A group of lawyers in private practices who regularly acted as court-appointed counsel for indigent defendants in District of Columbia criminal cases agreed at a meeting of the Superior Court Trial Lawyers Association (SCTLA) to stop providing such representation until the District increased group members’ compensation. The boycott had a severe impact on the District’s criminal justice system, and the District government capitulated to the lawyers’ demands. After the lawyers returned to work, the FTC filed a complaint against SCTLA and four of its officers, alleging that they had entered into a conspiracy to fix prices and to conduct a boycott that constituted unfair methods of competition in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act. Does the FTC have the authority to bring a Section 5 case against these lawyers? Explain.
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