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Smith versus Van Gorkom Court Case Analysis

Smith versus Van Gorkom Court Case Analysis

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Write a 2–page executive briefing of a selected federal or state court case pertaining to the topic of business entities.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

Competency 1: Articulate the importance, context, purpose, and relevance of law in a business environment.

Summarize the facts and ruling of a legal case.

Competency 4: Evaluate legal options for creating a business entity.

Analyze how a legal case could impact businesses.

Explain how a legal case could impact a specific organization.

Competency 5: Develop information literacy skills as applied to business law.

Exhibit information literacy skills as applied to business law.

Most organizations identify themselves as a specific type of business entity, such as a corporation or a partnership, for legal purposes. The types of legal entities that are available are dictated by public policy.

Read the Assessment 4 Context document for important information related to the following topics:

Why the Form of Business Entity Is Important.Smith versus Van Gorkom Court Case Analysi

The Notion of Limited Liability.

Corporations and Piercing the Corporate Veil.

Agency – What It Is and What It Is Not.

To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of forming a limited liability company?

Should a member of a limited liability company be liable for obligations that arise after the member has left the company?

How can a corporation be properly punished if it commits a tort or a crime?

Are the steps required to incorporate an organization too easy or too difficult?

Should shareholders be held personally liable for the wrongdoing of the corporations in which they hold shares?

Under what circumstances should members of the board of directors be held personally liable for the wrongdoing of the corporations they govern?

Is it ever a good idea to do business without creating some form of a limited liability business organization?

What are the factors to consider when deciding whether to buy into a franchise such as McDonalds?

What are the differences between a partnership and a limited liability business organization? How might different corporate entities impact entrepreneurial interests in relation to the global economy?

Are the protections afforded corporate officers warranted in today’s business landscape? Given the litigation landscape of the modern United States, how could the protections that the courts provide to companies and partnerships be improved?

Are there elements of the different business entities that should be strengthened, weakened, or eliminated altogether?Smith versus Van Gorkom Court Case Analysi

Suggested Resources

The following optional resources are provided to support you in completing the assessment or to provide a helpful context. For additional resources, refer to the Research Resources and Supplemental Resources in the left navigation menu of your courseroom.

Capella Resources

Click the links provided to view the following resources:

Assessment 4 Context.

Capella Multimedia

Throughout this course, you will be required to submit case law analysis papers. This multimedia presentation points out key areas of a case law. Use this presentation to help you complete your case analyses. Refer to this media as often as you need to.

Business Law Foundational Concepts | Transcript.

This media piece offers interactive flashcards that you can use to learn (or review) foundational terms and concepts in business law. Refer to this study aid often and as needed.Smith versus Van Gorkom Court Case Analysi

Library Resources

The following e-books or articles from the Capella University Library are linked directly in this course:

DuBoff, L. D. (2004). The law (in plain English) for small business. Naperville, IL: Sphinx Publishing.

Course Library Guide

A Capella University library guide has been created specifically for your use in this course. You are encouraged to refer to the resources in the BUS-FP3021– Fundamentals of Business Law Library Guide to help direct your research. Pay particular attention to the Capella University Library Legal Research Library Guide linked within.

Internet Resources

Access the following resources by clicking the links provided. Please note that URLs change frequently. Permissions for the following links have been either granted or deemed appropriate for educational use at the time of course publication.

Nolo. (2013). Nolo law for all. Retrieved from http://www.nolo.com

This resource provides helpful background on a range of legal issues. You may find the Free Legal Information section of the site particularly helpful.

