Like the First Year core Courses, the law of agency comprises fundamental principles reaching into contract and tort law, regarding the privity rule and vicarious tort liability. By the law of agency, one person, the principal (P) can empower another person, an agent (A), to act on behalf of the P with a third party (TP) resulting in a legal relationship between the P and a TP. Such empowerment, vesting an A with authority to act for a P, can occur in several ways. An A, being the doppelganger, or alter ego, if you prefer, of the P can bring tort liability home to the P. The Course deals comprehensively with the law of agency, including the various ways in which and authorities with which an A can be empowered, the contractual and tort liabilities of Ps, As, and TPs arising from an exercise of authority by As, and the duties and rights of As.
The pairing of the law of agency and partnership is natural because the law of agency is a foundational pillar of the partnership business form. Next to the corporation, partnership is the most common form in which entrepreneurs carry on business. The Course will provide an introduction to the law governing partnerships.
Eight of the thirteen weeks of classes will deal with agency and five with partnership.
Practical Importance of the Course: If your future career is the practice of law, you may well practise with other lawyers in a partnership. And, all lawyers serve their clients as their agents; in other words, the client/lawyer relationship is a P/A relationship. If your practice is a general practice, or focussing on corporate commercial law, you will be giving advice to clients involving doing business in a partnership; as well, in a general, corporate commercial, or wills and estates practice you will be drafting and dealing with powers of attorney, one of the ways in which an agency relationship is created. If you anticipate a civil litigation practice, you will encounter agency and partnership issues and be greatly assisted by the introduction this Course provides.