Logourl black

A.P. Smith Mfg. Co. v. Barlow

Supreme Court of New Jersey
98 A.2d 581 (1953)


New Jersey law was amended in the 1930s to provide that corporations could make charitable contributions to support the community. As long as a donation did not exceed 1 percent of the company’s capital stock, the board did not need to give notice to the shareholders of the donation. A.P. Smith Manufacturing Company (defendant) was a New Jersey corporation, founded in the late nineteenth century, which made a donation to Princeton University. This sort of donation, while mentioned in New Jersey law, was not specifically authorized in A.P. Smith’s articles of incorporation. A.P. Smith claimed that, as a corporation, it had a duty to support the public good, and that it was to the company’s benefit to make sure that there was an educated public from which to draw future employees. Barlow (plaintiff), a shareholder in A.P. Smith, filed suit seeking declaratory judgment that the company should not have made the donation, and alleging that the application of New Jersey’s statute would be unconstitutional. The trial court entered a judgment for A.P. Smith, and Barlow appealed.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.


The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Jacobs, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Here's why 93,000 law students rely on our case briefs:

  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners not other law students.
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet.
  • 12,592 briefs - keyed to 169 casebooks.
  • Uniform format for every case brief.
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language.
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions.
  • Ability to tag case briefs in an outlining tool.
  • Top-notch customer support.
Start Your Free Trial Now