Introduction to 181CLS Portfolio
For this portfolio, you are taking on the role of Alex Jones and have recently started working for Arthur Goodun who is a senior law partner at Goodun & Cheatam, a small prosperous law firm in the town of Fairdale. You have been employed on a temporary basis for 12 months to provide legal assistance. Arthur Goodun is only a few years away from retiring and has started to spend less time at the office and more time on the golf course with his friends. As such, he is keen to reduce the amount of time at the office by making good use of your knowledge of contract law to deal with certain matters that arise at the law firm. Portfolio Sections and Tasks
There are three sections to this assignment brief for this portfolio. Each section contains a number of tasks. Material relevant to each task (emails, texts, statements etc) have been included under the relevant task subheading. Follow the instructions to build a portfolio to submit for this assessment.
A summary of what you are required to do for this assessment is as follows:
- Section A: You MUST complete Task 1 AND Task 2 AND
- Section B: You can CHOOSE to complete Task 3 OR Task 4 AND
- Section C: You MUST complete Task 5 AND Task 6.
Each section is worth equal marks.
Section A: Formation of Contracts
For Section A you MUST complete Task 1 AND Task 2.
Task 1: Advise Geraldine and Nicholas [1000 words]
For Task 1 you are required to advise Geraldine and Nicholas as to their respective legal positions. Further instructions and details of each client’s case can be found in documents A1.1, A1.2 and A1.3.
A1.1 – Email from Arthur
Subject: Welcome! Task 1
Welcome to the firm! I hope you will enjoy your time at Goodun & Cheatam.
As discussed at our recent meeting, I will be away from the office for the next couple of days. So, in the interim, can you put together answers advising on the legal position for two of my oldest clients.
The first person that needs advice is Geraldine. She is an old friend and is unsure about her current legal position following an attempt to sell her collection of renaissance literature. Unfortunately, she is rather headstrong and decided to go ahead and to deal with it herself rather than let me help her. My secretary, Maud, has a summary of the situation for you to consider. Can you advise on Geraldine’s legal position?
The second person that needs advice is Nicholas, the local vicar, who is incidentally married to Geraldine. He recently placed an advertisement on the Church’s website specifying that he would give a reward of £150 to the person who provided information that led to the identification of the person(s) who stole the new Church signs. He is now in a bit of quandary as there are two persons vying for the reward money. I shall ask Maud to share his latest correspondence so that you can consider it when writing your legal advice on the matter.
Remember to provide legal authorities to support your views – that will make it easier for me to determine the next steps for Geraldine and Nicholas. About 1000 words in total should be enough to deal with the couple.
Thanks and good luck!
Senior Partner | Goodun &Cheatam |
A1.2 – Statement of facts for Case-GARK012 by Maud Lin
Statement of facts (Client: Geraldine Arkwright)
On Sunday 1 December, Geraldine placed an advertisement on a website that she is able to access which stated, “Rare Renaissance Literature – a collection of books, pamphlets, letters, documents and manuscripts by the celebrated writers of the Renaissance period. £12,000 or near offer. Telephone 07712342987 or email Geraldine.Arkwright@outlook.com.”
Amar is looking to add to his collection of Renaissance manuscripts and when he saw the advertisement on Monday morning he telephoned Geraldine immediately. There was no response so he left a telephone message (voicemail) asking if any of the manuscripts were by Boccaccio as he would be willing to pay the asking price if that was the case. Geraldine responded to say that it included one manuscript by this author and sent him an image of this particular item.
On Tuesday morning, Val saw the advertisement and texted Geraldine expressing an interest in the collection stating that she would be willing to buy the collection for £9,000. Geraldine responded by email saying that she was not willing to sell the collection for that amount under any circumstances and that in fact she would not accept anything less than £11,000. Geraldine is furious that the value of her collection, collated over a lifetime, was not apparent to others and in annoyance turned off her laptop.
