Antitrust-Clayton Act-Admissibilty of Criminal Conviction Entered on a Plea of Guilty as Prima Facie Evidence in Civil Suit for Treble Damage

In a civil action for treble damages under section 4 of the Clayton Act, the plaintiff sought to allege as prima facie evidence of a Sherman Act violation a criminal conviction entered on a plea of guilty by the defendant in an earlier prosecution by the government. The trial court sustained a motion by the defendant to strike from plaintiff’s complaint any reference to the criminal prosecution. On appeal, held, reversed, one judge dissenting. A judgment entered on a plea of guilty is not a consent judgment within the meaning of the proviso to section 5(a) of the Clayton Act, and is therefore admissible as prima facie evidence of defendant’s violation of antitrust law in a subsequent civil action for treble damages. Commonwealth Edison Co. v. Allis-Chalmers Mfg. Co., 32 U.S.L. WEEK 2133 (7th Cir. Sept. 12, 1963).