Monday, 30 November 2009

Lau and Nikita

Lau has learned from Nikita how to be a lawyer, under a very generous arrangement whereby he doesn’t need to pay anything for his tuition until and unless he wins his first court case. Rather to Nikita’s’ annoyance, however, after giving up hours of his time training Lau, the pupil decides to become a musician and never takes any court cases. Nikita demands that Lau pay him for his trouble and, when the musician refuses, decides to sue him in court. Nikita reasons that if Lau loses the case, he, Nikita, will have won, in which case he will get his money back, and furthermore, that even if he loses, Lau will then have won a case, despite his protestations about being a musician now, and will therefore still have to pay up.

Lau reasons a little differently however. If I lose, he thinks, then I will have lost my first court case, in which event, the original agreement releases me from having to pay any tuition fees. And, even if he wins, Nikita will still have lost the right to enforce the contract, so he will not need to pay anything.


For discussions on this, please visit:

Link 1

Link 2

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My view:

1. Nowhere was there a condition that Lau HAD to take a court case.

2. Lau would win his case because Nikita sued him BEFORE Lau won his first case. Nikita would lose that particular case because Lau has not yet won a case, and therefore Nikita’s cause of action had not yet manifested itself.

3. Lau now has won a case, his first one, and must now pay Nikita. This is grounds for a new trial.

But...if Lau hired a lawyer to represent him then he wouldn't be taking his first case and thus could neithe rwin nor lose that case....