Business Law 1
To maximize profits and indicate good corporate citizenship, businesses should evaluate a decision’s:
safety risks for consumers and employees
all of the above
public relations impact
An example of the moral minimum is excessive corporate salaries.
If a corporation is incorporated in Delaware, has its main office in Massachusetts and does business in New Hampshire, but its president lives in Connecticut, in which state(s) can it be sued?
Delaware, Massachusetts and New Hampshire
Connecticut, Delaware and Massachusetts
Delaware and Massachusetts
Negligence requires the proof of which elements?
None of the above
duty of care, breach of duty and injury
duty of care, breach of duty and damages
duty of care and breach of duty
In order to prove the tort of defamation one must show the publication of a statement that holds an individual up to contempt, ridicule, or hatred.
The right to privacy is guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and some state constitutions.
Which of the following is true about the differences between criminal and civil law.
The burden of proof for a civil case is preponderance of the evidence.
An act that leads to tort liability can never also lead to criminal liability
The burdens of proof for both civil and criminal cases is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
In both criminal and civil cases a jury must find the defendant guilty by a unanimous vote.
In the case People v. Sisuphan (2010), the defendant was convincted of embezzlement, but not larceny.
The basic requirements for a valid contract are:
agreement, consideration, capacity and legality
in writing, consideration is made, both parties agree
agreement, capacity and legality
agreement, unilateral bargain and legality
What kind of a property right is this:
–Joint ownership of property; each party owns undivided interest that passes to his or her heirs
tenancy in common
You are a state judge. You have been assigned a high school freshman intern and asked to explain to her a bit about the judiciary in North Carolina. Write 1-2 paragraphs explaining the following:
· the general role of a judge,
· the 3 levels of courts in North Carolina, the names of the trial, appellate and highest state courts and what appellate courts do,
· a basic overview of the different kinds of law that can guide judges in making decisions.
Jerome is landscaping his own yard. He attempts to cut down a tree limb, but is unsuccessful and the limb hangs from the tree. He leaves it and goes to work. His neighbor Layla comes home from work and as she is walking up her driveway a gust of wind knocks the tree limb falls on her head and injures her.
· What kind of tort is this? Explain.
· What elements will she have to show to prove this tort?
· What kind of damages are available to Layla?
· Will she bring a case in a criminal or a civil court? Why?
Business/Ethics Related Persuasive Writing
You run a small sporting goods store in Connecticut, as a partnership with your brother. Your store sells fishing and camping items, as well as apparel and accessories related to bicycling, rock climbing, boating and hiking. A representative for a gun manufacturer approaches you about broadening your inventory to include handguns, rifles and semi-automatic weapons, along with ammunition and accessories.
You must persuade your brother to either 1) include these items in the store’s inventory, or 2) declare that your store will not carry guns or accessories.
Use your persuasive writing techniques and one or more of the ethical dilemma approaches identified in “Ethics and Law: Basic Concepts, Cases and Dilemmas” to write an email to your brother convincing him to take one of the above positions. Your email should be 2-4 paragraphs.
(You may make up any additional factual information needed to successfully make your argument. The argument you make does not have to reflect your own personal beliefs.)
Case Briefing/ Constitutional Law
Use the template below to brief the following case.
Betty Ann FERGUSON, Petitioner-Appellant,
COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent-Appellee.
United States Court of Appeals,
Jan. 22, 1991.
Taxpayer filed petition. The United States Tax Court, Korner, J., dismissed for lack of prosecution, and appeal was taken. The Court of Appeals held that court abused its discretion in refusing testimony of taxpayer, who refused, on religious grounds, to swear or affirm.
Reversed and remanded.
1. Constitutional Law 92K84(2)
Protection of free exercise clause extends to all sincere religious beliefs; courts may not evaluate religious truth. U.S.C.A. Const. Amend. 1. Ferguson v. C.I.R. 921 F.2d 588, 67 A.F.T.R.2d 91-459, 91-1 USTC P 50,052
2. Witnesses 410K227
Court abused its discretion in refusing testimony of witness who refused, on religious grounds, to swear or affirm, and who instead offered to testify accurately and completely and to be subject to penalties for perjury. U.S.C.A. Const. Amend. 1; Fed.Rules Evid.Rule 603, 28 U.S.C.A. Ferguson v. C.I.R. 921 F.2d 588, 67 A.F.T.R.2d 91-459, 91-1 USTC P 50,052
Betty Ann Ferguson, Metairie, La., pro se.
Peter K. Scott, Acting Chief Counsel, I.R.S., Gary R. Allen, David I. Pincus, William S. Rose, Jr., Asst. Attys. Gen., Dept. of Justice, Tax Div., Washington, D.C., for respondent-appellee.
Appeal from a Decision of the United States Tax Court.
Before JOLLY, HIGGINBOTHAM, and JONES, Circuit Judges.
Betty Ann Ferguson appeals the Tax Court’s dismissal of her petition for lack of prosecution after she refused to swear or affirm at a hearing. We find the Tax Court’s failure to accommodate her objections inconsistent with both Fed.R.Evid. 603 and the First Amendment and reverse.
This First Amendment case ironically arose out of a hearing in Tax Court. Although the government’s brief is replete with references to income, exemptions, and taxable years, the only real issue is Betty Ann Ferguson’s refusal to “swear” or “affirm” before testifying at the hearing. Her objection to oaths and affirmations is rooted in two Biblical passages, Matthew 5:33-37 and James 5:12. * * *
Ms. Ferguson, proceeding pro se, requested that Judge Korner consider the following statement set forth by the Supreme Court of Louisiana in Staton v. Fought, 486 So.2d 745 (La.1986), as an alternative to an oath or affirmation:
I, [Betty Ann Ferguson], do hereby declare that the facts I am about to give are, to the best of my knowledge and belief, accurate, correct, and complete.
