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BUSN 1019 – Individual Assignment
Practical Legal Problem Analysis
Proportion of Marks: 30%
Word Limit: 1200 words
Due Date: Friday 20 September at 4.00pm
• Assignments must be lodged electronically through FLO as a single word document.
• Assignments are to be prepared on an individual basis – you may not discuss your assignment answers or prepare assignment work with other students. This is collusion – a breach of academic integrity.
• Collusion, plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty are treated as serious offences by the University and are subject to harsh penalties, which may include expulsion from the University. Ensure that you have read and understood the University’s policy on academic dishonesty, as contained in the Student related Policies and Procedures Manual, for further information refer to:
• Penalties apply for late submission and/or exceeding the word count – please refer to page 2 of the Statement of Assessment Methods
Further Information and Instructions are on the following pages.
1) Purpose of Assignment
The purpose of this assignment is to provide an opportunity to develop the following skills:
1. Navigating legislation and identifying sections relevant to a particular issue;
2. Reading and interpreting sections of legislation;
3. Use the IRAC method to engage in preliminary legal problem solving in a commercial scenario; and
4. Referencing and footnoting using the Australian Guide to Legal Citation v4
2) Using Legal Resources and Referencing
For this task you will need to obtain a copy of the Partnership Act 1891 (SA). This can be found at: https://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/C/A/PARTNERSHIP%20ACT%201891/CURRENT/1891.506.AUT H.PDF
In addition to this, you should also refer to Chapter 20 of the textbook, especially the case example boxes. These cases can assist with interpreting the legislation.
For the purpose of this assignment these are the only resources you need to use. You do not need to research any other legislation or research any other case law.
You must correctly cite and footnote the legislation and cases in accordance with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation version 4 (AGLC4). AGLC is a footnoting system. Please refer to the AGLC4 “Simplified Guide” on FLO.
3) Scenario and Questions
Shaun and Craig are friends who are studying business at a university in Adelaide. They are both keen musicians and came up with an idea in November last year to start a business which offers online music lessons. Besides creating an account (under the username “NetMuso”) with a free online videoconferencing website (called WebTutorConnect) they did not do anything to formally register the business or document the nature of their commercial relationship.
In the first six months of operation, Shaun and Craig found it difficult to get many students to enrol in their lessons. They began operating out of Shaun’s Mum’s garage and this led to some negative feedback because Shaun’s Mum could sometimes be seen in the background unloading groceries from her car. This negative feedback was posted on Shaun’s personal Facebook page. In addition, online lessons were not as popular as they thought they would be and they received some inquires for some face-to-face lessons.
After this, Shaun and Craig discussed the possibility of renting a music studio and also offering face-toface lessons. Following this discussion, Shaun then decided to lease a music studio in a trendy innercity neighbourhood. Shaun entered into a formal lease agreement for three years. Only Shaun signed the lease. Shaun had borrowed $20,000 from his Dad to pay the rental bond as well as the first six months’ rent in advance.
When Craig saw the new studio he said: “oh … this is awesome” but didn’t ask anything about the lease or rent. The next day Craig, moved his collection of music instruments and equipment (worth approximately $25,000) to the studio at which time he said: “this will come in handy for our lessons”.
The business started to grow slowly and fees were paid into a joint bank account. However, a number of problems arose:
- Shaun discovered that Craig had been doing a number of extra lessons outside the studio (at Craig’s home). Craig kept the fees from those lessons to himself. Shaun confronted Craig on this. Craig responded by saying: “You don’t own me, I can do what I want … All the fees from the business have been banked into the joint bank account, so what are you whinging about.”
- Although the business experienced some modest growth, the fees earned are not enough to pay next month’s rent and electricity bill. Neither Shaun nor Craig have any money to meet these expenses.
- One Tuesday afternoon, Shaun was giving a face to face guitar lesson to Ronnie, a school aged student. During the lesson Ronnie needed to stop for a bathroom break. Ronnie used the small bathroom in the studio. Unfortunately, the bathroom floor was covered with water and some kind of oily substance. Ronnie fell and bumped the side of his face and head on the toilet. Ronnie was knocked unconscious and taken to hospital via an ambulance. Ronnie is ok, but suffered a severe blow to the head and also broke his jaw. Ronnie needed to have a number of medical tests to make sure there was no permanent damage. Ronnie also had to undergo complicated surgery on his jaw. Shaun and Craig receive a letter from Ronnie’s lawyers informing them that they are being sued for $12,000. Shaun and Craig do not have any public liability insurance.
After all this, Craig decided that he no longer wanted to take part in the business. Craig met with Shaun at the studio and said:
“Sorry bro … but I am totally over this …. I am out.”
Shaun was furious and responded:
“You can’t do that, we have rent and bills to pay. I can’t cover these expenses without your help …. You can’t just quit!”
Craig ignored him and started loading music instruments and equipment into his van. While this was happening, Shaun yelled at Craig and said:
“that property belongs to the business, you can’t just take it!”
Craig continued to ignore Shaun, finished loading the equipment, made a rude gesture at Shaun and then drove off.
Based on this information, you need to use the IRAC method to answer each of these questions:
A. Does a partnership between Shaun and Craig exist? In the “A- Analysis/Application” part of your answer, make arguments both for and against the existence of a partnership.
For questions B-E, you should assume that a partnership does exist.
B. Is Craig entitled to the fees from the extra lessons he had been doing?
C. Are the music instruments and equipment partnership property?
D. Who is liable to pay the outstanding rent and electricity?
E. If Ronnie successfully sues Shaun and Craig, who is liable to pay that amount of money?
- Answer each question separately using the IRAC method.
- The “Issues” have been broadly identified for you in the questions. You need to think about how to clearly phrase them in your answer and also what facts are relevant to those issues.
- Before attempting to answer the questions, read the Partnership Act and identify the relevant sections. You should start with the relevant legislation. Case law can be added to the analysis where it assists with your interpretation of the legislation.
- Do not quote large sections of the legislation or cases. As a guide, only quote the most pertinent aspects. You should keep long quotations (four lines or more) to a minimum.
- Please have a look at the marking criteria on the following page. Your assignment will be marked in accordance with this criteria.
- Word Limit Breakdown Guideline:
o Question A – Approx. 400-500 words
o Questions B, C, D and E Approx. 150- 200 words each
- Please also remember that references in the footnotes are not included in the word-count.
Issues - All issues clearly separated and identified. Issues articulated clearly and concisely with appropriate use of headings.
Rules - Comprehensively identifies relevant legal rules (including legislation and, where relevant, case law) for all issues.
Application/Analysis - Components of most relevant rules accurately applied with links to specific facts. Minimal or no inaccuracies.
Conclusion – Clear and relevant conclusion flowing from analysis for each issue.
Writing - Appropriate and accurate word choice throughout. Spelling and grammar correct. Sentences and paragraphs well-structured. Transition between ideas is logical and reading is efficient and fluid. Meaning is clear throughout and ideas expressed are persuasive.
Referencing/AGLC - Appropriate and accurate footnoting in accordance with AGLC. Appropriate use of quotes.