Question;White-Collar Crime (graded)The National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), working through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice, in 2010 surveyed national attitudes toward white collar crime, estimated by the FBI to cost between 300 and 660 billion dollars per year. When asked if the government was allocating sufficient resources to combat white-collar crime, 43% of respondents to the NW3C survey mentioned above said government was not. A solid majority of those responding believed that white-collar crime has contributed to the current economic crisis, with 70% finding it had contributed and only 13% saying it had not.One of the issues related to white-collar crime is how it should be defined. Are white-collar crimes a type of crime, or are white-collar crimes defined by who commits them? Cynthia Barnett, writing for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, discusses this issue in the FBI Bulletin The Measurement of White Collar Crime Using Uniform Crime Reporting Data.http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/nibrs/nibrs_wcc.pdf (highlight and paste into your browser).Corporate scandals in the later 90s and early 21st century resulted in a tightening of sentencing guidelines for white-collar criminals, and sentences have been increasingly harsh. Some now say they are too harsh for nonviolent crimes, and that many of these individuals are not only first offenders, but are unlikely to commit crimes again.What do you think? Is a white-collar crime descriptive of a certain kind of crime, or a certain kind of criminal? Are we tough enough on white-collar crime? Are sentences for white-collar crime too harsh or too lenient?Lying (graded)Read Would You Lie to Save Your Company? Did the CEO do the right thing? Who benefited from his choice? To whom did he owe his primary duty as a CEO? Any other observations?week 2 discnThe Constitution?A Living Document? (graded)The Constitution is a form of a contract?the contract was made among the 13 original states to form a stronger federal government. That contract was made in 1787?more states have joined the Union and have accepted the Constitution?but what did they accept? The contract (the Constitution) was formed in 1787?since that time, many things have changed, including the meanings of words. How should we interpret that contract today?Which of the following statements best describes the approach to constitutional interpretation that you believe judges should follow? Explain why you think your answer is the correct one.Judges should apply the intentions of the framers, as best as they can determine it.Judges should look at the words of the provision in question and base their decisions as best they can on the plain meaning of the language.Judges should generally follow precedent (the decisions in previous cases under the same constitutional provisions) as much as possible, looking to the text and intentions of the framers only when the case law is unclear.Legal Rights, Legal Duties (graded)Evaluate and discuss the following view, and state whether it would be accepted as generally correct by most lawyers and judges: "A person who has both rights and duties" defines the most basic concept of the law.Remember, the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, are a recitation of guarantees of rights. The Bill of Rights does notgrant rights, it simply recites what were and are recognized as the rights of citizens?and that enumeration of rights doesn?t mean that there are not other rights retained by the people, as is stated in the Ninth Amendment.Most of a person?s legal duties are duties to abstain from certain actions,for example, to abstain from theft, harmful physical violence, or deception-for-profit. But a few legal duties require positive action, (i.e., to remove from one's yard an attractive but dangerous object which might injure another person, and to pay income tax).Who owns the house? (graded)On August 9, 1995, McCarthy executed an offer to purchase Tobin?s real estate on a pre-printed form generated by the Greater Boston Real Estate Board. The OTP contained, among other provisions, a description of the property, the price to be paid, deposit requirements, limited title requirements, and the time and place for closingThe OTP required that the parties ?shall, on or before 5 p.m. August 16, 1995, execute the applicable Standard Form Purchase and Sale Agreement recommended by the Greater Boston Real Estate Board. which, when executed, shall be the agreement between the parties hereto.? In the section containing additional terms and conditions, a typewritten insertion states: ?Subject to a Purchase and Sale Agreement satisfactory to Buyer and Seller.? The OTP provided, ?Time is of the essence hereof.?On August 16, 1995, sometime after 5 p.m., Tobin's lawyer sent a first draft of the purchase and sale agreement by facsimile transmission to McCarthy's lawyer. Over the next 10 days, the lawyers for the two parties discussed changes to the first draft of the purchase and sale agreement and on August 26, McCarthy signed the agreement and his lawyer forwarded the signed agreement and deposit money to Tobin?s lawyer via overnight delivery.On August 26, Tobin accepted an offer from a second buyer, Davis. On August 27, Tobin?s lawyer told McCarthy?s lawyer that Tobin had accepted Davis?s offer.Was the offer to purchase executed by McCarthy and Tobin a binding contract? Explain why you think your answer is correct.Time for Tort Reform? (graded)In 2008, torts cost an average of $838 per year for every American. The 2011 update from Towers Watson yielded the following key findings.U.S. tort costs increased by 5.1% in 2010. The increase is attributable to the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion and resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Absent