« EelmineJätka »
Opinions of the Press on Repealing the Certificate Duty.
415 ter needs no more than the furniture of a wig attorneys, after having devoted much time and and bag, no matter what may lie under the one labour to the Profession and expended hunor stowed away in the other. Attorneys con- dreds of pounds in stamp duties, apprentice tribute largely to the public revenue in the fees, and other expenses, have lost the fruits shape of stamps and other duties, though the of all their labour by their inability to pay 121. outlay must be made good by the client, which per annum? It is a small sum to a large pracdoes not always happen, and in such not titioner, but in the present depressed circumunfrequent cases the loss falls upon the stances of the Profession, by no means, inconattorney's capital. If, then, there were any isderable to the great majority. But, small or class which more than another deserved large, it is a gross exaction-indefensible on the forbearance of the state in the shape of every principle, and reconcilable only with a taxation, it is the Attorney Profession, but the desire on the part of the State to impose spestate looks only to the ways and means, and cial burthens on a particular class of the comtakes little note of abstract right, provided the munity. financial year shows a good balance. Mr. “Lord Robert Grosvenor, however, must not Gladstone, indeed, displayed much sympathy remain content with his triumph, which is an for the attorneys. He acknowledged their advance but by no means the attainment of the numbers and power, and on both grounds was end. He succeeded before, though by a narevery way disposed to hear their claims,-but rower majority, in establishing the principle of then he could not go beyond a patient ear. repeal, and yet he had to re-enter on the He could only grant them the indulgence of struggle, because Ministers found means suban audience at Downing-street or a compli- sequently to defeat the sanction of the House ment in the House of Commons--but that was on the second reading. Sir Charles Wood on the limit of his generosity. Perhaps a time one occasion vowed he never would consent to may come when he would be disposed to do the vote of the House, and in the face of that justice, but the revenue being just now in declaration Lord Robert refused to push forrather a precarious condition, and so many in-ward the Bill. Perhaps he was right, but on terests press round the Chancellor for allevia- the present occasion there can be no hesitation, that he would not listen to the attorneys' tion as to his course. The majority in favour complaint, and so excited did he grow as to of the Bill is too weighty to be disregarded by protest - ay, protest with all his power—| any ministry, and the Chancellor of the Exagainst such injudicious motions as Lord Ro. chequer is too constitutional to attempt the rebert Grosvenor's! But all his affected indig- versal of that important decision. The amount nation and earnest protesting were of no avail. also is a powerful reason for abiding by the The House, being in a somewhat genial mood, result and interposing no further obstacle to ridiculed the protestation; and however Mr. an act of the most ordinary justice. If it were Gladstone is to fill up the gap in his Budget of the colossal proportions of the malt tax or -whether by continuing the hop duties on the income duties, or any of the other large confirst rough draft of the Budget to abolition, or tributions to the revenue, Mr. Gladstone might by other means of reparation, he must contrive hesitate to adopt the decree, and dwell on the as best he can, for the House struck off, without necessity of more caution, however just the much discussion, the whole certificate duty. end. But the certificate duty is too contemp
" Mr. Gladstone thought to draw off the tible to be the subject of contention between House from the real grievance by suggesting the House and the Government; and now that another, which he considered more urgent if a majority of 52 has sealed its fate, we hope he were in a position to redress it. There was Mr. Gladstone will not attempt to re-impose a duty of 1201. 'on the very threshold of the what he admitted to be an unjust tax, though Profession which converted it into an absolute for the present financially necessary. The abomonopoly.' Surely the existence of one wrong litionists, however, should not rely on hopes, is no argument why another should not be but be ready to give their continued support to abolished ? It is not enough to visit the ap- the measure, and watch its progress with care. prentice with a stamp duty of 1201., but to fix No opportunity for the Profession could be him from his entry into the Profession with an more favourable; and unless the Societies who annual duty of 121. more. We should say the are charged with the interests of the Profession weight of the preliminary expense would be a in both countries he less anxious or less active powerful reason to diminish the burden of the than they have hitherto proved, they may exother. It is a poor consolation to say that the pect to see a great injustice soon redressed. apprentice has been grievously taxed on the But a little perseverance will be required. The threshold,' and then to insist that, having en- members who have supported the first reading tered the shrine, he shall for ever after pay a must be encouraged to continued exertion, and tribute of 121. for no conceivable motive, when the next advance is to be made, in the and on no possible ground except that he is event of Government not withdrawing all an attorney, and, therefore, prima facie, a further opposition, the Parliamentary force fit object of plunder. A pretty arguinent should be collected, and augmented by new in the mouth of a statesman, that a certain accessions." large sum required by the state creates a mo- ! The Morning Post of the 24th March, nopoly, just as if the monopoly were not ag- : gravated by the annual exaction. How many has again ably supported the ci
v has again ably supported the claim.
