1. Rod owns an auto parts store. Naomi is shopping in the store when she slips on some oil. The oil had
been spilled by an employee stocking shelves. What are the four factors Naomi needs to prove a case of
negligence? What factors will determine whether she is successful?
2. Ruth owns a large gravel and sand pit. Each night she puts a chain across the driveway to the pit.
Layne and his friends drive their motorized dirt bikes through the ditch of the sandpit at night. They ride
their bikes up and down the sand and gravel piles. One night Layne is hurt after falling in a sinkhole in
one of the gravel pits. Could Layne prevail in a case of negligence against Ruth? Discuss any factors that
would be relevant to the court’s decision.
3. Quinton owns a flower shop. One night he is driving his delivery van when he sees some friends
walking down the street. Quinton honks his horn and waves in an attempt to get their attention.
Unfortunately, he does not see Susan’s car parked illegally on the side of the road with a flat tire.
Quinton collides with the parked car. Is Quinton liable for negligence (please discuss all four elements
needed to prove a case of negligence)? Discuss fully the concepts that may prove his negligence as well
as any defenses he might raise against the owner of the car.
4. Nicholas visits a hospital and learns he needs an emergency surgery on his heart. After the surgery, his
heart is fine but he has trouble with dizziness. The doctor claims the sur-gery went as planned. What are
the requirements Nicholas must prove to prove a case of negligence against the hospital? What special
negligence theory may help Nicholas prove his case against the doctor?
5. Rufus is playing soccer with his friends after school. Rufus pushes Samantha while chas-ing the soccer
ball as part of the game. Samantha falls and sprains her wrist. Rufus also intentionally kicks Bethany
while she is lying on the ground after a play has finished. Rufus was mad that she had scored a goal on
him earlier in the game. Alex yells at Rufus to get himself under control, and Rufus responds by trying to
punch Alex with a closed fist. Who can and who cannot bring a successful lawsuit against Rufus for
battery? How about assault? Please define the torts of assault and battery in your answer.
6. Jonathan works as a bartender. One night a disgruntled patron named Jimmy starts arguing with
Jonathan. Jonathan refuses to serve any more alcohol to Jimmy. Jimmy becomes angry, and Jonathan
tries to physically remove Jimmy from the bar. A struggle ensues, and Jonathan ends up pushing Jimmy
into a storage closet. He locks the door and calls the police. What torts may Jimmy allege against
Jonathan? Please define each tort you allege may have occurred.
7. Phillip was recently let go from his job at Large Corporate Place. He was accused by his former boss of
embezzling assets from the company. Mainly his boss was angry about Phillip taking printer paper home
to use for personal purposes. Philip had committed this act but only because all the other employees did
it as well. Phillip is angry and tells his boss that he thinks he is an ineffective manager. In retaliation
against Phillip, his boss sends out a company-wide e-mail telling everyone Phillip is a thief. Could Phillip
prevail in a defamation suit against his former employer? Why or why not?
8. Tom just read a news article about a local politician, Jodi, who proposed legislation requiring all
businesses pay their workers a minimum hourly wage of twenty dollars. Tom believes this will put him
out of business. He writes an editorial about Jodi, claim-ing she is a shady politician who committed
improprieties in business before entering politics. Assuming these allegations are not true, can Jodi
recover damages in a lawsuit for libel against Tom? What if Jodi is not a public figure? Discuss fully.
9. Joseph recently parked his delivery truck on the property of a business located next to his. Joseph has
done this in the past many times. However, today the owner of the adjoining business becomes very
angry with Joseph. Is Joseph guilty of trespass? What defenses might he raise? How would the other
business owner prove damages?
10. Tim has an idea for a new web program that will affix itself to the computers of users who visit the
home page of a search engine. The web program will then track the users’ use of the Internet. Tim plans
to sell the data to online advertisers. What torts might Tim have committed if he uses his new software
11. Erika is let go from her job. On her way out of the building, she takes her boss’s cell phone and
throws it out an eighth-story window. It smashes on the ground. She then proceeds to tell everyone in
the office that the company they work for sells stolen goods. Some of the company’s best customers are
in the building that day to sign contracts and hear what Erika has to say. Some of them walk out of the
building in response to Erika’s statement. What torts may have Erika committed?
12. Ellen has recently been subject to a cyberattack at her business. A file with a list of her best
customers was stolen by a computer hacker named Norman. Tricia, a competitor of Ellen, buys the list
online and then uses it to sign new contracts with customers of Ellen. She induces them to break their
contract with Ellen by offering them steep discounts. What torts might Ellen allege against Tricia and
1. Monica is the owner of Fast Dri Cleaning. Two of her employees have been overcharg-ing customers
by adding tips to their receipts. The employees split the fraudulent tips at the end of each week. What
crimes may have been committed by the employees? What if Monica knew of this scheme but did
nothing to stop it; can she be held criminally liable? Please provide the definition of each crime before
discussing whether it was committed.
2. Low Rent Properties, Incorporated is owned by Don. Don also has an illegal gambling business. Don
takes the money received from the gambling business and deposits it into his corporate checking
account. Don reports the income from his gambling business on his tax return. During the current year,
Don had to file bankruptcy because of declining property values. Before filing bankruptcy, Don took
$120,000 in cash from the corpo-rate checking account and gave it to his girlfriend. What crimes has
Don committed? Please provide the definition of each crime before discussing whether it was
3. Mark has a business located in a building with four other businesses. Mark knows the back door to
the flower store next door is never locked. One afternoon he enters that door with the intent to steal
flowers for his wife. Stealing anything of value in Mark’s state is a felony. Mark takes two dozen roses.
What crimes may Mark have committed under the common law? Has he committed burglary? Please
provide the definition of each crime before discussing whether it was committed.
4. Tina is behind on her mortgage payments. She wishes she could sell her home, but the home’s sales
value would not cover her liabilities. Tina decides to burn down her house during the night when no one
can see what she is doing. She then files an insurance claim and collects a large payment from the
insurance company. What crimes may have Tina committed? Has she committed arson? Please provide
the definition of each crime before discussing whether it was committed.
5. Larissa steals her roommate’s credit card. She takes the credit card to a local retail store, where she
buys a six-pack of beer. Later that night she takes the credit card and buys dinner and drinks for herself
and her boyfriend at a local restaurant. She signs the credit card receipt using her roommate’s name
after dinner and gives the waitress a large tip. What crimes has Larissa committed? Please provide the
definition of each crime before discussing whether it was committed.
6. Nelson owns an unprofitable coffee shop. He has designed a computer program that attaches itself to
personal laptops used in his coffee shop through the wireless Internet system. Nelson’s virus activates a
software program that downloads customers’ bank account information when they visit their bank’s
website. The virus then destroys the operating system of the laptop computer so Nelson’s activities
cannot be tracked. What crimes may Nelson have committed? Please provide the definition of each
crime before discussing whether it was committed.
7. Nick is at a football game. He leaves the game to go to a friend’s home. When Nick arrives at the
house, a person he is not familiar with hands him an illegal substance in a pipe. Nick smokes the illegal
substance. He then tells the person about how he vandalized a car owned by an opposing fan after he
left the game and before he came to the house. Nick is then arrested by the individual, who is an
undercover cop. Can Nick claim entrapment as a defense? Does it matter that Nick was not read his
Miranda rights? Can the cop use his statement about vandalizing the car against him?
8. Allison is a waitress at a local restaurant. One night she thinks a customer has told her to write down a
tip on the receipt. Allison promptly gave herself a 10% tip. It was very noisy in the restaurant. In fact, the
customer actually asked her if he had signed the receipt. The customer informs the police of the
incident. The police charge Allison with larceny. Has Allison committed larceny? Why or why not?
9. Marty has a business where he buys stolen cars and then disassembles the cars and sells the parts to
various auto repair shops. He also does repair work for insurance companies. The repair work is a legal
business. Marty puts all the money he receives in one checking account. One day a police officer comes
to have his car fixed. He walks into Marty’s shop to give him the keys when he sees a car that he believes
matches the description of a stolen car. The police officer snaps a picture of the car and shows it to the
person who reported the car stolen. What crimes has Marty committed? If the police officer never
obtained a search warrant, can the picture of the stolen car be used at trial?
10. One day Alex is working at a local grocery store when his boss comes in and says he needs Alex to
come with him. Alex and his boss walk to the back of the store, where all the extra food is stored. Alex
helps his boss load eight cases of liquor into the back of a white van. Alex thinks it is out of the ordinary
but does what he is told. The next day Alex is charged with larceny. The prosecuting attorney in his case
tells Alex’s mom that if she pays him $10,000 in cash, he will make sure the charges get dismissed.
