Legal and Ethical Environment of Business
1. Identify an action that would violate social norms but would not violate any laws. Can you identify any violation of law that would not violate any social norms?
Not everything that is legal is also appropriate or morally correct. Not following the law has legal consequences like fines or imprisonment but there are no penalties for acting not according to social etiquette except maybe that people might see your behavior as rude and try to avoid you. Imagine being invited to a birthday party. There would be food and drinks and everyone brought a present except you. It would be socially and morally wrong to enjoy the hospitality of your host without bringing a present but it certainly would not violate any laws. As a consequence you might not be invited again though. There are quite a lot of social norm violations that are not violating any laws. But since the society’s morals are changing over time, it is possible that behavior that is legally wrong might not be considered morally wrong anymore because everyone does it, like speeding.
2. What options does a President have if he/she disagrees with a federal court’s opinion?
The president can nominate federal judges but other than that he/she has no influence on their decision. Judges are independent and make their ruling according to the law and evidence. If a president disagrees then he/she just has to disagree. The president is the executive branch of the government and one of its duties is to enforce the decisions of the judicial branch even if the president has a different opinion. The separation of power into executive, legislative and judicial makes this government strong and provides the system of checks and balances. The president nominates the judges but they have to be approved by Congress. Congress makes laws that the federal courts use to make decisions, and the president has to execute those decisions.
3. Do you think the juries can be trusted to always arrive at the truth? Why or Why not?
A jury has a very difficult task during a trial. It is their job to decide if a defendant is guilty or not and in order to make an informed decision they need evidence. Juries in criminal trials are made up of 12 ordinary citizens which have their own opinions. Although the attorneys try to sort through the pool of potential jurors, their minds will not be blank. There will be prejudice and different experiences will result in different opinions about the evidence. I believe that the juries arrive at the truth most of the time but jurors are still human and make mistakes. This error in judgement might lead them to the wrong decision. Another factor that influences a juror’s decision are other jurors. A single juror might have made up his mind after all the evidence has been presented but deliberation with other jurors can persuade him to vote the other way even though his first conclusion was correct.
4. Should mediators be required to be licensed, like attorneys or physicians, before practicing? Why or why not?
A mediator is the neutral third party in the mediation process which is a method of alternative dispute resolution. During mediation the opposing parties can get very involved and arguments might heat up. The mediator has an important role by not just keeping both parties calm and on topic but also by motivating them to find a solution. I don’t think mediators need special licensing like attorneys or physicians. Since mediators don’t actually give advice on the subject they wouldn’t need any detailed knowledge in the field although they should probably acquire some basic knowledge of the subject before the mediation. I do believe though that a mediator needs special training in psychology, conflict resolution, and law. I wouldn’t see a need for a licensing process comparable to those for lawyers or doctors. Since the opposing parties are in the mediation process voluntarily commit it is