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The Legal Risks Associated With Letters of Intent, Proposal Letters, and Commitment Letters in Finance and Other Business Transactions

Description

For decades, firms and individuals have utilized written documents to aid in the negotiation of, and completion of, business transactions. One such document is known as a "letter of intent." A letter of intent is often in the form of

For decades, firms and individuals have utilized written documents to aid in the negotiation of, and completion of, business transactions. One such document is known as a "letter of intent." A letter of intent is often in the form of a letter that serves to evidence preliminary discussions and aid in negotiations between parties. They are generally intended to be "non-binding," meaning neither party will be bound by terms or conditions set forth in the letter of intent unless formal documents are later prepared and executed by the parties. Letters of intent take myriad forms and names, such as "memorandum of understanding," "proposal letter," and "letter of interest." They have been used in many areas of business, including finance, real estate, and supply chain management. Parties often choose to use a letter of intent for varied benefits it may provide, memorializing preliminary discussions, establishing a timeline for negotiations, seeing whether there are any "deal breakers" among terms being proposed, confirming that a party is serious about a deal, or putting moral pressure on the other party to continue negotiations. However, letters of intent carry with them a significant level of risk, which raises the question of whether or not they should be used at all. Many of the risks associated with the use of a letter of intent stems from the potential for a court to find that a letter of intent constitutes a binding agreement, or creates a duty of the parties to continue negotiations in good faith. Parties to a letter of intent may later disagree as to whether they intended all of the terms, or a particular provision, to be legally binding and enforceable, resulting in legal action. Even if a court finds that a letter of intent does not constitute a binding contract, a party may be able to recover damages under a number of legal theories, such as breach of a duty to negotiate in good faith or promissory estoppel. The use of letters of intent is therefore risky, and ultimately, the risks may outweigh the benefits of utilizing letters of intent. This thesis studies the types, uses, benefits, and risks associated with the use of letters of intent, including an examination of statutes and cases that have been applied by courts in disputes surrounding their use. Ways to mitigate the risks of use are also examined including simple practices such as not signing a letter of intent and using a separate document for any terms which must be binding, such as a "no shop" clause. A proposed legislative solution is also discussed that would prevent letters of intent not explicitly intended to be binding and meeting statutory requirements from being enforced in court, thereby substantially reducing the risks associated with the use of letters of intent.

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Date Created
2016-05

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STAND YOUR GROUND: MODERN ISSUES IN SELF DEFENSE LAW

Description

Certain laws relating to self-defense were created known as "Stand Your Ground" laws. The public has interpreted these laws in ways that expand them beyond their original scope. To gain an understanding of self-defense laws, a look at the origins

Certain laws relating to self-defense were created known as "Stand Your Ground" laws. The public has interpreted these laws in ways that expand them beyond their original scope. To gain an understanding of self-defense laws, a look at the origins of self-defense is needed. Following the historical background, several cases will be examined that illustrate how the public has interpreted "Stand Your Ground" laws, and how these interpretations clash with elements of self-defense. Several philosophical principles including natural rights, the social contract, and some form of utilitarianism, will be discussed in relation to "Stand Your Ground" laws. A possible conclusion can be drawn that by misinterpreting "Stand Your Ground" laws, people compromise the philosophical ideals they hold, and infringe on other people's natural rights, break the social contract, and create societal unhappiness. Finally, some people are calling for reform of "Stand Your Ground" laws. These reforms focus on correcting public perception of "Stand Your Ground" laws.

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2013-05

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CRIMINAL LIABILITY FOR OMISSIONS: A RETRIBUTIVE APPROACH TO PUNISHING BAD SAMARITANS

Description

Bad Samaritans are bystanders who omit from preventing some foreseeable harm when doing so could have been accomplished with little risk. Although failing to intervene to prevent a harm often renders Bad Samaritans morally culpable, under current common law in

Bad Samaritans are bystanders who omit from preventing some foreseeable harm when doing so could have been accomplished with little risk. Although failing to intervene to prevent a harm often renders Bad Samaritans morally culpable, under current common law in the United States they could not be held criminally liable for any harm that resulted to the victims of that harm. In this paper I argue for the criminalization of individuals who fall under this label; I argue for the adoption of Bad Samaritan laws. To accomplish this, I first argue for the conclusion that omissions can causally contribute to harm. From here I am able to reach three further conclusions relative to Bad Samaritan legislation. These three conclusions are that Bad Samaritan laws are justified, that the punishment for the violation of a Bad Samaritan law should be proportional to the degree culpability for the harm caused, and that if "commission by omission" statutes are justified, then so too are Bad Samaritan laws.