Your assessments throughout this course will be case law analysis papers based on real-world court decisions you will choose and research independently. The following suggested resources provide helpful methods of locating relevant cases:

FindLaw. (2013). US Supreme Court opinions. Retrieved from www.findlaw.com/casecode/supreme.html

Cornell University Law School – Legal Information Institute (LII). (n.d.). Supreme Court: Most recent decisions. Retrieved from www.law.cornell.edu/supct

Nolo. (2011). US Supreme Court center. Retrieved from http://supreme.nolo.com

Oyez, Inc. (2011). U.S. Supreme Court media – Cases. Retrieved from http://www.oyez.org/cases

Bookstore Resources

The resources listed below are relevant to the topics and assessments in this course and are not required. Unless noted otherwise, these materials are available for purchase from the Capella University Bookstore. When searching the bookstore, be sure to look for the Course ID with the specific –FP (FlexPath) course designation.

Miller, R. L., & Cross, F. B. (2018). The legal environment of business: Text and cases (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

Assessment Instructions

For this assessment, you will first select an actual business-related legal case, pertaining to the topic of business entities, based on briefly conducting associated research. Based on that, you will then select an organization that you believe would be impacted by that legal case. Having completed both of these tasks, you should assume you’re a senior manager in the organization you selected, and that you were asked to perform an analysis of the legal case and to write an executive briefing for the executive team of that same organization. Your executive briefing should include a summary of the case, as well as an evaluation of how the case impacts the organization.

The purpose of this format is two-fold:

To give you the opportunity to research and investigate a real court decision.

To challenge you to think about the business implications of the case, and specifically how the case will impact an actual organization.

In your case law analysis you must be able to navigate the court’s decision, and summarize and evaluate it. You may choose any business-related court case, either state or federal, as the basis for your case law executive briefing, as long as the case is applicable to the assessment topic. You are expected to conduct your own independent research to locate and evaluate the applicability of cases. A few appropriate case law websites are recommended for you in the Resources, but you are not limited to using cases from these sites.

For this assessment, use credible legal research databases and online resources, research federal and state court cases, and select any business-related case that has been decided by a state court, a federal court, or the United States Supreme Court. Then select an organization (potentially the organization for which you work) that you believe the selected case might impact. Write an executive briefing that addresses the following:

Research federal and state court cases pertaining to the topic of business entities. Select one court case and write an analysis that addresses the following:

Articulate the context and relevance of law in a business environment:

Identify the parties who are before the court.Smith versus Van Gorkom Court Case Analysi

Provide a brief background and context associated with the case. Summarize the facts in no more than 2–3 paragraphs.

Identify the specific disagreement between the parties.

Explain the ruling of the court and its business relevance in no more than 1–2 paragraphs. Was there a dissenting opinion? If so, explain why some of the judges or justices disagreed with the majority in the decision.

Evaluate the business impact of the case:

Summarize your analysis of how the case will impact businesses in general, including both positive and negative impacts.

Indicate the organization you selected as potentially impacted by the case and why you selected that organization.

Explain how the case will impact the specific organization you selected, such that the executive team will understand the implications of the legal decision.

Based on your executive audience, your executive briefing should be no more than two pages, and should be well organized and written in clear, succinct language. Follow APA rules for attributing sources that support your analysis and conclusions.

Academic Integrity and APA Formatting

As a reminder related to using APA rules to ensure academic honesty:

When using a direct quote (using exact or nearly exact wording), you must enclose the quoted wording in quotation marks, immediately followed by an in-text citation. The source must then be listed in your references page.

When paraphrasing (using your own words to describe a non-original idea), the paraphrased idea must be immediately followed by an in-text citation and the source must be listed in your references page.

