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business law: Peter vs Jax (Essay Sample)

Instructions:
Critical Analysis – Project Two Your assignment is to write me a legal memo (paper) in regard to the problem below. You are to discuss all parties and relevant issues in a thorough analysis. As these issues deal with the law of contracts, you should look at your contract outline and start to go through the various elements and ask yourself whether any of those elements might pertain to this situation. Only discuss relevant issues! I am not as interested in your outcome (who will end up winning) as I am in how you use the law to support your points. Base your answer only on facts given. If additional information is needed, tell me that. A sample answer to a different problem is attached for clarification and format. Unlike Project One, I do not expect any outside references for this paper To: BA 18 Student From: Professor Fiorentino Re: Peter v. Jax Peter is a wholesale distributor of novelty supplies. Jax operates a novelty supply store. On May 1, Peter received a written order from Jax for 3000 miniature novelty dogs at fifty cents each, which was the price listed in Peter's catalog. The order from Jax stated that the dogs were to be dachshund and German shepherd with “Lucy for City Council” on the front to be purchased by Lucy. The order specified for delivery of half of the novelty dogs by September 1st and the remaining novelty dogs by October 1st. On May 5, Peter sent Jax a written confirmation, which acknowledged the quantity, price, delivery dates, and purpose of the purchase. Both the order and the confirmation were on forms containing a number of printed clauses. The printed clauses were substantially the same on both forms, except Peter's confirmation forms included additional clauses stating that all disputes about the transaction were to be resolved by arbitration, and that damages were limited to costs of shipping the items back for replacements. On June 30, Jax telephoned Peter and told him another distributor offered him the same novelty dogs for only forty cents each and that Jax intended to switch his order to a new distributor unless Peter agreed to lower his price. Rather than lose the sale with a long-term customer, Peter stated, “For a good customer as yourself I will give you the forty cent price.” On August 30, Peter shipped the first 1500 novelty dogs and, on September 2nd, Peter accepted Jax's payment for those novelty dogs at forty cents each. Since 1500 dachshund and shepherd novelty dogs were not available, Peter sent 500 each of boxer, lab, and pug. Unbeknownst to Jax, the plastic of novelty dogs reacted to heat and if they were not stored in temperatures less than 90 degrees, they would melt. Jax stored the novelty dogs in a warehouse where temperatures ranged from 99 to 100 degrees. If Jax had known, he could have stored the novelty dogs in proper conditions. On September 12, Jax wrote to Peter and canceled the second half of the order because Lucy dropped out of the race. When Peter received the letter of cancellation, Peter had not yet ordered the second set of novelty dogs from the manufacturer. Peter sued Jax for breach of contract in state court, seeking damages based on the original fifty cents price for those remaining 1500 novelty dogs. Peter also sued for the additional ten cents per cat he is believed owed to him from the first shipment. Jax counterclaims for the ruined novelty dogs. He also argues breach of contract because only 500 of the novelty dogs confirmed to the type that he specified in his order. Peter argues that if he is liable to Jax for anything, it is only the cost to return the novelty dogs because of the damage limitation clause. What arguments should each party make (Peter and Jax) and how should the case be decided? Should this case go to arbitration? Why or why not? What about the damage limitation clause? Sample Question and Answer. Sample Question: Box Co. manufactures cardboard boxes used for storing household goods during moves. On Feb. 1, Moving Co. telephoned Box Co. and said it needed 5000 boxes from Box Co.'s catalogue at the price listed in the catalogue. Moving Co. asked that each box be imprinted with Moving Co.'s address in black ink, and that the boxes be delivered to the Moving Co. on May 1. Because this was to be the first transaction between the parties, Moving Co. asked Box Co. to send it a box for inspection. The catalogue contains a provision that “because of variation in pigments, seller cannot guarantee the color of imprint of any product.” On Feb. 15, Box Co. delivered to Moving Co. a box with the requested black ink. On Feb. 16, Moving Co. sent its order form for 5000 boxes to be delivered on May 1. The following was printed at the bottom of the order form: “Strict adherence to terms and samples is required.” Box Co. delivered 4500 boxes on May 1 and the remaining 500 boxes on June 1. The imprint on the majority of the boxes was a murky gray. Moving Co. refused to pay for the boxes and Box Co. sued for breach of contract. What are the rights of each party? Discuss. Sample Answer: Students, please note this is only a sample. I expect your own case analysis to be written in your own words. Also, not every issue in the sample is identical to the issues in your paper. The sample is to give you a general idea of some of the issues you might need to discuss. Do not copy the sample! If you are not sure an issue is relevant, ask me. Legal Memo To: Professor Fiorentino From: (Insert name) Re: Box Co. v. Moving Co. Formation: Formation of enforceable promises between the parties requires a mutual agreement (offer and acceptance) and consideration, with no defenses. The transaction here involves the sale of goods (students: you must say whether this is a service contract—where common law applies—or a goods contract—where the UCC applies) so the UCC applies. Both parties appear to be merchants since they deal regularly with the sale of boxes—Box Co. manufactures them and Moving Co. uses them for its business. Offer: Box Co.'s catalogue could be an offer, which was accepted when Moving Co. placed its order on Feb. 16. However, catalogues are usually viewed as invitations to bid, just as advertisements are, and are not considered offers. Moving Co.'s phone call on Feb. 1 may be deemed an offer, while Box. Co.'s shipment of boxes can be considered as an acceptance. But the initial phone call between the parties again tends to be more of an inquiry, in which Moving Co. is requesting more information. Most likely, the offer was made on Feb. 16 when Moving Co. sent its order form to Box Co. In the communication, Moving Co appears to be presently willing to enter into an agreement (intent), there is communication, and definite terms. Acceptance: Under the UCC, an acceptance may be made in any manner reasonable under the circumstances. This means that the shipment of boxes by Box Co, constituted an acceptance and Moving Co. and Box Co. have a unilateral contract. Strict adherence required? While Box Co.'s catalogue disclaimed any guarantee as to color, this was not likely considered to be part of the offer that Moving Co. accepted. (if we have decided that Box Co. was the one who made the offer). Even if it was, Moving Co.'s acceptance was different as it contained a disclaimer. Under the UCC, this would still form a contract and this disclaimer would become part of the contract unless Box Co. objected within a reasonable time OR the new term was a material variation. Here, since Box Co, did not object, you would need to argue that this term was a material variation and hence, not contained in the contract. In the alternative, if you viewed Moving Co.'s order form (with the terms) as an offer, then the strict adherence terms would be contained as part of the agreement if Box Co. properly accepted when they shipped the goods. Box Co, neither objected to the term nor notified Moving Co. that this was an accord and satisfaction. Hence, with this argument, Box Co. could be in breach. [In the answer, I would recommend that the student do both possibilities to receive full credit.] Consideration: Not an issue here. [Don't assume that consideration will not be an issue in your problem because it isn't relevant in the sample.] Statute of Frauds: Because this is a sale of goods priced at $500 or more, this contract must be in writing. The writing must 1)indicate that a contract for the sale of goods has been formed 2) identifies the parties 3)indicates the quantity of goods involved and 4) is signed by the party to be charged Here, Moving Co.'s order form may be sufficient, especially since there is a quantity term. Even if it was not considered to be sufficient, the contract may be enforced to the extent that the goods were received and accepted. [Students: don't forget to address whether your question will have a Statute of Frauds issue. Go through the contracts that must be in writing and see whether they apply to your fact pattern.] Breach: Box Co. is suing Moving Co because Moving Co. refuses to pay. To win, Moving Co. needs to successfully assert that it has no duty to pay for the boxes because Box Co. already breached the contract by shipping nonconforming goods. Quality—the strict adherence was required, the murky gray imprint may mean that the boxes were nonconforming. Quantity—the tender of delivery also may have been nonconforming since only 4500 boxes were delivered on May 1, the day specified in the contract. The other 500 boxes were delivered one month later. Box Co. may argue that it had a right to cure its tender of nonconforming goods. If Moving Co.'s silence after receiving the May 1 delivery is deemed to have given Box Co. reasonable grounds to believe that the delivery of nonconforming goods was accepted, Box Co.'s June 1 delivery may be considered effective “cure” at least to the quantity problem as long as the one