and justice. A course

    in law is the foundation on which a liberal arts education can build an appreciation of ethics and other important

    values. By discussing various cases, students will develop an understanding of the importance of not only the law,

    but of being ethical. Students will recognize the effects of crime on business and society and learn the various

    remedies available in the event of a breach of contract. Clearly, a course in law is an ideal PLAS course.

    I. Philosophies of Law A discussion of the schools of Jurisprudential thought including “The Natural

    Law School”, “The Positivist School”, “The Historical School” and “Legal Realism”. Law as a set of

    regulations versus Law as a process for social change. The great American cultural experiment and its

    sources of law from the English common law to the US Constitution, Common Law, Statutory Law,

    and Regulatory Law. Morality and the Law including the right of the government to legislate cultural

    values and beliefs.

     Assignments: Text Chapter 1 Introduction to Law and Legal Reasoning

     Cengage Learning Internet Exercise 1-1 Legal Perspective

     Internet Sources of Law

    II. Culture, Ethics, and Business Decision Making The development of cultural values and its

     relationship to current day business making decisions. Making the right decision versus the

     profitable one. The concept of business ethics and distinguishing right and wrong. The effect of ethical

    conflicts on society and culture.

     Assignments: Text Chapter 5 Ethics and Business Decision Making

     Case Study: Baum v. Blue Moon Ventures, LLC.

    III. The US Constitution and Society - The powers of the government to regulate society and its

     effect on cultural values. The relationship between the federal government and state and local

    governments as it relates to the regulation of society and its culture. The historical perspective of The

    Bill of Rights and its role in the development of cultural values. The concept of the “Living

    “Constitution and the ability for it to adopt to cultural changes in society.

     Assignments: United States Constitution Text Appendix B

     Text Chapter 4 Constitutional Authority to Regulate Business

     Case Study: Lott v. Levitt

    IV. The Role of the Court System in Regulating Society The structure of the federal and state court

     systems and their inter-relationships. How court decisions affect the development of society and

    culture. The concept and limitations of obtaining justice and the right decision in a litigious society.

     The development of alternative dispute resolution systems and its pragmatic effect on business and


     Assignments: Text Chapter 2 Courts and Alternative Dispute Resolution

     Text Chapter 3 Court Procedures

     Cengage Learning Internet Exercise 2-2 Resolve a Dispute Online

V. Intellectual Property and the Distribution of Wealth in our Society How our culture rewards

     those who are creative and produce literary works, new inventions, works of art, etc. Discussion of

    Copyright Law, Trademark Law, Patent Law and their evolvement in a cyber space society. How wealth

    is transferred from one generation to another and its effect on our cultural values. Discussion of Wills, Trusts,

    Intestate Succession, and Elder Law. Society’s view of The Right to Die problem and a discussion of

    Living Wills and Health Proxies. Who should make life and death decisions in our culture.

     Assignments: Text Chapter 8 Intellectual Property and Internet Law

     Text Chapter50 Wills and Trusts

     Case Problems 50-1, 50-2 Requirements for a valid Will

Vi. Protecting Citizens in our Society from Crimes and Breaches of Duties by its Businesses and/or

     Citizens - An overview of tort law, negligence, strict liability, and criminal law. Constitutional

    protections and limitations and balancing the rights of the individual with the rights of society as a whole.

     Governmental efforts to protect its citizens through legislation and regulatory authority.

     Assignments: Text Chapter 6 Intentional Torts

     Text Chapter 7 Negligence and Strict Liability

     Text Chapter 9 Criminal Law and Cyber Crimes

     Text Chapter 43 Administrative Law

     Text Chapter 44 Consumer Law

     Text Chapter 45 Environmental Law

     Case Study: Miranda v. Arizona

    VII. The Foundation of a Democratic Society The Freedom of Contract The concept of permitting

     two or more people to enter into an agreement that is enforceable in a court of law. Without such a basic

    tenet of law, our society would collapse. Topics will include, the nature and terminology of contracts;

    offer and acceptance; consideration; capacity and legality; the reality of assent including fraud, mistake,

    and duress; the Statute of Frauds and the writing requirement; third party rights; performance and

    discharge; breach of contract and remedies; E contracts and E signatures.

     Assignments: Text Unit 3 Contracts Chapters 10-19

     Case Studies: 10 Cases One per chapter as assigned by instructor

     related to how society accepts the sanctity of contract law and

     Its effect on cultural values.

Grading will be based on the following:

     Midterm Exam (Units 1-3) 30%

     Final Exam (Units 4-7) 30%

     Written Briefs of 2 Assigned Cases 10% (See instructions below)

     Oral Presentation of 1 Assigned Case 10% (See instructions below)

     Class Participation 20%

Instructions for Written Briefs:

Cases are assigned by the professor from the text. The student is directed to a web site wherein the full written

    decision of the court is set forth. The student brief is divided into the following four parts: 1) Facts: What is the nature of

    the dispute? 2) Legal Issue: What is the legal issue before the appellate court? 3) Holding: What was the decision of the court? Was the lower court decision affirmed, reversed, remanded, etc.? 4). Legal Reasoning and Effect on our Society: What is the legal justification for the court to rule as they did? What societal issues and cultural values are reflected in the decision, e.g., ethics; minority and civil rights; environmental issues; freedom of religion; constitutional issues; individual privacy rights; etc. Briefs average 2-3 typewritten pages.

    Instructions for Oral Presentation:

    The oral presentation consists of a student summarizing one of their written briefs to the class and being prepared to accept questions from the students and/or professor concerning its contents.

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