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Please remember that I am looking for well reasoned explained answers. You are allowed/encourage to reference your course textbook. You are not permitted to use outside materials. *

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Legal Environment of Today (10th Edition by Roger LeRoy Miller, Frank B. Cross)*

Part A: Business Formation

Adrian, age 18, and his friend Leonard are obsessed with baseball. They love playing it in Adrian’s backyard, going to Twins games at the stadium, and watching it on tv (even reruns of classic games). Adrian decides that he wants to start a business called Catch!, where people can buy tickets to experience a baseball game as a real player. He wants to buy an abandoned warehouse and convert it into an indoor field. He would then hire former professional baseball players to be coaches and the customers would be able to rent uniforms and play a game of baseball as if they were professional players.

He anticipates the whole enterprise will take about $5 million to start. He has $500 in savings. His friend Leonard, who is actually Adrian’s 80-year-old neighbor and a retired investment banker, is skeptical of the business idea (especially since because of his age he is very reluctant to put his significant retirement savings at risk knowing that baseball can be particularly dangerous sport, even more so when there are amateurs involved).

Adrian finally convinces Leonard to give it a try and start the business with him. “If we build it, they will come!” he said. Leonard decides he is willing to loan the business $2 million of his retirement savings to get started, but the business will still have to obtain a significant amount of financing to start operations. Leonard is in pretty great shape, but he is 80 years old and he has a few concerns: (1) he likes his retirement lifestyle of leisurely mornings and afternoon naps and he doesn’t really want to be in charge of the daily operations; and (2) Leonard is also worried about what will happen to the business if he were to die; he’d like Adrian to be able to continue it if possible, but he would also like to have the ability to sell his interest.

Adrian is a little worried about Leonard’s role with the business too – lately he has become increasingly forgetful of important things. Adrian wants to be able to maintain most of the control over the business decisions and he doesn’t want to be responsible for any wrongdoing that Leonard intentionally or accidentally does because of his mental state.

Based on the above facts and business owner priorities and concerns, WHAT is the most appropriate LEGAL BUSINESS FORM for this business, and WHY? Please use IRAC to explain your recommendation.

Part B: Torts, Criminal and Internet Law and Ethics

As the CEO/President/Founder of your company, analyze the following legal and ethical scenario facing your company:

Your company has issued every employee a cell phone for company/work use. Employees can bring the phone home with them to get updates on internal company issues or deal with urgent customer requests outside of their regular working hours. Employee A decides that she no longer wants to pay for a personal cell phone since she has a work cell phone with her all the time. Your company’s policy is that the phone can be used for personal use on personal time (not working hours) and as long as there are no additional fees or charges incurred in using it (i.e. no fee-based game apps). All employees are required to sign a contract agreeing to the company’s terms and conditions of the cell phone usage upon receipt of the phone. A provision of the contract states that the company can demand the employee’s password(s) to access the contents of the cell phone at any time, including social media.

Employee B’s car breaks down and he asks Employee A for a ride to work. Employee B discovers during the drive that Employee A has been attending her North Hennepin Community College classes online on the company cell phone during work hours. It is important to note that Employee A is the company’s Executive Assistant, and a large part of her job involves driving the company car to pick up/drop off mail, buy supplies, etc. She regularly attends her class sessions on Zoom while driving the car, including when she gave Employee B a ride to work. Your company has a tuition reimbursement plan and 75% of Employee A’s Associate’s degree in business administration is paid by the company. She really doesn’t want to lose that benefit so Employee A offers Employee B $200 not to tell you, the company President, about her improper use of the phone, and Employee B agrees.

Using the IDDR ethical thinking approach discussed in Chapter 3 of textbook, please evaluate the following:

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Legal Environment of Today (10th Edition by Roger LeRoy Miller, Frank B. Cross)*

Step 1- Inquiry:

(a) Identify (list) the potential legal issues (criminal and/or civil) involved in this situation.

(b) Whether their actions are lawful or not, are Employee A and Employee B behaving ethically? Explain.

Step 2 – Discussion: What possible actions could the company take to address the legal and ethical issues? What, if any, ethical and/or legal consequences should there be for Employee A and/or Employee B? Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these options.

Step 3 – Decision: Outline your plan of action for Employee A and Employee B using the 4-part framework discussed in the textbook: “When making decisions, a business should evaluate each of the following: (1) the legal implications of each decision; (2) the public relations impact; (3) the safety risks for consumers and employees; and (4) the financial implications.”

Step 4 – Review: Evaluate your company’s decision. What changes, if any, will your company make to its Code of Ethics/policies after this incident? How can your company encourage more ethical behavior from Employee A and Employee B?

Part C: Torts and Intellectual Property

In March 2020, a very famous local chef publishes his first cookbook entitled “Keeping the Beet,” full of vegetarian and vegan recipes. Along with photographs of the food and recipes, the chef included short personal stories describing the family origins of the recipes, namely that his grandmother passed them down to him. The chef posts photos of the cookbook (including a few of the book’s recipe and story pages) on all his restaurant’s public social media. An Instagram user named Ingrid0675 writes directly under the chef’s most recent post about the cookbook, “This is outrageous. These recipes were stolen from my family. Chef Bryan is a thief, and he should be ashamed. I met Bryan in high school, and he ate my grandma’s recipes at dinner at my house every night. Don’t buy this book. He is an ugly, hateful thief and I have my grandma’s recipe book to prove it.” Ingrid0675 posts a link to a post on her personal blog, dated January 5, 2017, copies of an old, faded recipe book dated 1975. A few of the pages contain the same – word for word – personal stories about the recipes as Chef Bryan’s cookbook. After this post, the sale of Chef Bryan’s cookbook plummet and his once fully booked restaurant now rarely fills all its tables.

Please answer the following questions based on the above hypothetical:

1. What, if any, potential claims of intellectual property protection does Ingrid0675 have against Chef Bryan? Explain why or why not.

2. Can Chef Bryan sue for defamation? Please analyze using the IRAC method.

  
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