Posted: April 6th, 2015

Identify the legal issues/ Select the relevant legal rules to help address the legal issues/Apply the rules to the facts to address the legal issues.

Identify the legal issues/ Select the relevant legal rules to help address the legal issues/Apply the rules to the facts to address the legal issues.

Order Description

Instructions: Submission requirements:

1. Attention to presentation, expression, and the correct citation of cases, statutes and secondary sources will be rewarded. Use a recognised and consistent referencing style. Do not include a bibliography.
2. Using Australian law ( the Corporations Act 2001
3. Tips for using the IRAC approach properly

They are four important steps to answering any hypothetical legal question:
1. Identify the legal issues
2. Select the relevant legal rules to help address the legal issues
3. Apply the rules to the facts to address the legal issues
4. Give a conclusion

This is known as the ‘IRAC’ approach (Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion). You must do each of these to answer the question properly. THIS DOES NOT MEAN you need to have a sub-heading: “ISSUE”, “RULE”, “APPLICATION”, “CONCLUSION” for each point or each question. This approach is not about helping you structure your answer – it is about ensuring you answer the questions properly. So, provided you do these four things as part of answering the question, I don’t really care how you choose to structure your answer, provided I can follow what you have done.

Identifying the issue:
• Does not mean repeating the question
• Take note of who you are asked to advise – this can help identify the issues
• Only answer relevant legal issues – note the words RELEVANT and LEGAL
• You need to carefully read the question to do this properly
• Assume every fact in the question is there to help you identify a legal issue – if you haven’t picked any issue in a whole paragraph of facts you are missing something
• Don’t look for general issues that are not raised in the facts – eg in a contract question if there are no contract formation issues – don’t raise them just for the sake of it

Select the legal rules
• Be specific – mention cases and sections of legislation
• Don’t rewrite whole bits of legislation
• Don’t recite all the facts of a case, unless you plan to specifically use those facts to solve the problem
• Don’t just quote the textbook – the textbook is not the law
• Don’t include legal rules you don’t intend to apply to solve the problem

Application of rules to the facts to solve the issues
• This is the hardest part of the IRAC approach – this is where you do well or bomb
• Get specific – mention specific facts in the question
• If you need to make factual assumptions, point these out here
• Don’t form any conclusions until you have done this step
• Give the alternative arguments that are available
• Get straight to the point – don’t ramble

• Give a conclusion – no client would pay you for advice on a question you haven’t answered
• Don’t assume there will be a clear conclusion – BUT pick one and tell me why (remember civil law works on ‘balance of probabilities’ not dead certainties)
• If your conclusion is based on assumptions make those clear
• Don’t agonise over whether your conclusion is right or wrong – if the process is right your conclusion will always be right (even if I personally might disagree with it)

4. Final IRAC tip – practice: You will not be able to do this properly unless you have tried to do it a few times. If your first go is in the exam you will most probably do badly

Assignment Question
Students must attempt BOTH Questions.
Question 1: (10 Marks)    must be no more than 400-450 words
Steve, Sunita, and Lily have just graduated from La Trobe University. They wish to go into business together providing book-keeping services to accounting firms. Their intention is to start small, but they hope to eventually grow the business into a large provider of contract book-keeping services to both large and small accounting firms. None of them has much money, although Sunita’s mother, Mary is prepared to invest most of the money they need to get the business started. Steve has developed a book-keeping computer software program which the business will use. Lily tried to set up a similar business with some other friends during the second year of her studies but that fell apart when it was discovered that she had ‘borrowed’ some of a client’s money to buy herself a new car – without asking the client.

Give Steve, Sunita and Lily advice on the most appropriate business structure for their proposed book-keeping business.

Question 2: (10 Marks)    must be no more than 400-450 words
Assume the business was set up as a Victorian partnership – LLB Book-keeping. Unfortunately, there are some problems:

(a)     Lily has taken a client’s money. She used it to buy herself some shares on the stock-market. The client has advised he plans to sue the partnership for compensation. The police are also investigating;

(b)    Steve wants to sell his book-keeping computer program to a national accounting firm and keep all the profits; and

(c)     Mary has heard of the troubles and is demanding access to the business records and accounts and is complaining about not getting a say in the way the business in being run.

Give the partnership legal advice on each of the problems.

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