Case Law Analysis: Business Entities Scoring Guide

CRITERIA NON-PERFORMANCE BASIC PROFICIENT DISTINGUISHED
Exhibit information literacy skills as applied to business law. Does not exhibit any information literacy skills as applied to business law. Exhibits inconsistent information literacy skills as applied to business law, or uses sources of questionable credibility. Exhibits information literacy skills as applied to business law. Exhibits information literacy skills as applied to business law, and supports statements with legal research from credible legal research databases and online resources.
Summarize the facts and ruling of a legal case. Does not summarize the facts and ruling of a legal case. Lists facts of the ruling, but omits key elements or does not summarize the ruling. Summarizes the facts and ruling of a legal case. Summarizes the facts and ruling of a legal case, and clearly explains the business context and relevance.
Analyze how a legal case could impact businesses. Does not analyze how a legal case could impact businesses. Discusses a legal case in the context of business, but does not explain the relationship or significance to businesses. Analyzes how a legal case could impact businesses. Analyzes how a legal case could impact businesses, including both positive and negative impacts.
Explain how a legal case could impact a specific organization. Does not explain how a legal case could impact a specific organization. Discusses a legal case in the context of a specific organization, but does not explain the relationship or significance to a specific organization. Explains how a legal case could impact a specific organization. Explains how a legal case could impact a specific organization such that an executive team will understand the implications of the legal decision.

5-3021

Write a 3–page executive briefing of potential factors and issues associated with four types of business entities in the context of contract law.

One of the most common ways in which business managers are involved with business law is in relation to contracts. Organizations of almost any size will most likely need to create, negotiate, review, approve, adhere to, and resolve conflicts associated with contracts. A business determines its legal standing by determining what type of legal entity it should be identified as. The type of legal entity can significantly impact how contracts are handled, as well as how they are interpreted by the courts.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

Competency 2: Evaluate the role of contracts in commercial transactions.

Analyze contract creation and negotiation for the most common types of business entities.

Analyze contract approval for the most common types of business entities.

Competency 4: Evaluate legal options to create a business entity.

Analyze contract liability for the most common types of business entities.

Analyze how choosing among the most common types of business entities affects the ability to sell a business.

Suggested Resources

The following optional resources are provided to support you in completing the assessment or to provide a helpful context. For additional resources, refer to the Research Resources and Supplemental Resources in the left navigation menu of your courseroom.

Analyzing a Case Law | Transcript.

Throughout this course, you will be required to submit case law analysis papers. This multimedia presentation points out key areas of a case law. Use this presentation to help you complete your case analyses. Refer to this media as often as you need to.

Business Law Foundational Concepts | Transcript.

This media piece offers interactive flashcards that you can use to learn (or review) foundational terms and concepts in business law. Refer to this study aid often and as needed.

Library Resources

The following e-books or articles from the Capella University Library are linked directly in this course:

DuBoff, L. D. (2004). The law (in plain English) for small business. Naperville, IL: Sphinx Publishing.

Course Library Guide

A Capella University library guide has been created specifically for your use in this course. You are encouraged to refer to the resources in the BUS-FP3021– Fundamentals of Business Law Library Guide to help direct your research. Pay particular attention to the Capella University Library Legal Research Library Guide linked within.

Internet Resources

Access the following resources by clicking the links provided. Please note that URLs change frequently. Permissions for the following links have been either granted or deemed appropriate for educational use at the time of course publication.

Nolo. (2013). Nolo law for all. Retrieved from http://www.nolo.com

This resource provides helpful background on a range of legal issues. You may find the Free Legal Information section of the site particularly helpful.

Bookstore Resources

The resources listed below are relevant to the topics and assessments in this course and are not required. Unless noted otherwise, these materials are available for purchase from the Capella University Bookstore. When searching the bookstore, be sure to look for the Course ID with the specific –FP (FlexPath) course designation.

Miller, R. L., & Cross, F. B. (2018). The legal environment of business: Text and cases (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

Assessment Instructions

For this assessment, consider that you work as a manager in a relatively small, privately-owned business. The company president (who is also the owner) inherited the company from his father, and thus has never started a business. He is considering creating a spin-off business (possibly with one or two associates), but is unsure of which type of business entity would be best to use for that new business. The new business will be utilizing numerous suppliers and distributors, and thus contracts will play a major role in the success of the business. The president knows you took a university-level business law class, and asked you to put together a paper analyzing the four most common business entities in the context of contracts to help him decide what to do.

Research each of the following types of business entities:

Sole proprietorship.

Partnership.

Corporation.