That same day, Geraldine had lunch with her old friend Obi at the Fairdale Café and told him of Val’s email. Obi was intrigued and asked a number of questions about the collection that she was trying to sell. When he returned home he attempted to find the online advertisement but was unable to find it as he checked the wrong website. Nonetheless on Wednesday morning, he left a note at Geraldine’s house. The note said that he was willing to pay £10,000 for the collection that they had discussed and if he did not hear anything further from her then he would assume he could collect the items when he returned on Friday from his trip to Scotland.
On Wednesday evening, Val emailed Geraldine saying that she would be prepared to buy the collection for £11,000 if this included payment for delivery of the items.
On Thursday, Geraldine saw the note on Friday morning and texted Obi to say that she would have preferred more money, but he could have the collection for £10,000 because he is an old friend. Obi is travelling in an area that has poor network coverage and therefore does not see the text until he returns to his hotel in the afternoon.
Geraldine checked her email on Friday evening and discovered the email from Val. She also found an email from Amar saying that he is thrilled to find the Boccaccio manuscript and wants to go ahead with the deal for £12,000. A1.3 – Email from Nicholas
Subject: Reward or not to reward?
Hope you are well.
Arthur told me to email you with the particulars about the reward situation. Apparently, you have a new person joining the firm and Arthur thinks they would be best placed to help me. Any advice at this point would be most welcome!
So, here are the facts:
On the morning of Thursday 26 December, I posted an advertisement on the Church’s website specifying that a reward of £150 would be given to the person that provided information about who had stolen the new Church signs.
Roger called me on Thursday evening and said that he would talk to his many acquaintances and find out who was responsible. I wished him the best of luck. However, I later found out that Roger had decided to spend Friday watching the entire season of his favourite TV show. He did not talk to anyone about the missing signs until he went to the pub at 7pm; but by the time he returned home he knew who was responsible. Roger decided to wait until Sunday to tell me what he had found out, namely that Bernie had been bragging about stealing the signs.
By then, I had already withdrawn the reward! On Saturday morning, I was feeling disappointed with the lack of progress, so I had posted an announcement on the Church’s noticeboard in our community hall withdrawing the reward. As you can imagine, Roger is insisting that I pay up!
To further complicate matters, there is another person claiming the reward. At a dinner party on Saturday evening, my wife’s friend Sally told me that that she had recently spotted that her neighbour, Bernie, had signs in his garden that resembled the ones she had seen at the Church last week. At which point, I told her that the Church signs had been stolen and that I had even gone as far as to advertise a reward. Sally admitted that she had simply been making conversation and had no knowledge about the reward. Not one to miss an opportunity, Sally then went on to demand the reward for the information that she had just shared.
I have no idea what I should do!
Do you think the Arthur’s new employee can help?
For Task 2 you are required to write a case note. Further instructions and details of the task are contained in document A2.1
A2.1 Text Messages between Maud Lin and Alex Jones (20 January 2020)
Maud: Can you write a case comment on the relevancy of Williams v Roffey Bros & Nicholls (Contractors) Ltd? Arthur has asked that you focus on explaining the legal reasoning used to treat the promise to pay more for performing a pre-existing contractual duty as being good consideration.
Alex: Sure. How long do you need this to be?
Maud: Keep it short – 400 words approx.
Section B: Terms of Contracts
For Section B you may CHOOSE to complete Task 3 OR Task 4.
Task 3: Elite Ltd v Robyn [500 words]
For Task 3 you are required to identify and explain which of the terms listed at point 21 in document B3.2 are best described as conditions, warranties and/or innominate terms. As part of this determination, the legal effect of the events that are outlined in document B3.3 ought to be considered. Further instructions and details of the client’s case are contained in documents B3.1, B3.2 and B3.3.
