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United States Supreme Court

73 U.S. 316

Thompson  v.  Bowman

ERROR to the District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi.

Thompson, Ford, and Powell, being owners of real estate in Texas, Powell agreed with one Bowman, that if he would find a purchaser, he should have a commission of ten per cent. on a sale. Bowman found a purchaser, and the commission not being paid, he brought suit for it, the suit in the court below.

In charging the jury, the court assumed, without any proof upon the point, that the defendants were partners in the ownership of the property, and instructed them that each partner was the agent of all the partners composing the firm of which he is a member; and had a right to sell all the partnership property, real or personal, and to employ agents to sell it and to bind the firm by an agreement to give such agent a commission for selling it. It allowed a witness produced for that purpose to prove 'that it was admitted by the defendant Powell, after the lands belonging to the defendants, in respect of which the commissions sued for in this cause are claimed, had all been sold, that he, the said Powell, had agreed, prior to the said sale, to pay the plaintiff ten per cent. upon the amount of the proceeds of the sale of the said lands, if he, the plaintiff, would find or introduce a purchaser for them; to the introduction of which testimony, the defendant Thompson, by his counsel, objected, but the court overruled the objection.'

The case was here on exception to the admission of this testimony and to the charge.

Messrs. Carlisle, Ashton, and Black, for the plaintiff in error; Mr. Reverdy Johnson, contra.

Mr. Justice FIELD, after stating the case, delivered the opinion of the court, as follows:


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).