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Legal Research Paper - Current Business Law Topics

Requirements for the Research Paper

Legal Research Paper Each student is required to submit a written research paper on a current business law topic. Any topic that has occurred within the last one to ten years is considered current. The research paper must be at least in length, typewritten in. Points will be deducted for improper spacing and blanks or gaps. The use of graphs, charts, and any other visual aids is acceptable, so long as they do not overshadow the text on the page. Visual aids do not count towards the 10 page requirement. All research sources shall be listed at the end of the paper. Students are welcome to write more than 10 pages; however, it will not in any way enhance their grade, nor will it be considered as extra credit under any circumstances. It is perfectly fine to venture out into legal topics slightly beyond our course material, such as bankruptcy or antitrust law, so long as you intertwine it with the underlying principles of contract law, fair competition, and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The paper shall display the student’s ability to analyze and explain legal principles and doctrines, as well as formulate an opinion on a business legal matter by conducting legal research that extends beyond the class textbook (but you may use your text as a reference). Research can be done entirely online, or at the Law Library, the Public Law Library downtown, etc. You must select a recent legal topic from the following: U.S. government’s takeover of General Motors, the financial bailout of AIG, the BP Gulf Deepwater Horizon oil spill, or even a local one, such as the legal challenges posed by the Americans with Disabilities Act facing a long-time burger establishment in Sacramento known as the Squeeze Inn or the Jointed Cue pool hall, or the fire/arson that occurred at the Galleria Mall in Roseville, or the Napa and Paradise fires involving PG & E. Another topic is mortgages and the real estate industry dealing with a flood of short sales and foreclosures as part of the “Great Recession”. Dimple Records just announced that they are closing all their Northern California stores. Why did this occur and how are employees affected by this decision? Another potential topic could be the bankruptcy of some major retailers, including Borders Books, Blockbuster Video, Hollywood Video, Hostess, Anchor Blue, Mervyn’s, Circuit City, Sears, Kmart, RadioShack, Wet Seal, Bebe, Toys R Us, Payless Shoe Source, and Gottschalk’s. What is the process of bankruptcy? What happens to all the assets of the business? How are the owners of the business impacted? What happens to the employees? What about lenders/creditors? There have been a lot of changes taking place in the insurance industry. Within the last few years, AIG purchased 21st Century Insurance, Farmers Insurance then bought 21stCentury Insurance, and Allstate recently acquired Esurance. How does this impact the shareholders? What about policy holders? Does this affect the employees in any way? Farmers Insurance also purchased Coast National/Bristol West Insurance. Farmers Insurance is owned by Zurich Insurance. Does this violate any antitrust laws? Where does the California Department of Insurance fit in to all of this? Last, Liberty Mutual Insurance just purchased Safeco Insurance. Why is there this trend in the insurance industry? Another topic would be the recent intellectual property litigation between Apple and Samsung alleging that Samsung’s android phone unlawfully copied the iPhone’s engineering architecture. Samsung denied this and claims they did not infringe on any of Apple’s patents. Other current topics include Proposition 64 decriminalizing recreational use of marijuana, Wells Fargo Bank Fraud Scandal, and the Volkswagen EPA Fraud case business law. Michael Jackson was planning to perform a series of concerts in England for summer 2009 until his untimely death. What happens to all the contracts that were formed in anticipation and preparation of these performances? Do ticket holders receive a refund? Stadiums committed to leasing to Mr. Jackson and may have turned away other business. What happens if they cannot lease their premises to a new business customer in time? Kanye West “performed” at the Golden Arena, but left abruptly after a few songs. What legal issues are presented by his early departure? Linkin Park’s and Soundgarden’s respective lead signers committed suicide in 2017. How does this impact their former bands’ legal commitments? Ozzy Osbourne and Megadeth had a 2019 tour cancelled because of a physical injury and ailments. What happens to ticket holders’ purchases? Is a refund issued? How does contract law apply in this situation? What if the concert is merely postponed, but not actually officially cancelled? Other topics mentioned briefly above include the recent lawsuit by Apple against Samsung for $2.5 billion for allegedly stealing patented technology. VW has had a major problem with the EPA by cheating on emissions with the diesel engine vehicles. Wells Fargo was recently fined for opening up false credit card accounts without their customers’ permission. Isn’t this fraud? Erika Michelle Carlton, a Roseville resident, just plead guilty to embezzling over $400,000.00 from the Thunder Valley Casino, while working there as a Human Resources Manager. Drew Brees, Step Curry, Kevin Durant, Damian Lilliard, Derek Carr, John Gruden, and Mike Trout just signed massive sports contracts with their respective teams. Explain the details of the agreement. Is all their money guaranteed? Are there performance incentives? What if they become injured and cannot play? The list of potential business law topics, as you can see, is nearly limitless. Another potential business/sports related topic that’s become quite controversial is the NFL player conduct policy and concussion protocols. Prime examples of this are Adrian Peterson, Aldon Smith, Ezekiel Elliot, and Ray Rice. Deflategate with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots and Bountygate with the New Orleans Saints are also acceptable business-sports topics, but must focus on legal aspect of sports contracts and player conduct policies.

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