Business Law

Discussion #3
Please read pg. 246-247 in the book regarding duress. Then read the scenario below (in blue) and discuss the questions at the end of it.
Sally is a surgeon from a wealthy family. Sally had several million dollars of property in her own name. Thomas, on the other hand, grew up poor. He worked a decent job that covered his bills, but he didn’t have much for savings, and he didn’t really own much property besides a few household items and a 1997 Honda Civic. Thomas met Sally at church, and they began dating in 2012. In August 2014, Thomas (after scrimping and saving for many months) purchased a modest engagement ring for Sally and, in September 2014, Thomas asked Sally to marry him. Sally, crying happy tears, said “yes”.
The couple immediately began planning their wedding, which they set for July 1, 2015. Thomas and Sally were very traditional, and so Sally (and her family) covered most of the expenses for the wedding. Thomas, however, again scrimped and saved and, after taking out a title loan against his 1997 Honda Civic, managed to put together a few thousand dollars which he spent booking a lovely honeymoon in the Caribbean which was set for July 3-10, 2015.
The wedding was rapidly approaching, and all wedding plans were finalized. Thomas and Sally both had lots of friends and family coming in for the wedding from out-of-state. Two days before the wedding, on June 29, 2015, Sally met with Thomas and handed him a large, white envelope. Thomas opened it, and inside was a 10-page contract that said “Prenuptial Agreement” on the top. Sally explained to Thomas that, although she loved him very much, she felt that she needed to protect herself in case their marriage ever took a turn for the worse. Terms in the Prenuptial Agreement included: (1) Sally would get to keep all of her assets (money, property, cars, etc…) that she entered into the marriage with, along with any interest or growth of those assets; (2) in the event of a divorce, Sally would not have to pay Thomas any alimony or spousal support; and (3) since Sally was the higher wage earner, all property acquired during their marriage would be split 70/30 in favor of Sally if they ever divorced. Thomas read over the Prenuptial Agreement and understood all of it. Although he didn’t like it, with the wedding only two days away he went ahead and signed it so as not to risk the wedding and honeymoon being called off.
Thomas and Sally lived together happily for several years. Sally was the main earner for their family, with her job as a surgeon accounting for almost 80% of their income each month. Thomas worked odd jobs here and there, but he also did most of the work around the home (including laundry, cooking and cleaning). Unfortunately, in 2019, Thomas and Sally realized their marriage wasn’t working out and filed for divorce. As part of the divorce proceedings, Thomas filed a motion with the court seeking: (1) 50% of the interest and growth on Sally’s assets, (2) 5 years of alimony from Sally, and (3) a 50/50 split of all property acquired during their marriage. In response to Thomas’s motion, Sally asserted that Thomas agreed as part of the Prenuptial Agreement that he was not entitled to any of these things. Thomas, in turn, asserted that the he signed the Prenuptial Agreement under duress, and that the Prenuptial ADiscussion #3
Please read pg. 246-247 in the book regarding duress. Then read the scenario below (in blue) and discuss the questions at the end of it.
Sally is a surgeon from a wealthy family. Sally had several million dollars of property in her own name. Thomas, on the other hand, grew up poor. He worked a decent job that covered his bills, but he didn’t have much for savings, and he didn’t really own much property besides a few household items and a 1997 Honda Civic. Thomas met Sally at church, and they began dating in 2012. In August 2014, Thomas (after scrimping and saving for many months) purchased a modest engagement ring for Sally and, in September 2014, Thomas asked Sally to marry him. Sally, crying happy tears, said “yes”.
The couple immediately began planning their wedding, which they set for July 1, 2015. Thomas and Sally were very traditional, and so Sally (and her family) covered most of the expenses for the wedding. Thomas, however, again scrimped and saved and, after taking out a title loan against his 1997 Honda Civic, managed to put together a few thousand dollars which he spent booking a lovely honeymoon in the Caribbean which was set for July 3-10, 2015.
The wedding was rapidly approaching, and all wedding plans were finalized. Thomas and Sally both had lots of friends and family coming in for the wedding from out-of-state. Two days before the wedding, on June 29, 2015, Sally met with Thomas and handed him a large, white envelope. Thomas opened it, and inside was a 10-page contract that said “Prenuptial Agreement” on the top. Sally explained to Thomas that, although she loved him very much, she felt that she needed to protect herself in case their marriage ever took a turn for the worse. Terms in the Prenuptial Agreement included: (1) Sally would get to keep all of her assets (money, property, cars, etc…) that she entered into the marriage with, along with any interest or growth of those assets; (2) in the event of a divorce, Sally would not have to pay Thomas any alimony or spousal support; and (3) since Sally was the higher wage earner, all property acquired during their marriage would be split 70/30 in favor of Sally if they ever divorced. Thomas read over the Prenuptial Agreement and understood all of it. Although he didn’t like it, with the wedding only two days away he went ahead and signed it so as not to risk the wedding and honeymoon being called off.
