Legal reasoning consists of the development and application of legal rules to guide the resolution of conflicts emerging in a community. For that reasoning to be strong, it must adhere to several generally respected intellectual standards. Critical thinking about the law constitutes the application of these standards to legal arguments in order to evaluate their reasonableness.
CONCEPT REVIEW: Appendix 1A contains a description of the basic steps involved in critical thinking about the law. The initial steps are linked to the need to discover what the legal argument and the relevant rule of law is. The logic of these early steps is built on respect for evaluating what was actually said. Once the argument is discovered, the evaluative steps on page 11 provide the basis for an overall assessment of the reasoning.
Mini Case: A firm must always be alert to changes in the legal environment of business. What would you advise RelaxEze to do in light of the recent legal decision, Ramona Lopez v. DrugsRus? Apply the process of critical thinking to arrive at your decision. RelaxEze is a hypothetical pharmaceutical drug company focused on creating drugs that treat the symptoms of childhood cancer. Their scientists have just discovered a drug that tests show can reduce anxiety by 40% in typical patients. The Federal Food and Drug Administration agrees, and authorizes the sale of the drug to the public. RelaxEze immediately unveils an advertising campaign that explicitly states, “This drug works like no other drug that has ever been sold in the United States.” They are rethinking the advertisement. Is the decision to advertise in this manner permitted in light of the Lopez decision?
The court in Lopez responded to a similar situation where Lopez sued DrugsRus because it advertised one of its drugs by saying “a single pill tonight eliminates the need for five tomorrow.” In reliance on the advertisement, Ms. Lopez stopped taking her five arthritis pills and began taking the single pill touted by DrugsRus. As a result of the change in her medications, Ms. Lopez is no longer able to maintain regular employment. The court determined that the rule of law that applied in this instance is the reasonable person standard. The key issue with respect to this standard is, “Would the reasonable person have believed that one tablet for arthritis could adequately replace five?” The court relied on the intended user standard in its decision. The relevant question then became, “Would the reasonable intended consumer rely on the advertisement at issue here?” The court found for Ms. Lopez because they believed that the facts in this case demonstrated that she was the typical intended consumer.