Posted: November 13th, 2015
Legal Issues Case Study Part II
Read the scenario and the questions that follow. Identify the legal issue(s) and apply legal concepts and possible arguments for each question. Prepare a solution for each question using laws, cases, examples and/or other relevant materials. At the end of the paper, identify potential ethical issues and propose a solution for each issue. Support your answers with information from the textbook and at least two outside scholarly sources.
This assignment requires application of the concepts learned in Weeks 1 – 5 and is worth significantly more than previous assignments.
Marcus is a second year law student working as an intern for the largest law firm in Chicago, Illinois. The senior attorney introduced Marcus to a new client, Kay Roc, the founder of the famous fast food chain, McWilliams. As the owner of this large organization, Roc is looking to your firm to handle all of her legal needs.
Marcus learns the following information from his meeting with Roc and her staff.
•McWilliams recently hired a former high-ranking official from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help improve the image of McWilliam’s products and ensure compliance with state and federal government regulations. Roc is concerned about a recently proposed rule that will require McWilliams to obtain additional permits and result in more frequent inspections by the FDA. The agency published the rule in the Federal Register last week. These new permits will create more work and expense for Roc. The former FDA employee indicated that he knows people at the FDA who might be able to make the proposed rule disappear in exchange for contributions to the new food safety training facility in Atlanta, Georgia.
•McWilliams is being sued by two customers. ?Hal Coker is suing McWilliams for negligence and deceptive trade practices claiming the fast food chain does not adequately inform the public of the dangers to their health and eating the food can lead to health problems.
?Keith and Kathy Allison were having dinner with their two daughters at a McWilliams in Detroit when the couple started to argue. The argument escalated and Keith shouted that he was going to kill his wife. When Keith stormed outside, Kathy dialed 911 and asked the manager to help them. The manager said he could not get involved in domestic disputes. Kathy and her daughters hid in the restroom; however, Mr. Allison returned with a gun, which he used to shoot Kathy and his two daughters before Detroit police shot killed him. Kathy died at the scene, and the two daughters were seriously injured. A wrongful death lawsuit filed against McWilliams on behalf of the girls.
•McWilliams is famous for its golden MW logo and mascot, McBurger. Roc wants to ensure the McWilliams logo and mascot are protected from use by others without permission. Roc reminds you that this protection should extend use in the United States and in other countries. She also asks you if it would be possible to sue a competitor, McDonalds, for their use of one golden arch logo, similar to McWilliams.
•Eric Roc, Kay Roc’s son, had no interest in working for McWilliams after graduating from college and passing the CPA exam. Eric applied for a position as accountant with Bean & Counter, LLC. an accounting firm specializing in assisting small businesses in Atlanta, Georgia. On November 28, the firm offered Eric a 12-month employment contract with the yearly salary of $75,000 starting on January 1. The contract contained the following provisions.
•?Eric could not be terminated during the12-month term of employment unless he committed an illegal act.
?Any disputes would be resolved using a mediator selected by the accounting firm.
?Eric would not be permitted to work for any accounting firm within a 100-mile radius of Atlanta for two years after leaving the firm.
•Eric accepted the job and signed the contract the same day, November 28. Eric decided to keep the news secret until he returned from his two-week vacation in Hawaii. On November 30, Roc offered to give Bean & Counter her company’s entire accounting business if the firm hired Eric. The firm accepted. When Eric told his mother the news about getting the job on November 28, Roc refused to transfer any accounting work to Bean & Counter. The accounting firm filed a suit against Roc, citing the parties had a contract. When Eric showed up for work on January 1, the firm informed him that they no longer needed his services. One week later, Eric found another job with Cooke & Books, a firm specializing in providing auditing services for restaurants and businesses in the food industry. The office was located in downtown Atlanta, just two blocks from Bean & Counter.
•Drew Scott, the director in the real estate division of McWilliams, met with Jed Turner about purchasing a large tract of land owned by Turner in Oak Brook, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Scott knew the company planned to bulldoze the acreage to create Burger University, a state of the art training facility. Scott judged Turner to be 85 or 90 years old. During the meeting, Scott noticed several brochures about Alzheimer’s and assisted living facilities, as well as several prescription bottles sitting on the table. After discussing the good old days for several hours, Scott and Turner agreed on the sale of the land for $400,000. Since Scott brought a blank copy of a contract with him, he helped Turner complete the paperwork and both parties signed. Unbeknownst to either party, the purchase price was written as $40,000. On the day before the closing, Scott called Turner to remind him of the location of their meeting to sign the remaining documents. Confused, Turner said he didn’t know anything about selling that land and he had no intention of selling his land to some dimwitted young whippersnapper who tried to cheat him.
Based on the scenario, create a 7 to 9-page Microsoft Word document. In addition, the document should address the following and any others issues you may discover:
•Describe the steps in the administrative process from the agency’s and the citizen’s perspective when a government agency proposes a rule or regulation. What would you recommend Roc do in response to the FDA’s proposed rule?
•Should Roc make a contribution to the food safety training facility? Why or why not? Please provide a legal basis for your decision.
•Discuss the legal issues of the lawsuit between Hal Coker and McWilliams. Determine which party will win and provide support for your decision.
•Discuss the legal issues of the lawsuit between the Allison children and McWilliams. Determine which party will win and provide legal support for your decision.
•Are the MW logo and mascot, McBurger, considered intellectual property? If yes, what type? If not, why not? Are there any issues with protecting the logo or mascot in the U.S. and in foreign countries? Does McWilliams have a case against McDonalds over the use of the golden arches?
•What is the status of the employment contract between Eric and Bean & Counter?
•Will the non-compete provision be enforceable? Why or why not?
•What is the status of the agreement between Roc and Bean & Counter?
•Does Scott, on behalf of McWilliams, have a valid contract with Turner? What are the basic requirements for contract formation? What defects in the contract formation process may have occurred?
Based on the different situations described in the scenario, create a 7 to 9-page Microsoft Word document.
Support your answers with appropriate research, reasoning, cases, laws, and other relevant examples.
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