For this assignment you are to prepare an answer using the 4step process to the
following scenario: (details of 4 step approach at bootom of assignment question)
Mr and Mrs Smith own an industrial warehouse in Murdoch, 15kms south of Perth. The
warehouse is valued at $2 million. Mr and Mrs Smith decide to consolidate their property
portfolio and plan sell the Murdoch warehouse, despite the fact that Mr Forrest has a fouryear
lease over it.
Mr Jones is a property investor who is looking to invest in an industrial property in the south
of Perth. He hires Mr Taylor to locate a property and negotiate the terms of the purchase of
the property. Mr Taylor is well known as an astute negotiator and he promises that he will
do anything to get the best value for Mr Jones.
While at the local pub on a Friday night Mr Taylor meets Mr Smith. They talk about their
families, their work and their common passion for property investing. After a few weeks Mr
Smith and Mr Taylor begin a romantic affair.
One night, Mr Taylor and Mr Smith are talking about property investment when Mr Smith
says that he is thinking of selling the Murdoch warehouse. Mr Taylor encourages him to do
so and tells him what a horrible woman his wife is and that he should encourage Mrs Smith
to sell the property at a reduced rate. A few days later, Mr Smith contacts Mr Taylor to tell
him that he will sell the warehouse to him for $1.2 million cash. The next day (1 May 2011)
Mr Taylor pays the $1.2 million cash on behalf of his client and receives a transfer form
signed by Mr and Mrs Smith. Unbeknown to Mr Taylor, Mr Smith has forged his wife s
signature on the transfer form. The transfer is registered with Landgate on 15 May 2011.
Meanwhile, Mr and Mrs Smith enter into a contract of sale with Mr Andrews. On 15 April Mr
Andrews pays Mr and Mrs Smith $1.95 million cash and receives a signed transfer form. Mr
Andrews attempts to lodge this transfer with Landgate on 16 May 2011 but is told that the
transferees do not match the current registered proprietor.
Meanwhile, Sidney Hansen, a local Aboriginal elder, contacts Mrs Smith to advise that his
people are seeking native title rights over the warehouse. Mr Hansen says that his people
have had a connection with the land on which the warehouse sits since 1725.
Mr Andrews is furious and immediately lodges a caveat over the property. Mr Smith has left
the country with the $1.2 million cash and Mrs Smith has changed her mind about selling
Using the fourstep process discuss who has priority to the warehouse and what native
title rights may exist over the warehouse.
FOUR STEP PROCESS:
Step 1 “ Introduction
Identify the area or areas of law and legal issues that need to be explained in order to answer
the question. Usually this is easily worked out from the question itself. The area of law will
always be a topic that has been discussed in the unit.
Step 2 “ Explain the relevant law
Explain principles of law relevant to the area of law. This is your best opportunity to obtain
marks by showing that you know the legal principles applicable to that area of law. (The
extent to which you will be required to provide detail in an examination, will of course
depend upon the marks allocated to that problem and the time you have available). Important
cases should be identified and a very brief summary of the facts, the decision of the court,
and a statement of the important principle of law that the case makes clear should be
Step 3 “ Apply the law to the problem
Apply the law to the facts of the question in a clear and logical manner. Consider each aspect
or element of legal criteria discussed in Step 2 and decide whether it is satisfied in the
scenario that you are considering. For example, you would say something like The
machinery would be considered a fixture because It is always necessary to explain which
of the facts of the question indicate that the element of the action has been satisfied.
Step 4 “ Conclusion
Draw possible conclusions. Please note that many problems do not have a definitive yes or
no answer until the matter has been decided by a court of law. It is best to state your
conclusions in language that reflects this reality. Use statements like it is likely or it
would appear that.