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Artificial Intelligence & Its Implications for the Modern American Legal System

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It is interesting to reflect that the American legal system has not seriously applied any significant technological advances in many decades. It is fascinating that the same processes used to draft a will or estate plan are virtually the same

It is interesting to reflect that the American legal system has not seriously applied any significant technological advances in many decades. It is fascinating that the same processes used to draft a will or estate plan are virtually the same as they were in the 1960’s. This seems to be a problem that should be concerning in this modern age. We would be hard pressed to observe doctors in the U.S. currently performing medical procedures as they would have in 1960 considering the technological advancements that have taken place in society since then. Many of the processes in the legal system are extremely static and even archaic. It seems to be an opportune time to revolutionize the whole system as advancements continue; but, this revolution must take into account both the positive and negative repercussions that are possible moving forward.

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2020-05

Integrating Purchasing and Contract Law in Supply Chain Management Education

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Having studied at Arizona State University and the W.P. Carey School of Business through approximately 7 semesters of undergraduate business coursework, I, along with my classmates, have learned an incredible amount of knowledge critical for success in a career in

Having studied at Arizona State University and the W.P. Carey School of Business through approximately 7 semesters of undergraduate business coursework, I, along with my classmates, have learned an incredible amount of knowledge critical for success in a career in business administration. We have been provided the resources and tools necessary to excel in full time business careers, implement new ideas, and innovate and improve preexisting business networks as driven, motivated business intellectuals. Additionally, having worked in four diverse business internships throughout my undergraduate career, I have come to understand the importance of understanding and studying law and contracts as they relate to business. In all of those internships, I worked extensively with a variety of contracts and agreements, all serving critical purposes within each individual line of business. Within supply chain management studies and jobs, I found contracts to be of utmost importance for students to understand prior to entering a full time job or internship. Students study a wide variety of topics during their education within the Supply Chain Management department at Arizona State University. In procurement and purchasing classes specifically, students cover topics from supplier negotiation strategies to sourcing and sustainability. These topics engage students of all backgrounds and offer exceptional knowledge and insight for those seeking a full time job within supply chain management. What is interestingly so often excluded from such lectures is discussion with regards to the contracts and laws pertinent to purchasing and supply management success. As most procurement and sourcing professionals know, contracts are the basis for all agreements that a company and supplier may engage in. A critical component within the careers of supply managers, contract law provides the foundation for any agreement. Thus, the necessity for a discussion on how to best integrate purchasing and contract law into undergraduate supply chain management education, including depicting the material that should be covered, is permitted. In my Honors Thesis, I have decided to create an informative lecture and outline that can be readily understood by undergraduate students in supply chain management courses, at the benefit of professors and lecturers who wish to utilize and incorporate the material in their classroom. The content consists of information recommended by industry professionals, relevant real-life procurement and contract law examples and scenarios, and universal and common law relevant to contracts and purchasing agreements within the workplace. All of these topics are meant to prepare students for careers and internships within supply chain management, and are topics I have found lack current discussion at the university level. Additionally, as a part of my Honors Thesis, I was given the opportunity to provide a cohesive lecture and present the topics herein in SCM 355 Purchasing classes. This was an opportunity to present to students topics that I feel are currently underrepresented in college courses, and that are beneficial for business students to learn and fully understand. Topics discussed in this interactive lecture and slideshow extracted information from the lecture template.

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2017-12

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

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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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2016-05

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Spotify Streaming Controversies: Royalty Payout Issues, Licensing, and Solutions

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Music streaming services have affected the music industry from both a financial and legal standpoint. Their current business model affects stakeholders such as artists, users, and investors. These services have been scrutinized recently for their imperfect royalty distribution model. Covid-19

Music streaming services have affected the music industry from both a financial and legal standpoint. Their current business model affects stakeholders such as artists, users, and investors. These services have been scrutinized recently for their imperfect royalty distribution model. Covid-19 has made these discussions even more relevant as touring income has come to a halt for musicians and the live entertainment industry. <br/>Under the current per-stream model, it is becoming exceedingly hard for artists to make a living off of streams. This forces artists to tour heavily as well as cut corners to create what is essentially “disposable art”. Rapidly releasing multiple projects a year has become the norm for many modern artists. This paper will examine the licensing framework, royalty payout issues, and propose a solution.