Limited liability company (LLC).

Consider potential factors and issues associated with each of these types of business entities in the context of contract law. Write a paper analyzing the following for each of the above four types of business entities:

Who in the business entity would typically create and negotiate a contract? Explain the pros and cons of each entity in this context.

Who in the business entity would typically approve and sign a contract? Explain the pros and cons of each entity in this context.

Who in the business entity would have liability associated with the contract? Explain the pros and cons of each entity in this context.

What are the effects of the type of business entity on the ability to contract for the sale of the business? Explain the pros and cons of each entity in this context.

Based on your executive audience, your executive briefing should be no more than three pages, and should be well organized and written in clear, succinct language. Follow APA rules for attributing sources that support your analysis and conclusions.

Academic Integrity and APA Formatting

As a reminder related to using APA rules to ensure academic honesty:

When using a direct quote (using exact or nearly exact wording), you must enclose the quoted wording in quotation marks, immediately followed by an in-text citation. The source must then be listed in your references page.

When paraphrasing (using your own words to describe a non-original idea), the paraphrased idea must be immediately followed by an in-text citation and the source must be listed in your references page.

Business Entity Implications for Contracts Scoring Guide

CRITERIA NON-PERFORMANCE BASIC PROFICIENT DISTINGUISHED
Analyze contract creation and negotiation for the most common types of business entities. Does not describe contract creation and negotiation in the context of business entities. Describes contract creation and negotiation in the context of business entities, but their significance is unclear. Analyzes contract creation and negotiation for the most common types of business entities. Analyzes contract creation and negotiation for the most common types of business entities and explains the pros and cons of each entity in this context.
Analyze contract approval for the most common types of business entities. Does not describe contract approval in the context of business entities. Describes contract approval in the context of business entities, but its significance is unclear. Analyzes contract approval for the most common types of business entities. Analyzes contract approval for the most common types of business entities and explains the pros and cons of each entity in this context.
Analyze contract liability for the most common types of business entities. Does not describe contract liability in the context of business entities. Describes contract liability in the context of business entities, but its significance is unclear. Analyzes contract liability for the most common types of business entities. Analyzes contract liability for the most common types of business entities and explains the pros and cons of each entity in this context.
Analyze how choosing among the most common types of business entities affects the ability to sell a business. Does not describe how choosing among the most common types of business entities affects the ability to sell a business. Describes how choosing among the most common types of business entities affects the ability to sell a business, but their relationship or significance is unclear. Analyzes how choosing among the most common types of business entities affects the ability to sell a business. Analyzes how choosing among the most common types of business entities affects the ability to sell a business, and explains the pros and cons of each entity in this context.

6-3021

Write a 2–page executive briefing of a selected federal or state court case pertaining to the topic of tort law.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

Competency 1: Articulate the importance, context, purpose, and relevance of law in a business environment.

Summarize the facts and ruling of a legal case.

Competency 3: Evaluate key judicial concepts that influence the decisions related to business.

Analyze how a legal case could impact businesses.

Explain how a legal case could impact a specific organization.

Competency 5: Develop information literacy skills as applied to business law.

Exhibit information literacy skills as applied to business law.

The Basis of Tort Law

One of the most important concepts of the law is the notion that if one party damages another in a noncriminal context, then the aggrieved party is entitled to restitution, to be made whole. In a business law context, making another party whole (note: this is a fairly common term that you will hear again and again in a legal context) is the entire purpose of tort law. In other words, a judge or jury will attempt to determine exactly what needs to be done when an aggrieved party can demonstrate damages, and what those damages should be, in order to return a party to its state prior to the alleged action.

Virtually all commercial enterprises deal with the public at some point, providing products, services, or any sort of commercially relevant activities. The risk of inflicting even unintentional damages on consumers thus exposes commercial concerns to lawsuits and litigation.

