The main internal control concept the Levis ignored was segregation of duties. No one person should be responsible for all transactions from the beginning to the end. Betty had too many responsibilities that were interwoven and should have been performed by more than one person. She handled the cash that came in, maintained the cash receipts and the sales records.
Court of Appeals of Maryland. Shirlie Norris Lake Jeffrey A. Sharpe, Eccleston and Wolf, on briefBaltimore, for petitioner.
On February 20,the case went to trial before a jury and the Honorable William N. Nickerson in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. The case was submitted to the jurors on a special verdict sheet which required them to answer four questions: The jury answered "Yes" to the first three questions.
Accordingly, because of Howard Street Jewelers' contributory negligence, judgment was entered in Wegad's favor. Howard Street Jewelers appealed the verdict to the Court of Special Appeals on the ground that Judge Nickerson erred in refusing to give a requested jury instruction on contributory negligence.
The intermediate appellate court agreed that the trial judge's failure to give the requested instruction was error and, therefore, reversed the jury verdict and remanded the case for a new trial.
Howard Street Jewelers v. We granted Wegad's petition for writ of certiorari to review the judgment of the Court of Special Appeals. Before the last day of trial, Howard Street Jewelers submitted to Judge Nickerson two proposed jury instructions on the issue of contributory negligence.
Howard Street Jewelers has abandoned its insistence on one of its instructions; consequently, we need not review it. Howard Street Jewelers bases its appeal to this Court on the propriety of its other proposed instruction.
The first paragraph of that instruction recited the general standard for contributory negligence, while the second paragraph set forth the following specific instruction: It is not contributory negligence for a client to follow an accountant's instructions, or rely on his advice, or to fail to consult with another accountant or to discover the source of a financial problem itself where the client has no reason to suspect his accountant's advice and instruction are wrong.
Instead, the court gave the jury the following general instruction on contributory negligence: Since the plaintiff in this case is a corporation, the issue of contributory negligence as it is called is to be considered in relation to the acts or omissions on the part of the corporation's principals or agents.
So, in this case the issue relates to the consideration of acts or omissions on the part of either Julius Levi, Lore Levi or Alvin Levi [the principals]. And negligence, as I instructed you a moment ago, is doing something that a person using ordinary care would not do or not doing something that a person using ordinary care would do.
Ordinary care being that caution, attention or skill that a reasonable person would use under similar circumstances. And so with respect to the issue of contributory negligence, the defendant has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence, which I will explain later, that the plaintiff's negligence was a cause of the plaintiff's damage or loss.
So that means that if you find from the evidence that one or more of the plaintiff's principals was guilty of negligence which was a direct cause of the plaintiff's loss or damage, then your verdict must be for the defendant.
And that would be regardless of whether you find that the defendant was also negligent and regardless of whose negligence was greater. The Court of Special Appeals aptly framed this contention by noting that Howard Street Jewelers "did not challenge the general contributory negligence instruction.
It challenged only the court's refusal to tailor that general instruction so as to take account of a client's reliance on advice given it by a professional, in this case, an accountant. Howard Street Jewelers' challenge is implicitly based upon the principle that a "litigant is entitled to have his theory of the case presented to the jury This "entitlement," however, is conditioned upon two requirements: Further, under Maryland Rule cthe court "need not grant a requested instruction if the matter is fairly covered by instructions actually given.
Consequently, to rule upon the propriety of denying a requested jury instruction, a reviewing court must determine whether the requested instruction was a correct exposition of the law, whether that law was applicable in light of the evidence before the jury, and finally whether the substance of the requested instruction was fairly covered by the instruction actually given.
We first examine the substance of the requested instruction, i. Howard Street Jewelers' requested instruction was patterned after language in Santoni v. Santoni involved a medical malpractice action wherein a doctor at a Baltimore tuberculosis clinic prescribed a drug that caused his patient, Mario Santoni, to contract hepatitis and eventually die.
Santoni's estate sued the doctor who then raised contributory negligence as a defense. The Court of Special Appeals in Santoni noted the disparity between the knowledge and skill of a doctor and that of a patient in relation to the risks of medication, and stated that "it is not contributory negligence for a patient to follow a doctor's instructions or rely on his advice.Case Howard Street Jewelers, Inc.
Howard Street Jewelers, IncKey Facts 1. Betty was a trusted and longtime employee of Howard Street Jewelers. 2. Betty's job responsibilities placed her in a position where she could take cash from the business and conceal the theft by 92%(13). Case Howard Street Jewelers, Inc; Case Howard Street Jewelers, Inc.
Admin; The responsibilities that the CPA would have had in this case were dependent on the role he was undertaking in the business. If he was only offering tax services, he did not have a responsibility to pursue the matter.
Howard Street Jewelers. Admin. Howard Street Jewelry Accounting Case Study on Internal Controls: 1.
2. The case states that the CPA served as their accountant for almost 40 years providing 3. I do not agree with dropping what I am working on to try to sell a new client on my services.
So the answer to this question is dependent on how desperate I am for a new client. Howard Street Jewelers, Inc. 1.
Internal control concepts that the Levis overlooked or ignored: * Segregation of duties: Through the information in the case, we know that Betty had access to all cash receipts and was in charge of recording all layaway sales, and daily sales.4/4(1).
Synopsis Howard Street Jewelers Inc. is a small retail business owned by Mr. & Mrs. Julius Levi for more than 40 years. Undoubtedly, the company had its ups and . Case 3 2 Howard Street Jewelers Inc documents and records In the case, Alvin could not find the sales tickets for the layaways and respond to customer’s request in time, which will have negative impact on the sales of the business.