Compare and contrast intangible, real, and personal property laws.
Analyze the impact of tort, criminal, property, and employment law on business
operations and decision-making.
Apply approaches to negotiating contracts and resolving contract disputes.
Analyze how legal processes and risks influence business decision-making.
Apply risk analysis techniques to alternative solutions.
How does an organization identify risks in the areas of tort, criminal, and property law to which it
is exposed in operations?
Tort law plays a significant role in determining who will bear losses arising from unanticipated
risks, including accidental injuries, thereby creating incentives for organizations in risk-reducing
behavior, which could include safety and other training programs. Furthermore, various federal
and state regulatory agencies—such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA)—have authority over certain organizational processes.
An organization can abate or significantly reduce potential fines for a criminal conviction by
demonstrating effective compliance and ethics program is in place and that the criminal violation
represented an anomaly within an otherwise law-abiding organization.
By developing a compliance and ethics program (and, subsequently, accessing its effectiveness),
organizations can strengthen existing criteria they must follow to prevent and detect criminal
conduct. Furthermore, organizations must be proactive and take ownership of processes by
imposing significantly greater responsibilities on their governing authority and executive
Property law appears to have dual implications for risk discovery and mitigation. As we have
learned, property rights are rights over things enforceable against other persons and contractual
rights are rights enforceable against particular persons (Reed, 2005). Property rights may arise
from a contract; therefore, an overlap exists between property and contractual rights. One
example of mitigating risk is in the sale of land.
As two legal relationships exist alongside one another, organizations must be aware that there is
a “personal” right to sue for damages on the contract and the proprietary right exercisable over
the sale of land. In should be clearly evident in the sale that a duality exists and organizations
must (1) establish the liability (financial and personal, if applicable), (2) consider the pros and
cons, (3) diagram the steps to mitigate the risk (e.g., proper and accurate documentation,
proceeding, title, escrow, etc.), and (4) decide (after risk mitigation) if the sale should continue.
Robert (Robb) Sikes