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2021-05

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Ebbs, Flows, and Floods: How the South African National Water Act has fared in achieving its equity and sustainability goals

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The threat of global climate change to the world’s water resources has jeopardized access to clean drinking water across the world and continues to devastate biodiversity and natural life globally. South Africa operates as a useful case study to understand

The threat of global climate change to the world’s water resources has jeopardized access to clean drinking water across the world and continues to devastate biodiversity and natural life globally. South Africa operates as a useful case study to understand and analyze the effectiveness of public policy responses to the perils of climate change on issues of water access and ecosystem preservation. After the new South African Constitution was enacted in 1997, protecting water resources and ensuring their equitable distribution across the nation’s population was a paramount goal of the young democratic government. The National Water Act was passed in 1998, nationalizing the country’s water infrastructure and putting in place programs seeking to ensure equitable distributive and environmental outcomes. Thus far, it has failed. Access to South Africa’s water resources is as stratified as access to its economy; its aquatic ecosystems remain in grave danger; and many of the same problems of South Africa’s Apartheid era still plague its efforts to create an equitable water system. Decision-making power continues to be concentrated in the hands of the wealthy, at the expense of historically marginalized groups, whose voices are still not adequately heard. Corporate actors still exert undue influence over legislative policy that favors economic growth over environmental sustainability. The looming threat of climate change is exponentially increasing the chances of disasters like Cape Town’s 2018 feared ‘Day Zero’. The National Water Act’s noble intentions were never actualized, and therefore the people of South Africa remain in serious danger of acute and chronic threats to their water supply.

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2021-05

The CARES Act: Analyzing America's $2 Trillion Stimulus Package and Investing the Motivations and Results of the PPP Loan Program

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The PPP Loan Program was created by the CARES Act and carried out by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide support to small businesses in maintaining their payroll during the Coronavirus pandemic. This program was approved for $350 billion,

The PPP Loan Program was created by the CARES Act and carried out by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide support to small businesses in maintaining their payroll during the Coronavirus pandemic. This program was approved for $350 billion, but this amount was expanded by an additional $320 billion to meet the demand by struggling businesses, since initial funding was exhausted under two weeks.<br/><br/>Significant controversy surrounds the program. In December 2020, the Department of Justice reported 90 individuals were charged for fraudulent use of funds, totaling $250 million. The loans, which were intended for small business, were actually approved for 450 public companies. Furthermore, the methods of approval are<br/>shrouded in mystery. In an effort to be transparent, the SBA has released information about loan recipients. Conveniently, the SBA has released information of all recipients. Detailed information was released for 661,218 recipients who have received a PPP loan in excess of $150,000. These recipients are the central point of this research.<br/><br/>This research sought to answer two primary questions: how did the SBA determine which loans, and therefore which industries are approved, and did the industries most affected by the pandemic receive the most in PPP loans, as intended by Congress? It was determined that, generally, PPP Loans were approved on the basis of employment percentages relative to the individual state. Furthermore, in general, the loans approved were approved fairly, with respect to the size of the industry. The loans, when adjusted for GDP and Employment factors, yielded a clear ranking that prioritized vulnerable industries first.<br/><br/>However, significant questions remain. The effectiveness of the PPP has been hindered by unclear incentives and negative outcomes, characterized by a government program that has essentially been rushed into service. Furthermore, limitations of available data to regress and compare the SBA's approved loans are not representative of small business.

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2021-05

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The Evolution of the Insanity Defense and Proposals for Reform

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This thesis explores the evolution of the insanity defense throughout legal history beginning with ancient Greek and Roman times. Ideas about treating the insane separate from the sane in a criminal proceeding were first expressed by famous philosophers such as

This thesis explores the evolution of the insanity defense throughout legal history beginning with ancient Greek and Roman times. Ideas about treating the insane separate from the sane in a criminal proceeding were first expressed by famous philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle. The insanity defense was codified into the Justinian Code under Roman Law, but there was no criteria to distinguish who was insane and who was not. From the 14th to 19th centuries, a number of insanity tests were developed in English common law, resulting in the milestone M’Naghten rules, which became the basis for the insanity defense as it exists in the United States today. This paper explores how M’Naghten can be interpreted, what it does well, and its criticism. The thesis then explores how a number of other insanity defense standards rose in the United States, including the Irresistible Impulse Test, the New Hampshire test, the Durham test, the Model Penal Code, the Insanity Defense Reform Act, Guilty but Mentally Ill, and abolishing the insanity defense all together. The thesis asserts why all of these standards fall short of providing adequate protections for the insane in the criminal justice system and do not accurately define legal insanity. There is an analysis of both the theoretical and practical implications of trending alternate proposals for the insanity defense, including the Mental Illness Contribution Defense and Not Criminally Responsible By Reason of Recognized Medical Condition. Then, an argument is presented for the proposal for a new standard for insanity incorporating the ideas of philosopher Herbert Fingarette.

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2020-05

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Can Justice Be Bought?

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After the landmark case, Gideon v Wainwright was heard by the United States Supreme Court in 1963, the 6th Amendment granted counsel to indigent defendants. However, since 1963 the United States population has skyrocketed and so have arrest rates leaving

After the landmark case, Gideon v Wainwright was heard by the United States Supreme Court in 1963, the 6th Amendment granted counsel to indigent defendants. However, since 1963 the United States population has skyrocketed and so have arrest rates leaving many public defenders underpaid and overworked. Knowing these facts Can Justice be Bought uses interviews, real-life stories, and research to determine if the 6th Amendment is upheld in the way the system is currently working, and are indigent defendants given a fair chance at trial. After an overview of public defense in the United States as a whole, it becomes clear that in many states the way the system is operating gives them less than a fair chance at justice. This, however, is not from a lack of effort from public defenders, they are simply just so overworked by exorbitant caseloads that they cannot possibly give each of their cases the time it deserves. However, not all indigent defense systems were created equal, states like Maryland have a number of resources for their public defenders that set them up for success. In order to close the gap between private counsel and public defense in the United States, public defenders’ offices should begin to allocate more funding in order to lighten their defenders’ caseloads as well as to provide them with resources such as expert witnesses and social workers. Funding is not found overnight, so in the meantime, the implementation of “participatory defense” can also help close the gap. The advantage of wealth is not found only in the courtroom but through nearly every part of the criminal justice system. From bail to parole, wealthier defendants typically see higher rates of success and lower rates of recidivism due to their ability to pay for these programs.

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2020-05

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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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2019-05

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Connect the Dots: Cultural and Social Capital and the Asian American Experience in Law School and After Graduation

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This paper explores the relationship between social and cultural capital and the experience of Asian Americans in law school and after graduating from law school. Bourdieu’s (1986) conceptualizations of institutional cultural capital, embodied cultural capital, and social capital guide this

This paper explores the relationship between social and cultural capital and the experience of Asian Americans in law school and after graduating from law school. Bourdieu’s (1986) conceptualizations of institutional cultural capital, embodied cultural capital, and social capital guide this analysis. Two electronic surveys resulted in participation by fourteen Asian American law students and nine Asian American law school graduates from American Bar Association-accredited law schools in the United States. The research design is qualitative, and a partial grounded theory approach based upon Charmaz’s (2006) work was utilized. Thematic coding, line-by-line coding, and focused coding were also used to analyze survey responses. Results demonstrate that there is a relationship between social and cultural capital and the experience of Asian Americans in law school and post-law school graduation. Institutional cultural capital, in the form of J.D. degrees, seems to influence the development of embodied cultural capital and social capital, particularly when considering membership in groups and forming personal and professional connections. When considering embodied cultural capital, family members appear to influence important personal characteristics that participants carry into law school and the workplace. These results may have implications for the larger trend of Asian Americans leaving large law firms; in addition, perceptions of embodied cultural capital may influence barriers to career advancement. Suggested areas for future research include the role of mentorship in Asian American career development, patterns within specific Asian American ethnic/cultural groups in the legal field, and the intersection of gender and Asian American identities in legal practice.

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2019-12