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Welcome to…. OBE-118 Legal Environment of Business!!!. Professor John A. McKinsey. Fall 2004, Section 10, Tuesday Evenings. Finding Your Professor. Office Hours (TAHOE-2054) Tuesday 5:00 to 5:45 PM Thursday 9:00 to 9:45 AM or by appointment E-Mail mckinsey@csus.edu

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welcome to obe 118 legal environment of business

Welcome to….OBE-118Legal Environment of Business!!!

Professor John A. McKinsey

Fall 2004, Section 10, Tuesday Evenings

finding your professor
Finding Your Professor
  • Office Hours (TAHOE-2054)
    • Tuesday 5:00 to 5:45 PM
    • Thursday 9:00 to 9:45 AM
    • or by appointment
  • E-Mail
    • mckinsey@csus.edu
    • Put “OBE118” in the subject header for faster response
  • Telephone
    • CSUS Office (916) 278-7030
text and resources
Text and Resources
  • Legal Environment Beatty, Samuelson, 2nd Edition
  • Some handouts
  • Class Website www.csus.edu/indiv/m/mckinsey
  • At the website you will find edited versions of the lectures for you to download/ review/print/etc.
john mckinsey
John McKinsey
  • Full-time lawyer in Sacramento law firm. I specialize in the regulation of business.

- CSUS graduate

- Former nuclear power plant operator

- Why do I teach?

course summary learning goals
Course Summary- Learning Goals
  • Substantive law
  • Legal Reasoning
  • Relationship of law to business
  • Process of law
  • Critical thinking
  • Writing
  • Speaking
course summary assessment
Course Summary- Assessment

(See page 4 of syllabus)





Participation ??? (up to a full letter grade)

  • Multiple choice questions
  • Sometimes short analysis questions
  • Exams increase in weight as semester goes on (90, 100, 110 points)
  • You will need a Scantron form 882 for exams
  • Tests can include anything assigned for reading or discussed in class
  • All quizzes are short and worth 10 points
  • Twelve scheduled quizzes
  • Bring a Scantron quizstrip to every class
  • Best ten quiz scores count for total possible 100 points
reading assignments
Reading Assignments

- See syllabus for course coverage

- I do not tend to fall behind

  • This Week:
    • Chap 1: 3, 5-17
    • Chap 2: 27-28
  • Next Week:
    • Chapter 4
succeeding in this class
Succeeding in this Class
  • Read and attempt to understand concepts before each class (Before class)
  • Use slides to make note taking in class more effective (During class)
  • After class (within 48 hours) review reading and lecture notes and make outline, etc that puts it all together (After class)
  • Test yourself via groups or on your own and use results to conduct further studying (Between lecture and exam)
  • Review before exam (Before exam)
what is the law

The Law


What is “The Law”?
  • Rules of permissible conduct, limits on allowable conduct

- Not the same as a moral limit or rule, but is supposed to be reflective of morals and ethics

- But we all know there are many things that you can do, but should not do.

role of law in business
Role of Law in Business

The ways in which the law affects business are as numerous as the number of laws themselves

Enron, Worldcom, Tyco (Business structure)

Employees not paid overtime (Employment law)

The McDonald’s coffee spill (Torts)

Grace Inc. and “A Civil Action” (Environmental)

Limit of VOC content in underarm deodorant (Product regulation)

Customer refuses to pay (Contracts)

types of legal situations
Types of Legal Situations


Negotiation of contracts, purchases etc.

(these tend to occur in more informal settings)


Reactionary events such as claims made by someone else against you or you against them.

(these tend to occur in more formal settings such as law suits, criminal accusations, etc.)

types of law nature
Types of Law- Nature

Substantive Law vs Procedural Law

Defines rights and duties

Explains how to make the law work

Ex: “You may not drive greater than the posted speed limit”

Ex: “To challenge a traffic citation you must pay the established bail amount by the deadline and indicate that you require a hearing”


English Common Law

Federal Courts


Executive Branch


State Courts

State Courts

State Leg

State Leg

State Exec

State Exec



U.S. Constitution

State #1 Constitution

State #2 Constitution

Individual or Business

types of law source
Types of Law- Source
  • Constitutions
  • Statutes
  • Cases or Court Orders
  • Regulations
  • Ordinances / Codes
types of law type
Types of Law- Type
  • Criminal
  • Civil
  • Administrative (Quasi Civil)
defining the law
Defining the Law
  • Some law is “black letter”
  • Most law is very ambiguous and hard to pin down
    • Court interpretations of statutes – “precedent”
    • Ethical interpretations
    • Tradition and practice of police, courts and agencies
    • Case law or “common law”
  • Cases flesh out and define black letter law as well as create law of their own
  • When reading a case, what things should you look for that tell you the importance and relevance of the case?
jurisprudence or what is law
Jurisprudence, or “What is Law?”

Legal Positivism

“Law is what the sovereign says it is.”

Decisions stand, regardless of morality.

“An unjust law is no law at all and need not be obeyed.”

Natural Law

Lawsmust have a good moral basis.

“Enforcement of the law is more important than the law itself.”

Legal Realism

Enforcers determine if the law is applied in a fair and consistent way.

applying the law
Applying the Law
  • Begin with black letter law
  • Evaluate the moral situation
  • Apply the moral pressure against the strength of the law

1) The less clear the black letter law, the more likely moral standard determines outcome.

2) The stronger the moral conviction the more likely moral standard determines outcome.

what standard
What Standard???


  • Can a judge use his or her own standard?
  • Must a judge go against his or her own belief?
  • Does it matter if the judge is elected? Does it matter if the judge proclaimed the particular belief?
  • What limits legislature?
  • What limits the majority?
overview of this course

Some substantive areas we get to sample

Overview of this Course

Introduction, Defining Law

Types of Law

Forums Where Law is Applied



Product Liability

Secured Transactions



Business Organizations

Employment Law

next week types of law
Next Week: Types of law
  • Read this week’s and next week’s assignment
  • Go to my website and start using the lecture slides available there.
  • Compare this week’s reading to my lecture and make some type of complete outline/ overview/ etc of this introductory topic.
  • Be prepared for a quiz on Chapter 4 (scantron quizstrip).