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Language use: can I could I may I might

In his conversation with his client, Mr Dawe talks about a number of possibilities, for example the possibility that Drexler might sue him for breach of contract.

There are several ways to talk about possibilities in English:

0 can / could (but not may/ might) are used to say something is generally possible:

/ really don't see how they can/ couldsue us. (= I don't see how it is / would be possible for them to sue us.)

/ really don't see how they may/ mightsue uo.

0 may / might / could (but not can) are used to talk about the chance that something will happen or is happening:

They may/ might / couldsue you. (= It is possible they will sue you.)

They cansue you.

0 may not/ might not (but not could not) are used to talk about a negative possibility in the future:

Drexler are saying that we are unreasonably refusing delivery, but I guess if we make our side clear, then they might nottake any action against us? (= It is possible they won't take action.)

C In the above example, using could not would change the meaning from possibility to ability:

Drexler are saying that we are unreasonably refusing delivery, but I guess if we make our side clear, then they couldn'ttake any action against us? (= They would not be able to take action.)

28 Rewrite these sentences using a suitable form of can, could, mayor might.

1 I don't see how it is possible for them to sue us.

.L.4fiK)'L.^^Jj^fe^...^^.../.i^Mr.^.&l*^.......................................................

2 If we offer a generous out-of-court settlement, it is possible that they will
not sue us.

If..........................................................................................................................

3 You shouldn't breach the contract. It is possible they will sue you.

They.....................................................................................................................

4 If you can assure us that such a breach will not happen again, then it is
possible that we won't take any further action.

If .........................................................

5 I think it is possible for us to work together again in the future.

I.......................................................................................................................

6 If you raised your prices, it would not be possible for us to work together.
If


Text analysis: Email of advice

29 This email summarises the discussion between the lawyer, Mr Dawe, and his client. It contains four errors of fact. Find and correct the errors.

Subject: The termination of your contract with Drexler Inc.

Dear Mr McKendrick

Thank you for coming to see me on 30 May when we discussed the termination of your contract with Drexler Inc. I am writing to summarise our discussion and to confirm your instructions.

You told me that Drexler Inc. agreed to purchase a large quantity of goods (exact amount unspecified) from your firm, Export Threads. Under clause 2a of the contract, Drexler were to give you two days' notice of the date of shipment so that you could arrange a lorry for the transportation of the goods. You were unable to arrange this because Drexler failed to let you know by the agreed date. You now wish to terminate the contract. The legal issue here is whether or not Drexler's breach is enough to allow Export Threads to terminate the contract without being liable for damages. If the contract term in question can be shown to be a condition, you will be able to terminate the contract without fear of damages being awarded against you. If the term is simply a warranty, you will be able to claim damages to cover any costs you have incurred as a result of this breach, but may not actually terminate the contract.



Recent case law suggests that if you do choose to terminate the contract, and if Drexler subsequently decide to sue you, the courts would rule against you. Your contract involves a chain of sales, and in such cases, the need for certainty is very important. You were unable to arrange the loading of the goods as a direct consequence of Drexler's breach of clause 2a, and this term would be interpreted as a condition.

I will write a letter to Drexler Inc. outlining the above and notifying them of your intention to renegotiate the contract. I will request confirmation from Drexler that they accept our interpretation both of the events and of the relevant law, and that your termination of the contract will not lead to any unnecessary legal action on their part. I will be in touch again shortly. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

With kind regards

Charles Dawe

j |

30 The email in Exercise 29 follows a standard pattern for an email of advice from a lawyer to a client. Match each paragraph (1-5) with its correct label (a-e).

a Opening paragraph

b The lawyer's proposed action

c The lawyer's advice

d Summary of the facts

e The legal issue(s)

Unit 2 Contract law


31 During this course, you will be asked to write several letters and emails of advice. Read through the email in Exercise 29 and highlight any phrases that would be useful in your own legal correspondence. examples: TVieuik ujoia -for coming to see me on 30 May when we discussed, ...

Writing: Email of advice

32 Use these notes of an interview with a client to write an email of advice. Use the email in Exercise 29 as a model.

7 November


Date: 2015-12-24; view: 1265


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