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Conflicts Keyed to Currie
Bank of America v. Parnell
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
In 1944, 73 Home Owners’ Loan Corporation bonds, belonging to Bank of America (Plaintiff) and insured by the federal government (making them government commercial paper) disappeared while being prepared for presentation for payment. Though they were originally to mature in 1952, they were called in 1944. They showed up in 1948 at the First National Bank in Indiana (Defendant) where Parnell (Defendant) presented them for payment. First National (Defendant) forwarded them to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland (Defendant), which cashed them and permitted First National (Defendant) to pay Parnell (Defendant). Bank of America (Plaintiff) sued all to recover the value of the bonds. At trial, the issue of burden of proof shifts to Parnell (Defendant) and the banks (to establish that they acquired the bonds “innocently, honestly, and in good faith”) after Bank of America (Plaintiff) establishes that the bonds were stolen. Using this standard, the trial court jury brought in verdicts against all defendants. However, the court of appeals reversed on the grounds that, because commercial paper was involved, the proper standard for burden of proof should be federal common law, as commercial paper necessarily involves the interests of the federal government as a party. Under federal common law, the burden is upon Bank of America to show that Parnell (Defendant), et al., acted in bad faith. Since the bonds were not “overdue” under federal law at the time of presentation (whereas they would be under state law), Defendant, et. al., could not be found in bad faith as they would not be under notice that they could not be properly cashed. Because of this, the court of appeals ordered the trial court to direct a verdict for all defendants. Bank of America (Plaintiff) appealed.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.