Legal Process - Major Assignment.


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Legal Process - Major AssignmentDue 2355 6 October 2016.Preliminary Note: The characters and circumstances in the scenario are entirelyfictional/mythical and any resemblance to any person or circumstance is entirely coincidental and unintended.A.Assignment Question1.Your major assignment question in short as follows:Discuss and analyse the question of whether Rattlecar as employer isvicariously liable for the conduct of Janet, its employee, in respect of theinjuries suffered by Gordon Bloggs at the premises of Rattlecar.2.You will be provided with the following:a.An audio statement of Janet.b.Two fictional cases namely CARELESS V JOHNSON Pty. Ltd. (1980) 45MLR 123 and SNEAKY v TANTRUM Ltd. (1984) MLR 214. These arecomprised in an extract which I have called, for convenience,“Research Material for Major Assignment” (“Research Material”).3.Although the cases are fictional, they are more or less adapted fromseveral real cases and the cases referred to in them, namely Bugge vBrown(1919) 26 CLR 110; Deatons Pty. Ltd. v Flew (1949) 79 CLR 370;Iqbal v London Transport Executive (1973) 16 KIR 329; and Joel v Morison(1834) 6 Car and P 502. The reasons for using fictional cases rather thanwere explained in the case brief assignment, and these reasons remainapplicable.1 There is again no requirement for you to examine the real1See for example the use of fictional cases by the author of ULL in tute 7; the fictional casenote of Lottie in chapter 3 of CWL (for those who read that text in preparation for lecture 2 – if you did not, do not concern yourself); the “insurance” case referred to in CWL that we comprehensively analysed in lecture 3.

cases on which these fictional cases are based, although you are of coursewelcome to do so out of interest. There is no compulsion to do so and itwill not assist greatly other than to give you some idea of what the reallaw is!4.The background to this assignment is that Gordon Bloggs has threatenedto institute proceedings against Rattlecar, Janet’s employer, for damagesthat he has suffered as a result of the injuries he sustained as a result ofthe beating given to him by Janet.5.Although this is not something that you necessarily need to know for thepurposes of actually answering the question (which requires you to do nomore than to apply the law within the restrictions imposed) it might helpyou understand the reason for the rule if I mentioned briefly that often,the reason why someone sues the employer rather than the “actual”wrong doer (here, the employee/servant, Janet) is that the employer hasmore resources to pay any potential claim than the employee. You wouldappreciate immediately that prima facie, this is that type of case. Janet,being a night watchperson, is unlikely to have the means to pay anysignificant sums of money by way of damages to Gordon Bloggs, andGordon Bloggs thus sues his employer.6.Once again, and this is stated for no reason other than to give you someappreciation of the dynamics of this type of claim, you will appreciate thatfor this reason, in a practical sense the real “contest” in any proceedings isnot really between Janet and Rattlecar. It is between Rattlecar andGordon Bloggs. Gordon Bloggs will want to argue that Rattlecar should beliable for Janet’s conduct and vice versa – the practical reason is simplybecause suing Janet would be pointless as it is unlikely she would havethe means to pay any damages claim. 7.Assume that Gordon Bloggs has clear causes of action against Janet butdo not distract yourselves with analysing these – with the pivotal questionfor the purposes of this assignment being simply as to whether or notRattlecar can be made vicariously liable as Janet’s employer for her

conduct. Therefore, do not make further enquiry into the ultimatestrength or merits of Gordon Bloggs’s case but focus on the fundamentalquestion in this assignment, which is whether Rattlecar can be madevicariously liable for Janet’s conduct, and, in this regard, confine yourdiscussion to the strict parameters that are imposed here.8.Whilst this, in short compass, is your question, please read on. Theremainder of this document contains explicit instructions and directionsand is designed to obviate many, if not all, the questions and pitfallswhich I might expect you otherwise to ask or fall into.B.Learning Outcomes9.The ability to answer a legal problem solving question, by: extracting andidentifying legal issues and principles succinctly and clearly; applying legalprinciples (within the limited parameters provided herein) to a factsituation by arguing similarities and difference with the case law, andexpressing a legal answer coherently within the word range; are the focalpoints of this assignment. 10.This assignment thus explicitly engages the formal learning outcome inthe unit of legal problem solving.Formal Parameters/length of Answer - Guidance7.The following are the formal parameters of the assignment:8.The length of a good answer which hones in on the essential issues andexpress the answer succinctly, should be expected to be between 1,800 –2,000 words with an absolute upper limit of 2,300 words. 9.You must use the Research Material as the ability to extract the principlesfrom those and to apply them is central to the learning outcomes. By thesame token, the extent of the legal principles relied upon in your answeris to be confined to the content of the Research Material.

10.I am thus specifically directing you not to discuss any legal principles otherthan as contained in the Research Material. Students who have studiedtort may be familiar with issues arising out of the Civil Liability Act also.Knowledge of that Act must not be applied.11.The learning outcomes will be compromised if you go beyond theseexplicit parameters. Do not do so.12.It is likely that you will be asking yourself questions such as which factsrelate to which rule of law? How should I divide up the analysis of the twocases? Are there areas of overlap? Which fact is relevant to whichprinciple? Do the principles in both cases address one or both the issues orneither? The very organisation of your paper is as much a learningoutcome as any as it goes to the heart of the expression of legal thought.You therefore need to read the cases fairly carefully before being able toanswer these questions.13.The reasons for suggesting that you disregard the substantive law of tort ,and to confine yourself to the law contained in your Research Material,are:a.Firstly that it would be beyond the scope of the learning outcomes inthis exercise to expect you to master the substantive law of tort toan extent that would enable you to perform a meaningful analysis ofthe same.b. Secondly (and once again) the learning outcomes essentially are toextract, interpret, and express legal principles and these learningoutcomes are intended to be achieved on the basis of material thathas been explicitly provided rather than requiring you to performany further analysis of the black letter law. That is why the referencematerial is strictlyto be confined to the Research Material. 14.In order to understand the paramountcy of the above learning outcome, Ishould even add that an answer which is actually legally “wrong” or

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