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ERIC Number: EJ936068
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 27
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0896-5811
From the Factory to the Playroom: Mattel, Inc.--Shenzhen Union King Sales Contract Exercise
Pagnattaro, Marisa Anne
Journal of Legal Studies Education, v28 n2 p357-383 Sum-Fall 2011
The discovery of lead paint on nearly one million toys prompted the world's largest toy company, Mattel, Inc. ("Mattel") to initiate a massive recall in August 2007. The recalled toys fell into two categories: those with impermissible levels of lead paint and those with risks associated with small high-powered magnets. Mattel's manufacturing problems in China inspired this fictional contract negotiation exercise, which is designed to facilitate students' understanding of the complexities of contracts for the sale of goods in the international context. In this exercise, buyers from Mattel design an action figure doll and enter into an agreement with Shenzhen Union King Industrial Co., Inc. (Union King) for the manufacture of the dolls at Union King's facility in Guangdong Province, China. Students are encouraged to consider issues that might arise in all contexts--from the time the toy is manufactured at the factory to the time children are playing with it in the playroom. The exercise provides students with an opportunity to engage with the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods (CISG), which generally applies to sales contracts between companies in any of the seventy-six countries that are signatory to this treaty, including the United States and China. Part I of this case study consists of the negotiation exercise to be distributed to students. A separate case is provided for the buyers and sellers, containing confidential information for each side. This section also contains the assignment, which should be distributed to all buyers and sellers. Part II is the teaching note, setting forth the learning objectives, information about actual administration of the exercise in the classroom, and suggested methods of evaluation. The contract exercise works particularly well at the end of the semester in an International Legal Transactions class; however, the teaching note also sets forth a modified assignment for use in a Legal Environment class. Overall, the exercise is designed to help students identify potential legal liability for both companies as they wrestle with the complexities of international transactions, from product safety liability associated with toys manufactured in China to the resolution of disputes arising from global contracts using the CISG. (Contains 34 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China