Thomas and Sally lived together happily for several years. Sally was the main earner for their family, with her job as a surgeon accounting for almost 80% of their income each month. Thomas worked odd jobs here and there, but he also did most of the work around the home (including laundry, cooking and cleaning). Unfortunately, in 2019, Thomas and Sally realized their marriage wasn’t working out and filed for divorce. As part of the divorce proceedings, Thomas filed a motion with the court seeking: (1) 50% of the interest and growth on Sally’s assets, (2) 5 years of alimony from Sally, and (3) a 50/50 split of all property acquired during their marriage. In response to Thomas’s motion, Sally asserted that Thomas agreed as part of the Prenuptial Agreement that he was not entitled to any of these things. Thomas, in turn, asserted that the he signed the Prenuptial Agreement under duress, and that the Prenuptial Agreement is therefore invalid and unenforceable.
You are the judge who is deciding Thomas and Sally’s case. Do you believe that duress has invalidated the Prenuptial Agreement? Why or why not? Your response should include a discussion about what duress is (and what it is not). It should cite the specific facts supporting your decision, as well as discussing why those facts lead you to believe that duress is/is not present in this case.
Remember: There is no right or wrong position to take. What I am interested in is your analysis and the facts that back up your reasoning. This is your time to show me that you understand the materials in the book. It should take you at least 30-60 minutes to write out a well thought out answer that comprehensively answers the question above.
TO DO WELL ON DISCUSSIONS: Each discussion will require approximately an hour to prepare and complete the post. Discussions allow students to apply the concepts from the chapter and book back to a real-life scenario in the video. To do well, students should plan ahead, study the chapters, watch the video, and take notes. Unless specifically asked, these posts are not about your personal opinion.
POSTS (Worth up to 40 points) will be graded on the following criteria for their post:
Did the student answer all of the questions?
Did the student demonstrate they read & understand the chapters and the concepts by citing specific concepts and using the vocabulary appropriately?
Did the student demonstrate they watched the entire video and applied it back to the chapter and book by using specific references, examples, and situations?
RESPONSE (Worth up to 10 points) for a thoughtful response to a classmate’s post in the specific assignment. Please note that students will not receive credit for simple responses, such as “I agree” or “I disagree”, to a classmate’s comment. The student must state WHY s/he agrees/disagrees with the classmate’s comment in relation to the topic covered in order to receive credit.
Rules:
All posts and responses must be professional. Discussions posts and responses are formal communication in a college course, not social media. Grammar, punctuation, and spelling matter. Grades can be reduced by as much as 15 points for posts and responses not professionally written. While it is acceptable to disagree with a comment made by another participant it is not acceptable to take the discussion to a personal level or to use profanity at any time.
• Copying posts or responses is PLAGIARISM. It will lead to the student failing. Please read the section on Academic Misconduct below. greement is therefore invalid and unenforceable.
You are the judge who is deciding Thomas and Sally’s case. Do you believe that duress has invalidated the Prenuptial Agreement? Why or why not? Your response should include a discussion about what duress is (and what it is not). It should cite the specific facts supporting your decision, as well as discussing why those facts lead you to believe that duress is/is not present in this case.
Remember: There is no right or wrong position to take. What I am interested in is your analysis and the facts that back up your reasoning. This is your time to show me that you understand the materials in the book. It should take you at least 30-60 minutes to write out a well thought out answer that comprehensively answers the question above.
TO DO WELL ON DISCUSSIONS: Each discussion will require approximately an hour to prepare and complete the post. Discussions allow students to apply the concepts from the chapter and book back to a real-life scenario in the video. To do well, students should plan ahead, study the chapters, watch the video, and take notes. Unless specifically asked, these posts are not about your personal opinion.
POSTS (Worth up to 40 points) will be graded on the following criteria for their post:
Did the student answer all of the questions?
Did the student demonstrate they read & understand the chapters and the concepts by citing specific concepts and using the vocabulary appropriately?
Did the student demonstrate they watched the entire video and applied it back to the chapter and book by using specific references, examples, and situations?
RESPONSE (Worth up to 10 points) for a thoughtful response to a classmate’s post in the specific assignment. Please note that students will not receive credit for simple responses, such as “I agree” or “I disagree”, to a classmate’s comment. The student must state WHY s/he agrees/disagrees with the classmate’s comment in relation to the topic covered in order to receive credit.
Rules:
All posts and responses must be professional. Discussions posts and responses are formal communication in a college course, not social media. Grammar, punctuation, and spelling matter. Grades can be reduced by as much as 15 points for posts and responses not professionally written. While it is acceptable to disagree with a comment made by another participant it is not acceptable to take the discussion to a personal level or to use profanity at any time.
Copying posts or responses is PLAGIARISM. It will lead to the student failing. Please read the section on Academic Misconduct below.

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