the cost from this event, tort costs would have shown an overall decrease of 2.4% in 2010.The U.S. tort system cost $264.6 billion in 2010, which translates to $857 per person, versus $820 per person in 2009.Are tort cases costing too much? Are Americans too litigious? Is it time for tort reform? What do you think? Remember to give reasons for your opinions.week 4Employers?Do They Need to Know? (graded)Many people begin to participate in social media at a very young age. Years later, indiscrete comments and visuals are accessed by prospective employers. Increasingly, employers are mining social media to turn up information on job applicants. Some employers make access to your Facebook account a condition of your application. Should employers have a right to do this, or should there be a law that prohibits them from demanding access to your social media sites?Labor Unions (graded)More than a third of the U.S. Labor Force was unionized in the mid-1950s. By 2011, union membership had declined to slightly more than 10%, a 70-year low.According to the Pew Research Center, while overall 64% of Americans believe unions are necessary to protect the working person, 57% agree that "labor unions have too much power." (Pew Research Center, Trends in American Values. Released June 4, 2012)http://www.people-press.org/2012/06/04/section-5-values-about-business-wall-street-and-labor/Retrieved June 13, 2012.Do we need labor unions to counterbalance the power of big corporations? Explain your answer, and provide links to any outside material you found useful in forming your answer.Regulation vs. Deregulation (graded)How do attorneys use case law in advising their clients?Fact pattern: The attorney you work for represents John Bennett. Bennett has been charged with possession of narcotics as a result of a traffic search. Bennett got a flat tire and was stranded on the side of the road. While he was changing the tire a state trooper pulled behind Bennett and parked his car. The trooper offered to assist Bennett in changing the tire but Bennett said he did not need assistance as he had the necessary equipment and a spare tire. Nevertheless, the trooper remained and said that he was going to have his dog conduct a sniff search of the periphery of the car. Bennett questioned why that was necessary and the trooper said that because Bennett was parked on the side of the road, a search had to be conducted. The dog alerted on the driver front wheel well. When the trooper removed it he found two large packages of a white substance believed to be cocaine and weighing approximately 6 pounds. Bennett was arrested and has questioned whether the troopers actions were lawful.Read Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405 (2005), located in Appendix VII of your text. How would you advise Bennett on the likelihood that a court would suppress the evidence found by the trooper? What factors/law from Cabelles decision would be critical in arriving at your decision?\Analysis of the Law (graded)A foundational principle of American government is the separation of powers. Since it is the legislative branch that creates law, what is the role of the judicial branch in creating and understanding the law?week 6Fairness in Regulation (graded)"The assault on the national government is represented as returning power to the people. But the withdrawal of the national government does not transfer power to the people. It transfers power to the great rival of the national government, indeed the great cause of the rise of "big government'?the large corporation and the business community." Arthur SchlesingerTheodore Roosevelt observed of the greedy trusts of his day, "If this irresponsible outside power is to be controlled in the interest of the general public, it can be controlled in only one way?by giving adequate power of control to...the National Government."Do you agree or disagree with these statements that we need big government to counteract corporate interests and achieve fairness for all in American life?The Nanny State (graded)According to an article in Business Insider, ?A Florida law requires vending-machine labels to urge the public to file a report if the label is not there. The Federal Railroad Administration insists that all trains must be painted with an ?F? at the front, so you can tell which end is which. Bureaucratic busybodies in Bethesda, Maryland, have shut down children?s lemonade stands because the enterprising young moppets did not have trading licenses.? Do critics who claim we are in a Nanny State get it right? Find some examples in newspapers or on the Internet of regulations you think have gone too far.week 7Copyright?Enough, Already? (graded)As discussed in the Week 7 Lecture, Justices Breyer and Ginsberg come at the purpose of Article I, Section 8 from entirely different perspectives. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg maintains that the general purpose of the clause is to promote the dissemination of existing and future works. Justice Stephen Breyer takes an opposing view ? that the purpose is to promote the production of new works.Who do you think has the right side of the argument, and why?Biometric ManThe movieMinority Report showed scenes of characters walking through a mall where billboards greet them by name and suggest purchases of products that they would be interested in. How did the billboards know it was Tom Cruise, and not someone else? Biometrics. Biometrics is the science of measuring and statistically analyzing biological data. It could be through fingerprints, retinal scans, facial scans, DNA. Technology is sufficiently sophisticated to digitalize this information and code it into a credit-card chip.Should we download ourselves? What is the potential upside? What is the downside?
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