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UNITED STATES v. TRENTON POTTERIES COMPANY ET AL.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

273 U.S. 392

No. 27. Argued November 30, December 1, 1926 -- Decided February 21, 1927

CERTIORARI TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT.

1. A charge to a jury which was correctly given and adequately covered the case is not made erroneous by a refusal to charge in another correct form or to quote from opinions of this Court, or by the fact that it was inspired by a mistaken view of the law disclosed in a ruling previous to the trial. P. 396.

2. An agreement of those controlling over 80% of the business of manufacturing and distributing sanitary pottery in the United States, to fix and maintain uniform prices, violates the Sherman Act, whether the prices in themselves were reasonable or unreasonable. Chicago Bd. of Trade v. United States, 246 U.S. 231, distinguished. P. 396.

3. In a case of conviction and sentences upon two counts, where the sentences are in part concurrent, but do not, combined, exceed that which could have been imposed on either count alone; where the first count is sufficient and the case under it was properly submitted to the jury, and the record does not suggest that the verdict on that count was induced by evidence introduced upon the other, -- objections relating to the second count may be disregarded. P. 401.

4. Under the Sherman Act, the offensive agreement or conspiracy is criminal whether or not followed by efforts to carry it into effect; but where the indictment does not charge its formation in the district, the District Court is without jurisdiction unless some act in pursuance of it took place there. P. 402.

5. Failure of the court to instruct that overt acts in the district were necessary to the jurisdiction or venue, though charging that they were not necessary to constitute the offence, was not a ground for reversal, where the defendants made no request to charge and where the jurisdictional facts were not in dispute but were clearly established by the evidence. P. 402.

6. Where much evidence was taken and a wide range of inquiry covered, a new trial is not lightly to be ordered on technical errors in the admission of evidence which do not affect matters of substance. P. 404.

7. In a prosecution of corporations and individuals under the Sherman Act, where the manager of a corporation in the same line of business but which was not one of the defendants, testified on their behalf, and on cross examination, being asked whether his company had not pleaded guilty to a violation of that Act, replied, "I don't know anything about that at all," the answer did not so prejudice the defendants as to justify a reversal, even if the question was improper. P. 404.

8. Upon redirect examination, an inquiry, relevant and otherwise competent may not be excluded merely because of its tendency to discredit the witness by showing his relations with unreliable persons. P. 405.

9. In a prosecution under the Sherman Act, refusal to admit conclusions of defendants' witnesses as to the existence of competition was not erroneous, when full opportunity was given to prove by details and records of actual transactions the conditions of the industry within the period in question. P. 406.

300 Fed. 550, reversed.

MR. JUSTICE STONE delivered the opinion of the Court.

MR. JUSTICE VAN DEVANTER, MR. JUSTICE SUTHERLAND and MR. JUSTICE BUTLER dissent.

MR. JUSTICE BRANDEIS took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.


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