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Holder-in-due Course

For Super Bowl XXX, the Tip-Top Bar and Grill pulled out all the stops. Beer was just a dollar, sandwiches were free and there was an opportunity to win $10,000 with a $100 bet on a ten by ten prize grid. Ben pulled a card from the board - NFL 3, AFL 0. He realized he only had $95 in his pocket, so he wrote a check for $100, payable to Tip-Top, and drawn on Mechanics National Bank. The bartender took Ben's check, counted out five twenties and tossed them in the jackpot.

The beer was cold and the sandwiches were tasty, but the game was a defensive battle. With three minutes left on the clock, the NFL team, leading 20 to 10, tried a field goal from the twelve-yard line. Ben's excitement grew, because he would take home ten grand if the kick were good. But the field goal was blocked, and 20 to 10 was the final score.

Ben was furious, so angry that he called his bank the next morning and stopped payment on the check. The same day, Tip-Top deposited its weekend receipts, including Ben's check, in Merchants Bank and Trust. When Merchants presented the check to Mechanics, Mechanics refused to pay. Merchants sued Mechanics, claiming to be a holder in due course.

Will Merchants prevail? If so, why? If not, why not? If any statutes are relevant to this problem, explain how they apply. Remember to discuss and properly cite two cases to support your analysis.

Solution Preview

For Super Bowl XXX, the Tip-Top Bar and Grill pulled out all the stops. Beer was just a dollar, sandwiches were free and there was an opportunity to win $10,000 with a $100 bet on a ten by ten prize grid. Ben pulled a card from the board - NFL 3, AFL 0. He realized he only had $95 in his pocket, so he wrote a check for $100, payable to Tip-Top, and drawn on Mechanics National Bank. The bartender took Ben's check, counted out five twenties and tossed them in the jackpot.
The beer was cold and the sandwiches were tasty, but the game was a defensive battle. With three minutes left on the clock, the NFL team, leading 20 to 10, tried a field goal from the twelve-yard line. Ben's excitement grew, because he would take home ...

Solution Summary

This posting discusses the issue of holder in due course and the circumstances in which the protection of holder-in-due course is lost.

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