B3.1 – Email from Arthur
Subject: Potential new client: Elite Ltd
Elite Ltd have contacted us to get a second opinion on the legal effects of certain terms in their contract with Robyn Wright. Can you take a look at the contract that Elite Ltd has sent over and identify for each of the clauses listed for point 21 if they are a condition, warranty or an innominate term? You will also need to provide an explanation for each clause as to why you have determined that it is a condition, warranty or innominate term. As such, you may wish to consider the legal effect of the issues highlighted in the meeting notes provided by Elite Ltd.
We need to impress Elite Ltd so make sure you use the decided case law to explain your view.
Senior Partner | Goodun &Cheatam |
B3.2 – Extracts from Contract between Robyn Wright and Elite Ltd
This Agreement is dated as of 1 September 2019 between Robyn Wright (“Artist”) and Elite Ltd. (“Company”) for the services of the Artist for the purpose of advertising and promoting the Company’s products as agreed in the terms of this Agreement. […]
- This Agreement shall be effective as of 1 October 2019 (“Effective Date”) and ending on 31 October 2019 (“Term”). […]
- The following definitions apply in this Agreement:
“Event” refers to all scheduled activities at the Wellbeing & Fitness Showcase commencing on 5 October 2019 and ending on 7 October 2019, unless otherwise specified.
“Products” refers to the items branded as Elite Activewear by the Company.
“Services” means the services to be provided by the Artist to the Company in relation to the promotion and endorsement of the Products.
- During the Term of this Agreement the Artist agrees:
- To attend all rehearsals for the Event.
- To perform the agreed songs for each fundraising concert scheduled for the Event.
- To provide the Services and use all reasonable endeavours to promote the Products including wearing the Products at 5 public appearances during the Term of this Agreement.[…]
B3.3 – Extract from meeting notes provided by Elite Ltd
Meeting date: 10/10/2019
Attendees: S. Higgs, J. May, R. Wang, P. Lei
Issue: Failure of Robyn Wright [RW] to adhere to terms of contract in relation to Wellbeing & Fitness Showcase (5 October 2019 – 7 October 2019)
Issues of concern:
- RW attends 1 of the 3 rehearsals for the concert
- RW misses the first fundraising concert because she is ill on the same day, but is well enough to perform at the second fundraising concert.
- Following her illness, RW was advised by her life coach to not wear red clothing as it would bring her further misfortune. RW decided to wear items from last year’s Elite ActiveWear clothing line, the ‘Yellow-Mellow Collection’, for the second concert rather than items from the current ‘Red-Set-Go Collection’.
- Negative media reports received of RW’s non-attendance and wearing last year’s ActiveWear.
- Elite Ltd’s sales and marketing division has reported a significant reduction in sales for the Red-Set-Go Collection.
- Elite Ltd’s sale and marketing division has reported that the remaining discounted stock of the Yellow-Mellow Collection has sold out.
Action: To terminate RW’s contract with immediate effect and claim damages.
Task 4: Helena v Evergreen Landscapers [500 words]
For Task 4 you are required to produce a flowchart or a numbered action plan to explain how you would advise on Helena’s legal position. Further instructions and details of the client’s case are contained in documents B4.1, B4.2 and B4.3.
B4.1 – Email from Arthur
Subject: Helena’s case
Helena’s case is not something I would normally advise on. Gill Cheatam is much better at those types of cases, but as he is on holiday in Barbados I shall have to deal with it. At least I can rely on you to do some of the groundwork.
Can you provide a flowchart (or a numbered action plan) explaining what needs to be discussed for each stage of dealing with the identified exemption clauses. I should point out that my understanding of the statutory controls for unfair terms in contracts is sadly out of date, so you will need to indicate how I would navigate the relevant statutory provisions and provide explanations as to how they are likely to apply to Helena’s situation.
Senior Partner | Goodun &Cheatam |
B4.2 – Email from Helena
Subject: Gardening woes
It was such good luck running in to you at the town fair. Thank you so much for agreeing to take a look at what can be done in regards to the legal problems arising from trying to fix up my garden!
