Review the following case scenario and answer the questions following the scenario.
Scenario: Burt is a New York City resident and Senior Vice President for Marketing for Consultants, Inc. Amy is a 16-year old paid part-time intern for Consultants, assigned to the Marketing department.
April 1, 2014, while Amy was working, Burt asked her to go to Tours, Inc. (Tours), a travel agency, and book a personal vacation trip for him in early June. He told Amy he wanted a 1-week, luxury all-inclusive (except air fare) vacation package at a 5-star hotel in Key West, FL. Burt told Amy he would book his own air reservations. He gave Amy a signed personal check made out to Tours, with the amount to be filled in by Amy for any necessary deposit, or, if required, for full payment. He also told Amy to sign any necessary agreements related to the vacation.
Amy went to Tours and met with Jan, a travel agent for Tours, who told Amy she had the perfect trip for Burt: an all-inclusive 7-day package vacation at the brand new oceanfront 5-star Key West Colony Hotel (Hotel) including meals, state of the art fitness facilities, round trip airfare from New York, and free airport shuttle service, at a total cost of $5000.
Amy agreed the trip was perfect for Burt and told Jan to make the reservations. Jan made reservations for Burt for June 1-June 8, 2014 at Hotel, and a round trip reservation from New York City to Key West on Transamerica Airlines for June 1, returning June 8. Amy filled in Burt’s check in the amount of $2500 to cover the required deposit and gave the check to Jan. Amy also signed the written agreement with Hotel on behalf of Burt, signing the agreement, “Amy Taylor as representative for Burt Basset.” The written agreement with Hotel outlined the details for the vacation package, including, in part:
“Cancellation Policy: cancellations prior to 30 days of first day of reservation date, fully refundable; cancellations prior to 15 days of first day of reservation date, 40% refundable; cancellations less than 7 days prior to first day of reservation date, nonrefundable…”
Amy returned to the office and gave Burt a copy of the agreement with Hotel, a receipt for his deposit check and brochures and information about the trip. Burt thanked Amy and told her he was “thrilled with all the arrangements” and looking forward to the trip.
Later that same day, Burt asked Amy to go to Jordon Department Store (Jordon) and purchase a 3-piece set of leather luggage for him to use for his vacation. Amy wrote down the brand, color, and model of the luggage Burt wanted; he had looked at the luggage previously and knew the details for the luggage. Burt knew the luggage set would cost $625 + tax so he gave Amy $700 in cash to pay for the luggage, and ask Jordon to deliver the luggage to his office.
Amy went to Jordon, purchased the exact luggage Burt wanted, paid $625.0O + $43.75 in tax for a total of $668.75. Amy took the sales receipt for the luggage, the cash change and confirmed Jordon would deliver the luggage to Burt’s office (a service Jordon extends to customers for purchases over $600.00) the next day.
Amy returned to the office, gave Burt the sales receipt for the luggage purchase and the change from the $700.00. The sales receipt stated, in part:
“Return Policy: This merchandise may be returned in new and unused condition for a full refund within 30 days of purchase. Unless determined to be defective, return of this merchandise in new and unused condition after 30 days of purchase will result in a store credit for the purchase amount. No cash, check or credit or debit card refunds will be given for returns after 30 days of purchase.”
Jordan delivered Burt’s luggage the next day to his office.
PART I: May 27, Burt sent written notice to Tours and Hotel that he was canceling his trip and reservations due to a personal matter and expected a full refund for his deposit. He included a stamped, self-addressed envelope for sending the refund to him. Tours and Hotel responded quickly, in writing, that under the terms of the contract, the deposit was non-refundable.
Burt hires you as his attorney to resolve this matter. He believes he has valid legal claims because he believes (1) the agency with Amy was invalid, (2)Tours had no authority to make reservations/contracts on his behalf, (3) his contract with Hotel is unenforceable.
Label your responses to the following as IA, IB, IC.
IA. What do you advise Burt about the validity of his agency agreement with Amy and her ability to bind him in contract and why? Explain your rationale in detail.
IB. What do you advise Burt about Tours’ authority to make reservations/contracts on his behalf and their authority to bind him in contract and why? Explain your rationale in detail.
IC. What do you advise Burt about his contract with Hotel and whether he can recover his deposit and why?
Label your responses to the following as IIA, IIB.
PART II: Burt attempted to return the set of luggage, still boxed and in new and unused condition, to Jordon for a full refund on May 28. Jordon offered to give Burt a store credit for the amount of the purchase of $625.00 + $43.75 tax. Burt took the luggage with him and asked you, as his attorney, to also handle this matter on his behalf.
Burt believes he has a valid legal claim to receive a full cash refund because he believes the sale is invalid as it was subject to the Statute of Frauds and required a formal written agreement between Jordon and him.
IIA. What do you advise Burt about whether the Statute of Frauds applies to this agreement between Jordon and Burt and why? Discuss the legal principals involved.
IIB. What do you advise Burt about whether the agreement between Jordan and Burt is a valid, enforceable sales agreement so that Burt should receive a full cash refund for the luggage – and why?
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