Seigel v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc.
District of Columbia Court of Appeals
745 A.2d 301 (2000)
Seigel (plaintiff) was a Maryland resident who traveled to Atlantic City, New Jersey, to gamble. Seigel wrote many checks to various casinos and received gambling chips, which he gambled away entirely. The checks were drawn on Seigel’s cash-management account with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. (Merrill Lynch) (defendant), which Seigel opened through Merrill Lynch’s District of Columbia offices. Seigel also had a margin account with Merrill Lynch. Pursuant to the advice of his broker to avoid realizing the losses, Seigel initiated a stop-payment order and instructed Merrill Lynch to close his cash-management account, liquidate the assets, and not to honor any checks drawn on the account. Merrill Lynch agreed to do so. However, Merrill Lynch accidentally paid several of the checks totaling $143,000 and covered the funds using Seigel’s margin account. Accordingly, Seigel sued Merrill Lynch and sought repayment, plus interest. Seigel moved for summary judgment and argued that the law prohibited enforcement of the checks because he was a compulsive gambler. Seigel supported his motion with an affidavit stating that he had a gambling problem for years. Merrill Lynch also moved for summary judgment, claimed subrogation rights, and argued that Seigel had not suffered any actual loss due to the payment of the checks. The trial court ruled in Merrill Lynch’s favor. Seigel appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Steadman, J.)
What to do next…
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 711,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
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.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 711,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 44,600 briefs, keyed to 983 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.