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AMERICAN NEUTRALITY AND CUBA. The United States are entitled to much credit for having, more than a century ago, passed into law principles of neutrality which sought to prohibit grants of assistance to belligerent parties. These provisions were closely followed by our Govern. ment in the Foreign Enlistment Acts. But it must be admitted that the experiences of Spain with regard to American neutrality have been somewhat unfortunate in the past, while the frequent accounts of the successful despatch of filibustering expeditions go to show that she is not without just causes of complaint at the present moment. So long ago as 1806 an expedition left New York against Caracas under the command of one Miranda, as to which Mr. Dana, in his edition of Wheaton's International Law, p. 558, remarks : There seems no doubt that this might and ought to have been prevented by us” (i.e., United States).
) Again, in 1817, Don Onis, the Spanish Minister at Washington, had cause to complain of the "whole squadrons of pirates having been fitted out from thence (i.e., Baltimore and New Orleans) in violation of the solemn treaty between the two nations, and bringing back to them the fruits of their piracies without being checked in these courses.” After another year of repeated complaints, he sums up by writing that, “ Whatever may be the forecast, wisdom, and justice conspicuous in the laws of the United States, it is universally notorious that a system of pillage and aggression has been organised in several parts of the Union against the vessels and property of the Spanish nation, and it is equally so that all the legal suits hitherto instituted by His Catholic Majesty's Consuls in the courts of their respective districts for its prevention or the recovery of the property, when brought into this country have been, and still are, completely unavailing." The sting in this charge is, of course, that the courts
unwilling to decide in favour of Spain. But this seems scarcely to be justified, for cases could be cited in which, upon the production of sufficient evidence, Spanish owners recovered property seized by these filibusters. Cuba was the object of an expedition planned in New Orleans in 1849 by one Lopez, who sailed with a fleet of eight vessels and some 500 men, with the intention of annexing the island for the United States. Being beaten off from Cuba, he returned to, and was arrested in, the United States, but the judge declined to allow time to collect evidence, with the result that he was discharged. In the following year he was again arrested, and again discharged, but in the following year the Spaniards cut down yet another expedition of 400 men under his command, and executed him at Havana. In 1869 and 1870 Spain had again to complain of the conduct of American filibusters, and the circumstances are such as make it difficult to contend that the attitude of the American Government was consonant with the spirit of neutrality.
The most remarkable instance of filibustering which history leaves to us was that carried on by the American lawyer and journalist, William Walker, in Nicaragua, formerly a Spanish possession. Between the years of 1853 and 1860 he carried on a series of breaches of the laws relating to neutrality, and, though tried before the courts on more than one occasion, he was never checked in his career of piracy. The origin of the word filibuster” is not as generally known as night be expected. It is the Spanish “ filibustero” derived from the Dutch vrijbuiters,” whence the English expression“ freebooter.” The origin of the term is supposed to be attributable to vessels of light tonnage and great speed, used on the river Vly, hence the English term " flyboat.”
Divisions, which were rolled into one unwieldy mass by an Order in Council of 1880. The three divisions continued under the Act of 1873. It is not now suggested that they should be restored—we do not quite see why not--but that the Queen's Bench Division should be split up into three parts, each part having its own proportion of the whole of the business of the division. We should like to see each part have its president, with a little superiority in title and pay.
Lawyers have for years recognised the hopelessly unwieldy nature of the Queen's Bench Division, and why the split up should not come on their initiative we do not know; public help, or activity in Parliament on the subject we do not expect.
The County Courts, it is said, should be left as they are. We agree. They are doing good work, and have quite enough of it. To extend their jurisdiction would be to defeat the object for which they were established.
Another proposal is, that two judges should sit continuously to hear appeals from County Courts and magistrates. We are in favour of all appellate business going to the Court of Appeal, which, for all purposes except final appeals from the High Court, should sit in three divisions of two judges.
The writer of the article lays much stress upon the constitution and work of the Commercial Court. He believes it came into existence owing to the youthful vigour of the judges in the Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty Division, who began to encourage the entry of mercantile causes in the Admiralty: Court. No doubt this aroused Lord Russell and Mr. Justice. Mathew, who, in spite of general judicial lethargy, started the project without Order in Council, Rules, or Orders. Since the world began no tribunal ever started thus on its own hook, throwing overboard all the fretting machinery of chambers and going straight to the heart of causes. It would never succeed, said the obstructionists, who are always wrong now. And the Edinburgh thinks so well of it that it would see it recognised. by Parliament. What good would that do it beyond placing it. perhaps under the vague and dreamy jurisdiction of some Rule Committee?
That our circuit system stands condemned in the eyes of the reviewer as in the eyes of all reasonable men-goes without saying
Then, again, it is urged that the law should be made cheaper. The writer suggests that in cases up to a certain amount there should be no pleadings or interlocutory proceeding, and only one counsel on either side with a fixed fee. Amount is not always a true test of the importance of a case; but we agree that, in mere money claims in contract, a litigant should not be allowed to expend more than a fair proportion in legal costs.
It is satisfactory to find the Edinburgh recognising that our civil courts do their work well on the whole, whilst there is great room for improvement. We believe that there is a true reforming spirit abroad; that judges and lawyers really wish to be abreast of public requirements. It would not surprise us if the Inns of Court sprang into activity and showed a burning zeal to help in the mending of the defects in our judicial system. If this be done, or only some part of it, everyone will be content to let the Long Vacation alone. We agree with the reviewer that there is a growing disposition to tolerate and enjoy long holidays, especially in the summer ; but we support his recommendation that the Vacation should begin on the 1st Aug. and end on the 1st Oct.
THE “ EDINBURGH REVIEW” AND THE QUEEN'S
BENCH DIVISION. QUARTERLY reviews not connected with law are desirable critics of legal methods. A review of the calibre of the Edinburgh asking the people—of whom one in every twelve is a litigantto demand that the machinery of common law administration shall be put in order upon well-defined lines is a rare literary
The invitation appears on the opening of the Parliament of 1897, and the article containing it gathers up much of the history and the facts connected with our Common Law Judicature since 1873.
