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Planning Your Law Essay

The next step is to plan your essay: as we identified, the minimum requirements will be an introduction, body and conclusion, unless you are dealing with a report or dissertation.

When you have done some research, you may wish to make a rough plan of where you intend to go with the essay. For example:

Question:

Recent case law suggests that litigants are generally better advised to pursue a claim in misrepresentation rather than for breach of contract. Discuss.

Comment:

Note that the question asks you to 'discuss' - this requires that you offer an explanation of the issue/quote and then give two or more sides of the issue and any implications.

This question calls for a general comparison of the remedies for misrepresentation and breach of contract, but more specifically, it requires a focus on the recent body of case law from the Court of Appeal in which damages under Section 2 of the Misrepresentation Act (1967) have been equated with those available for an action in deceit. Your answer should therefore include a comparison of the following points:

(a) the availability of rescission and repudiation;

(b) the basis upon which damages are awarded in misrepresentation and for breach of contract.

Sample Law Essay Plan

Introduction

  • For a pre-contractual statement constituting both a breach of contract and misrepresentation, the representee must choose which action to pursue. Which is best?
  • Remedies for breach of contract (repudiation and/or damages), remedies for misrepresentation (rescission and/or damages)
  • What the essay will cover: a consideration of the availability of repudiation and rescission the basis for awarding damages in each area.
  • Contract remedies depend on whether the term which the defendant has broken is a condition or warranty, whereas in misrepresentation it is the culpability of the defendant which determines the available remedies.

Body

  • The difference between repudiation and rescission
  • How contract terms are classified and why this is important
  • The basis for awarding damages for breach of contract
  • The basis of awarding damages for misrepresentation
  • The advantages of suing under Section 2 of the Misrepresentation Act 1967
  • The relevance of contributory negligence, fraud and direct consequences damages, and loss of opportunity damages
  • Use of a deceit measure for all non-innocent misrepresentations, disregard of any foreseeability criterion
  • Potentially enhanced recovery of non-pecuniary losses
  • Award of quasi 'loss of bargain' damages
  • Contrast with difficulties recovering damages for innocent misrepresentations
  • Possible bars to rescission including exercise of judicial discretion under Section 2(2) of the Misrepresentation Act 1967 (per William Sindall plc v Cambridgeshire County Council (1994) 1 WLR 1016)
  • General emphasis on reliance losses in tort

Conclusion

Summarise main issues/comparisons


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