General Information 

Professor Information

Instructor Profile Picture


John H. Thomas


HM 362



(305) 519-5116 (cell)

Office Hours

Tues 9:00 - 11:00                      Wed 10:30 - 2:30                            or by appointment

Turn Around Time

Within 24 hours

Course Description and Purpose

This is an advanced course in the study of hospitality law in which contemporary legal issues of the hospitality industry are analyzed from a management perspective.  There will be some comparative studies of how legal standards may differ from state to state and in the world outside the United States.

Course Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze legal issues arising in contracts, negligence, regulation, etc., as presented in the hospitality industry.  
  2. Develop a working familiarity with the sources of law including constitutions, statutes, regulations and case law.
  3. Formulate management plans to anticipate and control legal issues, including recognition of when to request assistance from legal professionals.
  4. Compare and apply the differing legal standards which are governing law in different jurisdictions around the world.   
  5. Predict trends in the hospitality industry which will affect future legal issues and how laws will adapt to changes.

Course Methodology

Students will review case law studies and will research legal issues by reading constitutions, statutes, regulations, cases and legal publications.  Issues will be researched in the FIU internet library and in printed materials.  Class discussion is a very important component for students to learn to recognize and analyze legal issues, then form management plans.  Students will prepare a term paper for presentation to the class.

Important Information


Please review the FIU's Policies webpage. The policies webpage contains essential information regarding guidelines relevant to all courses at FIU, as well as additional information about acceptable netiquette for online courses. For additional information, please visit FIU's Policy and Procedure Library.

As a member of the FIU community you are expected to be knowledgeable about the behavioral expectations set forth in the FIU Student Conduct and Honor Code.

Technical Requirements and Skills

One of the greatest barriers to taking an online course is a lack of basic computer literacy. By computer literacy, we mean being able to manage and organize computer files efficiently and learning to use your computer's operating system and software quickly and easily. Keep in mind that this is not a computer literacy course, but students enrolled in online courses are expected to have moderate proficiency using a computer. Please go to the What's Required webpage to find out more information on this subject.

Privacy Policy Statements for Partners and Vendors

Please visit our Technical Requirements webpage for additional information.

Accessibility and Accommodation

The Disability Resource Center collaborates with students, faculty, staff, and community members to create diverse learning environments that are usable, equitable, inclusive, and sustainable. The DRC provides FIU students with disabilities the necessary support to successfully complete their education and participate in activities available to all students. If you have a diagnosed disability and plan to utilize academic accommodations, please contact the Center at 305-348-3532 or visit them at the Graham Center GC 190.

For additional assistance please contact FIU's Disability Resource Center.

Web Accessibility Statements for Partners and Vendors 

Please visit our ADA Compliance webpage for additional information about accessibility involving the tools used in this course.

Academic Misconduct Statement

Florida International University is a community dedicated to generating and imparting knowledge through excellent teaching and research, the rigorous and respectful exchange of ideas, and community service. All students should respect the right of others to have an equitable opportunity to learn and honestly demonstrate the quality of their learning. Therefore, all students are expected to adhere to a standard of academic conduct, which demonstrates respect for themselves, their fellow students, and the educational mission of the University. All students are deemed by the University to understand that if they are found responsible for academic misconduct, they will be subject to the Academic Misconduct procedures and sanctions, as outlined in the Student Conduct and Honor Code. Academic Misconduct includes:


  • The unauthorized use of any materials, information, study aids or assistance from another person on any academic assignment or exercise, unless explicitly authorized by the course Instructor; 
  • Assisting another student in the unauthorized use of any materials, information, study aids, unless explicitly authorized by the Instructor; and 
  • Having a substitute complete any academic assignment or completing an academic assignment for someone else, either paid or unpaid; and


  • The deliberate use and appropriation of another are work without any indication of the source and the representation of such work as the Student's own.
  • Assisting another student in the deliberate use and appropriation of another’s work without any indication of the source and the representation of such work as the student’s own. 

Learn more about the academic integrity policies and procedures as well as student resources that can help you prepare for a successful semester.

Panthers Care & Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

If you are looking for help for yourself or a fellow classmate, Panthers Care encourages you to express any concerns you may come across as it relates to any personal behavior concerns or worries you have, for the classmate’s well-being or yours; you are encouraged to share your concerns with FIU’s Panthers Care website.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers free and confidential help for anxiety, depression, stress, and other concerns that life brings. Professional counselors are available for same-day appointments. Don’t wait to call (305) 348-2277 to set up a time to talk or visit the online self-help portal.

Inclusivity Statement

This course will serve to embrace the diversity and inclusivity found within Florida International University. We appreciate and respect diversity, equality, equity, cooperativeness, community, and sustainability within our online courses. We are committed to the ongoing education of our students and their participation within the course regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, geographical location, religion, and disability. We strive in encouraging collaboration by preparing our students to value the differences in others. At the core of our intentions is the encouragement of acceptance and appreciation of differences within our student population and community.

