Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,800+ case briefs...

Cowen v. Pressprich

New York Supreme Court, Appellate Term
192 N.Y.S. 242 (1922)


Stock-exchange brokers (sellers) (plaintiffs) agreed to sell and deliver an Oregon Short Line Railroad bond to another group of brokers (buyers) (defendants). A third party provided the sellers with an Oregon & California Railroad bond by mistake. The sellers did not realize the mistake and used a messenger to deliver the bond to the buyers’ office. The office’s delivery room contained a slot and a closed window. The buyers’ employees were located in a room adjacent to the slot and window. After placing the bond in the slot, the sellers’ messenger quickly left the building. One of the buyers’ employees realized that the bond had been delivered by mistake. The employee opened the window and handed the bond to an unidentified messenger, mistakenly believing him to be the sellers’ messenger. The unidentified messenger took the bond, but never returned it to the sellers. The sellers sued the buyers for conversion, claiming that the buyers had an absolute duty to return the bond to the sellers. The sellers also claimed that if negligence was at issue, the buyers had not exercised due care in attempting to return the bond. The buyers claimed that they were not liable for the lost bond, because they had only a duty of due diligence and had exercised all care required of them. A lower court ruled in favor of the sellers.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Mullan, J.)

Concurrence (Burr, J.)

Dissent (Lehman, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 498,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 498,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,800 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial