Davis v. Brown,
94 U.S. 423 (1876)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Davis v. Brown, 94 U.S. 423 (1876)

Davis v. Brown

94 U.S. 423


1. An endorser of a promissory note is a competent witness to prove an agreement in writing made with its holder at the time of his endorsement that he shall not be held liable thereon where the paper has not afterwards been put into circulation, but is held by the party to whom the endorsement was made.

2. Bank of United States v. Dorm, 6 Pet. 51, explained and qualified.

3. An agreement like the one mentioned above, and the endorsement, taken together, are equivalent, so far as the holder of the note is concerned, to an endorsement without recourse to the endorser.

4. The omission of endorsers on a series of notes, transferred to the holder in settlement of their own note held by him, upon an agreement in writing that they should not be held liable on their endorsement, to set up the agreement as a defense to an action against them, brought by the holder on two of the notes, does not preclude them from setting up the agreement in a second action by the holder on others of the same series of notes. The judgment in the original action does not operate as an estoppel against showing the existence and validity of the agreement in the second action.

5. When a judgment in one action is offered in evidence in a subsequent action between the same parties upon a different demand, it operates as an estoppel only upon the matter actually at issue and determined in the original action, and such matter, when not disclosed by the pleadings, must be shown by extrinsic evidence.

This action was against the defendants, as second endorsers of certain promissory notes transferred by them to the Ocean National Bank of the City of New York. The bank having failed, the notes came into the possession of the plaintiff, as its receiver. The facts are sufficiently stated in the opinion of

Page 94 U. S. 424

the Court. The defendants obtained judgment, and the plaintiff brought the case here.

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