Binding contracts using IRAC Method La Trobe University

Binding contracts using IRAC Method La Trobe University LST2BSL: Introduction to Business Law and Ethics

Binding contracts using IRAC Method La Trobe University
Binding contracts using IRAC Method La Trobe University

Semester 1, 2019

Binding contracts using IRAC Method La Trobe University Common Law Assignment


  1. This assignment is worth 20% of your final mark for this subject.
  2. Your assignment must be submitted by 11.59pm (midnight) on Sunday 14th April.
  3. All questions must be answered.
  4. With regards to formatting, your assignment must be typed with 1.5 or double spacing, and with margins of at least 2cm on all sides. Size 12 font must be used.
  5. The task is a common law assignment, so you are NOT required to discuss any legislation at all. It is essential that you cite relevant authorities (cases) wherever possible to support your reasoning in each answer.
  6. Your work must be appropriately referenced, using footnotes. Where you state a legal principle, which comes from a case, you must provide a citation to the relevant case. If you are stating a legal principle that is covered in the textbook or lecture and which does not have a relevant case provided in the textbook, you should cite the textbook. You are not expected to use any materials beyond the lectures and the set textbook. But if you do, you must provide appropriate citations. No bibliography is required. Format your citations according to the citation guide at the end of this document.

Binding contracts using IRAC Method La Trobe University

  1. Your assignment must be 1,500 words or fewer, excluding all footnotes. This word limit is strict:

there is no 10% leeway. You must state the word count on the front page of your assignment. (If

you fail to provide this, the marker will be forced to estimate the word count, and this may lead to penalties.)

  1. You must also state the details of your seminar on the front page of your assignment. This includes the day and time and location of your seminar and the name of your seminar leader.
  2. Assignment submission is electronic only (will be made available from early April), via the link on

LMS. Do not email your assignment to your campusesí seminar leaders or the subject coordinator.

Binding contracts using IRAC Method La Trobe University

Your assignment will not be marked unless and until you have completed electronic submission.

You should receive an email receipt confirming your submission. You are responsible for ensuring the submission is successful. Should any technical problems arise, if you cannot provide an email receipt we will assume that you never attempted to submit any assignment.

  1. You can only submit your assignment once. Submission is final. You will not be able to access your

Turnitin originality report. Teaching staff will be checking these reports.

  1. You must not plagiarise. To avoid plagiarism, make sure you acknowledge all your sources with

appropriate citations. You may discuss the questions with other students, but all written work must

be your own: do not show anyone your written work for this assignment, and do not view anyone elseís. Academic misconduct is taken extremely seriously at La Trobe University. Further information about plagiarism and academic misconduct is provided in the Subject Learning Guide.

Binding contracts using IRAC Method La Trobe University

  1. Further information about policies on late submission, applying for an extension, etc. is available

on the LMS, and in your Subject Learning Guide.


Julie owns and runs a small traffic management business called Round-The-Bend. They use signs and

barriers to safely divert traffic around roadworks, construction works or emergencies on roads.

On Monday, Julie receives an email from Simon: ëAre you available in the first week of February? We will

be carrying out some earthworks around 50 Main Rd and need someone to divert traffic.í

Julie responds immediately: ëI donít have any jobs booked in the first half of February. How big a team do you need? If you can say what hours youíll be doing the earthworks, I can give you a rough quote.í

Simon then replies on Tuesday: ëWeíre working on a pretty big stretch of the footpath ñ around 20 metres long. Weíll start at 6am and go until 10pm, each day until the jobís finished. Itíll probably take 3-4 days, Iíd say.í

Binding contracts using IRAC Method La Trobe University

Julie then emails back: ëSounds like weíd need a team of 4 people. Weíd need an extra half an hour

before you start, to set up, and an extra half an hour at the end to pack up and ensure everything is left in

a safe condition. We charge $340 per hour for a job this size. Our calendar tends to fill up fast, so you

need to let me know soon if you want to book the job. I can only hold the first week of February open for

you until the end of this week.í

After Simon reads the email he contacts several other traffic management businesses to get more quotes

for the job. He discovers that Julieís quote is the best but gets delayed with other matters rather than

responding to her straightaway. Concerned that maybe she doesnít check business emails on the weekend, Simon gets her mobile number from the website for Round-The-Bend and sends her an SMS at 6am on Sunday morning: ëSimon here. Itís a YES for the Main Rd job in February!í

  1. Is there a binding agreement between Simon and Julie, for the job in February? (4 marks)
Binding contracts using IRAC Method La Trobe University

The same week, Julie gets a call from the Berrytown local council about an upcoming ëEaster Eggs Hunt in

the Parkí event.

