David was the lead guitarist in the pop group Artic Elephants. On December 1, David emailed his best friend Frederick a well-known blind singer/songwriter. The email offered to sell Frederick his valuable Stratocaster guitar for $5,000.
Frederick was travelling in China and while he could read emails using his brail converter, he could not reply to them. On December 2, Frederick asked a Chinese maid who spoke little English if she could help him send a postcard to David. On the back of a postcard the maid scribbled, ‘Stratocaster – me buy $50,000’. Frederick signed the card and sent it to David.
On December 5, David was having a coffee and got talking to Matthew a sixteen year old jazz musician who expressed interest in buying the Stratocaster for $4,000 cash. David agreed and gave Matthew his home address so Matthew could collect the guitar next week. On December 7, David received Frederick’s card and was elated with Frederick’s offer. When Matthew called next week for the guitar David said he could keep his money, the guitar was not for sale.
Once Frederick returned from China, David contacted him regarding selling the guitar for $50,000. Frederick laughed and said ‘sorry mate, that Chinese maid must have made a mistake translating what I was saying and written one too many zeros on the postcard. Anyway, that Chinese trip cost me a small fortune and I can’t afford to buy your guitar right now’.
The Artic Elephants planned to tour Australia, playing in every capital city. When they arrived in Melbourne, as part of their tour they were booked to play six performances over five days with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. A term of this contract was that the Artic Elephants were required to be in Melbourne for rehearsals for at least three days before their first performance. Due to a flight mix-up with Tigress Airways, the band only arrived one day before and had only one rehearsal with the orchestra.
Mr. Stickler, the manager of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Manager was livid and claimed the band was in breach of contract. At the end of the Artic Elephant’s Melbourne engagement, the Australian Government’s Department of Air Transport suddenly ordered that all Tigress flights in Australia were cancelled indefinitely because the airline had breached flight safety regulations. This meant the Artic Elephants were unable to make an alternative airline booking in time to meet their commitment to give four outdoor performances in Darwin. David hired a bus in Melbourne to transport the band but an unexpected cyclone prevented all road, rail and air transport from reaching Darwin and completely destroyed the city’s outdoor concert venue. Consequently, Artic Elephant’s Australian tour was not a sell-out success.
a) Advise David, Frederick and Matthew regarding the sale of David’s Stratocaster guitar.
b) Advise Mr. Stickler whether Artic Elephants was in breach of their contract with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
c) Advise Artic Elephants whether it would be liable for failure to meet their contract to perform in Darwin and what the likely outcome might be.