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The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit remands a case due to the lower court’s provision of several incorrect jury instructions and failure to instruct on the “essential facilities” doctrine in a case affecting the market for major-league professional football (Hecht / Pro Football)

The U.S. District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals remanded a jury verdict in a case between a potential franchisor and the operator of the Washington Redskins football team because the lower court improperly instructed the jury on a number of issues. This Court determined that the lower court issued incorrect jury instructions as to monopolistic intent and the burden of proof on a “natural monopoly” defense, as well as other important definitions, and failed to even instruct the jury as to the “essential facility” doctrine. The lower court also improperly excluded and admitted other forms of testimony at trial. This case arose because several promoters, including Hecht, wanted to start a franchise of the American Football League (“AFL”) in the Washington D.C. area. Hecht’s initial

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Katherine Whitehead Miller, The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit remands a case due to the lower court’s provision of several incorrect jury instructions and failure to instruct on the “essential facilities” doctrine in a case affecting the market for major-league professional football (Hecht / Pro Football), 20 December 1977, e-Competitions December 1977, Art. N° 62473

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