Peter from the council tells Julie that they have sourced a range of local businesses to volunteer their

services for the event, since it is the annual charity fundraiser, for the communityís wildlife sanctuary.

ìEveryone in the community is pitching in ñ we just need someone to manage all the traffic on the day! It

gets very hectic and we open up part of the local football oval to accommodate all the extra parking.î

Julie says she is willing to help. ìWonderful!î says Peter. ìWe donít have much to offer in return ñ only a

small Easter hamper of goods donated by local businesses.î

Binding contracts using IRAC Method La Trobe University

ìThatís fine,î replies Julie.

The day before the Easter in the Park event, Julie realises she has accidentally double-booked her team.

She calls Peter: ìIím so sorry but we wonít be able to help with the Easter event tomorrow after all!î

ìWhat?î replies Peter. ìYou canít back out now ñ we have a binding agreement. You canít simply change

your mind!î

Binding contracts using IRAC Method La Trobe University
  1. Is there a binding agreement between Peter and Julie, for the local fundraiser job? (5 marks)

After a job Julie sends her invoice for $2300 to the client, Tina. It states that it is payable within three

business days. But two weeks later, Tina still hasnít paid. Julie calls her to follow up.

ìYes, I know, youíll have it soonî says Tina. But another two weeks go by and still she hasnít paid. Julie

decides to show up at Tinaís business to demand payment. Tina says she doesnít have the cash to pay the

whole account right now.

ìThatís hardly my problem! What do I have to do to get you to pay?î says Julie.

Tina responds: ìWell, you could try taking me to courtÖ but it wouldnít change the fact I canít pay you

right now. How about this instead?î Tina then suggests that she pays Julie what she can right now, which is $1500, and then also provide her with a personal reference to Tinaís aunt Tania who works in stategovernment. ìTania manages projects every month which need traffic management. Youíll have morejobs than you know what to do with! Tania trusts me; sheíll be happy to use your service.î

Binding contracts using IRAC Method La Trobe University

Julie reluctantly agrees.

  1. Is the new agreement between Tina and Julie legally binding? (5 marks)

Julie is attending a statewide trade show, displaying the signs and equipment that Round-The-Bend use

and showing video footage of their traffic management in action.

Michael comes up and chats with her about the business and the kinds of job that they take on. He

explains that heís looking for a traffic management team to help with an unusual project, working in

conditions of low visibility on a steep mountain.

ìHmm, that does sound tricky,î says Julie. ìBut I know how we can do it. We just need to get some

special electronic equipment to go with our traffic lights. It can keep the whole system connected and

then we can pre-empt the problem of the limited visibility. We donít normally need such a system, but

for a job like yours I think it would be a good solution.î

Binding contracts using IRAC Method La Trobe University

ìGreat! I have been trying to find a business that will take this on. It sounds like you will be able to handle

it well,î says Michael.

ìYes, we can handle it. But Iíll need you to set out all the details in writing ñ you can send me everything

via email or fill out the form on our website. Here,î explains Julie, as she hands over a business card.

ìNo problem, Iíll do that by tomorrow,î responds Michael, as he takes the card and puts it in his pocket.

But three days later, Julie still hasnít heard from Michael. Sheís wondering whether to go ahead and

order the special equipment and electronics needed to take on this unusual job. She looks up the details

of Michaelís business, and calls him. She asks if heís still interested, and reminds him that there are extra

details, like dates, location, and hours, that he needs to indicate on the form.

Binding contracts using IRAC Method La Trobe University

ìYes, Binding contracts using IRAC Method La Trobe Universityweíre definitely still interested! Iíve just been too busy to fill out the online form this week. But

weíre on for the project. So, do what you need to do, and youíll have all the details from me soon,î says

Michael. Julie goes ahead and orders the special equipment, which costs $3,000.

A week later, the online form still hasnít been completed. Julie calls Michael but he doesnít answer. The

next day she receives a voicemail from him saying that heís no longer going ahead with the project.

  1. Can Michael be ëestoppedí from saying that he has no agreement with Julie? (6 marks)

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