Civil Procedure Keyed to Yeazell
Gargallo v. Merill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith
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The Defendant, Miguel Gargallo (Defendant), opened a margin brokerage account with the Plaintiff, Merrill, Lynch (Plaintiff), in 1976. Defendant maintained the account until 1980 when he incurred losses resulting in a debt owed to Plaintiff for $17,000. When the obligation was not paid, Plaintiff filed suit for collection in the Franklin County, Ohio, Court of Common Pleas. In response, Defendant filed a counterclaim against Plaintiff, alleging that Plaintiff caused his losses through negligence, misrepresentations, and churning. Due to a history of discovery difficulties, the state court dismissed Defendant’s counterclaim with prejudice, for refusal to comply with Plaintiff’s discovery requests and the court’s discovery orders. Defendant then filed a complaint in United States District Court, charging Plaintiff with violating federal securities laws based on the same transactions at issue in the state litigation. The district court dismissed the suit on res judicata grounds. This appeal followed.
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