Judge Korner abruptly denied her request, commenting that “[a]sking you to affirm that you will give true testimony does not violate any religious conviction that I have ever heard anybody had” and that he did not think affirming “violates any recognizable religious scruple.” Because Ms. Ferguson could only introduce the relevant evidence through her own testimony, Judge Korner then dismissed her petition for lack of prosecution. She now appeals to this court.
 The right to free exercise of religion, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution, is one of our most protected constitutional rights. The Supreme Court has stated that “only those interests of the highest order and those not otherwise served can overbalance legitimate claims to the free exercise of religion.” Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205, 215, 92 S.Ct. 1526, 1533, 32 L.Ed.2d 15 (1972). Accord Hobbie v. Unemployment Appeals Comm’n of Florida, 480 U.S. 136, 141, 107 S.Ct. 1046, 1049, 94 L.Ed.2d 190 (1987); and Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398, 403, 83 S.Ct. 1790, 1793, 10 L.Ed.2d 965 (1963). The protection of the free exercise clause extends to all sincere religious beliefs; courts may not evaluate religious truth. United States v. Lee, 455 U.S. 252, 257, 102 S.Ct. 1051, 1055, 71 L.Ed.2d 127 (1982); and United States v. Ballard, 322 U.S. 78, 86-87, 64 S.Ct. 882, 886-887, 88 L.Ed. 1148 (1944). Fed.R.Evid. 603, applicable in Tax Court under the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 7453, requires only that a witness “declare that [she] will testify truthfully, by oath or affirmation administered in a form calculated to awaken the witness’ conscience and impress the witness’ mind with the duty to do so.” As evidenced in the advisory committee notes accompanying Rule 603, Congress clearly intended to minimize any intrusion on the free exercise of religion:
The rule is designed to afford the flexibility required in dealing with religious adults, atheists, conscientious objectors, mental defectives, and children. Affirmation is simply a solemn undertaking to tell the truth; no special verbal formula is required. Accord Wright and Gold, Federal Practice and Procedure § 6044 (West 1990).
The courts that have considered oath and affirmation issues have similarly attempted to accommodate free exercise objections. In Moore v. United States, 348 U.S. 966, 75 S.Ct. 530, 99 L.Ed. 753 (1955) (per curiam), for example, the Supreme Court held that a trial judge erred in refusing the testimony of witnesses who would not use the word “solemnly” in their affirmations for religious reasons.
* * * *
 The government offers only two justifications for Judge Korner’s refusal to consider the Staton statement. First, the government contends that the Tax Court was not bound by a Louisiana decision. This argument misses the point entirely; Ms. Ferguson offered Staton as an alternative to an oath or affirmation and not as a precedent.
The government also claims that the Staton statement is insufficient because it does not acknowledge that the government may prosecute false statements for perjury. The federal perjury statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1621, makes the taking of “an oath” an element of the crime of perjury. Accord Smith v. United States, 363 F.2d 143 (5th Cir.1966). However, Ms. Ferguson has expressed her willingness to add a sentence to the Staton statement acknowledging that she is subject to penalties for perjury. The government has cited a number of cases invalidating perjury convictions where no oath was given, but none of the cases suggest that Ms. Ferguson’s proposal would not suffice as “an oath” for purposes of § 1621. See Gordon, 778 F.2d at 1401 n. 3 (statement by defendant that he understands he must accurately state the facts combined with acknowledgment that he is testifying under penalty of perjury would satisfy Fed.R.Civ.P. 43(d)).
The parties’ briefs to this court suggest that the disagreement between Ms. Ferguson and Judge Korner might have been nothing more than an unfortunate misunderstanding. The relevant portion of their dialogue was as follows:
MS. FERGUSON: I have religious objections to taking an oath.
THE COURT: All right. You may affirm. Then in lieu of taking an oath, you may affirm.
MS. FERGUSON: Sir, may I present this to you? I do not—
THE COURT: Just a minute. The Clerk will ask you.
THE CLERK: You are going to have to stand up and raise your right hand.
MS. FERGUSON: I do not affirm either. I have with me a certified copy of a case from the Louisiana Supreme Court.
THE COURT: I don’t care about a case from the Louisiana Supreme Court, Ms. Ferguson. You will either swear or you will affirm under penalties of perjury that the testimony you are about to give is true and correct, to the best of your knowledge.
MS. FERGUSON: In that case, Your Honor, please let the record show that I was willing to go under what has been acceptable by the State of Louisiana Supreme Court, the State versus—
THE COURT: We are not in the state of Louisiana, Ms. Ferguson. You are in a Federal court and you will do as I have instructed, or you will not testify.
MS. FERGUSON: Then let the record show that because of my religious objections, I will not be allowed to testify.
Ms. Ferguson contends that Judge Korner insisted that she use either the word “swear” or the word “affirm”; the government suggests instead that Judge Korner only required an affirmation which the government defines as “an alternative that encompasses all remaining forms of truth assertion that would satisfy [Rule 603].” Even Ms. Ferguson’s proposed alternative would be an “affirmation” under the government’s definition.
If Judge Korner had attempted to accommodate Ms. Ferguson by inquiring into her objections and considering her proposed alternative, the entire matter might have been resolved without an appeal to this court. Instead, however, Judge Korner erred not only in evaluating Ms. Ferguson’s religious belief, and concluding that it did not violate any “recognizable religious scruple,” but also in conditioning her right to testify and present evidence on what she perceived as a violation of that belief. His error is all the more apparent in light of the fact that Ms. Ferguson was proceeding pro se at the hearing.