Defender Gilbert Lang formed a partnership with John Wright Jr. for the purpose of manufacturing and selling snuff tobacco. The firm failed, and to accomplish payment of its debts, Lang assigned the partnership’s assets to Cuningham and Company, its principal creditor; Cuningham, in return, granted Lang a factory to dispose of the goods and collect any debts due to the partnership. A dispute arose over Lang’s management of the assets, and Cuningham and Company filed suit.