As you know, my dear Henry came into some money when his great aunt passed away. We always wanted to fix up our garden so I hired Evergreen Landscapers to design a new garden complete with water features and a new greenhouse. When I arrived at the Evergreen Landscapers offices I was handed a document which outlined the work that they were going to do, the price and a schedule for the job. I was in a bit of a hurry as I was late to pick up the grandkids from their after school clubs, so I signed the paperwork after briefly checking that this basic information was correct. I think there might have been some additional terms on the back but I did not have time to read them.
The following Saturday, Evergreen Landscapers sent Joe to work on the garden. He seemed like a nice guy if a bit messy. He had been working for a couple of hours when I went out to check on his progress. I noticed that he was lounging about and smoking a cigarette near some flammable liquids. I rushed over to tell him to stop smoking and tripped over the gardening tools that he had carelessly left on the path and fractured my ankle. When I returned from the hospital, I found out that Joe had incorrectly installed the water feature which led to flooding of the room that opened directly into the garden. The carpet is ruined and the smell is unbearable! Apparently, it will cost about £1000 to fix this mess. I have contacted Joe’s boss at Evergreen Landscapers but he is saying that the company is protected by the contract that I signed. In fact, Evergreen Landscapers are only offering to pay £250 for the damage to my property.
Can you help?
B4.3 – Text Messages between Arthur Goodun and Alex Jones (8 January 2020)
Arthur: Good news! Finally located the relevant clauses that Evergreen Landscapers are using against Helena:
- Clause 18: Evergreen Landscapers, its employees and agents, accept no liability for death or personal injury to customers during the provision of agreed landscaping works.
- Clause 19: Liability for any loss or damage, howsoever caused, to the property of the client is limited to £250.
Alex: Thanks. Where did you find them?
Arthur: They were on the back of the document that Helena signed. Not surprised that Helena did not think much of them, as I nearly missed them too! There was merely a statement in small print on the front page that stated that additional terms could be found on the reverse.
Alex: OK. Leave it with me and I’ll get the flowchart/action plan ready for you.
Section C: Misrepresentation, Remedies and Reform
For Section C you MUST complete Task 5 AND Task 6.
Task 5: Journal Article [1000 words]
For Task 5 you are required to write an answer to one of the essay questions outlined in document C5.1.
C5.1 – Email from Maud
Subject: Journal article
Arthur has asked that you write an answer to one of the following questions so that it can be published in the special contract law edition of the Journal of Modern English Law:
- ‘It is unsatisfactory that the remedies available for actionable misrepresentation vary to reflect the types of misrepresentation.’ Discuss this statement in light of the decided cases and the Misrepresentation Act 1967.
- ‘The measure of damages for breach of contract is to meet the claimant’s expectation loss, but there are necessary limits to the losses that can be recovered.’ Discuss this statement in light of the decided cases.
Both Arthur and Gill are editors of the journal and are keen to ensure that employees of the firm disseminate good research to the wider legal community. The journal is also generating excellent press for both the firm and the authors! In fact, Gill’s intern, Paul, has already agreed to write an article when he arrives at the end of next month. Do not fret, he is happy to work on the one that you do not choose.
Task 6: Conference Abstract [300 words]
For Task 6 you are required to write legal abstract for a Conference as outlined in document C6.1.
C6.1 – Email from Arthur
Subject: Law Conference
The Legal Research Institute has just issued a call for papers for their event, ‘Modernising Contract and Tort Law’. There is a lot of competition to present at this conference but from your work I know that you are just the person to put our firm on the map!
The first step is to put together an abstract. So, you need to write a summary of 300 words of what you would discuss in a 30 minute presentation on an aspect of contract law that would benefit from being modernised.
In a nutshell, the abstract needs to identify a specific problem in contract law and suggest proposals for reform. I would recommend that you pick an issue that you have come across in your recent contract law studies. Perhaps focus on a case, legal rule or principle that is a cause of concern?
Senior Partner | Goodun &Cheatam |