Notes: This is the first of several blog posts devoted to Module 3 of my business law survey course (Tiger King edition). This post was updated on 9/29/20.
If you are new to this blog, we are teaching an online survey course in business law this fall and have assigned our students to watch the surprise hit Netflix show “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness.” In summary, the course consists of six separate modules. Last time, we featured Module 2 on “Sources of Law” (State law, federal law, and international law); this time, I will provide a general overview of Module 3 of the course, which covers three major areas of the Common Law: Property, Torts, and Contracts.
In brief, the Common Law is not only one of the greatest intellectual achievements of the Anglo-American world; the Common Law also permeates almost every aspect of our lives and is probably the single-most important area of law for most business firms. Why? Because without property rights, without contract rules for being able to transfer or rearrange these rights, and without rules of tort liability for intentional and accidental injuries, we could not have markets, and without markets, we would not have business firms. Accordingly, my module on the Common Law is divided into six parts as follows:
- Theme Song and Playlist of Lectures
- Bonus Section on “Illegal and Immoral Promises”
Like the previous module (Module 2), the first five parts of Module 3 contain videos and reading materials, while the last part contains a quiz, a discussion post, and a survey. (The survey question is, Should President Trump pardon Joe Exotic or commute his 22-year sentence?) Moreover, because of my Tiger King theme, every section in this module features problems, questions, and materials involving wild or domesticated animals. By way of example, the Property Law section is devoted to the classic common law case of Pierson v. Post, involving a dispute over the ownership of a wild fox, while the Tort Law section contains a cattle trespass case to illustrate the difference between strict liability and negligence. Even the bonus section contains a book chapter devoted to outlaw contracts with vampires! But I am getting ahead of myself … I will delve into the details of Module 3 in my next few blog posts.