Principles of Business Law


Vladimir Lissniak
Professor of law at AIBEc.
President of Pericles, professor at the University of San Diego.

Purpose of this Course
The course is designed to cover the basic areas of business law that you might encounter in your profession, as well as the areas of business law that are heavily tested on the CPA examination.

As this is just a very brief, survey course, you will not gain with the ability to practice law, but you should, as a businessperson, be able to recognize potential legal problems when you see them, and to realize whether you need to scream for your lawyer or can handle a problem by yourself.

Business Law is a required course in most MBA programs and undergraduate business degrees for two reasons. First, of course, most deans of business schools think their students should stay out of jail if at all possible, and knowing business law should help that. Second, though, and more importantly, business law is designed to teach logical thinking skills.

Law, as a discipline, is really about the language of logic, or sometimes lack thereof. It is taught not by lecture, but by discussion (something called the Socratic method). This method is supposed to make the students think critically. It means that we will not go through every point of law in the class lectures. Instead, we will pick out and study the more interesting and discussable points.

Course Materials
  • Barron's Business Law, Fourth Edition.
  • Civil Code of the Russian Federation

Grading
No homework or projects are assigned with the exception of your reading every week and being thoroughly prepared for class. But, to make sure you have indeed worked on the readings each week, participation in class will count for 10% of your grade. Participation will be judged on your ability to answer questions about the assigned readings and to intelligently discuss the course topic when called upon.

During the course the students will have to take 3 in class tests.

The course will be graded in accordance with the following schedule:

Prepared, effective class participation, quality answers___________________ 10%
Three equally weighted written tests ____________________________________ 90%
Total ________________________________________________________________ 100%

Course Topics
  1. Introduction to the business law
  2. The trial process in the US and Russia
  3. Criminal law and procedure, tort law
  4. Contracts
  5. Contract problems
  6. Performance and discharge of contracts and sales contracts
  7. Property law. Intellectual property
  8. Commercial paper
  9. Debtor/creditor law and secured transactions
  10. Agency and business organizations
  11. Corporations and corporate governance
  12. Securities regulation

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