We can shortly state what the writer puts forth. First, that Parliament did not get rid of the three great Common Law
INFRINGEMENT OF COPYRIGHT BY REVIEWS. The action brought by Messrs. Smith, Elder, and Co. against Mr. Stead raised two important and interesting questions in copyright law, on which a judicial opinion would have been useful. 1. How far may extracts from copyright books be made for purposes of review ? 2. Are abridgments of copyright books allowable ? The first is, perhaps, a more difficult question than the second, and has often caused the courts considerable trouble in arriving at a decision which, while preserving the rights of the copyright owner, shall not unduly interfere with the making of necessary extracts in the way of legitimate criticism. It may be stated at once that the exact limits of lawful quotation can only be determined according to the particular circumstances of each case ; and, therefore, in a sense. the question suggested is one of fact rather than of law. If any criterion can be laid down by which to arrive at a correct decision on the facts of each case, it appears to resolve itself into the somewhat vague rule that
the reviewer may make extracts sufficient to show the merits and demerits of the work, but not so as to make the review a substitute for the former (see Copinger on Copyright, p. 214). The quantity taken is not an absolute test, nor the fact that the extracts are ex necessitate rei quotations. In the words of Lord Cottenham : ” When it comes to a question of quantity it must be very vague. One writer might take all the vital part of another's book, though it might be but a small proportion of the book in quantity. It is not only quantity but value which is looked at. It is useless to look to any particular case about quantity.” In illustration of this may be cited Cobbett v. Woodward (27 L. T. Rep. 260 ; L. Rep. 14 Eq. 402), where eight lines, forming a mere fractional part both of plaintiff's and defendant's publications, were copied, but the plaintiff was held entitled to an injunction; and Sweet v. Benning (25 L. T. Rep. 0. S. 180; 14 C. B. 459), where the fact that only one-twentieth part of the defendant's work was taken from the plaintiff's was considered to be an actionable piracy. “The question is,” said the same learned judge (Lord Cottenham), in Bell v. Whitehead (8 L. J. Ch. 141), " whether the extracts were inserted for purposes of criticism and for the purpose of supporting such observations as the editor thought fit to make.
This is the ground acted on in such publications as the Edinburgh and Quarterly Reviews, and when fairly acted upon the result most probably is, that the sale is extended by the notice, when not given for the purpose of superseding the work itself.” Then as to the fact of the extracts being published merely as quotations, Lord Eldon said: “ There is no doubt that a man cannot, under pretence of quotation, publish either the whole or part of another's book, although he may use, what in all cases it is difficult to define, fair quotation :” (Wilkins v. Aikin, 17 Ves. 422). This is really as near as it is possible to go to a precise rule of action. But applying this test to Mr. Stead's case, it is obvious that, as regards the extracts from “ Sir George Tressady " in the Review of Reviews, Mr. Stead could not have resisted an injunction, as he had“ taken out all the plums” of the original, the effect of which would undoubtedly be that many people would buy Mr. Stead's review instead of Mrs. Ward's book.
The second question raised by this case is the right to publish abridg. ments of copyright works. The older view was that abridgments are not piracies, but perfectly allowable, as being really original productions, inasmuch as they involve both invention and judgment, and frequently show considerable learning. If, for instance, the principle laid down in Neubery's case (Lofft. 775) be taken as expressing the present law, even Mr. Stead's abridgment of “Sir George Tressady” in the Masterpiece Library might escape censure ; but the trend of judicial and professional opinion has been steadily in the direction of holding abridgments of copyright works to be virtually piracies, equally with unlawful extracts or quotations ; though it wonld be, perhaps, going too far to say generally that abridgments are no longer lawful. Here again it is not quantity so much as quality the appropriation of which may work the real mischief, and, in particular, the use of the original author's name, and the title of his book. The general consensus of opinion against the free use of abridgments finds appropriate expression in the following report of the Royal Commission on Copyright: “At present an abridgment may or may not be an infringement, according to the use made of the original work, and the extent to which the latter is merely copied into the abridgment; but, even though an abridgment may be so framed as to escape being a piracy, still it is capable of doing great harm to the author of the original work by interfering with bis market; and it is the more likely to interfere with that market and injure the sale of the original work if, as is frequently the case, it bears in its title the name of the original author. We think this should be prevented, and, apon the whole, we recommend that no abridgment of copyright works should be allowed during the term of copyright without the consent of the owner of the copyright.”
There have been no recent reported decisions on either of the points raised by Mr. Stead's case, and it is from a public point of view regrettable that no authoritative ruling was given which would, perhaps, have rendered unnecessary any legislative sanction to these recommendations of the commissioners.
the position, the duties, and responsibilities of solicitors, all of these enactments deliberately aimed at what may be called sparious soliciting.” The preamble to the first of this series, the Act of 1843, bases the need for itself on the ground that the preceding statutes on the same subject were
numerous and complicated.” So far we have seen established the fact that the privilege of practising the law has been and is jealously guarded. Towards that end the lawyer proper in all his degrees has a very good organisation. In the face of all this it is a little remarkable to find what actually occurred only the other day-viz., that the Solicitor-General should inform the Court of Appeal that it was the “commonest of common things, and done every day,” for a solicitor to allow a wholly unqualified person to use his name in all sorts of proceedings at law. Such an arrangement is, of course, quite illegitimate and contrary to the interests of both the Profession and the public. The statutes speak very clearly on the matter. In the Act of 1843, sect. 2 distinctly forbids anyone to act as a solicitor unless he is duly qualified, and unqualified persons so ac'sing are liable to a fine of £50 for every offence. And so, by a later section of the same Act, any solicitor allowing an unqualified person to use his name (unless that unqualified person be the bona fide clerk of the solicitor) shall be struck off the rolls and ever after be disabled from practising as a solicitor. Later Acts emphasise these broad principles and endeavour to make their enforcement simple and easy.
