LGL114 - Contracts and Torts

Outline info
Last revision date 2017-11-21 11:55:44.023
Last review date 2017-11-21 11:55:55.839

Subject Title
Contracts and Torts

Subject Description
This subject introduces the students to two basic areas of the law, namely contracts and torts. Contracts form the foundation of commerce in today's complex society. In this segment of the subject the student learns what a contract is, when it is valid, how it may end, how a party deals with breach of contract, and the role of the courts in enforcing contracts and awarding damages for their breach. In the segment dealing with torts, the student learns about various aspects of tort law, with a particular focus on negligence, liability without fault, tort damages and common statutory torts.

Credit Status
This is a credit subject applicable to the Law Clerk Diploma Program  offered through the School of Legal and Public Administration and  the Law Clerk Diploma Program offered through the Faculty of Continuing Education and Training.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. For the contracts segment of this subject, explain and analyze:

The nature of a contract and its use and value in society;
The elements of a valid contract (e.g., intention, offer, acceptance, consideration, legality, form);
The formal requirements necessary to create a valid contract;
Conditions, warranties and implied terms
Privity of contract and assignment of contract rights
Contractual defects (e.g., mistake,misrepresentation, undue influence, duress)
Methods of discharging a contract
Methods of breaching a contract
Remedies for breach of contract

2. For the torts segment of this subject,

a)  Explain and analyze the following concepts related to tort law:

Intentional torts and defences
Negligence law and defences
Occupier's liability law and defences
Strict liability law and defences
Vicarious liability law and defences
Remedies in tort law
Determination of damages
The different levels of guilty mentality in the commission of a tortious act

b) Develop the ability to apply the law to fact situations related to specific intentional torts, negligence and occupiers' liability, and the defences to these.

3. Interpret the provisions of the Limitations Act and relevant case law.

4. Display an attitude of professionalism, as evidenced by an ability to meet deadlines, complete assignments and perform tests and in-class assignments as scheduled.

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on http://library.senecacollege.ca for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


It is your responsibility to ensure that program requirements and course prerequisites are met. Prerequisites are included for your academic protection. Course content and your instructor's teaching assumes that students are academically prepared and instruction will proceed accordingly. Students lacking prerequisites not only jeopardize their own ability to succeed but present unnecessary interruption. If you lack appropriate prerequisites (or advanced standing for the prerequisite course) you may be asked to withdraw or transfer to a more appropriate course with the risk of academic/financial penalty.

Topic Outline
I - Contract Law

A.   Formation of a Contract

      i.     Intention
      ii.    Offer and Acceptance
      iii.   Consideration
      iv.    Legality
      v.     Form and Writing

B.   Contractual Defects

      i.      Misrepresentation, Undue Influences and Duress
      ii.     Mistake 

C.   Contractual Rights and Discharge of Contract

      i.      Contractual Rights

  • Privity of Contract
  • Assignment of Contract Rights 

      ii.      Contract Interpretation   
  • Conditions
  • Warranties
  • Implied Terms

      iii.      Discharge of Contract

D.   Breach of Contract and Remedies

      i.      Breach of Contract
      ii.     Contractual Remedies

II - Tort Law

A.  Introduction 

B.  Levels of Guilty Mentality

C.  Intentional Torts
  • Battery
  • Assault
  • False Imprisonment
  • Wrongful Interference with Chattels
  • Trespass to Land
  • Nuisance
  • Defamation

D.  Defences to Intentional Torts

E.  Negligence

F.  Defences to Negligence and Limitations on the Defendant's Liability

G.  Occupiers' Liability

H.  Damages in Tort Law

I.   Strict Liability

J.   Vicarious Liability

K.  Limitation Act
  • Understanding the Limitations Act
  • Discoverability Rule


Mode of Instruction
Students learn through classroom lectures, discussion and group problem solving. Any matters covered in class and/or in the assigned readings will constitute part of the subject content and be eligible for inclusion on the term test or final examination. It is ESSENTIAL that students read assigned material before class and make careful notes on the reading material as well as in-class lectures and discussion. It is extremely important for students to be prepared for class and to be actively involved in discussions as this greatly aids the learning process.  

It is your responsibility to save documents, articles and notes that the instructor has provided on Blackboard or in class. Students will not be able to access Blackboard as of the last day of the student's class.

Prescribed Texts
Rock, Olivo and Fitzgerald, Contracts and Torts for Paralegals. Emond Montgomery. Latest Edition.

Reference Material
Kerr, M., Kurtz, J., Olivo, L., Canadian Tort Law in a Nutshell, Carswell, Latest Edition.

NOTE: Photocopied texts are not permitted.

Required Supplies
Notebook or three-ring binder, paper, pens, highlighter and above texts

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Grading is based on the following marking scheme:

Test #1 30%
Test #2 30%
Final Exam 40%

Some aids may be allowed during testing and will be identified by the instructor.

Students must attain a grade of at least 50% to pass the course.

Please Note
  • Exams are evaluated on subject knowledge as well as correct language usage, organization, and mastery of the subject. 
  • In recognition of the significance of proper language skills in the work of a Paralegal or Law Clerk, marks are deducted, in accordance with departmental policy, for language errors on all exams. (i.e. spelling, grammar, word usage, sentence, and paragraph structure, etc.) 

Absenteeism and Tests
  • Students should be aware that absenteeism will impact on their ability to achieve satisfactory grades.
  • If you miss a test, you must provide the reason in writing to the instructor within one week. If your reason is accepted, you will be given an opportunity to write the test at a later date.  Otherwise, you will be given a zero for the test. You must submit an original doctor’s certificate identifying the date, length of time of expected absence and the specific reason for your absence, or other appropriate documentation.

Field Placement Requirements
Students who do not successfully complete all professional courses may not be eligible for placement. 

Academic Honesty
Students at Seneca College are expected to be honest and forthright in their academic endeavours. When students cheat on an examination, steal the words or ideas of another, or falsify their research results, it corrupts the learning process. A Seneca College degree, diploma or certificate signifies to society mastery of a set of defined learning outcomes in a designated field of study. If academic credit is obtained dishonestly, the value of every graduate's diploma in the field of study is diminished, as is the reputation of the college as a whole.

Penalties for Academic Dishonesty
The penalty for a first offence is a grade of '0' on the assignment or examination. The penalty for the second offence is expulsion for a time period determined by the Academic Honesty Committee, normally for a minimum of three terms.

For further information refer to the policies section of the Seneca College student handbook, or to the following website:

Approved by: Sandra Noble