Assignment information for Business and Corporations Law: Research Assignment

Research Assignment: Instructions

Submission: Electronic submission online via Canvas
Value: 40%
Task:  Individual Assignment


The research assignment consists of three (3) problem style legal questions. All questions must be attempted. You are expected to use a range of primary (legislation; case law) and secondary materials (textbooks; journals) to answer each question.

Word limit

Each question has a recommended word limit. The total word count for the assignment is 3,000 words. Bibliography and footnotes are not included in the word count. However, substantial comments, such as long explanations in your footnotes, will be included in your word count. Penalties for excessive word count

The setting of word limits is important in academic and professional writing. It both sets the expectation (in terms of the amount of detail required in a piece of writing) and tests the author’s ability to perform to the required standards. Coming in under the word limit implies that you have not done enough research to answer your question fully, whereas coming in over it may imply that you lack focus. Both errors reduce the quality of the finished work, and the latter (being too long) is particularly problematic, as it reduces the assessor’s ability to fairly compare students’ work since you can’t mark two essays on the same subject in the same way if one is much longer than the other.

For this reason, assessors are not required to read the material in excess (more than 10% over) of the word limit.

Referencing and Bibliography

All sources that you use must be appropriately referenced. It would help if you adopted the latest edition of the Melbourne University Law Review (MULR)’s Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

If you are citing a case or legislation, an abbreviated reference to that material should be in the body of your work; the full case reference or legislation should be in a footnote, and these references should be


Assessment Information for Business and Corporations Law Research  Assignment is listed alphabetically in your bibliography. Please refer to the additional information on referencing and citation (model guides) that we have placed on Canvas to assist you.

All quotations and references should be properly sourced. Inadequate details of publications and other sources will reduce your assessed grade.

Please note that there are very strict rules around referencing to acknowledge other people’s work and prevent you from committing plagiarism – which is the unauthorised use of somebody else’s work that you present as your own.

Aim for on-time submission!

All assignments will be marked as if submitted on time. Late submissions of assignments without special consideration or extension will be automatically penalised at a rate of 10% of the total marks available per day (or part of a day) late. For example, if an assignment is worth 40 marks and submitted 1 day late, a penalty of 10% or 4 marks will apply. This will be deducted from the assessed mark. Assignments will not be accepted if more than five days late unless special consideration or an extension of time has been approved.

If you feel you cannot submit the assignment on time, you must apply to the lecturer BEFORE the due date explaining why and with supporting evidence if applicable. This does not displace the normal RMIT rules of Special Consideration.

General presentation and formatting requirements:

  • You must include a cover page with your name, student number, and the total word count for your assignment;
  • Please use clear headings and subheadings throughout your assignment;
  • Please use professional formatting and number each page;
  • Pay attention to language, style, and presentation. Writing clearly and succinctly is an important professional skill; Correct grammar, punctuation and spelling are essential.


Assessment                Information for             Business   and Corporations             Law Research  Assignment

Question One: 14 marks (1,050 words)

Fleur operates a popular French patisserie in the Melbourne CBD. In early 2018, Fleur secured a long-term contract to supply pastries to a major supermarket chain. To meet the production demands of the contract, she decides to purchase an industrial sized dough mixer for their food production facility.

While attending a family barbeque the following week, Fleur spoke to her brother Thibault about the purchase. Thibault is a registered tax agent and informs Fleur that she would claim depreciation on the mixer. The pair continue to discuss the purchase, and Thibault records some rough figures on his phone. Thibault tells Fleur that he would include the mixer in her annual tax return, which he was coincidently in the process of preparing.

The following day, Thibault provides the figures recorded in his phone to a junior assistant and instructs them to calculate the mixer’s depreciation amount. The junior assistant prepares the calculations, but Thibault is too busy to check whether they are correct. Thibault then proceeds to prepare Fleur’s tax return based on the junior assistant’s calculations.

