Advanced Topics: Intro to the Course

This week, I taught two sections of Advanced Business Law Topics, a graduate-level course. One section was via Zoom (60+ students); the other was in person (14 students). Class #1 in both sections consisted of an introduction to the course, so I just went over my three-page syllabus and presented an overview of the various legal and ethical puzzles that we will be studying together during the remainder of the semester. Logistically speaking, each class in this course will be devoted to an open or unresolved question relevant to business law, and each class will also feature a full-length movie or scene from a Hollywood production that brings that question to life. (Why assign movies and film clips? In order to make it easier to generate lively discussions during our class sessions!) In summary, here is the ordering of topics and movies/movie scenes:

Class #2: The Blue Bus Problem: Is Qualitative Evidence Better Than Quantitative Evidence? (recommended movies: Double Indemnity and/or 12 Angry Men)

Class #3: The Commerce Clause Problem: Are There Any Real Limits on Congress’s Powers? (any episode of Tiger King)

Class #4: The Prisoner’s Dilemma: Cooperate or Defect? (the “blonde dilemma” scene in A Beautiful Mind)

Class #5: The Trolley Problem: Do We Kill One Man to Save Five? (the passenger ferry scene in The Dark Knight)

Class #6: The Friedman Doctrine: Is Greed Good? (the “greed is good” speech in Wall Street)

Class #7: Ronda Rousey’s Employment Status: Contractor or Employee? (Fightsville)

Class #8: The Coase Theorem: Sense or Nonsense? (the final director’s cut of Blade Runner)

Class #9: The Law & Ethics of Making, Keeping, and Breaking Promises (the opening scene in The Godfather)

Class #10: Immoral and Illegal Promises (the pilot episode of Breaking Bad)

Class #11: Is Big Tech Evil? (the “facemash” sequence in The Social Network)

Class #12: Pending SCOTUS Case (we will discuss one or more of the cases that are currently pending before the Supreme Court)

Class #13: Exit Interviews (students will split up into pairs and each duo will choose a legal or ethical puzzle to discuss)

Logos for the top tv companies | Film logo, Film companies, Classic movie  posters

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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