Can someone see if my Business Law answers are on the right track?

So for my high school business/personal law class I need to answer 3 questions for each case: 1. Restate it as you see it (already have this figured out), 2. What legal principles would apply to the case and what would be its likely outcome, and 3. What implications could this case have on you or others today?

My answers are in parentheses

1. Ewing was a med student and when he failed a qualifying exam, he asked for a chance to retake it. He knew that everyone else who had failed the exam was allowed to retake it. The university refused to allow Ewing to retake the exam. He sued, arguing that the university had acted unconstitutionally by depriving him of due process as promised by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

(2. Even though the situation with Ewing is unfair, it is not a constitutional matter, it is a matter of school policy. There could be a possibility that Ewing would be allowed to retake the exam since everyone else who failed was allowed. 3. The situation that happened with Ewing could happen to anyone.)

2. An employee of a self-service liquor store watched Lee pick up two bottles of cognac worth $25 each. Lee concealed one of the bottles in his pants and held the other in his hand. When approached by the employee, Lee returned both bottles to the shelf and fled. He was chased by the employee, who flagged down a police cruiser. Lee was arrested for shoplifting.

(This one i'm having trouble with. He put them back when he got caught and then fled, and was later arrested. But technically he didn't shoplift right? He put them back before leaving the store.)

3. Philip Smith kept a poisonous spider in his locker at school. He was very careful to keep it locked up so it would not harm anyone. One day, while Philip was in class, two students got the spider out of Philip's locker and let it loose in the girl's locker room. Judy Norton was bitten by the spider. Norton is suing Smith for her injuries.

(2. This was an unintentional tort. Philip was negligent on his part for keeping the spider in his locker. Shouldn't the other boys get in trouble also?)

4. A 16 year old was charged with vehicular homicide. He was 17 when he first appeared before the juvenile court, he was 18 when the case actually went to trial. The issue here is which court will hear the case.

(2. It happened when he was a juvenile so the case will be heard in a juvenile court.)

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  • 7 years ago
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    1. I'd encourage you to do some more work on this one. This is a difficult question.

    If everyone else who failed the exam was allowed to retake it, then why was this particular student denied that option? The Equal Protection Clause grants to all Americans "the right to be free from invidious discrimination in statutory classifications and other governmental activity." Harris v. McRae (1980). If Ewing was discriminated against based on gender, race, religion, handicapping condition, etc. then this is a constitutional matter and he will win his lawsuit.

    2. For a high school class, I think you are correct. He didn't actually commit the act of petty theft - but he demonstrated that he had intent. He intended to commit the offense. He took affirmative steps to try to commit the offense. And he likely would have walked out of the store with the one in his pants if the employee hadn't gotten into his face. BUT it is very unlikely that the prosecutor would file criminal charges.

    3. In the real world, Smith would cross claim against the two students who trespassed by going into his locker and releasing the spider. But I wouldn't expect it to be very successful unless Smith can prove the other two students knew the spider was in his locker and knew it was dangerous. I don't categorize this as an unintentional tort. I would actually say that Philip wasn't merely negligent. He acted with reckless disregard - or gross negligence - in keeping a poisonous spider in his locker. I think Smith would lose his lawsuit.

    4. When a minor operates a vehicle, s/he is given a pseudo adult status. It does not matter that your violator was 16 at the time of the collision, he could have been charged as an adult. For the purposes of your class, I think you might consider noting that the case would not be heard in adult (superior) court simply because he goes to trial after he turns 18. But he could be charged as an adult - and a serious offense like vehicular homicide likely would cause him to be charged as an adult.

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