Oscanyan v. Arms Company - 103 U.S. 261 (1880)
U.S. Supreme Court
Oscanyan v. Arms Company, 103 U.S. 261 (1880)
Oscanyan v. Arms Company
103 U.S. 261
1. Where it is shown by the opening statement of counsel for the plaintiff that the contract on which the suit is brought is void as being either in violation of law or against public policy, the court may direct the jury to find
a verdict for the defendant.
2. A court is, in the due administration of justice, bound to refuse its aid to enforce such a contract although its invalidity be not specially pleaded.
3. A consul-general of a foreign government, residing in this country, entered into a contract whereby, in consideration of a stipulated percentage, he agreed to use his influence in favor of a manufacturing company here with an agent of that government sent to examine and report in regard to the purchase of arms for it. By exerting his influence, sales of arms were made by the company to that government, and he brought suit to recover the percentage. Held that in a court of the United States there can be no recovery on the contract.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.