A few years later, it is discovered that there is an error in the depreciation calculations, which has meant that Fleur has paid much more tax than owed ($37,000 in total). It is further discovered that the junior assistant that prepared the calculations was inexperienced and not qualified to provide accountancy or tax advice.

With a downturn in the local economy, Fleur is struggling to balance the books of her business. In desperate measures, she visits Thibault at his office and demands that he pay her the $37,000 in overpaid tax. Thibault is offended and angrily yells at Fleur, “how could you be so ungrateful? I prepared that tax return for you free of charge!”.

Fleur was upset by Thibault’s comment and quickly left his office. However, she slipped on the footpath and sustained a serious back injury on her way out of the office. It was a particularly rainy and gloomy day, and Fleur acknowledges that she was running to get away from Thibault’s outburst and escape the rain. Fleur has spent $14,000 on medical bills and has been forced to close her patisserie for 4 weeks due to her injuries.

Fleur has now come to you for urgent advice.


Using case law, advise Fleur and Henry whether they would be successful in any claims against Thibault, and if so, what remedies might be available to them?   


Assessment              Information                for             Business   and                Corporations             Law                Research  Assignment


Question Two: 12 marks (900 words)




To:                Bus Corpster

From:              Luke Morgan, Managing Partner

Subject:    Contract Formation – Sandy Paddington [LEX:62918]


Hi Bus Corpster

You must be the new lawyer. I have just met with a new client, Sandy Paddington. Sandy is a member of a local go-karting track called Alpine Go-Karts (“APK”). He has come to us for advice about the non-payment of prize money for a competition advertised by APK.

As background, Sandy has instructed that he entered a competition with APK on 10 April. The local newspaper advertised the competition as having a $5,000 prize for anyone who could complete a lap in 45 seconds or less. The advertisement is attached here.

Sandy has advised that he completed a lap in under 43 seconds. However, APK is refusing to pay him the $5,000 prize money because the advertised amount was a misprint. APK is instead offering to pay our client $500. Sandy is seeking advice as to whether he can enforce payment of the $5,000, as advertised.

Luckily, I have recorded the conversation. Your job is to watch this back and prepare a memorandum of advice for the client. Your advice will need to include a discussion about whether a valid contract has been formed between Sandy and APK.

Remember to include a clear recommendation to the client as to whether he should pursue the $5,000 in the advertisement or accept the $500 offered by APK – the client is not paying us for anything!

You can watch the video here. I’ll leave you to get started, and don’t forget to take notes!

Best of luck!



After watching the video, prepare a memorandum of advice for the client (Sandy).


HINT: In your memo, you must advise Sandy on whether a valid contract has been formed (based on the facts available in the video) and ultimately advise whether he can enforce payment of the advertised amount using common law principles.


Assessment              Information                for             Business   and                Corporations             Law                Research  Assignment

Question Three: 14 marks (1,050 words)

Darren operates a small suburban computer store called Darren’s Computers. After a quiet period, he decides to go ‘door knocking’ in his local neighbourhood to see if he can gather some new business.

He knocks on the door of Edna, an 80-year-old lady who spoke very little English and had very limited computer literacy. Darren told Edna that he was offering a free service on computers in the neighbourhood. Edna thought this was a great initiative and welcomed him in.

Upon inspection of Edna’s computer, Darren tells her that her machine was filled with dangerous viruses and that she was in urgent need of an upgrade. Edna was a bit surprised as her daughter had only bought the computer for her six months earlier but thought Darren seemed trustworthy enough. Darren asked Edna a few questions about how she used the computer, to which Edna responded, ‘just the odd email and for video calls with my grandchildren.’

Darren tells Edna that he has the perfect computer for her and that he is offering a special price if she signed today. He provides Edna with a basically worded contract which she signs without reading. The contract requires Edna to pay Darren $5,000 on delivery of the computer and included the following disclaimer:

Darren’s Computers does not warrant or guarantee that any products sold or provided will fit any purpose, howsoever described or disclosed. 

About a week later, Darren delivers a newly built computer to Edna and provides her with an invoice for the full amount ($5,000). However, the delivered computer does not have a camera and cannot make video calls.

