1. (TCO A & F) George G. Harris retired in 1978 after spending 30 years in the U.S. Army, having served in both Korea and Vietnam. In 1980, Mr. Harris wrote a lengthy book describing his military service in great detail. When his sons, David and Greg, and family friends read the book, they told Mr. Harris it was super interesting and needed to be published and put on the market. Mr. Harris did not refer the book to a formal publishing company, but did have a local private printing company produce 500 copies of the book. The books sold immediately, and over the next 20 years Mr. Harris had an additional 8,000 copies of the book printed and sold. Mr. Harris died in 2002, and almost immediately the ABC Publishing Company grabbed a copy of the book and began mass production and marketing. The sons David and Greg Harris filed a law suit against ABC Publishing for Copyright Violation. ABC Publishing’s defense was that the Copyright had never been registered, and the original author was now dead. What actions must David and Greg take to advance their claim? What dollar damages can they claim? Will ABC Publishing’s contention that the Copyright is unfounded since the author is dead prevail in court? What legal issues, federal statutes, and other items will decide this case? (Points : 30)
Question 2. 2. (TCO B,C, G, I) Matt Bloom is President for JWI, Inc. He has been President at JWI for 20 years and has accumulated a large amount of stock options during his tenure at the company. He is experiencing a difficult time financially as a result of some bad personal real estate investments and has been considering selling off his stock to pay off his personal debt. He decides to sell the stock the day before JWI, Inc. announces a large quarterly profit loss resulting from a class action lawsuit relating to a defective dryer they manufacture and sell in Mexico. Mr. Bloom is arrested for insider trading. He hires you as his attorney to help him out of this mess. What legal issues concern you here? Discuss the main issues you plan to go over with Mr. Bloom in your consultation with him. (Points : 30)
3. (TCO C) JetWave, Inc. (JWI) is a large manufacturer of appliances for use by average consumers in single-family homes and apartments. JWI’s bestseller is a digital, top loading dryer. The digital readout on the dryer alerts the consumer when the lint filter is full and/or if the vent line is clogged. Consumers have found that the dryer sends off false alerts about the lint filter. As a result, the dryer will shut down from these false alerts. The problem can be remedied in one of two ways: JWI sends out a repair person (during the warranty period only) and replaces the defective digital panel or the consumer can install a shorter aluminum vent line on their own. JWI only provides a 60 day warranty on their products. For consumers to pay for the panel to be replaced it would cost $300. On the JWI website under “Troubleshooting”, they do not recommend a particular length of aluminum vent line to replace the existing line, but do suggest “more than 6 feet.” As this is a quick and cheap fix, many consumers are opting to replace the aluminum vent line on their own. However, several consumers have reported that if the vent line is over 9 feet, sparks occur from the dryer lint. JWI does not report this on their website, nor do they modify their “Troubleshooting” Guide. Eric VonEckert is having the issue with the digital panel on his JWI dryer at home. He goes to his local home improvement store and buys a 10-foot aluminum vent line and vents the dryer through the front of his house. The error is remedied and his dryer is running fine. However, one night he puts a load of laundry in the dryer and heads off to bed. During the dryer cycle, sparks are generated and unbeknownst to Mr. VonEckert, his aluminum vent line passes next to the hot water heater. The sparks fly out of the end of the vent line and are sucked into the bottom of the water heater by the pilot light, catching fire to his home. Mr. VonEckert dies in the house fire. His wife and three children are seeking to file a lawsuit against JWI for damages on the grounds that the product was defective. In addition, they claim JWI did not protect the consumers by continuing to sell the defective dryer and not alerting the consumer to the issue with the longer vent line should the consumer choose to make the repair on their own.