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Essentials of Business Law

Q1.

(a) Consideration consists of "some right, interest, profit or benefit accruing to one party, or some forbearance, detriment, loss or responsibility given, suffered or undertaken by the other." (Currie v Misa (1875) LR 10 Exch 153)

Outline and explain the rules governing consideration in contract law. 

(b) Donald is retiring shortly and hopes to go backpacking around the world for a year. He will no longer need his car, a five year old Volkswagen Polo and therefore, he places an advertisement on the notice board of his local newsagent on a Sunday afternoon.

‘FOR SALE’- Volkswagen Polo in excellent condition. Will be sold to the first person who sends notice in writing that they wish to buy it for €3,000 to the following address: 3 Bridge Street, Dublin 1.

On Sunday evening, Hilary, a newly qualified driver, posts a letter stating that she wants to buy Donald’s car on Wednesday morning.

On Monday morning, Jackie, Donald’s acquaintance, passes the news agent’s on her way to work. She sees the advertisement and recognises the address. On her arrival at work, she sends Donald an email to the email address that he provided her with when they first met, two years ago, stating that she is willing to pay €3,000 for the car. Donald never receives the email as he had closed that account.

On Tuesday evening Donald meets his friend Mike for dinner and over the course of the meal, Donald promises to sell the car to Mike for €2,500.

Advise Donald if he is contractually bound in relation to:

  • Hilary
  • Jackie, and

Q2.

  • Annette owned a shop selling antique goods. This required her to attend a number of auctions per year. When Annette went to these auctions her best friend Becky ran the shop. Annette instructed Becky, that she could sell any of the items displayed in the shop as long as Annette got at least seventy five percent of the price displayed on the item. Becky was warned that under no circumstances must she purchase any stock for the shop.

While Annette was away at an auction, Becky sold Chris an antique clock for seventy percent of the price displayed. Chris bought the clock believing that Becky owned the shop.

Becky also sold Diana, a regular customer and good friend of Annette’s, a bedside cabinet for sixty five percent of the displayed price. Diana was aware that Annette would not sell for lower than seventy five percent of the marked price, even to a trader such as herself.

Becky also purchased a number of items of jewellery from a collection shown to her by Eddie, for €350. Becky believed this deal to be a bargain, one that she felt Annette would not want to let slip by.

On Annette’s return, she discovered that the jewellery pieces were very rare and in fact worth €3000. Eddie, also having heard that the jewellery items were worth much more, returned to the shop and insisted that the items be returned because he was unaware that Becky did not own the shop, and thus had no right to buy them. However, Annette refused to give the items back, arguing that the contract was valid.

Advise Annette and Becky of their legal positions.

(b)   Discuss how the Agency Relationship is created and identify the duties owed by Agents to their Principals and others.

Q3.

BARGAINZ is a new retail outlet about to open in Dublin City. It will sell general household goods at discount prices.  Bob Bargain, owner of BARGAINZ, to advise about the following:

  • What type of business structures exist in Ireland.
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of each business structure.
  • Formal requirements for setting up each business structure.
  • Bob is also worried about a current business supplier who alleges that a debt of over €90,000 is owed following a breach of contract before Covid. Bob is worried that the supplier has also reporting the matter to the Gardai.

Advise Bob in relation to the court system in Ireland and in particular the civil and criminal jurisdiction that may apply here.

  • Bob wishes to find out more himself and asks you where he can read up on the law in Ireland and in particular what sources of law exist here.

Q4.

  • Describe, using case examples, how the law of Tort impacts on Irish Businesses andIn particular, identify the various duties business owners may owe to their customers.

 

  • Mary is very excited to go on her trekking holiday. Mary has bought a very expensive pair of ‘Comfy Trex’ sandals 3 months before she is due to go on holidays and keeps them stored away. Mary is delighted to be finally in Spain walking every day but from about a week onwards, she begins to become nauseous every time she wears her ‘new’ sandals. She smells very bad indeed and is convinced her fellow walkers are leaving her to go it alone because of the smelly sandals. She is so put off that she has to leave them outside her hostel each night and immediately upon her return to Ireland returns to the store she purchased them in. Comfy Trex Ltd refuse to listen to Mary and only returning 4 months later when they are now at sale price. Comfy Trex Ltd refer Mary to a clause of their policy which they show that she had signed at the date of purchase:

“We shall not issue a refund or exchange after the day of purchase and we are not responsible in for any damage, loss or inconvenience arising from the purchase of any products from the Comfy Trex Ltd range of footwear”.

Jack, meanwhile ordered a new suit online from a famous Boston fashion house.  He indicated clearly when ordering the suit that he required it for his wedding and supplied the relevant date.  The suit arrived a week after the wedding which meant that Jack had to hire a suit for the occasion. He now wishes to return the suit and get his money back.  

Advise Mary and Jack if the law provides protection here.

Q5. 

  • Sue and Mike meet up in Crispy Café. Sue purchases the drinks and food while Mike finds a seat. They start to consume their lunch when all of a sudden Mike discovers something crispy in his mouth and spits it into his hand when he discovers it is the remnants of a mosquito. He becomes ill and rushes off to the bathroom wherein he slips on the floor and injures his head. He is unconscious.

Sue is in shock after seeing Mike fall. Sue is upset and the  customers gather around to assist Mike and Sue, who end up both going to hospital.

In the meantime, while customers and staff are attending to Mike and Sue, a dishonest opportunist, named Bill, has sneaked into the kitchen to look for the safe and falls over the door of an open oven burning his legs. Bill also faints due to the emission of Carbon Monoxide in the kitchen.  

How will the Law of Tort assist:

  • Sue
  • Mike
  • Bill
  • Does Crispy Café have any other liability?
  • On the day of the incident, a customer uploads a video showing an ambulance outside Crispy Café, it goes viral. A local newspaper reports that the new chef Peter had caused three hospitalisations and has just been fired. Peter has since been targeted and bullied through the newspaper’s online platform and has been unemployed since the incident.

How does the law of Tort assist Peter? And Discuss the Newspaper’s liability, if any.

(d) Following a decision to sell Crispy Café a number of months later, a Professionally Qualified and Licensed Estate Agent, Rob, is instructed to sell the property. Rob produces a sales brochure for the Café but inadvertently includes the wrong measurements. The purchaser is delighted to get a great deal and intends to convert the Café into a new retail unit.

Advise Rob as to his any liability he may have in relation to the brochure.

Sample Answer

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