The duty of seeing these Acts obeyed bas been intrusted to the Incorporated Law Society. The above-quoted observation of the SolicitorGeneral would sound as a reproach to that ever alert and honourable corporation. In private conversation several active members of that society regretfully acknowledge that the observations of the SolicitorGeneral are only too well founded. There is no doubt that many summary prosecutions have been instituted under the Acts, and many fines inflicted in the case of debt-collectors and other persons writing on behalf of others, whether for reward or gratis, in terms that would lead the person addressed to suppose that the writers were solicitors. But the modern Hedge” lawyer easily escapes all such dangerous subterfuges. He by no means bides his diminished head, bat, on the contrary, carries on his business in contradiction of his name by the most open and bold means at his command. He has generally been either a qualified solicitor or a solicitor's clerk, and “knows the ropes ” of the business. He passes easily among his humble lay acquaintances as a lawyer, the more he talks of his clients and his varied past professional experiences. To particularise his methods—he is well dressed ; he has his regulation silk hat and his well-stuffed black bag; he sees clients and receives their instructions ; on their behalf he writes letters boldly subscribed with the name lent to him; he takes out writs and summonses, files affidavits, appears before masters and judges at chambers; instructs counsel; and last, though not least, takes fees right and left whenever he can get them. All this is done openly. What possible answer has the Incorporated Law Society to all this ?
“ Oh!” say they,
we know only too well that such things are done, but we really can't get at them. It is only now and again when the solicitor and the unqualified man fall out with each other that we have a chance of catching them, and, as they are both liable to punishment, that is not likely to be very often. We know cases of large business offices, on the door of which the name of the qualified solicitor appears very much in the same way as the name of the licensee of a publichouse. If you want to find it you have to look for it. The unqualified man looms large outside and inside, while the wretched solicitor, if he has any room at all, has but a very small corner. He has, also, generally a weekly allowance of 20s. or 30s., and in every instance his annual certificate-money comes out of the pocket of this apparently boni fide clerk.”
It might be suggested that, with all this knowledge, the Incorporated Law Society might be able to put forward an effective remedy for this state of affairs. It may very fairly be said that it is not at ail likely that any competent tribunal would have any difficulty in detecting under such a set of circumstances a very patent violation and evasion of the law. A “ Hedge” lawyer can for a long time keep his client under the belief that he is a regular and qualified practitioner, and the more boldly he goes about it the more easily can he do so. If the client ever seeg the real (!) solicitor, that worthy is introduced to him as my partner.” But is there no possible beginning of a remedy? Let us look, for instance, at ths practice in the High Court. A solicitor's clerk, be he bona fide so or not, can in almost every case do everything that a qualified solicitor can do. He can issue writs, file affidavits, attend summonses, &c. &c.-everything, in fact, up to the point where counsel must be employed. Is it desirable to alter this, and, if so, is it possible ? The present writer would answer both these queries with a decided affirmative. The question of the desirability of a new mode of procedure is too patent to be argued. The feasibility of an alteration in the interests both of the public and of the Profession might begin somewhere. In all cases where a solicitor has to take part in a process, let him be compelled either to appear himself or to give for every occasion a signed authority to his clerk to represent him. Let there be a thin end of the wedge somewhere. If regular solicitors are to get rid of the “Hedge” lawyer, they must be content to submit to some inconvenience if they honestly want to help the honour of the Profession. Let them do something, even something inconvenient, to prevent these unscrupulous impostors from posing before innocent laymen as regular and qualified solicitors. Many other suggestions might be added as to the guarantees of accredited clerks. In the meantime, inquiry shows on all hands that, at least, so far as London is concerned, the Hedge lawyer is multiplying in numbers and in audacity at a rate almost equal to the rate of increase of the voracions yet less harmful hedge sparrow.
THE GROWTH OF THE ‘HEDGE” LAWYER.
[FROM A CORRESPONDENT.] A Few generations ago in Ireland needy but well-educated and wellqualified teachers who were not able to build or to hire a school room, imitating the philosophers of the Grove of Academus, would meet their pupils under the open canopy of sky sheltered by only a clump of trees or å stretch of hedge. In due time they were called Hedge' schoolmasters. At the outset they were in the bulk as clever and competent tutors as others of their kind more comfortably placed for the same purpose. It was natural, however, that such a sobriquet should be conceived in contempt. The very conditions of this al fresco instruction were in all respects likely to induce a large amount of competition from impostor pedagogues. A“ Hedge" existence was also picked up by many duly ordained priests, who were unbeneficed clergy but quite qualified to hear confessions and to grant absolutions at their own price. Upon the retiring exercise of these two humble professions the law never at any time laid any restrictions. But with regard to its own professors the law has always been very much on the alert, anxious and active to eliminate from their ranks all those who have not received the hall mark of the “Order." Lawyers have so-called privileges, and of these they are naturally jealous. The unlicensed legal practitioner can claim no clemency in his trespasses. During the present gracious Sovereign's reign no fewer than twenty-one separate statutes have been added to the great book, affecting
COMMENTS ON CASES.
the words of the statute show that it begins to run on the " of action arising, which was the termination of the business; and that this was supported by sect. 37 of the Solicitors Act 1843, which only says that “no action shall be commenced or maintained
until the expiration of one month." It seems clear from the wording of that section that, although the “ was in existence, such right was simply held in abeyance.
A TRUSTEE can retire from his trusteeship if he obtains the necessary consent of his co-trustees and the person who has the power of appointing new trustees, and there are two trustees remaining after bis retirement : (Trustee Act 1893, sect. 11). Further, if a trustee become unfit to act, another trustee can be appointed in his place (sect. 10). By the interpretation clause of the Act (sect. 50) the expressions“ trust” and " trustee " include (inter alia) “ the duties incident to the office of personal representative of a deceased person.” Possibly, sects. 10 and 11 may by means of the interpretation clause be held to apply to executors and administrators. But whether that be so or not, it is well to have a decision such as that in Bouen v. Phillips (noted ante, p. 244), that the court can prevent an executor who has misappropriated some of the funds, and been adjudicated bankrupt, from continuing to act as executor. In Williams on Executors (9th edit., p. 187) an instance is given of an insolvent or bankrupt executor being restrained by the Court of Chancery, and a receiver being appointed. But in Bowen v. Phillips no receiver was appointed by Mr. Justice Kekewich. Indeed, there was no need of one, as there was an honest and solvent executor left to act.
