9 Section Outline Agency and Similar Relationships Principal-Agent RelationshipMaster-Servant RelationshipProprietor-Independent Contractor Relationship
10 Section Outline Why Are These Distinctions Important? Contractual LiabilityTort Liability
11 Pre-Learning Question What is an agency relationship?
12 Agency and Similar Relationships An agency relationship lets us act through other people to accomplish tasks that might be difficult or impossible to do on our own.
13 Agency and Similar Relationships The term agency describes a relationship in which one person, called an agent, represents another person, called a principal, in some sort of business transaction with a third party.
15 Principal-Agent Relationship The principal-agent relationship is a true agency relationship.Legally, we distinguish an agent from other types of representatives by noting that the agent has the power to transact business for the principal.
16 Master-Servant Relationship A master is a person who has the right to control the conduct of another who is performing a task for the benefit of the master.
17 Master-Servant Relationship A servant is a person whose conduct in the performance of a task is subject to the control of another.
18 Proprietor-Independent Contractor An independent contractor works for but is not under the control of a proprietor.
19 Proprietor-Independent Contractor The proprietor is a person who chooses to have someone perform a task on his or her behalf but has no control over the way that task is carried out.
20 True or FalseAn agent is a person who has the right to control the conduct of another who performs a task for the agent’s benefit.
21 A principal is someone represented by an agent. An independent contractor works for but is not under the control of a proprietor.
24 Pre-Learning Question Why is the true nature of the business relationship important?
25 Distinctions Important? Why Are TheseDistinctions Important?Finding out the true nature of a relationship can be crucial in determining liability.
26 Contractual Liability A principal is generally bound to the terms of a contract made by an agent unless the agent has no authority to enter the contract.
27 Contractual Liability Unless a servant is also and agent, he or she has no authority to negotiate contracts for the master.
28 Contractual Liability Likewise, a contractor has no power to bind the proprietor to a contract, unless expressly permitted to do so.
29 Tort LiabilityAll people are responsible for their own tortious conduct.Sometimes, however, the person who hired the tortfeasor may also be held liable.
30 Tort LiabilityThis situation is known as vicarious liability, and it is founded on the principle of respondeat superior, or let the master respond.
31 Tort LiabilityTypically, respondeat superior, applies to master-servant relationships because the master has the right to control the physical conduct of the servant. In contrast, a proprietor usually doesn’t have that right with an independent contractor.
32 Respondeat Superior 18.1 Was servant acting within scope of authority orcourse ofemployment
33 Tort LiabilityThe court will ask many questions to determine whether there is a master-servant or proprietor-independent contractor a relationship in order to determine tort liability.
34 Questions the Court Asks Does the hiring person supply the tools for the worker?Does the hiring person set the worker’s hours?
35 Questions the Court Asks Is the worker employed by the person responsible for the hiring?Is the business of the worker the same as the business of the hiring person?
36 Questions the Court Asks Does the worker lack authority to hire or fire other workers?Does the worker perform his or her tasks in a highly supervised environment?
37 Questions the Court Asks Is very little skill required to perform the worker’s job?
38 Questions the Court Asks The more questions that require “yes” answers, the more likely it is that a master-servant relationship exists, and the master could be liable for the servant’s tortious conduct.
39 Tort LiabilityA master may escape vicarious liability, if the servant was not acting within the scope of employment.When the tort was committed, the worker must have been performing the task for which he or she was hired.
40 Reviewing What You Learned What is an agency relationship? Section AssessmentReviewing What You LearnedWhat is an agency relationship?
41 Reviewing What You Learned Answer Section AssessmentReviewing What You LearnedAnswerThe term agency describes a relationship in which one person, the agent, represents another person, the principal, in some sort of business transaction with a third party.
42 Reviewing What You Learned Section AssessmentReviewing What You LearnedWhat is the difference between a servant and an independent contractor?
43 Reviewing What You Learned Answer Section AssessmentReviewing What You LearnedAnswerA master controls or has the right to control the activities of a servant. An independent contractor is not controlled by the proprietor who has hired that independent contractor.
44 Reviewing What You Learned What is the nature of contract liability? Section AssessmentReviewing What You LearnedWhat is the nature of contract liability?
45 Reviewing What You Learned Answer Section AssessmentReviewing What You LearnedAnswerWhen a principal appoints an agent to carry out business transactions that agent has the power to create contractual liability between the principal and a third party.
46 Reviewing What You Learned Section AssessmentReviewing What You LearnedWhat is the legal doctrine of respondeat superior?
47 Reviewing What You Learned Answer Section AssessmentReviewing What You LearnedAnswerThe legal doctrine of respondeat superior will extend tort liability from the servant (employee) to the master (employer).
48 Critical Thinking Activity Tort Law Section AssessmentCritical Thinking ActivityTort LawWhy does the law permit an injured party to bring a tort law case against both an employee and his or her employer?
49 Critical Thinking Activity Answer Tort Law Section AssessmentCritical Thinking Activity AnswerTort LawBecause of the principle of respondeat superior. The master may be held liable for the tortious conduct of the servant if the servant was acting within the scope of authority or course of employment.
50 Legal Skills in Action Agency Section AssessmentLegal Skills in ActionAgencyYour friend, Louis, has just hired Franco as his delivery driver. One afternoon while he is supposed to be making a delivery on the west side of town, Franco decides to take a 15-mile detour to the east side to pick up his dry cleaning.
51 Legal Skills in Action Agency Section AssessmentLegal Skills in ActionAgencyWhile entering the parking lot of the dry cleaners, Franco makes an illegal turn and collides with a police car.
52 Legal Skills in Action Agency Section AssessmentLegal Skills in ActionAgencyLouis fears he will be liable not only for Franco’s traffic ticket but also for all damages to the police cruiser.
53 Legal Skills in Action Agency Section AssessmentLegal Skills in ActionAgencyWrite a letter to Louis in which you explain why you think he won’t be liable for the traffic ticket or the damage to the police cruiser.
54 Legal Skills in Action Answer Section AssessmentLegal Skills in Action AnswerAgencyLetters will vary but should include that Franco, the driver of the delivery truck, was off on personal business and was, therefore, not operating within the scope of his employment.