LONE STAR COLLEGE – NORTH HARRIS
SPRING 2020 SEMESTER
BUSINESS LAW – 2301-1001
Complete and submit the Midterm Exam in the Dropbox File provided in D2L, below, on by Saturday, March 7, 2020. It Consists of 4 Question Sections (Question 1 thru Question 4). Questions 2 thru 4 are hypothetical scenarios. Course material covered during the semester to date (including reading assignments and supplemental material provided in D2L as well as in course lectures/class discussions) may be covered by this Exam. Each Question Section is of equal value (25 points are allocated to each). Explain/justify your responses to the questions presented in each section. It is an untimed, open book exam. There are no minimum or maximum word requirements for your responses. You make assumptions if necessary; however, state in your response what assumptions you are making. Conduct whatever legal research is necessary to respond to the Questions. You can either answer the questions presented on this sheet by typing your responses below or submit a separate sheet of paper with your responses. Your answers must be your own work product. Do not discuss the scenarios or questions presented in this exam or your responses with any class member prior to the exam’s submission due date/time.
Answer the following questions (conduct whatever research is necessary – you can find all of the answers online):
a. In 1997 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the “Brady Gun Law.” Search for and provide the correct legal citation to that case.
b. Where is the U.S. Brady Act mentioned in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”)? (Search for and provide the correct CFR citation.)
c. Search the U.S. Brady Act and identify what is the “NICS”?
d. Search for and provide the legal citation for the U.S. Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the “RICO Act” or simply “RICO”?
On January 3, 2020, Taj (a resident of Montgomery County, Texas) e-mails Meredith (a resident of Harris County, Texas) and asks how much Meredith is asking for a particular 40-acre tract of land in Nueces County, Texas, that Meredith owns. On January 4, 2020, Meredith responds to Taj by email stating: “I can not take less than $60,000 for the 40 acre tract, as specified.” A week after receiving Meredith’s e-mail response, Taj replies to Meredith by e-mail stating, “I accept your offer of $60,000 for sale of the 40 acre tract in Nueces County as specified.”
Answer each of the following questions, based on the above facts:
a. Does Taj has a valid, legally enforceable contract with Meredith to purchase from her the 40-acre Nueces County tract?
b. If Taj has a valid, legally enforceable contract with Meredith to purchase her 40 acre Nueces County tract, what possible legal claims or causes of action can he assert and what possible legal and/or equitable remedies can he seek?
c. What court(s), if any, would have jurisdiction over any lawsuit filed by Taj aganst Meredith and in what venue(s), if any, Taj may be able to file and maintain a lawsuit against Meredith on any such claims or causes of action that he may have.
d. In the event of a lawsuit filed by Taj against Meredith on a breach of contract claim or cause of action, who should prevail and why?
After two (2) years of research and development, and an investment of an amount of $10,000,000, in the summer of 2019, Coast-to-Coast Company (“CC”), a Houston, Texas, based company, developed a new product that it hopes will produce substantial profits. In December of 2019, CC learned that a competitor, National Sales, Inc., (“National”) a Los Angeles, California, based company, incorporated in Nevada, with no office or agent in Texas, has made and begun to sell a nearly identical product in November of 2019 through an unaffiliated third-party distributor named Affinity Products, Inc. (“Affinity”), which is based in Las Vegas, Nevada and incorporated in Delaware. Affinity does not have offices in Texas or agents residing in Texas; however, it does business in Texas. CC learns from a reliable source that, in August of 2019, National’s President who resides and works in California, Tom Jones, traveled to Texas to meet with Bob Hall, a CC employee residing and working in Houston. Mr. Jones coordinated the trip directly with Mr. Hall by e-mail to Mr. Hall’s private e-mail account and telephone calls to Mr. Hall’s personal cell phone. During that trip, Mr. Jones paid Mr. Hall the cash sum of $100,000 to obtain the confidential and proprietary plans for CC’s product when it was in development. Mr. Jones’ company, National, used those plans as a basis to develop its own substantially similar product under a different brand name. CC wishes to sue National for damages and to obtain equitable relief to stop National from what it views as theft of trade secrets and unfair competition.
a. What State and/or Federal courts, may CC bring and maintain a suit against National? Include in your response, considerations of subject matter and personal jurisdiction as well as venue.
b. May CC include Tom Jones and/or Affinity as a co-Defendant in the same suit? If so, on what basis? If not, why not?
c. What legal and/or equitable relief might be available to CC in Texas courts?
d. What alternatives to litigation, if any, might be available to CC to satisfy its concerns and objections regarding National?
David Rios is currently 28 years old. He has lived and worked in Austin, Texas, for over 5 years, is a graduate of J.W. Nixon High School in Laredo, Webb County, Texas. David owns no real property in Laredo and pays no ad valorem property taxes there. He has also not been registered to vote there for at least the past 5 years. However, David’s parents and 2 older siblings reside in Laredo and David visits them often. He also has other family there. The Laredo Independent School District had a bond election in November of 2019 that passed a $100,000,000 bond issue to renovate schools, including Nixon High School. Rather than renovating the school, however, the district now plans on demolishing the school completely and building a completely new school facility to replace the current school. This plan was approved by the school board at their regular monthly board meeting in January of 2020. For purely personal and sentimental reasons, David does not want the original Nixon school facility demolished. Accordingly, in February of 2020, he files a lawsuit as the sole plaintiff in a State District Court in Austin, Travis County, Texas, against the school district seeking to stop or enjoin the school district from demolishing the current school facility using bond funds resulting from the 2019 bond election. David’s suit alleges that the school district did not disclose in the course of the bond election that Nixon High School (or any other school) would be demolished and, accordingly, breaches or violates a “contract” between the school district and the voters. It also alleges that the current school facility contains asbestos and there has not been adequate asbestos remediation done and demolition would pose a potential health threat to the residents living near the school. Both the U.S. and Texas, as well as Laredo, have laws pertaining to the use of asbestos, as well as demolition of buildings containing asbestos.
a. Was Travis County a proper venue for David to file his suit? What other State or Federal Courts, if any, could David also have filed his lawsuit?
b. What legal and/or equitable relief, if any, can David seek to obtain to stop the demolition of the Nixon school facility?
c. Should David prevail in his lawsuit against the school district? Why or why not?
d. What motion(s), if any, can the school district file to seek to obtain a dismissal of David’s case before trial?
e. Is there anything that David can do to enhance or increase the chances of success of his lawsuit against the school district?