A PERSON, seeing some property which he wishes to buy, makes an offer in writing for it; or an owner, wishing to sell, by letter offers to sell it to
The offer in either case is accepted by letter, and, if the acceptance contains no further term than a simple agreement with the offer, there is a sufficient contract which the court will order to be specifically performed, provided that it is properly stamped. Sect. 22 of the Stamp Act 1891 provides that “the duty of sixpence upon an agree. ment may be denoted by an adhesive stamp, which is to be cancelled by the person by whom the agreement is first executed.” In the case of an agreement consisting of several letters, according to Mr. Alpe (3rd edit., p. 51), “ the stamp may be upon any letter of the series, but it should be upon an original document, not a copy.” Supposing the contract to be sufficiently stamped, but the intending purchaser added some
words to his acceptance, a question then arises as to whether there was over a concluded contract between the parties. Many contracts are upset by such additional words, but in Armstrong v. Hughes (75 L. T. Rep. 487) Mr. Justice Romer has held that the addition to the acceptance of the words “I should like to know from what time Mr. H. wishes the purchase to date” was not intended to introduce a fresh term or to leave the point open for further negotiation, but only amounted to an intimation that he would like to know when Mr. H. would be ready to complete, assuming that he was entitled to a reasonable time.
A POWER to inspect any documents does not necessarily imply a power tɔ take copies of them. For instance, the public can inspect wills in Somerset House, but they cannot take copies of them. Sometimes the power of taking copies is specified as an addition to that of inspecting. In the case of an acknowledgment under sect. 9 of the Conveyancing Act 1881, the person to whom the acknowledgment is given has the right, not of making copies, but of having them delivered to him. On the other hand, under sect. 16, a mortgagor can inspect and make copies of the documents of title relating to the mortgaged property. By the Companies Act 1862, sect. 43, the register of mortgages has to be open to inspection by any creditor or member of the company at all reasonable times. Nothing is said as to a right of making or compelling delivery of copies. In the case of Mutter v. Eastern and Midland Railway Company (59 L. I. Rep. 117; 38 Ch. Div. 92), decided under the Companies Clauses Act 1863, sect. 28, the Court of Appeal held, that the statutory right of a stockholder, &c., to inspect and peruse the register of debenture stockholders includes a right to take copies. Lord Justice Lindley, in delivering judgment, said that an exanjination of the authorities had led him to the conclusion that, speaking generally, a right to take copies is always treated as incidental to a right to inspect. “ When the right to inspect and take a copy is not expressly conferred, the extent of such right depends on the interest which the applicant has in what he wants to copy, and on what is reasonably necessary for the protection of such interest." The question has also recently come before Mr. Justice Stirling in Nelson V. Anglo-American Land, Mortgage, and Agency ('ompany (75 L. T. Rep. 482) under the above section of the Act of 1862, and he has held, that a debenture-holder is entitled to take copies of, as well as inspect, any matter appearing on the register.
Lord Russell of Killowen will preside at the inaugural banquet of the Ulster Association in London, on Wednesday, the 27th iost.
At the Council held at Osborne on the 15th inst. Lord Justice Chitty was sworn in as a member of the Privy Council.
The new police-court at Sheffield was formally opened by the Mayor (the Duke of Norfolk) on the 13th inst.
Sir Edward Kay, since his resignation, has been very weak, and at times suffers excruciating pain.
Lord Russell of Killowen distributed, on the 14th inst., the prizes and certificates gained by pupils of the Birkbeck Institution. Mr. Justice Bruce also attended the meeting.
Lord Russell of Killowen and Sir F. Lockwood, Q.C., M.P., were present on Wednesday evening at the annual festival in aid of the Jews' Infant School.
Mr. Justice Byrne will take companies winding-up business, &c., on Monday next, and every Monday during the absence of Mr. Justice Williams on circuit.
By order, dated the 18th Jan. 1897, the business formerly transferred (for the purpose only of hearing or of trial) to Mr. Justice Romer has been transferred to Mr. Justice Byrne for hearing or trial only.
An order of transfer of witness actions, from Justices North, Stirling, Kekewich, and Romer, to Mr. Justice Byrne, dated the 31st Jan. 1897, has been made. The new transfer will be commenced as soon as the remaining actions have been tried.
We give in another column a transfer of causes (dated the 15th Jan.) from Mr. Justice North, Mr. Justice Stirling, Mr. Justice Kekewich, and Mr. Justice Romer to the Queen's Bench Division. The actions transferred from the Chancery Division will be taken in their order of entry with actions in the non-jury list of the Queen's Bench Division. They will come into the week's list to be published for Monday, the 1st Feb. next.
The collection of ancient and modern pictures formed by the late Mr, R. W. Macleod-Fallarton, Q.C., will be sold by auction on Saturday, the 30th inst. “Ex-Law Officers of the Crown” is the thirteenth of a series of articles
Our Judges and Famous Lawyers” now appearing in Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper.
Mr. E. C. Tennyson D'Eyncourt took his seat for the first time last Monday as the magistrate for the North London Police-court, and received the congratulations of the solicitors practising in the court.
The third meeting of the session of the Auctioneers’ Institute will be held in the Lecture-ball of the Institute, 57 and 58, Chancery-lane, on Tuesday next, the 26th inst., at 8 p.m., when a paper will be read by Prof. Banister Fletcher upon “ The Practice of Compensations."
“ Frand” is the subject of the course of lectures to be delivered at the Old Hall-more familiar to all, except the most ancient of practitioners, as the old Chancery Appeal Court, Lincoln's-inn-by Mr. Birrell, Q.C., M.P., the Quain Professor of Law at University College.
Mr. W. E. Davidson, Q.C., who has just been made a Commander of the Bath, is a native of Halstead, Essex, being a son of the late Mr. Wm. Davidson formerly manager at Messrs. Courtauld and Co.'s factory. Mr. Davidson, is legal adviser to the Foreign Office.
His Honour Judge Ellicott, who has been lying seriously ill for some weeks at his residence, The Culls, Stroud, has been removed to London to be within easy reach of a medical specialist. Judge Ellicott is the son of the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, and fills the office of Chancellor for that diocese.
Of the Queen's Counsel lately practising before Mr. Justice Romer, Mr. Nevill, Q.C. and Mr. Horton Smith, Q.c. have elected to follow that learned judge, who has taken over Lord Justice Chitty's late list, and have accordingly taken thị ir seats in his court; while Mr. Hopkinson, Q.C., M.P., Mr. Oswald, Q.C., M.P., Mr. Birrell, Q.C., M.P., Mr. Eve, Q.C., and Mr. Astbury, Q.C., will continue in the court of the new judge, Mr. Justice Byrne.