416 Report of Commissioners on Law of Divorce.-Remuneration of Solicitors. REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONERS! That the Court shall be intrusted with a ON THE LAW OF DIVORCE.
large discretion, in prescribing whether any and what provision shall be made to the wife,
in adjusting the rights which she and her By the report just published the Commis. husband may respectively have in each others sioners suggest
property, and in providing for the guardianThat the distinction between divorce à mensá ship and maintenance of the children. et thoro and divorce à vinculo matrimonii shall That there shall be only one appeal from still be maintained.
the decree of the Court, and that the appeal That the grounds for divorce à mensá et shall be carried to the House of Lords. thoro shall be conjugal infidelity and gross cruelty.
That wilful desertion shall either be also al REMUNERATION OF SOLICITORS. ground for divorce à mensá et thoro, or else shall entitle the abandoned wife to obtain from her husband a proper maintenance by way of LAW AMENDMENT SOCIETY'S REPORT. alimony
In proceeding to close our extracts from That divorces à mensá et thoro may be ob
a this memorable document, we may observe tained by the wife for the above-mentioned causes, as well as by the husband.
that a palpable fallacy prevails throughout That divorces à vinculo shall be allowed for
the estimate of the professional services of adultery, and for adultery only.
a Solicitor. It is supposed that his office That divorces à vinculo shall only be granted can be managed as easily and with as little on the suit of the husband, and not (as a ge- expense as the chambers of a Barrister ;neral rule) on the suit of the wife.
" that skilled labour” in the conduct of a That the wife, however, may also apply for suit is entirely performed by the solicitor divorce à vinculo in cases of aggravated enor-himself:--that he needs no skilful clerks; mity, such as incest or bigmay. That recrimination, connivance, and condo
that all the penmanship required can be nation, shall, if proved, be deemed and treated done by the law stationer; and that if the as bars to the suit.
solicitor be paid for the rough draft of the That recrimination shall include any of the deed or brief, it is sufficient that the copies grounds for which divorces may be obtained à be charged for at the stationer's price. mensá et thoro.
! Now, an attorney's practice, producing That the existing mode of obtaining a di- an income of only a few hundreds a year, vorce à vinculo shall no longer be continued. That a verdict at law, and an ecclesiastical
cannot be conveniently conducted without sentence, shall not be considered as preliminary
two clerks at least—the attorney must at conditions which must be complied with before
certain hours, and, indeed, as much as posit can be obtained.
sible, be in his office to see his clients. He That a new tribunal shall be constituted to must, therefore, have an intelligent clerk, try all questions of divorce.
who knows the routine of business to be That all matrimonial questions also which transacted in Court and at the Offices, and are now determined in the Ecclesiastical Courts' is intrusted with many matters of detail shall be transferred to the same tribunal. That this tribunal shall consist of a Vice
by which the time of his principal is saved. Chancellor, a Common Law Judge, and a Judge
| There must also be one or more careful of the Ecclesiastical Courts.
copying clerks. The assistance of the law That the party who seeks a divorce, whether stationer is only called in, when the papers it be a divorce à mensá et thoro, or a divorce à are required more speedily than the clerks of vinculo matrimonii, shall pledge his belief to the office can supply them. The law stathe truth of the case, and that there is no col. tioner pays his extra writers not by salary lusion between himself and his wife. That the evidence shall be oral, and taken The
but at a certain rate for the actual work. down in the presence of the parties.
They are not responsible for the accuracy That in general the process, practice, and
of the copies, and, indeed, a stationer's expleading, shall conform to the process, practice. Iamination is never relied on. It is the duty and pleading of the Court of Chancery, as of the attorney and his clerks to examine recently improved; with such additions as copies or engrossments, and the attorney is may be beneficially derived from the ecclesi- responsible for the consequences of any astical system.
omission or inaccuracy. That the rules of evidence shall be the same Considering that the attorney must pay as those which prevail in the Temporal Courts his clerks whether they are fully employed of the kingdom.
