United States v. Foley
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
598 F.2d 1323 (1979)
The prevailing commission rate for real estate agents in Montgomery County, Maryland was 6 percent of the sales price. John Foley (defendant), president of Jack Foley Realty, Inc. (defendant), hosted a dinner with the other leading realtors in Montgomery County (defendants). At the dinner, Foley stated to the group that he was increasing his sales commission rate to 7 percent. There was conflicting evidence as to what else was said at dinner, but some evidence suggested that each realtor indicated a willingness to adopt the 7 percent rate. There was also evidence that the group discussed one realtor’s prior attempt to raise commissions to 7 percent, which failed because competing realtors kept their commissions at 6 percent. Within a few months of the dinner, the defendants all raised their commission rates to 7 percent. There was evidence that Foley had contacted other defendants in the months following the dinner and stated if they all did not stick to the “agreement,” the attempt to raise commissions would not succeed. The United States government (plaintiff) charged the defendants with a commission-fixing conspiracy in violation of § 1 of the Sherman Act. The defendants were found guilty following a jury trial. The defendants appealed, arguing, among other things, that Foley’s purpose for calling the dinner was not made known until after the meal, once the other defendants were already there. The defendants claimed that unless the realtors had rejected the dinner invitation or left once Foley revealed the dinner’s purpose, they had no way to avoid the factual inferences the jury drew regarding the defendants’ involvement in the conspiracy.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Phillips, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 174,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.