Alfred Lovekin, thirty-four, a law clerk, pleaded guilty at the old Bailey last week to the falsification of the accounts of his employers, Messrs. Greenwood and Greenwood, solicitors.
stated that, through his misconduct, the prisoner had imperilled costs amounting to £1000. He was sentenced to three years' penal servitude.
The funeral of Sir Travers Twiss took place on Wednesday at Fulham Cemetery. The mourners and friends included Sir Sherston Baker, Dr. Tristram, Q.C., Dr. I. Davis, Dr. Stubbs, Mr. Carmichael, and Mr. Alfred Burton. Dr. Davis has received a telegram from the Queen expressing regret at Sir Travers Twiss's death. A letter was also sent by the King of the Belgians expressing extreme sorrow and condolence with the relatives.
The application of the Statute of Limitations to a solicitor's bill of costs was discussed in the recent case of Coburn v. Colledge (ante, p. 248). The facts shortly were, that in May 1889 the solicitor completed certain work for the client. On the 7th Juno 1889 the client left England, and on the 12th June 1889 the bill was delivered. The client returned to England in 1896, and on the 12th June 1896 the writ was issued. On behalf of the solicitor it was contended that the cause of action did not arise till the bill was delivered, and that, as the client was abroad, the statuto did not begin to run till his return, and that the solicitor could not bring an action till a month had passed after the delivery of the bill. But, according to the decisions, the point seems quite clear. It was laid down in Harris v. Osbourn (2 C. & M. 629) that the statute begins to run against all the items in the bill from the date of the termination of the action, or the continuous business, or of the work being properly discontinued by the solicitor. The right to sue arises directly the action is finished, but, if there is an appeal, he cannot sue for his costs till the appeal is disposed of: (Harris v. Quine, 20 L. T. Rep. 917). In the present case Mr. Justice Charles held that
Mr. Tonman Mosley, barrister-at-law, wbo succeeds Mr. Barker, Q.C., as chairman of the Derbyshire Quarter Sessions, formerly practised on the Midland Circuit. His wife, Lady Hilda, is a daughter of the Earl of Eglinton of tournament fame, and half-sister of the present earl. He was called to the Bar in 1874.
At Whitechapel County Court last week a solicitor's clerk appeared on behalf of his master's client, the plaintiff. Judge Bacon: Who are you ! Lad (proudly): I'm a solicitor's clerk. Judge Bacon: Well, I can't hear you. Lad : I'm sorry, but I can't talk any londer. (Laughter.) Judge Bacon: I don't mean that I can't hear yon physically, but the law forbids me to listen to a solicitor's clerk. Lad: Oh, I see.
In the course of the proof in a breach of promise case in the Court of Session the other day, it came out that in a letter written by the defender to the pursuer while she was staying in Crieff he warned the pursuer to "take care of the Johnnies.” Lord MʻLaren, in summing up, referred to this remark, and said the question naturally arose-What was a Johnny? His definition of a Johnny was a young man who owed more to his tailor than to himself for his advancement. It is refreshing to meet with a judge who admits that he has any knowledge of anything outside his own domain, but is Lord M‘Laren's definition of a Johnny quite comprehensive enough?
Referring to Mr. Bytne's elevation the Pall Mall Gazette says, Lord Halsbury is to be congratulated on the appointment he has recommended to Her Majesty, and he will merit further approval if he will use his influence to induce two or three belated loiterers on the judicial stage to make their exits. Public patience and indulgence towards the judges is as well-known as it is commendable ; but the moment does arise when it can be too severely tried, and there are a good many people who think that it has already come. It is sincerely to be hoped that becoming selfrespect and a proper appreciation of the eternal fitness of things will dictate some retirements from the Bench before the year is much older.
There was a large attendance in court last Tuesday of Queen's Counsel, members of the junior Bar, and others, to see Mr. Justice Byrne take his seat for the first time as a judge of the High Court. Occasionally when a judge sits for the first or the last time the leader of the court makes a short speech congratulating or bidding farewell to his Lordship on behalf of the Bar, but as a rule addresses of this kind are dispensed with in the case of a new judge. The Attorney-General on the present occasion made a formal application with reference to some case in his Lordship’s list, and, after similar applications with reference to other cases had been made, his Lordship proceeded with the trial of Chancery witness actions, and those who were not engaged in them dispersed.
Sir J. Parker Deane, Q.C., as Vicar-General of the Archbishop of Canterbury, attended on the 15th inst. at the Principal Registry, Creedlane, Ludgate-hill, and signed and sealed the customary Notarial Acts, before Sir John Hassard (Principal Registrar of tbe Province and Notary Public), taking charge of the spiritualities of the dioceses of Peterborough and St. David's respectively, in the name of the Archbishop of Canterbury, during the vacancies. Sir J. Parker Deane also confirmed the appointments made by the Principal Registrar of Mr. C. S. Magee and Mr. W. H. Gates, Registrars of the diocese of Peterborough, and of Mr. J. H. Barker, Registrar of the diocese of St. David's, respectively, to act for him during the vacancies.
A change of considerable importance has recently taken place in th: composition of the Solicitors' Department of the Treasury. For many years past, the firm of Messrs. Hare and Co. has acted as the agents of the Public Prosecutor in all Chancery and Common Law matters, but since the beginning of the present year this firm has been absorbed in the Solicitors' Department of the Treasury under the style of the Law Courts Branch of that department. The effect of this change is to make the members and staff of the firm Government servants. It will be remembered that some few weeks ago Mr. Raven, who for many years was a partner in the firm, was appointed one of the chief clerks in the Chancery Division.
