Please also note the following when answering a legal problem question:

a) You should not re-state the question at the beginning of your answer. Go straight to identification of the main issues.

b) You need to give legal authority for each legal principle you stated in your answer. Wherever possible, you should rely on primary instead of secondary source of law, i.e., cases and legislation not textbooks.

c) Your assignment must have footnotes and a bibliography which contains a list of the cases, books and or journal articles you used in preparing the answer.

The Assessment Criteria are as follows:


Criteria Examined factors
Correct syntax, grammar and spelling.

Clarity of thought and expression
Demonstrated knowledge of the law
Answer reflects a good knowledge of the relevant legislation and relevant case law – an understanding of their scope and operation
Analytical skills
(legal problem solving technique)
Ability to determine the legally relevant or “material” facts and the applicable legal rules:
e.g. what are the elements of an action and what are the remedies available to the plaintiff?
Ability to identify the particular legal issues raised by the relevant facts, i.e. the questions in dispute;
Distinguishing where appropriate between different facts and different rules of law,
Applying the law to the relevant facts (do the facts fit the legal rules?).
Reaching a conclusion and expressing it (“In my view….” “I consider, on the basis of the facts provided, that….”). If the case law is not settled your task is to say so and to decide which case authority should be considered of greater weight and to state why?
Typed, stapled and 3 cm margin, bibliography, correct citations of cases and legislation, layout/setting out (use of appropriate headings -clarity, ease of reading).

The Problem
Coco is a proprietary company that operates many Jewellery retail stores in Australia. Bryan holds 30 per cent of shares in Coco. Don and his wife hold 60 per cent of shares in the company and the balance is distributed among company employees. Bryan and Don are both directors, Don being managing director. The constitution gives Don the power to nominate a majority of the board.
Personal relations between Bryan and Don have seriously deteriorated and Bryan now resents Don’s dominance of board proceedings. Specifically Bryan complains that board meetings have been conducted without regard to the views of directors other than Don, that meetings of Don and his board faction are held before full directors’ meetings to formulate a position and strategy with respect to items arising at board meetings and that Don sometimes restricts the speaking time available to Bryan at board meetings. Bryan and Don do not speak to each other save for absolutely necessary communications.
In the meantime, Bryan uncovers the following transaction between Coco and Myco Pty Ltd. Myco is one of the several Australian companies importing diamonds from Israel and South Africa. Don is a 20 per cent shareholder of Myco. Myco has recently been awarded by Don a three-year contract to supply Coco. Don has never discussed this transaction with the board.
Bryan is not happy with what is going on in Coco. Advise Bryan of his possible remedies.