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United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
February 24, 1949
[*81] This case comes to us on appeal from the Eastern District of Illinois. The defendant The New York Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc., herein called A & P, several of its subsidiary and affiliated companies, and certain officers of the A & P chain were found guilty by the District Court of a conspiracy to restrain and to monopolize trade, in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C.A. §§ 1, 2. The defendants [**2] Carl Byoir, the public relations counsel of A & P, and Business Organization, Inc., a corporation through which Byoir conducted such public relations, were also found guilty. The last two defendants have filed separate briefs, while all the other defendants have filed a joint brief. The appeals, however, are separate appeals. We will consider first the appeal of all the defendants except Byoir and Business Organization, Inc.
The first question raised by these defendants is whether the alleged standard of proof employed by the District Court was erroneous. The District Court filed a memorandum opinion in the case, which is published in 67 F.Supp. 626, 631, 680. In that memorandum the District Court, after describing the general position of the Government, stated that the Government insisted that under the evidence it had proved beyond all reasonable doubt that the defendants were guilty as charged, 'while defendants insist that proper analysis of the evidence can lead only to a conviction that they never at any time intended to violate the law;' that their studied policy was to obey the law, to meet competition fairly, and to sell their merchandise cheaply at a low [**3] profit. After stating the contentions of the parties, the District Court said: 'It is obvious, therefore, that determination of which is the correct view, or a reconciliation of one with the other, involves the issue of whether the evidence points inevitably, beyond all reasonable doubt, to guilt, or whether it discloses such facts as are consistent only with innocence.' This is the statement complained of by the defendants and which they assert shows that the District Court employed an erroneous standard of proof.
This contention of the defendants seems quite unsubstantial to us. As we understand Judge Lindley, he was not laying down any standard of proof. He was simply stating that the issue was whether the defendants were guilty or innocent as the parties had respectively contended. We do not think Judge Lindley was attempting to instruct himself as to the burden of proof in a criminal case and did so erroneously. Especially when we remember what we know judicially, that Judge Lindley is one of the ablest of trial judges, with more than twenty-five years of experience. He was not talking about standard of proof; he was talking about the contention or issue between the parties [**4] of guilt on the one hand, and the contention of innocence on the other. Undoubtedly, the attorneys for the defendants in the trial court were contending, as they did here, for the complete innocence of the defendants. When the statement complained of is considered in its context, we think it is not subject to the attack leveled at it by the defendants. Furthermore, even if we were to concede that Judge Lindley was discussing standards of proof, an examination of his entire memorandum clearly indicates that he applied the correct standard, namely, that the defendants could not be convicted unless their guilt was established by the evidence beyond all reasonable doubt.
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173 F.2d 79 *; 1949 U.S. App. LEXIS 3862 **; 1949 Trade Cas. (CCH) P62,375
UNITED STATES v. NEW YORK GREAT ATLANTIC & PACIFIC TEA CO.
buying, suppliers, merchandise, allowances, competitors, conspiracy, brokerage, profits, shipper, buyer, manufacturing, discounts, shipment, jobbers, broker, advertising, arrival, retail, preferential, accumulated, satellites, carload, selling, label, retail store, Robinson-Patman Act, seller, guilt, gross profit, total profit
Civil Procedure, Standards of Review, Substantial Evidence, General Overview, Criminal Law & Procedure, Appeals, Antitrust & Trade Law, Sherman Act