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Unformatted text preview: BUSINESS LAW – SECOND EXAM Edinburgh Summer Program 2006 Instructions This exam consists of three essay questions, of which you must answer any two questions. Please be sure to put your name and the number of the question you are answering on each sheet of paper you use. Please answer the questions asked, and only the questions asked, as completely as you can. You may use your book, notes and powerpoint. You have three hours to complete this exam. Good luck. Question 1 In its 2004 five year plan the Chinese government designated future energy shortages as the primary threat to the welfare of China and the Chinese people. In response, the Chinese National Oil Company (CNOC), an organ of the national government, began to bid and compete for oil and gas leases in other parts of the world. It won a bid to drill for natural gas in the Rocky Mountains of the United States, and is producing gas there now for shipment (as liquefied natural gas) back to China. Ron, an experienced driller, is drilling foreman of the operation in the Rockies. His assistant is Marge, who has worked with him in similar positions for more than 10 years. Both Ron and Marge are Americans. Mr. Chen, their supervisor, is Chinese. After six months of production, Mr. Chen fires Ron and Marge and replaces them with younger Chinese men. Mr. Chen tells Ron and Marge that despite their good job performance, the move was necessary because he needs to trust his employees and he can trust the younger Chinese workers more. a. Ignoring common law and contract claims, what claims might Ron and Marge bring against CNOC because of their firings? How might CNOC defend itself in this case? How will the court analyze these claims and defenses ? b. Upset at Ron’s firing, Eddie (who works on a drilling rig) decides to sabotage CNOC’s operations in the Rockies. Drilling waste waters called “MUD” are usually discharged into approved underground injection wells. Eddie redirects the MUD to nearby drainage ditch which drains off the CNOC property. He then places an anonymous call to the Environmental Protection Agency notifying them of CNOC’s discharge of MUD to the drainage ditch. Has CNOC violated any environmental laws? What defense to liability might CNOC raise ? 1 SAMPLE ANSWER a. Ron and Marge may bring claims against CNOC under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act for discrimination based upon national origin . If the court concludes that they were fired essentially because they were not Chinese, they can claim disparate treatment , and should be able to recover damages for the firing. If the court decides that they were fired because they could not be trusted, they still may be able to make a disparate impact claim. Since Mr. Chen equates trustworthiness with being Chinese, Ron and Marge can make out a prima facie case of discrimination. CNOC will then need to prove that it had a good business reason (bona fide occupational qualification ) for firing Ron and Marge. This will probably be a difficult burden for CNOC to meet, since Ron...
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- Spring '09
- Business Law, CMI, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. Chen, Tru, shellfish suppliers