The term assignment will use the following assessment criteria:
Problem solving: The focus of many parts of the assignment is upon developing applied problem solving skills. This requires students to read and analyse fact scenario matrix, and identify legal issues and apply these in conjunction with case law and or provisions of legislation to develop a reasoned outcome to the issue presented by the problem matrix.
Critical thinking: Students are required to critically analyse and evaluate information, facts and law in a problem solving context. The skills being emphasized involve the critical appraisal and reflection of legal issues and the application of case law and legislation against a factual matrix.
Information literacy: The assignment tests understanding and comprehension of critical legal knowledge and legal concepts discussed in the course in topics covered prior to submission of the assignment. Students need to develop understanding and familiarity with legal terms and words introduced in topics covered prior to submission of the assignment. This information understanding and literacy is tested in an applied rather than a descriptive context. Information technology competence: This assignment tests student’s aptitude and capability to access web-based information and resources. Competence in producing academic written work with use of technology forms part of this assignment exercise.
Ethical practice: In formulating response to questions in the assignment students are exercising judgement and weighing possible courses of action in resolving on particular outcomes to legal problem solving questions. This process indirectly applies ethical practice in action.
Students are expected to go beyond their textbooks to answer this assessment questions. Use of online databases such as Austlii is recommended for your research.
On 1 March 2015, Max and his sister Maggie inherited in equal shares from their late Uncle’s estate, a $20 million ten hectare sea-front property, plus bed and breakfast business, located on the outskirts of Point Lonsdale, Victoria. Max needed funds and wished to sell up. But Maggie, who wished to live on the property, and run the business, persuaded Max not to sell to a third party. Instead on 1 April 2015, the two of them entered into a short written agreement in which:
• Maggie would buy Max’s half share for $10 million, with a deposit of $1m payable by 1 May 2015, the $9m balance payable by 31 August 2015 and would also pay all overdue council rates and taxes by 7 May 2015.
• Maggie would assume full control of the business, take up residence on the property by 14 May 2015 and pay all expenses and outgoings.
• If Maggie wished to sell the property and/or business within three years she would first offer them to Max.
These arrangements however didn’t proceed as planned.
• First, Maggie failed to take up residence until 30 May 2015 and she paid the $1m deposit on 1 June – a month overdue.
• Secondly, Maggie entirely failed to pay $45,000 owing to the Point Lonsdale Regional Council (“PLRC”) for overdue rates. As a result, Max then spent $45,000 of his own funds to settle the debt.
• Thirdly, on 1 August 2015 following an unexpected announcement; a new pro-development council altered the planning laws, allowing unrestricted coastal development. This immediately boosted the property’s value to $35 million.
Referring to relevant legal cases and legislation:
Advise Max who now wants either a half-share of the property or $35 million, if there are any legal and/or equity grounds allowing him to:
(a) Rescind, terminate, or otherwise avoid the contract;
(b) Confirm the contract but sue Maggie for breach of contract and/or for one-half of $35m in damages or some other appropriate sum.