Criminal penalties cannot be attached to business entities. If a crime is committed, the government charges specific individuals within the corporation who may be responsible, not the business entity. Yet, society recognizes that businesses, out of negligence, ignorance, or malfeasance, may cause injury to another party. Tort law imposes standards by which such injured parties can seek recompense from the corporation in civil court. Whereas an entire corporate entity cannot be tried in a criminal court, it can be a defendant in a civil court.

Read the Assessment 6 Context document for important information related to the following topics:

Strict Liability and Product Liability.

Consumer Protection.

The Public Policy Nexus.

Questions to Consider

To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.

Should the owner of a car be liable to a thief for the thief’s injuries, if the stolen car has no brakes?

Does someone watching a person being robbed have a duty to help the person being robbed?

Should a person who has been careless be liable for all damage caused by his or her carelessness, or should there be limits?

Should courts always punish companies that have been careless by awarding large amounts of money to those who have been injured?

Are there situations where companies should be liable to those who have been injured, even if the company has not been careless?

Tort law permeates society and daily life. Think of a tort issue in your life or in the life of someone close to you. Perhaps you did not pursue litigation, but considering your knowledge of tort law, do you think you should have? Perhaps you pursued litigation and lost. Is it clear why you lost? Specifically, identify the elements of the tort cause of action and apply facts to each element. If the case is not clear cut, it will probably be because an element of a cause of action is not clearly met. If an element of a cause of action is clearly not met, there is not a legitimate cause of action.

Suggested Resources

The following optional resources are provided to support you in completing the assessment or to provide a helpful context. For additional resources, refer to the Research Resources and Supplemental Resources in the left navigation menu of your courseroom.

Throughout this course, you will be required to submit case law analysis papers. This multimedia presentation points out key areas of a case law. Use this presentation to help you complete your case analyses. Refer to this media as often as you need to.Smith versus Van Gorkom Court Case Analysis

Business Law Foundational Concepts | Transcript.

This media piece offers interactive flashcards that you can use to learn (or review) foundational terms and concepts in business law. Refer to this study aid often and as needed.

Library Resources

The following e-books or articles from the Capella University Library are linked directly in this course:

DuBoff, L. D. (2004). The law (in plain English) for small business. Naperville, IL: Sphinx Publishing.

Course Library Guide

A Capella University library guide has been created specifically for your use in this course. You are encouraged to refer to the resources in the BUS-FP3021– Fundamentals of Business Law Library Guide to help direct your research. Pay particular attention to the Capella University Library Legal Research Library Guide linked within.

Internet Resources

Access the following resources by clicking the links provided. Please note that URLs change frequently. Permissions for the following links have been either granted or deemed appropriate for educational use at the time of course publication.Smith versus Van Gorkom Court Case Analysis

Nolo. (2013). Nolo law for all. Retrieved from http://www.nolo.com

This resource provides helpful background on a range of legal issues. You may find the Free Legal Information section of the site particularly helpful.

U.S. Small Business Administration. (n.d.). SBA.gov. Retrieved from http://www.sba.gov

The U.S. Small Business Administration has a variety of resources that help to guide entrepreneurs in how to form the correct entity as they launch or formalize their business endeavors.

Dow Jones & Company, Inc. (2013). The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/home-page

The Wall Street Journal stands as one of the best resources for tax issue reporting.

Bookstore Resources

The resources listed below are relevant to the topics and assessments in this course and are not required. Unless noted otherwise, these materials are available for purchase from the Capella University Bookstore. When searching the bookstore, be sure to look for the Course ID with the specific –FP (FlexPath) course designation.Smith versus Van Gorkom Court Case Analysis

Miller, R. L., & Cross, F. B. (2018). The legal environment of business: Text and cases (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage

Assessment Instructions

For this assessment, you will first select an actual business-related legal case, pertaining to the topic of tort law, based on briefly conducting associated research. Based on that, you will then select an organization that you believe would be impacted by that legal case. Having completed both of these tasks, you should assume you’re a senior manager in the organization you selected, and that you were asked to perform an analysis of the legal case and to write an executive briefing for the executive team of that same organization. Your executive briefing should include a summary of the case, as well as an evaluation of how the case impacts the organization.

