Singer Sewing Machine Co. v. Ferrell

In Singer Sewing Machine Co. v. Ferrell, 144 Va. 395, 132 S.E. 312 (1926), the Supreme Court of Virginia held that plaintiff's attorney had apparent authority to settle the case because he "consulted with his client relative to the compromise in the presence of the defendant and returned with assent." 144 Va. at 404, 132 S.E. at 314. In Singer, the Virginia Supreme Court described the principle of apparent authority: "As between the principal and agent and third persons, the mutual rights and liabilities are governed by the apparent scope of the agent's authority, which is that authority which the principal has held the agent out as possessing, or which he has permitted the agent to represent that he possesses, and which the principal is estopped to deny. The apparent authority, so far as third persons are concerned, is the real authority, and when a third person has ascertained the apparent authority with which the principal has clothed the agent, he is under no obligation to inquire into the agent's actual authority." 144 Va. at 404, 132 S.E. at 315.