Letter to a lawyer
Two Mexican cousins named Agustin and Basilio run the business mutually, a restaurant called Mexican Spices in Kensington. They have been in partnership since 2005. Agustin holds a Chef’s level 2 certificate and is the head Chef of Mexican Spices and Basilio’s role is to look after customers.
Pedro is a TAFE student who is studying to be an apprentice Chef. Pedro has been working for restaurant business for three and a half years on the casual basis. He does not have a regular work pattern. At busy times he might be called to work for up to eighteen days per month and at other times he might be called to work only up to three to five shifts in the month. Pedro has good reports for his work performance.
Agustin has seen Pedro prepare down a lot of his favourite recipes that had been handed down by his (Agustin’s) mother; these being the dishes which keep customers coming back to restaurant. Pedro on occasions was allowed to cook for customers in busy periods.
Pedro’s job include waiting on customers and helping in the kitchen when required. Agustin and Basilio always pay cash in hand to Pedro at the end of each day and no superannuation has been lodged with the fund. Pedro has not expressed any objection to this practice.
Pedro burned his hands while washing dishes recently. He got some first aid care, and since it was a very busy Saturday night he had to return to work after a mere hour break. While serving a fussy customer Pedro then lost his temper and shouted at the customer. Later he apologised and describeed to customer the reason for losing his cool.
Soon Pedro would finish his TAFE course and become the Level 1 Chef. Agustin and Basilio both have heard from one of their neighbours that Pedro is planning to purchase Alberto’s Pizzeria in Kensington area and turn it into the Mexican restaurant where he would be the head Chef. Pedro has told some customers that he would use the word ‘Mexican’ in the name of his restaurant. The cousins became worried. They don’t want Pedro to take away any of their regular customers nor know the secrets of their Mexican recipes.
The cousins together decided that they must not give Pedro any more work. Before stopping Pedro’s work Agustin suggested that they must check with the practicing lawyer if there would be any problems if they stop giving Pedro work without notice. Cousins are a bit worried as Pedro has the history of taking his former employers to court for unfair dismissal and they don’t want any trouble of this kind.
You are a accounts manager for Mexican Spices. Agustin and Basilio want you to work out the best course of action for them to take, within legal requirements, in dealing with Pedro and then to ‘run it past a lawyer’. You are requested to prepare the letter to the lawyer practising in a appropriate area of law along with the following lines:
Describe the fact situation (giving rise to any perceived legal issues;
Describe what Mexican Spices wants to do and how you think cousins are entitled to act, within the scope of the law (ie, the course of action you have worked out is the most likely one for Mexican Spices); and
Request the legal practitioner for advice about legality of your plans and about any other legal concerns that you might have arising from these circumstances.
For the purposes of this letter you might invent name of a lawyer or firm, ideally one that indicates invented lawyer or firm is practising in the right area of law for this problem.
Referencing: Wherever you have taken the idea from another source, reference the source in a footnote to show support for the points you are making, and also to show the amount of research you have done.
Any direct quotes (words which are copied from another source and are not your own words) should be marked with quote marks, and source should be referenced in a footnote.
Citation style: Harvard style as per Business School style requirements is acceptable for this assignment. Though, if you are including references to cases or legislation, use the following styles (Acts and cases themselves are not necessarily relevant, they are only exs – note where italics are and also the spacing and absence of punctuation):
Legislation: Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) s 36
Case: Grant v Commissioner of Patents (2006) 154 FCR 62;  FCAFC 120
Some suitable research references/sources to get you started:
(Prescribed text) James, Nickolas, Business law (John Wiley & Sons, 2nd ed, 2012).
Online Modules on vUWS.
Gibson, Andy & Douglas, Fraser, Business law (Pearson, 7th ed, 2013)
Turner, Clive, Australian Commercial Law (Law book, 29th ed, 2013)
Government websites such as, e.g., www.business.gov.au; www.ipaustralia.gov.au
Other internet resources might be used, provided they are reliable and reputable. Take care that internet sources are on Australian law.
Other recent textbooks on Business Law (consult the Library catalogue).
Suggested format for letter is over the page... the parts in square brackets are guides to what you must put where - overprepare these words and brackets with your own content.
12 Sharp Avenue
Kensington, NSW- 2032
Our reference: **** (invent a file number)
[ADDRESSEE - the lawyer]
[GREETING / SALUTATION - Dear ***]
[CONTENT — USE PARAGRAPHS & FULL SENTENCES]
The Accounts Manager