Logourl black

Hamburger v. Hamburger

Superior Court of Massachusetts, Suffolk County
1995 WL 579679


David Hamburger (defendant) began working full-time at Ace Wire and Burlap, Inc. (Ace), his family’s business, in 1984. Ace was controlled by David’s father, Joseph Hamburger (defendant), and David’s uncle, Jacob Hamburger (Ted) (plaintiff). Joseph and Ted had a strained relationship. David gained more and more responsibility at the company, ultimately becoming sales manager and general manager. With his help, Ace’s customer base and total sales doubled. Ted was resentful of David’s rise at the company and made several attempts to remove him, which failed due to Joseph’s intervention. Ted made it clear that if Joseph died before he did, David would be fired. Unhappy and unsure of his future, David met with one of Ace’s suppliers and discussed starting his own business to compete with Ace. The supplier loaned David $50,000 in early May 1993, and David promptly leased space for his new company. On May 13, 1993, David resigned from Ace without notice. He then incorporated his new business, hired Ace’s bookkeeper, and began calling Ace’s customers, a large number of whom followed David to the new company. Ted sued David and Joseph, alleging that David’s financing and lease agreements were made during David’s employment with Ace, in violation of his duty of loyalty. He also alleged that David obtained and used Ace’s customer list with Joseph’s assistance, in violation of their duty of loyalty to Ace.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.


The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Fremont-Smith, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Here's why 94,000 law students rely on our case briefs:

  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners not other law students.
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet.
  • 12,592 briefs - keyed to 169 casebooks.
  • Uniform format for every case brief.
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language.
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions.
  • Ability to tag case briefs in an outlining tool.
  • Top-notch customer support.
Start Your Free Trial Now