However, Alex and his mom must never say anything to anyone about the cash payment. Did Alex
commit larceny? What other parties committed a crime, and what crime did they commit? Please
provide the definition of each crime before discussing whether it was committed.
1. Rebecca has an idea for an invention to help remove tree roots from plumbing pipes. She has drawn
up plans for the invention and has started to build the invention in her garage. What must Rebecca do to
protect her invention? Assuming she receives a pat-ent, what would she have to do to protect her
invention if Stanley, a neighbor, found out about her invention and started making the same invention
without her permission?
2. Charlie has created a process for melting metal using a bolt of lightning. Mike has cre-ated a software
program that helps college students schedule classes and part-time jobs to maximize their efficiency.
There currently exists a software application that helps students schedule classes only. Discuss whether
Charlie and Mike should receive patent protection for their inventions.
3. Nigel volunteers at his son’s elementary school. As a fund-raiser, he thought it would be a good idea
to gather recipes to put in a cookbook that the school could sell to raise money. He would like to make
sure the cookbook is protected so that others can’t copy it without supporting the school. Discuss how
Nigel would protect the cookbook and what the legal limitations might be for the protection of the
4. Allison owns a business that provides custom embroidery for clothing. She treats the thread she uses
with a lavender scent before she performs the embroidery. She would like to register the scented thread
as a form of trademark for the services she provides. Discuss whether she could obtain a federal
trademark registration on scented thread used in this manner.
5. Jill recently invented a new computer chip that employs different circuitry to consume far less energy
than previous chips, and it requires special firmware that Jill coded herself. She has not sold the chip or
publicly disclosed how she made it. She would like to start a business to commercialize the chip. She has
already coined a term to use for a brand name, designed marketing materials, and secured a domain
name. What should Jill do to protect these vari-ous items of intellectual property?
6. Sarah is a journalist and interviewed the former governor of Iowa, Sharon, who was recently defeated
in an election. Sharon was a good friend of Jessie, who was convicted of securities fraud. The governor
pardoned Jessie during her term, and many political analysts believe that pardon was a major factor in
why Sharon was not reelected. Sharon is planning on releasing a book in the next three weeks detailing
her thought process regarding granting Jessie her pardon. The former governor shared portions of her
upcoming book with Sarah during the interview, and Sarah agreed she would not publish those portions
of the book. When Sarah published her interview on a blog, she didn’t publish the portions of the book
directly, but she reworded those portions and published the main points. Sarah receives advertising
revenue from her blog, but it is less than $1,000 per year. Discuss whether Sarah’s use of the portion of
the former governor’s book constitutes fair use.
7. Bill is interested in starting a new restaurant. His last name is McDonald. He is consider-ing calling his
business “McDonald’s Burgers.” He is worried McDonald’s Corporation, which is famous for its Big Mac
and golden arches, might take issue with his business name. Mariah and her siblings are starting a coffee
bean business. Their family name is McDonald, and they would like to call their business “McDonald’s
Beans.” Should Bill and Mariah be concerned about trademark infringement, and what type of
infringement might it be? Trademark dilution?
8. Lisa has developed a new invention for measuring humidity in the air. She is considering the following
names for her invention: humidity detector, Lisa’s rain detector, Bananas, and PrecipDeFinder. Discuss
the strengths and weaknesses of each name for trademark-protection purposes.
9. Adam operates a catering business that specializes in barbecued ribs. He has six employees who help
him cook and serve food at various events. Recently, one of his employees, Jack, became disgruntled
and quit. Jack started his own barbecue restaurant and uses Adam’s recipe. Jack didn’t sign an
employment agreement with Adam, but Adam did tell Jack that he considered the barbecue recipe to be
a trade secret and to not tell anyone what the recipe was. Did Adam have a trade secret in the recipe?
What should someone in Adam’s position do to ensure his intellectual property is adequately protected?
10. Patents and copyrights are designed to incentivize creation and innovation through the promise of a
limited monopoly. However, some argue that these monopolies stifle innovation rather than drive it
forward because the monopoly prevents others from exploring deriva-tive technology and that
competitors expend undue resources trying to design around the monopoly. Discuss whether patents
and copyrights spur or stifle progress.
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