LAWS20059 – TERM 2, 2018
ASSESSMENT 1 – INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT
Marks: 40% of the overall assessment for the course
Submission: Online via Moodle
Format: One file in .doc or .docx (MS Word) format.
Submissions in any other file format (e.g. .zip) will be treated as a non-submission.
Due date: 11.45pm, Thursday 23 August 2018 (Week 6) Word limit: Word limits are set out below for each part.
The university policy on extensions of time will be strictly enforced. Extensions will only be considered if made via the online system and must be based on medical or compassionate grounds. Any extension application should be made before the due date for submission.
Medical conditions should be supported by a medical certificate, and, since students are expected to start the assignment early, temporary or last-minute conditions are usually not grounds for an extension. Professionals are expected to manage their time to meet their obligations, so work or personal commitments are insufficient grounds for an extension. Time management is important to avoid any late submission. Late penalties may apply without an approved extension
The university’s plagiarism policy will also be strictly enforced. If plagiarism is found, a minimum penalty is likely to be zero marks for the assessment. It could be worse. Visit the Academic Learning Centre for assistance on planning the assignment, referencing correctly and the use of clear formal language.
You must cite and reference the resources consulted in the assignment responses.
By citing and referencing the material consulted you will also be acting in an ethical and honest manner.
Acknowledgement may be in the form of in text citations, footnotes and/or a bibliography.
See the Moodle resources on Plagiarism. Be sure to access the ALC for assistance with referencing.
You are working at an accounting firm. Your overall task is to advise clients on how to structure their business – either as a partnership or company. The clients’ circumstances are extremely important considerations.
You should not consider the topic of trusts, as they are used primarily to minimise tax, and tax law is not part of this course. (Assume that the clients instruct you that they’ve had bad past experience with trusts because of the extra administration and accountancy fees that trusts create, and they don’t want to do that again). You should also avoid any advice on tax. The tax implications of business structures are more complicated than websites suggest, and since tax is not part of this course, you should avoid it. (Assume that the clients specifically instruct you not to advise on tax).
In order to provide this advice you need to perform several sub-tasks:-
1. Research the law relevant to your advice.
2. Provide a written report to your supervising partner on your research.
3. Provide a written report to your supervising partner weighing up the alternatives for your clients and making a recommendation for a particular business structure.
4. Provide a separate written report to the supervising partner on the selected case showing the responsibilities imposed on a company director by legislation.
5. Provide an oral advice (in plain language) to the client in the form of a YouTube video, advising on the law, weighing up the alternatives and providing a recommendation.
Four adult members of the same family, two brothers, Sam and Stan, and two sisters, Fran and Fergie, attend your office seeking advice. They wish to go into a real estate sales’ business for themselves. Two favour a partnership structure and two prefer a company as the suitable business structure. You have a preliminary meeting with the clients to get background information. Before the next meeting your boss requires you to do the research about the two choices open to the clients. Preliminary
In doing the research for your boss you see that the case of ASIC v Adler (2002) 20 ACLC 576; 41 ACSR 72 is an important illustration of the responsibilities of and regulation of company directors. Your boss wants you to provide as background a separate analysis on the relevance of the case to clients who may wish to use a company as their business structure.
Clearly, you need to start work on your assignment early. This is not the sort of assignment that you can do within a day or so of the due date.
Written Report to Supervising Partner
The written report to the supervising partner consists of three parts:–
1. A report on your research describing the two business structures, the partnership and the company; and
2. A report (a)weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of the two alternatives and (b) presenting your argument and reasons for a particular recommendation; and
3. A report on the significance of the case, ASIC v Adler (2002) 20 ACLC 576; 41 ACSR 72, to company directors. In the report explain how the case is a relevant illustration of the responsibilities and regulation of directors of a company.
Your supervising partner is assumed to be an experienced professional who probably knows the law you are reporting, although he/she may not know the detail and may not remember case names and section numbers, which you must reference properly. You should use footnotes for referencing, so there should be no need for a Reference List or a Bibliography at the end of the assignment. However you must provide sources of any resources you draw on in the answers. See the Moodle resources on Plagiarism. Be sure to access the ALC for assistance with referencing. You can therefore speak in technical terms to the partner. The purpose of reporting to your partner is not to teach him/her the law they already know, but to convince them that
you have done your research properly and that you have weighed up the alternatives sensibly and have come to a sensible recommendation. The supervising partner needs to be satisfied of this in order to authorise you to advise the client. The written report must contain relevant full citation case and statute references in support of your analysis.
You can also assume that the supervising partner is aware of the first meeting and the inquiries from the clients.