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Date Created
2013-05

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MENDING A DETRIMENTAL CRISIS: PROPOSAL TO REDUCE RECIDIVISM THROUGH THE INCORPORATION OF COMPUTER SKILLS AND CODING IN PRISONS

Description

With a prison population that has grown to 1.4 million, an imprisonment rate of 419 per 100,000 U.S. residents, and a recidivism rate of 52.2% for males and 36.4% for females, the United States is facing a crisis. Currently, no

With a prison population that has grown to 1.4 million, an imprisonment rate of 419 per 100,000 U.S. residents, and a recidivism rate of 52.2% for males and 36.4% for females, the United States is facing a crisis. Currently, no sufficient measures have been taken by the United States to reduce recidivism. Attempts have been made, but they ultimately failed. Recently, however, there has been an increase in experimentation with the concept of teaching inmates basic computer skills to reduce recidivism. As labor becomes increasingly digitized, it becomes more difficult for inmates who spent a certain period away from technology to adapt and find employment. At the bare minimum, anybody entering the workforce must know how to use a computer and other technological appliances, even in the lowest-paid positions. By incorporating basic computer skills and coding educational programs within prisons, this issue can be addressed, since inmates would be better equipped to take on a more technologically advanced labor market.<br/>Additionally, thoroughly preparing inmates for employment is a necessity because it has been proven to reduce recidivism. Prisons typically have some work programs; however, these programs are typically outdated and prepare inmates for fields that may represent a difficult employment market moving forward. On the other hand, preparing inmates for tech-related fields of work is proving to be successful in the early stages of experimentation. A reason for this success is the growing demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 11 percent between 2019 and 2029. This is noteworthy considering the national average for growth of all other jobs is only 4 percent. It also warrants the exploration of educating coders because software developers, in particular, have an expected growth rate of 22 percent between 2019 and 2029. <br/>Despite the security risks of giving inmates access to computers, the implementation of basic computer skills and coding in prisons should be explored further. Programs that give inmates access to a computing education already exist. The only issue with these programs is their scarcity. However, this is to no fault of their own, considering the complex nature and costs of running such a program. Accordingly, this leaves the opportunity for public universities to get involved. Public universities serve as perfect hosts because they are fully capable of leveraging the resources already available to them. Arizona State University, in particular, is a more than ideal candidate to spearhead such a program and serve as a model for other public universities to follow. Arizona State University (ASU) is already educating inmates in local Arizona prisons on subjects such as math and English through their PEP (Prison Education Programming) program.<br/>This thesis will focus on Arizona specifically and why this would benefit the state. It will also explain why Arizona State University is the perfect candidate to spearhead this kind of program. Additionally, it will also discuss why recidivism is detrimental and the reasons why formerly incarcerated individuals re-offend. Furthermore, it will also explore the current measures being taken in Arizona and their limitations. Finally, it will provide evidence for why programs like these tend to succeed and serve as a proposal to Arizona State University to create its own program using the provided framework in this thesis.

