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First American National Bank v. Christian Foundation Life Insurance Co.

Arkansas Supreme Court
420 S.W.2d 912 (1967)


Facts

The First Methodist Church of Mena (church) ordered $94,000 in bearer bonds to be printed. The church hired Institutional Finance Company (Institutional Finance) as its fiscal agent to market the bonds. The church provided the facsimile signature of its treasurer, Bettie Jean Montgomery, to Institutional Finance. When printed, the bonds bore the facsimile signatures of Montgomery and of Institutional Finance’s vice president. The church was able to find buyers for only about one-half of the original bond issue, including First American National Bank (First American) (plaintiff). Lawrence Hayes, the president of Institutional Finance, fraudulently ordered two additional printings of bonds, some of which were duplicates of the bonds already sold to First American. Some of those duplicate bonds were sold to Christian Foundation Life Insurance Company (Christian Foundation Life) (defendant) at a discount. Christian Foundation Life brought suit against First American. The chancellor held that First American’s bonds were void and that the duplicates held by Christian Foundation Life were valid. First American appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Smith, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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Dissent (Jones, J.)

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