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Scenario 1 – Contracts and Pledges
The Dunphy family owned an older home in Los Angeles that was in need of a new roof, painting, and some other cosmetic repairs. Phil Dunphy was a real estate agent and his wife, Claire, was a homemaker and worked part-time at the school where their youngest child, Luke, attended. One morning after dropping Luke off at school, Claire noticed roofers parked in front of her house and the neighbor’s house. She sent Phil a text asking if he had hired the roofers. When she learned that her husband had not hired the roofers, she assumed the roofers would be working on the house next door, and she decided to go shopping to avoid the noise.
Alex, the sixteen-year-old daughter, stayed home from school because she didn't feel well. Alex is mature for her age and appears to be 20 or 21. When the foreman of the roofing crew rang the doorbell, Alex answered. The foreman said "We are here to work on your roof today, is that ok?” Alex replied, "Sure, as long as I don't have to help you.” The foreman asked her to sign some paperwork, and she complied.
After Luke finished school for the day, Claire took Luke to his appointment with the psychologist, where Phil met them for the session. After the session, Claire, Phil, and Luke stopped for an early dinner. When the family arrived home, the roofers were just finishing and the foreman asked, “So Mr. and Mrs. LaFontaine, how does it look?” Phil replied that the roof looked great, but the LaFontaines lived next door. The foreman demanded payment and reminded Phil that the lady inside the house gave both verbal and written approval.
Later that evening while Phil was working on a real estate deal in another room, Claire was watching the Discovery channel when she saw a commercial by the ASCPA with a bunch of dogs with sad eyes in little cages. The spokeswoman pleaded for donations to help save the poor animals from all of the cruelty and neglect they suffered. Contributors would receive a picture of an animal they helped save along with a t-shirt. Claire picked up the phone and pledged $1,000 to save the dogs. The next morning, she regretted making the donation because she didn’t consult with her husband, who did not like dogs.
Based on the scenario, create a 2- to 3-page Microsoft Word document that includes the answers to the following questions:
- Was Alex’s signature on the paperwork considered a binding contract? Why or why not?
- Should the Dunphys be responsible for the roofing bill? Why or why not?
- Would it make a difference if the Dunphys were on vacation in Hawaii when the work was done? Why or why not?
- Will the charity be able to legally enforce the pledge Claire made? If so, why might the charity choose not to enforce a lawful pledge? If not, why not?
Scenario 2 – Consideration and Public Policy
Vance Burton started working as a professor for Western State Technology College in 2010. His employee handbook contained the following non-compete agreement.
During the employee’s employment by WSTC and for two (2) years thereafter, the employee will not directly or indirectly be employed by, consult for, or be connected in any manner with any college or university within 500 miles of WSTC.
In 2012, the employer started requiring new employees to sign a mandatory arbitration agreement that stated all employment-related disputes would be submitted to arbitration. The current employees were sent an email that contained the new arbitration provision and stated that they were required to click on a link to acknowledge acceptance and that continued employment was the consideration for the contract.
In January of 2014, Professor Burton resigned his position at WSTC and started teaching at Southeast Community College, which was located in a neighboring state, 250 miles from WSTC.
WSTC demands arbitration to settle the breach of the non-compete agreement.
Burton’s lawyer believes the arbitration agreement and non-compete agreement to be invalid.
Based on the scenario, create a 2- to 3-page Microsoft Word document that includes the answers to the following topics.
- Discuss the non-compete agreement and the arbitration agreement from the views of WSTC and Professor Burton.
- How would you rule if you were a judge? Provide legal support for your ruling.
Support responses with examples and use APA formatting in the paper.
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