In this module you learned a few basic but key legal concepts you could very likely encounter during your future business career. When operating a business, you need to be able to understand and use basic legal concepts not only in making contracts and being involved in lawsuits but in making smart business decisions.
In the “Why It Matters” section you were presented with some likely questions arising from the basic legal concepts discussed in this module. Let’s review the answers learned to these important questions:
Am I always subject to the UCC in my sales contracts and can I waive providing warranties to the goods or services I sell?
Well, you have learned that you can specifically waive many but not all portions of the UCC, but there are a couple of important qualifiers. First, some of the UCC is essentially a codification of the the common law as developed and enforced by the courts and second, some specific provisions like the covenants of good faith and fair dealing are implied by law. As to waiving warranties, the warranties of fitness for purpose are also implied by law in every contract.
If a dispute becomes litigation is the decision reached for or against my business just up to the whims of a jury?
No. You have discovered that the trial judge can direct a verdict either for you nor against you based on the clear facts and law of the case either before the jury’s deliberations, eliminating the jury’s decision (a directed verdict) or after the jury has reached and announced it’s decision, setting aside the jury’s decision (a judgement n.o.v.).
Does the law provide me with any guidance as to how to hopefully avoid liability in a Title VII lawsuit for maintaining a “hostile work environment”?
Well, although probably not crystal clear, you have learned that the courts have found liability where a working environment was legally harassing and hostile when sufficiently severe and pervasive as to alter the employee’s conditions of employment. Clear as mud it seems. Better to err on the side of a workplace as free from harassment and hostility as possible.
If a purchaser files bankruptcy do I have any chance of recovering the money owed my business?
You certainly learned that a bankruptcy filing does not mean that a creditor never gets any payment, but it depends on two conditions: 1) What is the priority of the debt? For example, secured debts are paid before unsecured debts out of available assets. 2) A debt may be repaid (perhaps in full) in installments over a three or five year repayment plan if a Chapter 11 or 13 bankruptcy is filed.
Knowing, understanding and applying basic legal concepts can be essential to the bottom line success of your future business. Despite the many answers, we still have more and bigger questions to ponder. Are these concepts effective or beneficial to society and business? Should they be changed? How and why?