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Question 1 1000 words
Peter is an employee of a clothing manufacturer, Fashion Designs Ltd. The company is located on the third floor of a building in Melbourne which it owns and which has access to both lifts and stairs.
At a weekly meeting of both staff and owners, the staff is advised that the paint on the stairs is wearing off and that the stairs to the three floors need to be repainted and that work on them will commence the next day. The owners add that the paint to be used is more hard-wearing and contains a component which allows for a better grip for users so as to eliminate the possibility of slipping.
They advise staff that the stairs will be out of use for a week and that during that time, staff should only use the lifts.
Peter was sick on the day of the meeting and did not attend the meeting.
The following day, Peter, who is a health fanatic and always takes the stairs instead of the lifts, goes to work. He also always gets to work early and when he arrives at work, he heads for the stairs. When he opens the door to the stairs, he notices some rubble on them and on the ground landing but takes no notice and proceeds up the stairs. He is unaware of the information provided by the owners to staff the previous day. As he climbs the stairs, he slips on the rubble and falls face forward, seriously injuring his arms and face.
He is taken to hospital and is told that he has suffered internal injuries, his right arm has been broken and he will need to replace some teeth which were also broken because of the fall.
His recovery period is estimated at six months during which he will be unable to work.
Peter needs your help.
He wants to know whether he can sue his employers in an action in Negligence and if so, of his likelihood of success.
Advise Peter, using legal reasoning and relevant case law.
Question Two: 20 marks, 1000 words
The following is the script of the video (provided below) of a meeting between a lawyer and a client, Jenny, regarding the sale of Jenny’s painting. You are required to advise Jenny about her legal position.
Lawyer: Hello. I have just met with a new client and recorded our meeting. I would ask that in your capacity as an associate of this firm, you watch the video of that meeting and prepare a memorandum of advice outlining our client’s legal position. She wants to know what her position is contractually and who, if anybody, she is liable to in contract. I have told her that you are the expert on contractual matters in this firm, that the matter has been referred to you and that you will provide her with well reasoned legal arguments and cases about her position and what she should do. I am leaving it to you to do a great job – for our client and for the firm.
Lawyer:Yes, hello, hello. You must be Jenny. I’m Luke. Good to meet, Jenny. Now, just before we begin, can I offer you anything – tea, coffee?
Client: No thank you. I had a coffee in the café next door. It was lovely.
Lawyer:Fantastic. Now, just before we begin, I’ll get some contact details and we’ll get down to it.Your full name, occupation and address.
Client: It’s Jenny Slater. 125 Magenta Street, Toorak, and I work in an IT department in the CBD: ‘IT Pty Ltd’.
Lawyer:And best contact number?
Client:0999 109 555
Lawyer: Thank you for that. Now, let’s get down to business. You have an issue about a painting.
Client: Yes. I’ve been collecting paintings for a while and they are all close to my heart, but I was looking at selling one for the right price.
Lawyer: So, you’re a collector?
Client: Yes, I’ve been collecting for about 20 years. Not a huge collection, just small, but all very important to me.
Lawyer: We are here to talk about a specific painting?
Client: Yes, there is one that I had in mind to sell. So, I called a friend – Amelia – and informed her of the fact that I might be interested in selling because she told me a couple of times that she really loved the painting. So, I called her on 23rd of August. We had a general chit chat about everyday things and then I explained to her that I was interested in selling.She was really interested and asked me how much I would be prepared to sell it for. I said $1.5 million was my price. She said she’ll have a think about it and asked me how long the offer stood for. I told her the offer stood for two weeks.
Lawyer: OK, and when did she get back to you?
Client: I’ve got a letter here actually. I received the letter on the 26th of August from her. (Jenny hands the letter to the lawyer who then reads it).
Lawyer: Yes, I see what you mean. (Quoting the contents of the letter): “I accept your offer, but I was wondering whether the price would change if the painting were sold without the frame – no offence, but I never liked that frame. Let me know. Best wishes, Amelia”. (Remarking on what he just read): Did you contact her after receiving this letter?
Client: Not immediately. I wanted a couple of days to think about what I would say because I wasn’t too sure. In the meantime, I went to a board meeting at my work and after the meeting I was chatting to one of the directors of the board and explained that I was looking at selling one of my paintings and to my surprise he actually was keen on purchasing it himself and offered me right then and there $1.75 million which is significantly higher than Amelia’s and I didn’t want to lose the sale so I accepted right then and there. Straight after I walked out I called Amelia to let her know that the deal was off. I wasn’t prepared to separate the painting from the frame. She didn’t answer so I sent her a text explaining all of that. But, to my surprise when I got home, I found another letter from Amelia waiting for me. I’ve got it here. It’s dated the 30th of August. (Jenny reads the letter): “Dear Jenny, forget what I said in my first letter. I accept your original offer. The money is ready. I would like to make arrangements to pick up the painting and hand over a bank cheque. Best wishes, Amelia.” So, the meeting I went to was on 2nd of September and that letter was dated the 30th of August.
Lawyer: So, it does seem as though we have quite the situation here.
Client: A bit messy.
Lawyer: Yes, but that’s why we are here. I have someone in our office who is an expert in this matter and I will get them to prepare for you a memorandum of advice as soon as possible. They will get in contact with you. Thank you, Jenny, for choosing our firm.
Please view the video of the interview in this link:VIDEO LINK
After reading the script of the interview above and watching the video, prepare a memorandum of advice to the client (Jenny Slater).