It's getting close to the end of the school year. Time to think about exams, cleaning out your locker, and summer vacation. So, get your blue books out and sharpen your pencils; it's time for a quick quiz to see how your legal knowledge is coming along.
The Test 1. Who can legally sign aon behalf of a hotel?
* A. The sales director
* B. The general manager
* C. Any hotel employee
* D. Convention services manager
* E. Anybody who has express or apparent authority
2. A contract that doesn't say anything about cancellation can be canceled without penalty at any time. True or False?
3. Which of the following are legally binding?
* A. Letter of agreement
* B. Letter of credit
* C. Any written promise
* D. Letter of intent
* E. A representation from one person to another
4. A professional meeting planner must exercise that degree of care that is customarily exercised by a reasonably prudent person. True or False?
5. Your spouse has accompanied you to a business meeting. Which of the following statements are correct?
* A. All of my spouse's travel expenses are deductible as a business expense.
* B. My spouse's meal expenses are deductible.
* C. My spouse's hotel expenses are deductible.
6. The requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act apply to a group only when it holds meetings
* A. in a convention center or hotel.
* B. in any place where the public pays for admission.
* C. in any place other than a private facility.
* D. in any public accommodation.
The Answers 1. E. It is important to find out who can legally bind the hotel to a contract. Usually, a general manager or a sales director can sign contracts--they have been specifically authorized. However, others may be authorized because of their position or title, or because they are held out by the hotel as having the "appearance" of authority.
2. False. Courts have held that where contracts are silent on cancellation, the parties must not have anticipated that such contracts could be canceled. Thus, if one party cancels the contract by not fulfilling its obligations, the party is breaching the contract and must pay the full amount of any damages resulting from that breach.
3. They all could be legally binding contracts. The key is whether the definition of a contract is met: it is an agreement between two or more competent parties to do or not do a particular thing. If something meets the definition, it's a legally binding contract; it doesn't matter what the agreement is called.
4. False. A professional usually is held to a higher standard than an "ordinary" person. A planner will be held to that degree of care that is customarily exercised by others of the same profession under similar circumstances.
5. None is correct. Travel expenses of a spouse cannot be deducted except under very limited circumstances: where the spouse is a bona fide employee of the organization paying for the trip, where the spouse attends for a bona fide reason, and where the spouse otherwise would be entitled to deduct the expense. A spouse's hotel expenses also are not deductible, but here's a tip: If a single room costs $140 per night and a double is $180, the taxpayer can deduct the full cost of a single (rather than half the cost of a double.
6. D. The ADA applies to all "public accommodations." A public accommodation is defined as a private entity that owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation. "Places of public accommodation" include hotels, convention centers, restaurants, theaters, museums, and even private buildings. The ADA prohibits discrimination in such places on the basis of disability.