1. Second Hand Store published advertisements in a newspaper for a sale on fur coats, mink scarves, and a lapin stole. Each of the advertisements indicated that the sale items would be sold on a first come first served basis, stated the quantities of each item available, and stated that they would be sold for one dollar each. Louis was the first customer to present himself and offer the one dollar price per the terms of the advertisement. The defendant refused to sell the sale items to and told him that according to the “house rules” the offer was intended for women only. Louis sues for breach of contract or in the alternative specific performance. Discuss.
2. Kenny Kissup was assistant to the President of the university. He help students participate in various government programs to finance their education. The student newspaper—a publication independent of the university—published an article regarding the success of the program and in referred to Kenny as the “Director of Butt Licking.” Discuss KENNY’S defamation claim against the student newspaper. .
3. Billy is an avid bicyclist. Billy would like there to be a paved bike path into his neighborhood, so he contacts Don, who heads up the local city-sponsored bicycle program. Don is in charge of deciding where to locate new bicycle paths using the proceeds of a substantial grant that was recently received. Billy arranges to meet with Don at the Harmonic Convergence Brewpub for a few of their Granola Stout specialty brews. They have the following conversation:
Billy: Don, you know there’s no bike path up to my subdivision, Heavenly Hills. There are many people in Heavenly Hills who would like a bike path constructed up that direction.
Don: Yes, I realize that. But there are many areas not yet served by bike paths around town and even though this recent grant is fairly good-sized, it is not unlimited. People are coming out of the woodwork with requests since news of this grant hit the papers.
Billy: Well, as you know, I just shared in the recent lottery jackpot. If you do everything you can to make sure that a path out to Heavenly Hills is included in projects funded by this grant, I can give you a few thousand dollars.
Don: I’ll need a thousand up front before I can promise that. But, if you do that, I can promise you that the good people of Heavenly Hills won’t be left out of the final plan.
Billy: It’s a deal.
Billy then reaches into his bike bag and gets $1,000, which he gives to Don. Billy then leaves $40 on the table to cover the cost of their beer, and rides home. Twelve months later, the final plan is announced and there is no path planned out to Heavenly Hills, although there is a path which is planned to go about halfway from downtown in the general direction of Heavenly Hills. Don sues Billy seeking further payment, and Billy countersues seeking a return of his $1,000. What arguments could each raise, and how do you think a court would likely rule? Discuss contract law principles only.
4. Henry is the owner and president of a machine shop with 36 employees. Of these, 30 persons are employed as machinists and the other six work in the office or in sales. There has never been union representation. In the same industrial park is a dealership for heavy equipment such as that used in road construction or surface mining. There are about 50 mechanics who have formed a union at the heavy equipment dealership. Some of these mechanics have been trying to get the machinists at Henry’s machine shop to join their union. The union formed by the mechanics is not affiliated with any national union. Henry believes he has been a good employer and fears a union will drive a wedge between him and his employees. Henry’s employees currently are at-will employees. Henry takes several actions to prevent his machinists from voting to join the union. He has forbidden any representatives of the mechanic’s union from coming on to his premises. In addition, he has reminded his employees that they are at-will employees, and if he hears of any of them discussing the union with any of the mechanics, they will immediately lose their jobs. He also gives all his employees a one-dollar-per-hour wage increase, and tells them that if a union is formed, they will have to start at zero and negotiate a new wage. Henry has also considered offering to form a company union if it looks like the union vote might succeed. Discuss the legal implications of the union’s and Henry’s activities.
5. Bob is at the Boston Biceps Bodybuilding Club riding an exercise bike. Bob wants to change the channel on the television that is mounted high on a nearby wall. He reaches for the remote control device and finds that another member has accidentally taken the remote control and left behind a cellular phone. Bob drags the exercise bike over to the television. He stands on the seat of the exercise bike in order to reach the television, but the seat post breaks and Bob falls to the floor. Bob is injured and cannot control his temper. He puts his entire 170 pounds into destroying the bike and throws it across the room against the wall, breaking off several pieces, with the handlebars landing on the running track. Half an hour later, another patron, Randy, trips over the handlebars as he is running on the track and is injured. Discuss Randy’s claims.
6. Mary owns a medium-size distribution business with about 20 employees. Mary had an unusual management style and from time to time would throw items at her employees. Paul was working in the warehouse one hot summer day and accidentally gave a will-call customer the wrong goods. The customer came back to the office a short while later upon discovering the problem. Mary was in the office and asked who had filled his order. The customer described Paul, whereupon Mary went to the warehouse and threw a computer printout, with stock numbers and product descriptions, at Paul, yelling, “Use this, you idiot. Maybe you can do your job then!” Paul was startled, and by reflex turned to run after Mary, but slipped when he was barely under way. Paul’s back was injured when the computer printout hit him, and he injured his leg when he slipped. Discuss Paul’s claims.