Members of the Northern Circuit entertained Mr. McConnell, Q.C., at a complimentary dinner at the Hotel Métropole on Saturday evening, in celebration of his recent appointment as Chairman of quarter seesions for the county of London. Mr. S. Pope, Q.C., leader of the circuit, occupied the chair, and among those present were the Lord Chief Justice (Lord Russell of Killowen), the Right Hon. the Speaker (Mr. Gully, Q.C., M.P.), Mr. Justice Wright, Mr. Justice Collins, Mr. Justice Barnes, Mr. Justice Bruce, Mr. Justice Kennedy, Sir H. Howarth, M.P., Sir William Charley, Q.C., Sir Harry Poland, Q.C., Mr. Loveland-Loveland, Judge Bacon, Mr. Justice Rayner (Chief Justice of Lagos), Judge Steavenson, Judge Shand, Mr. Dickinson and Mr. Sheil (metropolitan police, magistrates), Mr. Mellor (Queen's Bench Master), Mr. Nicol, M.P., Mr. Tomlinson, M.P., and many others.
Master Gates, Q.C., the treasurer of the Inner Temple, and the masters of the Bench entertained at dinner on Wednesday, the Grand Day of Hilary Term, the following guests : Lord Stratheden and Campbell, Lord Monk-Bretton, Lord Macnaghten, the Bishop of Stepney, Mr. Justice Romer, Sir Alfred Milner, Sir William Karslake, Q.C., Judge Stonor, Admiral Field, M.P., Mr. Gerald Loder, M.P., Mr. Christopher Heath, the sub-treasurer (Mr. H. W. Lawrence), and the librarian (Mr. J. E. L. Pickering. The Benchers present were : Master Bulwer, Q.C., Master Sir Alfred G. Marten, Q.C., Master Viscount Cross, Master Baylis, Q.C., Master Meadows White, Q.C., Mastor Sir Harry Poland, Q.C., Master Viscount Knutsford, Master Millar, Q.C., Master Field, Master Jelf, Q.C., Master Cooper Willis, Q.C., Master Colt, Master Bosanquet. Q.C., Master Bayford, Q.C., Master Sir Francis Jenne, Master Backnill, Q.C., M.P., Master Moorsom, Q.C., Master Higgins, Q.C., Master Wheeler, Q.C., Master Poole, Q C., and Master Dodd, Q.C.
Last Wednesday being Grand Day at the Middle Temple, the acting treasurer (Mr. Hopwood, Q.C.) and the Benchers entertained a distinguished company at dinner in their hall. The guests included the Duke of Teck, Mr. Chamberlain, Lord Justice Lopes, Lord Justice A. L. Smith, Lord Justice Rigby, Lord Justice Chitty, Sir William Broadbent, Sir Henry Howorth, M.P., Mr. Alma-Tadema, R.A., Mr. Marcus Stone, R.A., Mr. Eastlake, Rev. S. A. Alexander (reader at the Temple Church), and Mr. J. W. Waldron (the under-treasurer). The Benchers present were Mr. Pope, Q.C., Mr. Justice Wills, Mr. Cowie, Q.C., Judge Bagshawe, Q.C., Mr. Macrory, Q.C., Mr. Ambrose, Q.C., M.P., Mr. Littler, Q.C., C.B., Mr. Dauney, Mr. Warmington, Q.C., Mr. Justice Collins, Mr. Bigham, Q.C., M.P., Mr. Will, Q.C., Mr. Kenelm Digby, Judge French, 2.C., Mr. Moulton, Q.C., Mr. Crump, Q.C., Mr. Greene, Q.C., M.P., Mr. Aspinall, Q.C., Mr. Roberts, Mr. Pitt-Lewis, QC., Mr. McCall, Q.C., Mr. Loyd, Q.C., M.P., Lord Coleridge, Q.C., Mr. Badcock, and Mr. H. Tindal Atkinson.
The Treasurer of Lincoln’s-inn, Mr. George Wirgman Hemming, Q.C., and Masters of the Bench entertained at dinner on Tuesday, the Grand Day in Hilary Term, the American Ambassador, the Earl of Buckingham shire, the Bishop of Stepney, Mr. Baron Pollock, Sir William H. White, Major-Gen. Sir F. Richard Pollock, Sir Edward J. Poynter, P.R A., ViceAdmiral Nathaniel Bowden-Smith, Major-Gen. John Barton Sterling, Col. Barrington Campbell, the Hon. C. Fitzpatrick, Solicitor-General of Canada, Mr. James Mulligan, the treasurer of Gray's-inn, and the Rev. Dr. Wace. The Benchers present on the occasion were Mr. Napier Higgins, Q.C., Sir Alexander Miller, Mr. Westlake, Q.C., Lord Justice Chitty, Mr. Pember, Q.C., Mr. Hastings, Sir Andrew Scoble, Sir William T. Marriott, Mr. Justice Mathew, Mr. Horton Smith, Q.C., Mr. Gibbs, C.B., Q.C., Lord Macnaghten, Mr. Forbes, Q.C., Mr. Everitt, Q.C., Mr. Cecil Russell, Mr. Cozens-Hardy, Q.C., Mr. Justice Stirling, Mr. Walker, Q.C., Mr. Justice Kennedy, Mr. Buckley, Q.C., Mr. Digby, Sir Augustus F. W. K. Stephenson, Mr. Chadwyck-Healey, Q.C., Mr. Levett, Q.C., Mr. Alexander, Q.C., and Mr. Hopkinson, Q.C., M.P.
The Hon. Jobn F. M'Intyre, First Assistant District Attorney of New York, who came over to watch the trial of the prisoner Ivory, or Bell, before Mr. Justice Hawkins, at the Old Bailey, had, of course, no locus standi in a British court, and it is a novelty for him to be concerned in the defence of a prisoner. On the other hand, his experience of prosecutions is very wide. He has prosecuted in more than 500 trials for murder in the American courts of law, and has obtained convictions in over 480
Over 7000 prisoners altogether have been convicted at his instance as a public prosecutor. He bears upon his chin the mark of a wound inflicted upon him in a public court by a desperate criminal whose crimes were at the moment being exposed by him. Mr. M'Intyre's life was again threatened when he was prosecuting a notorious female Socialist for complicity in a plot to blow up the City of New York with dynamite. A cordon of police had to protect him on that occasion from a riotous mob near the court. For some years the district attorney was a member of the Legislature of the State of New York, until his increasing practice at the Bar compelled him to resign his seat. As one of the prominent members of the Bar, District-Attorney M'Intyre took leading part in the welcome given to the Lord Chief Justice on the occasion of his recent visit to the United States.