A few weeks later, Edna’s daughter Sarah came to visit and finds the invoice on the table. “Mum, why have you bought a new computer? The one you had worked perfectly fine. There were no viruses on it, I do a scan every time I am here! Plus, this one that you have bought is incredibly overpowered. What do you need 16GB of RAM for?” Edna responded, “Oh Sarah, I haven’t bought 16 rams. Where would I put all those sheep?

Darren has now received an angrily-worded letter from Sarah refusing to pay the $5,000 invoice and threatening to take legal action against him.




Advise Darren whether Edna would be successful in any claims against him and if so, what remedies might be available to her?


Business & Corporations Law Research Assignment Marking Rubric

Criteria High Distinction: 80-100% Distinction: 75% Credit: 65% Pass:55% Fail: < 50%
Use of a wide range of relevant

references and sources


5 marks

Very thoroughly researched using a range

of materials. All relevant

cases were identified. Excellent understanding of the facts of relevant cases

Well researched using a range of materials.

Relevant cases were identified and discussed.

Very good understanding of the facts of relevant cases.

Competent research and use of materials;

Some relevant cases were identified and

discussed. Satisfactory understanding of cases.

Some relevant materials were overlooked; some use of research

materials; possibly some misunderstanding of materials.

Limited research, relevant materials overlooked or


failure to identify

and discuss relevant cases.


Knowledge and understanding of

the legal issues


5 marks

Excellent demonstration that writer understands

the topic area and legal issues that the question presents.

A very good demonstration that the writer understands the topic area and legal issues that the question presents Satisfactory

demonstration that the writer understands the topic area and most of the legal issues that the question presents

The writer has understood some of the topic areas and

has missed some of the issues that the

research question presents

Limited demonstration that writer understands the topic area and

legal issues that the question presents


Quality of legal argument, including

application of law to the facts


10 marks

The argument is persuasive, well-argued and

supported throughout.

Excellent analysis and application of law to the facts.

The argument is persuasive, well-argued and supported

throughout.  Very good

analysis and application of law to the facts.

Mainly descriptive with little analysis of issues.

Arguments may be underdeveloped or not well supported.

Mainly descriptive with little analysis of issues; the basic

argument is unclear or undeveloped, or not well supported.

Insufficient analysis, the argument is lacking or

unsound, failure to apply relevant

materials, or use of materials may indicate confusion.


Logical organisation of an essay


5 marks

Headings and paragraphs have been neatly and consistently laid out.

Work is spaced and clear.

Paragraphs contain one idea only and are logically linked—introduction and conclusion link to the essay’s main body.

Headings and paragraphs have mostly been neatly and consistently laid out.  Paragraphs generally contain one idea only and are mostly

logically linked.  Introduction

and conclusion link to the main body of the essay.  An essay is correctly formatted

Headings and paragraphs have

generally being used to organize

an essay logically.  The logic can

generally be followed.

Generally, the essay is correctly formatted.

Headings and paragraphs have

sometimes been used to organise

essays logically, but the essay is generally hard to

follow.  Formatting may be inconsistent.


The essay lacks logical structure and is sometimes

incoherent in its

logic.  The layout is messy and inconsistent.


Use of language and correct citation


5 marks

No grammar or spelling Essay is correcting

mistakes.  All sources are correctly referenced.

Sentence structure promotes readability, and

the writer has a coherent and engaging personal style.

Very few grammar or spelling mistakes are present.  Most sources are correctly

referenced.  Sentence

structure promotes

readability, and the writer has a good coherent and personal writing style.

Some grammar or spelling mistakes.

Most sources are correctly referenced.  Sentence structure generally promotes

readability and writer

shows some indications of a coherent &

personal writing style.

Frequent grammar or spelling mistakes.

Sources are often incorrectly


Sentence structure does not promote readability but

generally, meaning can be understood.

Frequent grammar

or spelling

mistakes.   Sources are often


referenced.  The essay sometimes lacks clarity of meaning.