Fordyce Bank & Trust Company issued several loans to Bean Timberland so that Bean could purchase timber from various landowners. Bean gave the bank security interests in the purchased timber, and the proceeds from the sale of the timber were intended to repay the loans the bank had made to Bean. Fordyce, intending to perfect its security interests, filed financing statements with the Arkansas secretary of state’s office. However, when Bean sold the timber to the various lumber mills with which it did business, Bean failed to remit the sales proceeds to Fordyce. Fordyce filed suit against these purchasers, alleging that the purchasers had “negligently entered into contracts” with Bean for the purchase of timber and had “failed to exercise good faith” in those transactions. Fordyce further contended that the purchasers had been negligent in failing to request a lien search of the UCC records of the Arkansas secretary of state’s office. Had the purchasers conducted a lien search, they would have discovered Fordyce’s financing statement and security agreement. The trial court granted the purchasers’ motion for a directed verdict on the basis that they were purchasers in the ordinary course of business and was not required to perform a lien search on the timber purchased from Bean. Fordyce filed an appeal. How would you decide this case on appeal? Do businesses have a duty to conduct lien searches with respect to firms from which they purchase goods? Should they have this duty? Why or why not? [Fordyce Bank & Trust Co. v. Bean Timberland, Inc., 251 S.W.3d 267 (Ark. 2007).]

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