month delay is considered reasonable under the circumstances Did Moving Co. accept the goods? Box Co.'s strongest argument would be that even if the goods were nonconforming, Moving Co. never rejected the shipment. Moving Co. had sufficient time to inspect the shipment (between May 1 and June 1) to discover the problem with the color. Since Moving Co. never notified Box Co. that they were rejecting the delivery, Box Co. detrimentally relied on the silence as acceptance of the nonconforming goods and delivered the additional 500 boxes in a good faith attempt to cure the nonconforming tender. Hence, Moving Co. should be deemed to have accepted all of the boxes and must now pay for them. Moving Co. may claim that it initially accepted Box Co.'s shipment because it reasonably believed that the nonconformity would be cured in a timely manner and then it was not. Yet Moving Co. still should have notified Box Co. of its expectations. In addition, Moving Co. only has right to reject the nonconforming goods if the nonconformity “substantially impairs” their value. The murky quality of an imprint on boxes that are used for storing household goods during moves may not substantially impair the value of these boxes for their intended use. [Students: you could go either way here. You could also insist that the murky quality of the printing did substantially impair the box's value.] Result: Assuming that Moving Co. is deemed to have accepted the nonconforming goods and it is still in possession of the boxes, it will be liable to Box Co. for the contract price minus any damages (because of the delay in the last 500 boxes) that Moving Co. can prove resulted because of the nonconformity. The grading rubric will focus on 1) the necessary contractual elements 3 pts 2) whether this is a sales contract or a service contract 1pt 3) whether there is an effective modification of contract 2 pts 4) applicable defenses (I won't list them all here, but there should be three to four defenses discussed including Statute of Frauds 4 pts 5) performance and breach 2 pts 6) remedies 1 pt 7) did case have to go to arbitration? .5 pt 8) did damage limitations clause apply? .5 pt 9) Ideas are expressed in complete sentences. .5 p 10) Paragraph and sentence transitions are present, logical and maintain the flow throughout the paper .5 pt source..
Content:

Title: Business Law
Student's Name:
Professor's Name:
Institution's Name:
Course Code:
Date:
To:
From:
Re: Peter v Jax
Formation: Contracts signed between two parties requires an agreement that is mutual with considerations and no defence. The transaction between the two parties involved the supply and distribution of goods where the Uniform Commercial Code law applies as it involved the transaction of movable individual properties which in this case was the supply and delivery of novelty dogs. Both parties are merchants as they deal with the supply of novelty whereby Peter is a wholesale distributor while Jax is a supplier.
Offer: On May I, peter receives an order that is written from Jax for the supply of 3000 miniature novelty dogs at a constant price of 50cents each as listed in peter's catalog. However, the order stated that the dogs were supposed to be of dachshund and German shepherd labeled “Lucy for City Council” on their front part so as to be bought by Lucy. To show that Jax had accepted the offer, he requested to be supplied with 1500 of 3000 novelty dogs by the month of September 1st and the remaining by October 1st . In addition to that, Peter shipped the first half of the novelty dogs on 30th of August and accepted payment from Jax each at 40 cents. Besides that, Peter had sent different breeds of novelty dogs unlike specified by Jax. Instead of him supplying the Shepherd and datchshund, he delivered 500 each of pug, lub and boxer.
Acceptance: Under Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), acceptance only exists when the offeror and offeree have communicated and ended up in an agreed terms and conditions of the offer and the availability of the bargaining power induced either by promise or performance. Therefore, this means that the ability of Peter to lower his price from 50cents to 40 cents in order not to lose his customer who in this case is Jax comprised an acceptance. Also the acceptance of the different breed of novelty dogs by Jax and paying for them shows acceptance. In addition to that, acceptance has been confirmed whereby Peter receives a written order particularly for delivering half of the novelty dogs by September 1st whilst the remaining half to be shipped by October 1st , Peter replies by writing a confirmation to Jax acknowledging the quantity, delivery dates, price and finally the purposes of the purchase.
Strict adherence? Whereas Jax as the offer had specified the type of novelty dogs he wanted in the order written to peter, this was not taken into consideration by peter as he supplie...
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