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Cheeseman, H. R. (2013). The legal environment of business and online commerce: Business ethics, e-commerce, regulatory, and international issues (7th ed.).




Briefing Paper 1: Critical Legal Thinking





  • Read Murphy Oil USA, Inc. synopsis — Cheeseman text page 285-286 13.8 Guaranty Contract


  • There is no need to read the case. Determine how your business would protect itself from a discharge of the debt identified in the case.


  • Brief the facts of the case and assume your boss is seeking your opinions as on the discharge issue – argue both sides of the issue.




13.8 Guaranty Contract Murphy Oil USA, Inc. (Murphy Oil) enterd into a contract to sell petroleum products to Price Oil, Inc. In order to do so, Murphy Oil required and obtain written guaranty contracts signed by Elmer Myers Armstrong and Frieda Armstrong (Armstrongs), guaranteeing that if Price Oil did not pay for oil delivered by Murphy Oil, they would pay the unpaid amount. Murphy Oil sold and delivered petroleum products to Price Oil for the price of $265,585.75. Price Oil declared bankruptcy, and murphy oil received $66, 246.28 from the bankruptcy proceeding. The Armstrongs did not make payment to Murphy Oil for the unpaid debt. Murphy Oil instituted a legal action against the Armstrongs to enforce the guaranty agreement against them to recover Price Oil’s remaining debt owed to Murphy Oil, which at the time of the lawsuit was $193,339.47. Do the Armstrongs as a guarantors of Price Oil’s debt to Murphy Oil, owe Murphy Oil the amount of the unpaid debt of Price Oil? Murphy Oil USA Inc. v. Armstrong, Web 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 46289 (United States District Court for the Middle District of (Alabama)




Briefing Paper 2: Law Case with Answers





  • Read Deficiency Judgment — Cheeseman text page 268


  • Determine whether your jurisdiction (state) has an anti-deficiency statute.


  • Brief the facts of the case and assume your boss is seeking your opinions on the efficacy of anti-deficiency statue when your business is in the position of the First Bank in the example; argue both sides of the issues presented.




Deficiency Judgement


Some states permit a mortgage to bring a separate legal action to recover a deficiency from the mortgagor. If the mortgagee is successful, the court will award a deficiency judgement that entitles the mortgagee to recover the amount of the judgement from the mortgagor’s other property.


Example: Kaye buys a house for $800,000 she puts $200,000 down and borrows $600,000 from a bank, which takes a mortgage on the property to secure the loan. Kaye defaults and when the bank forecloses on the property it is worth only $500,000. There is a deficiency of $100,000 ($600,000 loan-$500,000 foreclosure sale price). The bank can recover the $100,000 deficiency from Kaye’s other property. The bank has to bring a legal action against Kaye to do so.


Several states have enacted statuses that prohibit deficiency judgements regarding certain types of mortgages, such as loans for the original purchase of residential property. Theses statutes are called antideficiency statutes. Anti-deficiency statutes usually apply only to first purchase money mortgages, mortgages that are taken out to purchase houses). Second mortgages and other subsequent mortgages, even mortgages that refinance the first mortgage, usually are not protected by antideficiency statutes.


Example: Assume that a house is located in a state that has an antideficiency statue. Qian buys a house for $800,000 She puts $200,000 down and borrow $600,000 of the purchase price from First Bank, which takes a mortgage on the property to secure the loan. This is the first purchase money mortgage. Subsequently, Qian borrows $100,000 from Second Bank and gives a second mortgage to second bank to secure the loan. Qian default on both loans, and when she defaults the house is worth only $500,000. Both banks bring foreclosure proceedings to recover the house. First Bank can recover the house worth $500,000 at foreclosure. However, first bank has a deficiency of $100,000 ($600,000 loan-$500,000 foreclosure sale price) because of the state’s antideficiency statue, First Bank cannot recover the deficiency from Qian ; First Bank can only recover the house in foreclosure and must write off the $100,000 loss. Second Bank’s loan, a second loan, is not covered by the antideficiency statute. Therefore, Second Bank can see Qianto recover $100,000 deficiency from Qian’s other property.



Briefing Paper 3: Critical Legal Thinking Cases



      • Read Sections 13.4 Discharge (p. 285); 12.8 Risk of Loss (p. 263); 12.5 Limited Warranty (p. 262); and 13.3 Bankruptcy (p. 284-285)


  • Check the decisions of the highest appellate courts, if a case is cited, for each fact pattern.


  • Brief the facts of the case and assume your boss is seeking your opinions on whether each of the four subjects affect business in the United States and if so, provide the worst and best case scenarios.