Copyright Statement

The following conduct is prohibited by the Student Conduct and Honor Code. Lack of familiarity with University policy is not a defense to a violation of this Code. Unless specifically noted, the intent is not a required element to establish a policy violation. The following conduct violation or any attempt to violate the Code will be used in charging all Students or Student Organizations;

Section 5 | Conduct Violations - g. Computer Misuse

  • vii. Unauthorized distribution or downloading of copyrighted materials, including but not limited to, unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing. This is a violation whether the user is using their own personal computer or the University’s information technology system for unauthorized distributions.

Copyright Statement: The materials and content in this online course are provided solely for student use during the course. Course materials may not be shared outside of the course or with any third party without the explicit permission of the instructor or content publisher. Visit FIU Library’s Copyright Lib Guide to learn more about copyright law and restrictions.

Additional Resources:

Course Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Textbook and Course Materials

Expectations of This Course

This is a fully online class.  Students taking fully online classes will need to be self-regulating in their habits, and keep up with the assignments.  Some assignments are designated for teams, but if students are in widely different time zones communication will be difficult.  Team assignments may be done individually if a good faith attempt is first made to work in the assigned team.  The purpose of team assignments is to learn from each other.    

The learning in this course is staged in Modules on Canvas, including videos and module discussion assignments.   Each student will also choose a topic for a term paper, to be approved by the instructor.  The term paper is a very important learning tool, for which there should be at least one case and at least one law review article discussed in the paper, with proper citations.  

The instructor is available to assist with any questions about the material or assignments.       

Course Detail

Course Communication

Communication in this course will take place via Email and Announcements.

Do not use the Canvas communication, which I do  not receive. 

I will respond to all correspondence within 24 hours on weekdays.

Discussion Forums

Keep in mind that your discussion forum postings will be seen by other members of the course. Care should be taken when determining what to post.


There will be one Case Brief at the start of the term.

For seven weeks there will be a Module Assignment due by Sunday, including your comments about at least three submissions of other students.

There are six videos, from which you will summarize what you learned and how you would apply what  you learned as a hospitality manager,

Each student shall prepare a term paper on a topic of their choice, approved by the instructor, This paper is the most important learning experience for this course.

It is understood that students in this course may have duties which conflict with the timing of assignments, so inform the instructor if there is a problem It is important to keep with the assignments to enjoy the benefit of the learning experience as designed. 



Grading is on a curve, comparing your work to other students.  

Class discussion assignments are important.  Make comments that add to the discussion, not just agree.  Lack of meaningful participation in the discussion questions will result in a lower grade.

Course Requirements23
Number of Items
Points for Each
Total Points Available
Case Brief120203%
Video Summaries653010%
Class Discussions
                Term Paper Draft                        1                   20                                                 20          7%
T           Term Paper Final                        1                   160                                                 160       53%


Grading Schema

Name From To
< 95%
< 90%
< 87%
< 83%
< 80%
< 77%
< 70%
< 60%

Course Calendar


Weekly Schedule


Jan. 11  Legal Issues During Pandemic 
Video 2 - CO2, CO 4
Mod. 1 Assignment - CO1
Mod. 1 Discussion - CO1, CO4, CO5
Jan. 18 ContractsVideo 3 - CO1, CO2, CO3
Mod. 2 Assignment - CO 1
Mod. 2 Discussion - CO1, CO2, CO3
Jan. 25 Contracts, Negligence
Video 4 - CO1, CO2, CO3, CO4
Mod. 3 Assignment - CO1, CO3, CO4
Mod. 3 Discussion - CO1, CO2, CO3
Feb. 1 Discrimination; Disabilities; Employment
Video 5 - CO1, CO2, CO3, CO5
Mod. 4 Assignment - CO1, CO2, CO3
Mod 4 Discussion - CO1, CO2, CO3, CO4, CO5
Feb. 8 Food and Alcohol
Video 6 - CO1, CO2, CO4, CO5
Mod. 5 Assignment - CO1, CO2, CO3, CO4, CO5
Feb. 15 Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents
Video 7 - CO1, CO2, CO3, CO4, CO5
Mod. 6 Assignment - CO 1, CO2, CO3, CO4
Mod. 6 Discussion - CO1, CO2, CO3, CO4
Feb. 22 Cruise Ships; International Law; Arbitration; Robotics & AI
Mod. 7 Assignment - CO1, CO2, CO3, CO5
Mod. 7 Discussion - CO1, CO2, CO3, CO4, CO5
Mar. 1  Mid-Term Exam
Written paper - CO 1, CO2, CO3, CO4, CO5
Topic PresentationsSummarize presentations - CO1, CO3, CO4, CO5
Topic Executive SummaryWritten paper - CO1, CO2, CO3, Co4, CO5