Oral Advice to the Client
Having reported to the supervising partner, you should assume that you have been authorised to provide your advice to the client. It is the client who makes the final decision, not you, so it is your job to put them in a position to do that. You have to explain the law to them in terms that they can understand, give your reasoning weighing up the alternatives, and explain why you make a particular recommendation.
One of the challenges of practice is to advise clients about technical matters in words that they can understand, and that is what you will be marked on in this part. It should not be a repeat of the report to the supervising partner because the client cannot understand technical legal terms. Nor should you be reading from a script (like a newsreader) as that would suggest to the client that you do not understand what you are talking about. If you understand what you are advising, you should be able to talk about it to the client without reading from a script. However, you may have some notes to prompt you about what to say. There is nothing wrong with hesitating when you advise, because that is quite natural in real life – it shows that you are thinking.
For the video presentation, you must avoid things like poor audio quality, noise in the background, poor diction that cannot be understood, low volume that is hard to hear, etc. If the video is not up to professional quality the first time you record it, do it again. It’s only 6 minutes. You should also present yourself in a professional manner, neatly dressed, properly groomed and tidy. Imagine that this is a job interview – which it could be, because if you do a good video, you can use it as part of your portfolio when applying for a job.
An assignment advice will be posted and in that advice will be additional tips for the video presentation.
What you submit
You need to submit one file containing:-
A Title Page – including your name, student number, and word count for Parts 1, 2 and 3.
Part 1 – Report to supervising partner on your research (Maximum: 700 words, 10 marks)
Part 2 – Report to supervising partner setting out your argument weighing up the two alternatives and providing a recommendation (Maximum 700 words, 10 marks)
Part 3 – A report on the significance of the case, ASIC v Adler (2002) 20 ACLC 576; 41 ACSR 72, to company directors. In the report explain how the case is a relevant illustration of the responsibilities and regulation of directors of a company. (Maximum 700 words, 10 marks) Part 4 – Link to a YouTube video containing your advice to the client: (YouTube video maximum: 6 mins, 10 marks). The link must be accessible to the marker. If it does not work, you will get zero for this part.
All parts of the assignment will be marked in accordance with the university’s Grades policy and the
Assessment Criteria detailed in the Unit Profile. The following marking rubric incorporates that policy.
MARKING RUBRIC ON NEXT PAGE
GRADE MARK APPROACH TO ASSESSING THE MARKING CRITERIA
HD 85%+ Demonstrates imagination, originality or flair, based on proficiency in all the learning outcomes of the unit; work is interesting or surprisingly exciting, challenging, well read or scholarly.
COMMENT: Here, the student will have done everything well, provided some original insights, and formulated their answer in a tight, efficient, thoroughly professional manner. The research (Part 2) will be strong and the argument for the recommendations (Parts 3 and 4) will have a sound logical flow which is supported by the facts and the research. It will also be convincing, such that a client would not only embrace the recommendation but also clearly understand why it is being made.
D 75-84% Demonstrates awareness and understanding of deeper and less obvious aspects of the unit, such as ability to identify and debate critical issues or problems, ability to solve non-routine problems, ability to adapt and apply ideas to new situations, and ability to invent and evaluate new ideas.
COMMENT: Similar to a C, but for a D the student has identified issues specific to the client’s situation that are insightful and not obvious.
C 65-74% Demonstrates ability to use and apply fundamental concepts and skills of the unit, going beyond mere replication of content knowledge or skill to show understanding of key ideas, awareness of their relevance, some use of analytical skills, and some originality or insight. COMMENT: True learning involves not only knowing principles or concepts but also the ability to apply them to a real life situation. This will be revealed in choosing what is relevant and making a logical argument towards a recommendation appropriate to the client’s circumstances. The questions asked in Part 1, the law researched in Part 2 and the argument and recommendations in Parts 3 and 4 should have a consistent thread.
P 50-64% Demonstrates the learning outcomes of the unit, such as knowledge of fundamental concepts and performance of basic skills; demonstrates sufficient quality of performance to be considered satisfactory or adequate or competent or capable in relation to the learning outcomes of the unit.
COMMENT: Students who get a mark in this range usually demonstrate some knowledge of principles and concepts, but do not apply them consistently to the actual fact situation. Their answers often contain a lot of regurgitation of law but very little application of it to the real life situation. Recommendations are often generic (they could apply to any situation, not specifically to the client’s situation) and are often just lifted from the textbook or a generic website.
F 40-49% Fails to demonstrate the learning outcomes of the unit.
COMMENT: Students in this range usually make some effort to perform the assignment task but fail to achieve what is prescribed for a P.
Low F 40% COMMENT: Students in this range usually fail to properly carry out the instructions or
perform the task specified in the assessment.