Assume you have taken on a
management position at Sellers Eskew Perry Convenience, Inc. (“SEP”), which is
incorporated in Delaware, headquartered in Boston, and own/operates convenience
stores (with gas stations and a robust retail inventory) throughout New
England. SEP has about 2000 employees, ranging from minimum-wage cashiers to
C-Suite executive employees. The stores sell alcoholic beverages, tobacco and
e-cigarettes, and typical convenience store snack items. It uses a different
supplier for each of those categories of products. If SEP is to make sound business
decisions, you and your management colleagues must be aware of a broad array of
legal considerations. Sometimes, legal principles may constrain SEP’s business
decisions; at other times, the law may prove a valuable ally of SEP in the
successful operation of the firm’s business.
Of course, you and other members of the SEP management group will rely on the
advice of in-house counsel or outside attorneys who are in private practice.
The approach of simply “leaving the law to the lawyers,” however, is likely to
be counterproductive. It will often be up to nonlawyers such as you to identify
a potential legal issue or pitfall about which SEP needs professional guidance.
If you fail to spot the issue in a timely manner and legal problems are allowed
to develop and fester, even the most skilled attorneys may have difficulty
rescuing you and the firm from the resulting predicament.
If, on the other hand, your failure to identify a legal consideration means
that you do not seek advice in time to obtain an advantage that applicable law
would have provided SEP, the corporation may lose out on a beneficial
opportunity. Either way – that is, whether the relevant legal issue operates as
a constraint or offers a potential advantage – you and the firm cannot afford
to be unfamiliar with the legal environment in which SEP operates.
Additionally, simply following the
law to avoid regulatory penalties or litigation risks may not necessarily
result in an organizational culture consistent with the stated values of SEP to
“Always do business the right way, taking care to promote an ethical culture
where each individual can flourish and feel good about making a difference for
customers and the community.” Please answer the following questions: you can
enter your responses directly in this assignment, after each question below.
Your responses should be about 2, and no more than 3, paragraphs for each
What sources of law should you and the
management team be familiar with and why? What potential is there for
conflicts among those various laws and how will that conflict be resolved?
Broadly, what legal issues in the areas of employment
law, torts and contracts should SEP management be aware of?
Are there any ways in which SEP can proactively and
positively influence the law to protect or advance SEP’s business
interests and how should management proceed if the law will permit action
that might not be consistent with creation of organizational integrity?
Are there any tactics or safeguards that SEP might
preemptively pursue to limit legal exposure when dealing with customers,
employees, and other businesses? If sued, explain what sort of
consequences that could impose on your company and what strategies might
be pursued.
Given your company’s desire to act ethically, what
advice do you have for your employees about what helps make an ethical
culture, and what sort of pitfalls they should know about and try to

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