13.4 Discharge Margaret Kawaauhau sought treatment from Dr.. Paul Geiger foor a foot injury. He examined Kawaauhau and admitted her to the hospital to attend to the risk of infection. Although the doctor knew the intravenous penicillin would have been more effective treatment, he prescribed oral penicillin explaining that he thought that his patient wished to minimize the cost of her treatment. Dr. Geiger than departed on a business trip, leaving the patient in the care of other physicians. When he returned, he discontinued all antibiotics because he believed that the infection had subsided. Kawaauhau’s condition deteriorated over the next few days, requiring the amputation of her right leg below the knee. Kawaauhaus and her husband sued Dr. Geiger for medical malpractice. The jury found the doctor liable and awarded them $355,000 in damages. Dr. Geiger who carried no malpractice insurance, filed for bankruptcy in an attempt to discharge the judgement. That is attributable to negilgent or reckless conduct dischargeable in bankrupty? (Supreme Court of United States )


12.8 Risk of Loss Martin Silver ordered two rooms of furniture from Wycombe, Meyer & Co. Inc. (Wycombe), a manufacturer and seller of custom made furniture. On February 23, 1982, Wycombe sent invoices to Silver, advising him that the furniture was ready for shipment. Silver tendered payment in full for the goods and asked that one room of furniture be shipped immediately and that the other be held for shipment on a later date. Before any instruction were received as to the second room of furniture, it was destroyed in a fire. Silver and his insurance company attempted to recover the money he had paid for the destroyed furniture. Wycombe refused to return the payment, claiming that risk of loss was on Silver Who wins? (Civil Court of New York)




12.5 Limited Warranty Dean Solomon purchased a camera and lenses a retailer that were manufactured by Canon USA, Inc. Both the camera and the lenses were accompanied by one year limited warranty issued by Canon that limited a purchaaser’s remedies to repair or replacement in the event of any defect in materials or workmanship. Approximately three months after Solomon purchase the items, he notified Canon that he had encountered problems with the lenses when he was on an oversea vacation when an error message appeared on the camera when he changed lenses. In response Canon repaired the camera. Several months later, Solomon notified Canon that the same problem reoccurred while he was on a subsequent vacation. Canon offered to repair the camera and lenses. Solomon refused the offer and sued Canon to revoke his acceptance and recover his purchase price. Is Canon’s limited warranty enforceable?




13.3 Bankruptcy Mark Ahmed and Ann Marie Jalajel (Debtors) filed a joint petition for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy. On the schedule of personal property, Debtors listed two cars worth $58,395, a bank account with a balance of $1,156, household furnishing and clothing valued at $6,550, interest in twelve limited liability companies valued at $1,00, and the following jewelry:


Items owner value


Necklaces earrings wife $1,500.00


Bracelets and watch


Wedding ring wife $ 7,000.00


Watch husband $100.00


Wedding band husband $ 300.00






Within two years prior to declaring bankruptcy Debtors purchased twenty eight pieces of jewelry for approximately $120,000. Prior to filing bankruptcy. Debtors sold nine pieces of the jewelry. Seven pieces of jewelry were reported as lost. After filing for bankruptcy Debtors sold some jewelry and pawned a rolex watch for $3000 Two creditors objected to Debtor’s claimed excemptions. A complaint was filed alleging that Debtors knowingly and fraudulently made false oaths and materials omissions and transferred and concealed property of the estate in an attempt to hinder, delay, and defraud creditor. The remedy sought was an order that Debtors be denied discharge. Based on the facts of the case, should Debtors be denied discharge? (United States Bankruptcy Court for Eastern District of Virginia)



Briefing Paper 4: Ethics Case



      • Read Section 13.10 Ethics Cheeseman text page 286


  • Brief the facts of the case and assume your boss is seeking your opinions on the 3 questions found at the end of Section 13.10. Argue both sides of all issues.



13.10 Ethics Donald Wayne Doyle (Debtor) obtained a guaranteed student loan to enroll in a school for training truck drivers. Due to his impending divorce, Debtor never attended the program. The first monthly installment of approximately $50 to pay the student loan became due. Two weeks later, Debtor filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.


Debtor was a 29 year old man who earned approximately $1000 per month at an hourly wage of $7.70 as a truck driver, a job that he had held for 10 years. Debtor resided on a farm where he performed work in lieu of paying rent for his quarters. Debtor was paying monthly payment s of $89 on a bank loan for his former wife’s vehicle, $200 for his truck, $40 for health insurance, $28 for car insurance, $120 for gasoline and vehicular maintenance, $400 for groceries and meals, and $25 for telephone charges, In addition a state court had ordered Debtor to pay $300 per month to support his children ages 4 and 5. Debtor’s parents were assisting him by buying him $130 of groceries per month.


  • What legal standard must be met to have a student loan discharged in bankruptcy?


  • Did Doyle act unethically in trying to have his student loan discharged in bankruptcy?


  • Should Doyle’s student loan be discharged in bankruptcy?






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