The under-manned condition of some of the metropolitan police-courts, and the serious inconvenience, to say nothing of injustice, that it entails, was brought into prominence at the South-Western Court the other day, says the Evening Standard. No magistrate appeared until two o'clock in the afternoon, when Mr. Francis arrived, in response to an urgent telegram despatched by the chief clerk. The legal gentlemen practising at the court naturally resent the inconvenience put upon themselves and their clients by the refusal of the Treasury to grant the court a proper staff of magistrates, and they very properly put their grievance into words. It is not a very creditable state of things, that the court of summary jurisdiction in a populous district should be left for hours without its presiding head. Stipendiaries cannot be expected to drop from the skies, and for the chief clerk to be scouring London by telegraph ia the search of one is not a particularly business-like arrangement. Mr. Francis did not mince matters in his reply to the complaints from the solicitors' table. It dees not improve the absurdity of the situation to learn that it was only by “a mere accident” that he was there at all. Mr. Lane had arranged to attend, but he was taken ill, and the attempt to work the court single-handed was attended by its inevitable result. Eight years ago one magistrate may very well have sufficed for the SouthWestern district, for it mainly consisted of potato and market gardens, but to-day there is a very different state of things. The open land has been built over, the district is thickly populated, and in eight years the number of cases heard at the court bas exactly doubled. Instead, how. ever, of the magisterial staff having been strengthened in proportion to the increase of work, the Treasury authorities are still living in the era of potato and market gardens. As a result, witnesses are kept waiting, prisoners remain in custody longer than need be, and the whole business of the court is disorganised. The Home Secretary will do well to give the matter his prompt attention.
:--This establishment, situate in Tudor-street, adjoining King's Bench Walk (four minutes from the High Courts of Justice), has been entirely rebuilt and enlarged. The Temple Restaurant is now replete with every convenience and comfort which experience and capital can command. Table d'Hôte daily, consisting of soups, entrées, joints, vegetables, &c., at 29. each. No charge for attendance. Dinners à la Carte quickly served. Choice wines, spirits, and malt liquors. Chops, steaks, tea, and coffee. The Legal Profession is respectfully informed that Breakfasts, Dinners, and Teas are supplied in chambers if desired. Menus and tariffs forwarded daily for selection upon application.—[Advt.]
NOTES OF RECENT DECISIONS NOT
A debenture-holder to the extent of £600 had expressed his intention of remaining perfectly neutral, and the holders of the remainder of the debentures were not represented. The hearing of the appeal stood over from time to time to enable the company to make negotiations with reference to the Canadian property, but nothing definite bad been done. Counsel for the appellant relied on Re St. Thomas's Dock Company (34 L. T.Rep. 228 ; 2 Ch. Div. 117, at p. 121), Re Chapel-House Colliery Company (49 L. T. Rep. 579 ; 24 Ch. Div. 259), and Re Edgbaston Brewery Company (68 L. T. Rep. 341). The Court, after having inter. viewed a representative of the official receiver, held that, as the official receiver was not satisfied that the company had no assets which could be reached in the winding-up, the order of Romer, J. ought not to be disturbed, notwithstanding the wishes of the great majority of the creditors.
[Re The International Commercial Company Limited. Ct. of App. No. 2: Lindley, Smith, and Rigby, L.JJ. Jan. 19.-Counsel: for the appellant, Grosvenor Woods, Q.C. and George Cave ; for the respondent, Neville, Q.C. and A. L. Ellis. Solicitors : for the appellant, Powell and
Rogers; for the respondent, Norris, Allens, and Chapman.] Practice - Arbitration-Question of Law-Order to state Case-Time for
Application.---In this case the parties had entered into a contract for the purchase and sale of a cargo of bran on a steamer at Hull. There was a clause in the contract that in the event of any dispute arising it should be settled according to the rules of the Hull Corn Trade Association. The rules provided for the appointment of two arbitrators, who should appoint an umpire, and for the right of appeal by either party, in case of dissatisfaction, to the executive committee of the association, who must affirm the award unless two-thirds agreed to reverse it. A dispute arose under the contract, and it was duly referred to arbitration. The umpire made an award in favour of the defendants. The plaintiffs appealed to the executive committee. The executive committee heard the facts of the case, and the plaintiffs stated that certain points of law had arisen. Before the committee had given any expression or intimation of their opinion, the plaintiffs applied at chambers for an order directing the executive committee to state a case for the opinion of the court. The master made the order applied for, and his decision was affirmed by Collins, J. The defendants appealed. It was contended on their behalf that the court had no jurisdiction at that stage of the proceedings to order the executive committee to state a case. Held (dismissing the appeal), that the order was rightly made. It is not a condition precedent to an application for an order directing an arbitrator to state a case for the opinion of the court that he should have stated or indicated his opinion upon the point raised.
[Re an Arbitration between Spillers and Baker Limited and Leetham and Sons. Ct. of App. : Lord Esher, M.R. and Lopes, L.J. Jan. 15.Counsel : for the plaintiffs, R. M. Bray; for the defendants, Montague Lush; for the executive committee, A. Neilson. Solicitors : J. and A. A. Tilleard; Pritchard and Sons, for A. M. Jackson and Co., Hull ; Chester, Mayhew, Broome, and Griffiths, for Holden, Sons, and Hodgson,
Hull.] Practice -- Summons for Judgment — Dismissal — Technical Defect
Renewal of Application-Res judicata-Order XIV., r. 2.- This was an appeal from an order of Lawrance, J. at chambe affirming an order of the master giving the defendant Lowles leave to defend on payment of £250 into court. The action was brought by the plaintiff company, in liquidation, against Lowles and Westoby upon a bill of exchange. The bill had been drawn in favour of the plaintiff company upon Playfair and Co., and had been accepted by Playfair and Co. The bill having been dishonoured upon presentment for payment, this action was commenced against the two above-named defendants, who had carried on business in partnership under the name of Playfair and Co. Upon a summons being taken out under Order XIV., the master gave Lowles unconditional leave to defend on the ground that Playfair and Co., the name on the bill of exchange, did not appear as defendants on the writ. This order was affirmed by the judge. Westoby had assigned all his property for the benefit of his creditors to the liquidator of the plaintiff company. The plaintiffs then amended the writ by adding Playfair and Co. as defendants, and took out a fresh summons for judgment. The master gave the defendant Lowles leave to defend conditionally on payment into court of the amount claimed. This order was affirmed by Lawrance, J. at chambers. The defendant Lowles appealed. It was contended on bis behalf that the facts upon the second summons were in no way different from those appearing on the first summons, the only difference being the amendment of the writ, and that the matter was res judicata, so that the court had no jurisdiction to deprive him upon the second summons of the unconditional leave to defend which he had obtained upon the first summons. For the plaintiff company, reference was made to the note to Order XIV., r. 2, at p. 338 of the Annual Practice. Held (dismissing the appeal), that there had been no adjudication on the merits between the parties upon the first summons, and that the court had jurisdiction to adjudicate upon the second summons. Appeal dismissed.
