United States v. Patrick

PETITIONER: United States
RESPONDENT: Talbot Patrick et al.
LOCATION: United States Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1962-1965)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

CITATION: 372 US 53 (1963)
ARGUED: Mar 28, 1962
REARGUED: Dec 06, 1962
DECIDED: Feb 18, 1963

Robert M. Ward - argued and reargued for the respondents
Wayne G. Barnett - argued and reargued for the United States

Facts of the case


Media for United States v. Patrick

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - March 28, 1962 in United States v. Patrick

Audio Transcription for Oral Reargument - December 06, 1962 in United States v. Patrick

Earl Warren:

Number 22, United States, Petitioner, versus Talbot Patrick et al.

Wayne G. Barnett:

Mr. Chief Justice, the Court.

Earl Warren:

Mr. Barnett.

Wayne G. Barnett:

This case of many respect is quite different from the Gilmore case.

For one thing, the facts disclosed a much more amicable dissolution of the marriage relationship.

The parties were married for a long time, they have three children, one had reached (Inaudible).

In 1952, 19 -- I'm sorry, 1955, Mrs. Patrick sued for divorce.

This seems to have been caused by the presence of another woman that Mr. Patrick was expected to -- and as I've understand it, ultimately did marry.

The grounds for divorce charged was adultery but before an answer was filed, the parties negotiated an amicable or as amicable as these things can be settlement of all of their interest.

Now, at the time of the divorce, Mr. Patrick was the president of the Herald Publishing Company in Rock Hill, South Carolina and the editor of the newspaper that it published which was the largest paper in Rock Hill.

He owned 28% of the stock of the company, his wife owned 28% and the adult son owned 7%, the rest of the stock was in trust for the three children that have been established by Mrs. Patrick's father who apparently was the founder of the newspaper.

The agreement pending -- I'm sorry, in addition to the stock, the parties individually owned the real property that house the newspaper, the building was on the in common.

Mr. Patrick owned 4/5th interest and Mrs. Patrick to 1/5th interest.

And in to the divorce suit, parties that I said negotiated a settlement of all the matters outstanding between them.

The -- each party in fact had very substantial other independent income producing assets, stocks and securities.

Each was independently solvent and the agreement, however, dealt this exclusively with their interest in the newspaper apart from the usual provisions for the custody of the children and disposing of the personal residence and a general provision releasing the husband from all further rights and liabilities.

Apart from that, it was confined, the agreement was confined to unscrambling their mixed up interest in the newspaper business.

The character of the negotiation is fully disclosed by the depositions in the record of the attorneys for each side and you will find there's no disagreement between them as to what happened and at the time seems to have been no real disagreement.

Mrs. Patrick was quite happy to have Mr. Patrick continue as the publisher of the newspaper.

Mr. Patrick wanted to continue, however, his attorney advised him that it would not be wise to continue on notwithstanding the present climate in the face of the divorce subject to being outvoted by his wife and the adult son who seemed to side with the wife and therefore advised Mr. Patrick that he should acquire control of the newspaper if he was going to continue to run it.

The wife thought that was very sensible and he was entitled to that.

She understood perfectly and was quite happy to sell her shares to him for their fair value in exchange of other securities and equal value.

Her only concern was to protect the interest of the children.

One at whom was already in the business and another of whom was readying to go into the business.

Mr. Gilmore was quite agreeable to that since the children were also the objects of his bounty and he was to be able to go to the children.

The result was an agreement that Mr. Gilmore would transfer to Mrs. Gilmore --


Wayne G. Barnett:


Pardon me.

Mr. Patrick would transfer it to Mrs. Patrick, securities of the value equal to her shares in the publishing company which was agreed to be $112,000.