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Date Created
2021-05

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The Larry Nassar Nightmare: Athletic Organizational Failures to Address Sexual Assault Allegations, and a Call for Corrective Action

Description

This paper will discuss how USA Gymnastics (USAG), Michigan State University (MSU), and the United States Olympic Committee (MSU) failed to properly investigate and take corrective action of former physician and now convicted serial pedophile, Larry Nassar. This includes

This paper will discuss how USA Gymnastics (USAG), Michigan State University (MSU), and the United States Olympic Committee (MSU) failed to properly investigate and take corrective action of former physician and now convicted serial pedophile, Larry Nassar. This includes a description of the powerful individuals who worked with or oversaw Nassar, how they received complaints of his sexual assault, and an explanation of the institutional environment that fostered a culture of silence and obedience. To provide a comparative analysis, this paper will analyze other athletic organizations (such as USA Swimming and USA Diving) which are also overseen by the USOC in order to compare their previous cases and reactions to sexual assault. This will be followed by recommended corrective policies for athletic organizations if claims of sexual assault arise. These policies and procedures will aim to prevent sexual assault in the future, reduce any culture of silence and vulnerability within similar organizations, and hopefully be implemented throughout athletic organizations everywhere.

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Date Created
2019-12

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Plea Bargains: A Hindrance to Justice?

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This paper looks at case studies, legal journals, and legal commentaries to examine the history of plea bargains and determine how such a practice slowly crept its way into the American judicial system. Next, I discern both the two specific

This paper looks at case studies, legal journals, and legal commentaries to examine the history of plea bargains and determine how such a practice slowly crept its way into the American judicial system. Next, I discern both the two specific benefits and three disadvantages of utilizing plea bargains in a system that was traditionally renowned for its unique form of adversarial / trial based justice. By analyzing case studies and legal texts, I find that the administrative advantages and cost benefits used to rationalize continued usage of plea deals does not outweigh its extremely negative effects on significant aspects of law and the American legal system. These significant negative effects as a product of the plea bargain are a definitive hindrance to justice and further characterize the system as no longer fair and certainly not equitable. Consequently, I assert that in order to maintain the ethics of the system, plea bargains should be removed. I also generally outline the Philadelphia Bench Trial as a prospective and viable alternative to plea bargains that could act as an intriguing substitute. The Philadelphia Bench Trial represents a highly viable alternative to the plea bargain and consequently preserves many of the advantages plea bargains offer the system without sacrificing the adversarial element necessary to receive correct and accurate verdicts.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Improving Protection Orders in Arizona: A Case Study of the Maricopa County Court System

Description

Protection orders are a common remedy for victims of domestic violence in Arizona, but problems of access and unnecessary complexity can prevent these orders from achieving their full potential impact. Through interviews with court officials and advocates, data collected from

Protection orders are a common remedy for victims of domestic violence in Arizona, but problems of access and unnecessary complexity can prevent these orders from achieving their full potential impact. Through interviews with court officials and advocates, data collected from survivors of domestic violence and observation of court proceedings, this study takes a comprehensive look at how to make protection orders as effective and accessible as possible. This analysis concludes with a series of recommendations to improve the protection order process and guidelines for the information to be included in a comprehensive resource to help plaintiffs through the process.

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Date Created
2013-05

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FOIA: The Lock and Key to Government Records

Description

The Freedom of Information Act (1966), an amendment altering Section Three of the Administrative Procedure Act (1964), outlines the rules and regulations for United States citizens to obtain federal government records. The act, written with the guidance of journalists, was

The Freedom of Information Act (1966), an amendment altering Section Three of the Administrative Procedure Act (1964), outlines the rules and regulations for United States citizens to obtain federal government records. The act, written with the guidance of journalists, was created for all members of the public, but with the intent that the press would be the primary users of the legislation. The authors of the act believed the press would utilize FOIA to enhance its ability to accomplish its duty of keeping the public informed. Now, 51 years after the act was passed into law, critics say FOIA has not satisfactorily allowed the press or the public in general to inform and be informed. Issues with demand rates, unorganized systems and subjective interpretations of the act have combined to lock information from public access through an act that was intended to be the key to it. The data from annual federal agency FOIA reports to the attorney general from 2008 to 2015 have indicated that, in multiple metrics, FOIA has increasingly struggled to fulfill and often has failed to provide records to requesting parties. These trends have inspired a discussion among journalists and right-to-information advocates about how to best resolve the issues that have contributed to them. Proposed solutions range from adjustments to requesters' approaches to the act, amendments to the act and even abandoning the act entirely in favor of constructing a new law.

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Date Created
2016-12