Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Troutman v. Southern Railway Co. case brief

Troutman v. Southern Railway Co. case brief summary
441 F.2d 586 (1971)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant client challenged an order of the United States District Court, which denied its motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict or for a new trial in appellee attorney's diversity action for legal fees.

CASE FACTS
Appellee attorney brought a diversity action against appellant client to recover the reasonable value of legal services rendered. Appellant argued that the district court erred in refusing to grant its motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict because the evidence established that the contract upon which appellee filed suit was in violation of public policy because appellee was to exert his personal and political influence upon the President of the United States.

DISCUSSION

  • The court held that appellee's contract was valid and enforceable, based upon the jury's conclusion that appellee was employed to use his influence to present the merits of appellant's position to the President. 
  • The court affirmed because the jury instructions, as a whole, correctly stated the law concerning contracts in violation of the public policy.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the order denying appellant client's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict because the evidence supported the finding that appellee attorney's contract did not call for the improper exercise of personal influence on the President, and thus, the contract was enforceable.


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