1. Buckley, a worker in a restaurant, stole a credit card from the coat of its owner with the intention of using it to charge goods. He purchased some merchandise at a retail store and paid for these goods by presenting the stolen credit card to the salesperson and signing the name of the person whose name appeared on the card. Was Buckley guilty of a crime?
2. Tameny had worked for Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) for 15 years and had risen to the position of retail sales representative. While he never had a formal contract of employment, his duties included managing relations between ARCO and various independent dealers in his territory. ARCO and some of its agents had been manipulating the retail gasoline prices of ARCO dealers. Those violations of federal and state antitrust laws had resulted in an agreement between ARCO and the courts under which ARCO and its agents agreed to discontinue those activities. Despite this agreement, ARCO continued to pressure Tameny to threaten and persuade dealers to cut their gasoline prices to a point at or below the level specified by ARCO. Tameny refused and was subsequently fired for alleged incompetence and unsatisfactory performance. On appeal, the Supreme Court of California was asked to decide (1) whether an employer’s authority over employees included the right to demand that an employee commit a criminal act; (2) whether an employer may force compliance by discharging an employee who refuses to do so; and (3) whether an employee may bring a tort action for wrongful discharge. Will Tameny be successful in his action claiming wrongful discharge?
3. Franken, president of Monarch Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, was one of only three persons who knew that one of the firm’s experimental drugs had just been approved by the federal government. The drug had been found to cure several serious diseases. As soon as news of the approval became public, Franken reasoned, the price of the firm’s stock would increase substantially. He arranged with a friend to buy thousands of shares of the company’s stock, hoping to sell at a profit after the price increased as a result of the good news. Can Franken be prosecuted for his actions?
4. Searle, office manager of Entro Products, had access to the firm’s checks to be used in paying for office supplies. However, Searle was not authorized to sign them. Each time he wanted to pay invoices, Searle had to have the firm’s president sign them. After some months, he was able to copy the president’s signature. He had invoices printed for a nonexistent company, and periodically he made out checks to the fake company and signed the president’s signature. Ultimately his wrongdoings were discovered. Is it likely Searle will be prosecuted for his crime?