The purpose of this format is two-fold:

To give you the opportunity to research and investigate a real court decision.

To challenge you to think about the business implications of the case, and specifically how the case will impact an actual organization.Smith versus Van Gorkom Court Case Analysis

In your case law analysis you must be able to navigate the court’s decision, and summarize and evaluate it. You may choose any business-related court case, either state or federal, as the basis for your case law executive briefing, as long as the case is applicable to the assessment topic. You are expected to conduct your own independent research to locate and evaluate the applicability of cases. A few appropriate case law websites are recommended for you in the Resources, but you are not limited to using cases from these sites.

For this assessment, use credible legal research databases and online resources, research federal and state court cases, and select any business-related case that has been decided by a state court, a federal court, or the United States Supreme Court. Then select an organization (potentially the organization for which you work) that you believe the selected case might impact. Write an executive briefing that addresses the following:

Research federal and state court cases pertaining to the topic of tort law. Select one court case and write an analysis that addresses the following:

Articulate the context and relevance of law in a business environment:

Identify the parties who are before the court.Smith versus Van Gorkom Court Case Analysis

Provide a brief background and context associated with the case. Summarize the facts in no more than 2–3 paragraphs.

Identify the specific disagreement between the parties.

Explain the ruling of the court and its business relevance in no more than 1–2 paragraphs. Was there a dissenting opinion? If so, explain why some of the judges or justices disagreed with the majority in the decision.

Evaluate the business impact of the case:

Summarize your analysis of how the case will impact businesses in general, including both positive and negative impacts.

Indicate the organization you selected as potentially impacted by the case and why you selected that organization.

Explain how the case will impact the specific organization you selected, such that the executive team will understand the implications of the legal decision.

Based on your executive audience, your executive briefing should be no more than two pages, and should be well organized and written in clear, succinct language. Follow APA rules for attributing sources that support your analysis and conclusions.Smith versus Van Gorkom Court Case Analysis

Academic Integrity and APA Formatting

As a reminder related to using APA rules to ensure academic honesty:

When using a direct quote (using exact or nearly exact wording), you must enclose the quoted wording in quotation marks, immediately followed by an in-text citation. The source must then be listed in your references page.

When paraphrasing (using your own words to describe a non-original idea), the paraphrased idea must be immediately followed by an in-text citation and the source must be listed in your references page.Smith versus Van Gorkom Court Case Analysis

Case Law Analysis: Tort Law Scoring Guide

CRITERIA NON-PERFORMANCE BASIC PROFICIENT DISTINGUISHED
Exhibit information literacy skills as applied to business law. Does not exhibit information literacy skills as applied to business law. Exhibits inconsistent information literacy skills as applied to business law, or uses sources of questionable credibility. Exhibits information literacy skills as applied to business law. Exhibits information literacy skills as applied to business law, and supports statements with legal research from credible legal research databases and online resources.
Summarize the facts and ruling of a legal case. Does not summarize the facts and ruling of a legal case. Lists facts of the ruling, but omits key elements or does not summarize the ruling. Summarizes the facts and ruling of a legal case. Summarizes the facts and ruling of a legal case, and clearly explains the business context and relevance.
Analyze how a legal case could impact businesses. Does not analyze how a legal case could impact businesses. Discusses a legal case in the context of business, but does not explain the relationship or significance to businesses. Analyzes how a legal case could impact businesses. Analyzes how a legal case could impact businesses, including both positive and negative impacts.
Explain how a legal case could impact a specific organization. Does not explain how a legal case could impact a specific organization. Discusses a legal case in the context of a specific organization, but does not explain the relationship or significance to a specific organization. Explains how a legal case could impact a specific organization. Explains how a legal case could impact a specific organization such that an executive team will understand the implications of the legal decision.