[Dəmbey and Son Limited (in liquidation) v. Playfair and Co. and others. Ct. of App. : Lord Esher, M.R. and Lopes, L.J. Jan. 15.--Counsel: for the plaintiff company, T. Willes Chitty; for the defendant Lowies, William Graham. Solicitors: Learoyd, James, and Mellor; Bonner, Thompson, Burnie, and Co.]
COURT OF APPEAL. Company-Underwriting Letter-Application for Shares on behalf of
Underwriter-Condition precedent-Invalid Allotment of SharesRectification of Register-Companies Act 1862 (25 & 26 Vict. c. 89), 8. 35.-Underwriting letters for ordinary shares in the B. company were addressed to the A. corporation, to the effect that the person signing the same agreed to subscribe for a specified number of sbares as soon as the B. company should be incorporated, and to pay for the same at the times and on the conditions named in the prospectus to be issued to the public, the consideration being a commission of 20 per cent. on the shares underwritten. The letters contained also the following clause :-“I further agree that I will sign and lodge with you, whenever called upon, the necessary application for the above-mentioned number of shares, with cheque for the deposit attached thereto, in accordance with the terms of the final prospectus to be issued to the public; and, if I fail to do so, this agreement, which is irrevocable on my part, shall, notwithstanding any withdrawal on my part, or repudiation of my responsibility hereunder, be sufficient to authorise you and your secretary and directors for the time being, or any of them, if and when you or they think fit, in my name to apply for, and the directors of the first-named company to allot to me, the before-mentioned shares, either with or without any further application, either from me or you, for the said shares.” Th letters contained at their foot a blank form of acceptance. On the 24th Sept. 1895 H. signed an underwriting letter for 1000 shares, and left it with a firm of stockbrokers (who were seeking to obtain underwriters for shares in tbe B. company) for the purpose of its being delivered to the A. corporation. On the 26th Sept. the stockbrokers sent to the managing director of the A. corporation underwriting forms for 10,000 shares and an application form for the same, together with a cheque for £1250, representing 28. 6d. per share payable as application money. Amongst the underwriting letters inclosed was that signed by H. The acceptance at the foot of the letter had been filled in by the secretary of the A. corporation, acting on its behalf, and was dated the 24th Sept. The B. company was registered on the 2nd Oct. On the 10th Oct. it allotted 920 shares to H., and sent to him a letter of allotment. He immediately wrote back repudiating the allotment. The stockbrokers stated that they did not inform H. that they had applied for the shares. H. contended that there was no acceptance of the underwriting letter; that any acceptance had not been communicated to him ; that he had never been called upon to sign and lodge the necessary application for the shares according to the terms of the underwriting letter; and consequently that he had not “ failed” to apply for the shares, and the authority to the A. corporation to apply in his name never arose. Held, that, assuming that the offer contained in the underwriting letter was accepted by the A. corporation, and that consequently a binding contract between H. and it was constituted, yet, on the construction of that contract, a request on the part of the A. corporation to H. to apply for the shares was a condition precedent to the obligation on his part to sign and lodge the application for the shares with a cheque for the deposit; and that without such request and failure to comply with it the A. corporation had no authority to make any application for shares in H.'s name. Decision of Chitty, J. affirmed.
[Re The Bultfontein Sun Diamond Mine Limited; Er parte Cox Hughes. Ct. of App. No.2: Lindley, Smith, and Rigby, L.JJ. Jan. 18. --Counsel : for the appellants, Eve, Q.C. and Eldon Bankes ; for the respondent, Carson, Q.C. and Tindal Atkinson. Solicitors : for the appellants, Courtenay, Croome, Son, and Finch ; for the respondent,
Greenwood and Greenwood.] Company-Winding-up-Creditor's Petition-Opposition by Majority of
other Creditors--No available Assets-Discretion of the Court.-A winding-up petition was presented by a debenture-holder (who was a judgmėnt creditor in respect of arrears of interest owing on the debentures held by him in a company) founded on such interest and the principal due under the debentures. The petitioner alleged that the company was unable to pay its debts, and that, in the circumstances, it was just and equitable that it should be wound-up. The debenture-holders prac. tically represented the only creditors of the company. The whole of its assets were covered by the debentures. The assets were of a very doubtful character, and the large majority of the debenture-holders were of opinion that their only prospect of recovering anything on account of their security would be ruined by a winding-up order boing made. The evidence filed in opposition to the petition was to the effect that the assets of the company could not be beneficially dealt with by a liquidator, and that the making of a winding-up order would be disastrous to the creditors of the company ; that the principal asset of the company was the right to a large freehold property in Canada ; that the company's purchase of this property was disputed and litigation had ensued; that the company was endeavouring to obtain this property for the benefit of the debenture-holders ; and that this a winding. up order would entirely prevent. On the hearing of the petition it was opposed by creditors to the extent of upwards of £14,000, but notwithstanding this, Romer, J., who was sitting for Williams, J., decided to make the winding-up order, stating that in his opinion there would be assets forthc if the company was rdered to be wound-up. A debenture-holder appealed, and his appeal was supported by debentureholders, including the appellant, holding debentures to the extent of £16,050 out of £19,900. The respondent (the petitioner) held £1450.
HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE-CHANCERY DIVISION. Costs—Taxation- Agency Charges-Country Solicitor and London Agent
---Country Solicitor and Client-Separate Bills of Costs in the same Matter-Disbursements--Cash Account--Complete Bill-Particulars of Agency Charges-Solicitors Act 1843 (6 & 7 Vict. c. 73), s. 37. - This