• April 12th, 2016

Common low

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements

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 on Sunday 17th April 2016.
  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.

  1. 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) to support your reasoning in each answer.

  1. 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. You are not expected to

read the cases themselves: as long as a case is summarised in the textbook, you can cite the case

itself. 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.

  1. Your assignment must be 1,500 words or less, including all footnotes. This word limit is strict. You

must state the word count on the front page of your assignment. (If you fail to provide this, the

examiner 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.

  1. Assignment submission is electronic only, via the link on LMS: the link is accessible from the same

folder where you downloaded this document. Do not email your assignment to your tutor or the

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


  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

else’s. Academic misconduct is taken extremely seriously at La Trobe University. Further information

about plagiarism and academic misconduct is provided in the Subject Learning Guide.

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

on the LMS, and in your Subject Learning Guide.


Jen is organising a surprise party for her grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. She looks online

and finds ‘Tiny Tim’, a professional DJ who is just 17 years old. She emails Tim and asks him what he

charges for his DJ services. Tim emails back the next day, providing a brochure listing different kinds

of services he provides, at different rates. Jen then replies, saying:

‘I am interested in booking a DJ for my grandparents’ anniversary celebrations on 2rd April. Would

you be available on that date? It looks like your ‘weekend special’ package would be most

appropriate, because I expect the party to last about 4 hours. But what if we go beyond that time

limit? And do you have a good collection of Cuban music? That is their favourite style of music.’

Tim emails back: ‘Yes, I have plenty of Cuban music, and I’m available on 2nd April. If you want me to

stay longer than 4 hours, then I charge $30 per extra hour.’

Jen does not reply to Tim, because she hears from a friend who is willing to provide DJ services for

free. Jen wants to know whether she can change her mind about hiring Tim.

Jen also wants to arrange a cake for the party. On Sunday she goes into Delish Cakes, a local cake

store, and speaks to the owner, Simon. Jen explains that the party is for her grandparents, and will

have a Cuban theme. Simon suggests a particular style of cake, and Jen agrees that it would be

perfect for the party. Simon says that he can specially make some Cuban-style fondant cake

decorations. Jen is about to catch a train, so she doesn’t have time to finish filling out the order

form. She gives Simon her details and takes the order form with her, saying that she will return it to

Simon in the next couple of days.

On Tuesday, Simon calls Jen. She doesn’t answer, so he leaves a message, asking for the order form

to be submitted. He also says that he will begin making the Cuban cake decorations. Jen listens to

the message but doesn’t call Simon back. Over the next couple of days she is too busy to complete

the form and give it to Simon. By the end of the week, Jen is starting to worry that Simon’s cake will

be too expensive. On Friday she decides that she will simply make a cake herself. She calls Simon and

tells him this. Simon is furious – not only has he spent hours making the Cuban decorations, but

because they are unusual he will not be able to use them for any other customers’ orders.

Finally, Jen wants help in setting up the venue for the party. She sends a text message to her cousin:

‘Hey Adam! I need you to spend a few hours helping me put up balloons and streamers for the party

on Saturday.’

Adam replies ‘Ok, I’ll help you – but what’s in it for me? What will you give me in return?’

Jen texts him again: ‘Remember how I helped you with your college assignment last month? That’s

the payment. It’s time to return the favour.’

Adam is not convinced. Jen texts her other cousins, in case Adam doesn’t turn up:

‘Calling all cousins! If you come and help me prepare for the party on Saturday, I’ll pay you $20.’

Jen’s uncle Bill sees the text message on his daughter’s phone. He decides to help Jen set up for the

party on Saturday, so he can get $20.

  1. Is there an enforceable contract between Tim and Jen? 6 marks
  2. Is promissory estoppel relevant to Jen’s dispute with Simon from Delish Cakes? 5 marks
  3. Is there an enforceable contract between Jen and Adam? 4 marks
  4. Is Bill entitled to the $20 if he helps Jen set up for the party? 5 marks

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