Neither a Borrower nor a Lender Be


Action of debt on a note. D denied that he owed P any money, alleging that the note was a forgery. Several witnesses testified for P that the signature on the note was the handwriting of D. D then introduced several witnesses who testified that he was not in the country on the date of the note and several samples of his signature for the jury to compare with the signature on the note. P then called W, who offered to testify that D asked W to loan him money both before and after the date of the note.

Should W's evidence be received? What is the inference that P wants the court to draw from W's testimony? How would you articulate this inference in deductive form? Is this evidence "direct'' or "circumstantial''? Would W's testimony be more or less relevant if he did not lend D money? Would the evidence be more or less cogent if W's testimony was that D sought to borrow from him the same sum for which the note to P was subsequently given? Would W's testimony be more or less relevant if P introduced two additional witnesses to testify that D also sought to borrow money from them, or that D was a pauper?

If the defense offers a receipt for payment of the note, what should plaintiff's response be?

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