That the Judges shall have the power of ex. or not, and that he is answerable for all amining the parties, and also of ordering any mistakes, and considering the great importwitnesses to be produced, who in their opinion/ance of having legal documents and papers may throw light on the question.
completed with perfect accuracy, it is mani
Remuneration of Solicitors. fest that 4d. per folio is a moderate charge
Law Stat". for copying and examining papers. We
£ $. d. £ s. d. deny that the copy or engrossment of al Instructions for declaralegal instrument is a mere mechanical
tion . . . . .068 affair ; it requires an amount of skill and
Drawing same, 20 folios 1 0 0 care to ascertain its accuracy which the folia
| Copy to file, at 4d. per
Tona . . . stationer's writer does not possess, or
. 0 6 8 0 2 0
Close copy. . .0 6 8 0 2 0 does not bestow. Indeed, a specific fee is Fee to pleader to settle . 1 1 0 allowed on taxation to the solicitor for exa- Attending him . 0 3 4 mining deeds not prepared by himself before they are executed by his client. It is
£3 4 4 idle to speak of the stationer's charge as the “ Now when pleadings are what is called "market value” of the copying. The settled by a pleader, they are in fact entirely whole instrument. in its perfect state. I drawn by him ; so that the charge for “ drawmust be taken into consideration. You
ing same” is made, but no service whatever must have men of learning and experience
rendered. The attorney's work really done to prepare deeds and conduct actions and
is charged 10s. for ; the copying would cost at suits, and it is well for the public that they 11. ls. ; making 11. 15$. The attorney, how
the law stationer's 4s., and the pleader's fee, should be persons of integrity and able to ever, gets above this, 1l. 8s. 4d. ; being an exanswer for any omission or neglect of duty. cess of 42 per cent. To expedite business they must have a suf-l “As a final example, your Committee give ficient number of clerks. How can all the costs of the drawing and taxation of the bill these requisites be obtained without ade of costs of the solicitor for one of the defendquate remuneration ?
ants in the case of S. v. A., in the Rolls Court.
| The amount of the bill was 4241. 168. 11d.; The report to which we have referred it consists of 256 folios, and was taxed on the thus proceeds:
| Ilth February, 1853, by Mr.
are three parties to the suit, and this portion of “To take another instance. Your Com the costs is as follows : mittee have had under their inspection a so
£ s. d. £ s. d. licitor's bill for an attempted sale of some To drawing bill of costs and farms, but which proved abortive. The total fair copy (8d. per folio).8 10 0 amount of the law expenses (exclusive of those Copy for Messrs. L. (soliciof the valuations and of the sale itself) is tors for plaintiff). 4 5 0 757. 188. 2d. Among the items of this bill | Copy for Messrs. V. & Y. they find the following: - Instructions for (solicitors for other dem abstract and looking out deeds, ll. ls.; draw fendant) . . .4 5 0 ing the same, 79 sheets, and fair copy, 391. 108.;
ructions for conditions of sale, 13s. 4d.: Total costs of sending in the bill 17 0 0 drawing same and fair copy, 31 folios, 21. 18.4d.; Attending taxation (one at- £ s. d. eight fair copies thereof, 6 brief sheets each, tendance for every 25 81. The 391. 10s. so charged for the abstract, is at the rate of 108. per sheet, being composed Ditto for the two other soliof 6s. 8d. per sheet for drawing, and 38. 4d. citors . . . . 6 13 4 per sheet for copying (the correct charge, Dax, Attending to settle queries, 461); this makes, therefore, 131, 3s. 4d, for three solicitors · 1 0 0 copying the abstract alone, the law stationer's Warrants, certificate of costs, charge for which would be 31. 19s. For draw- and Accountant-General 3 19 2 ing the conditions of sale, there is 11. lls. Per-centage on Fee Fund, (Dax, 488); copy thereof, 10s. 4d. (law sta- ! 2per cent · · ·8 15 0 tioner's charge, 3s. 1d.); and the law stationer's charge for the eight fair copies of six Total costs of taxation . . 23 14 2 sheets each, would be 21. 8s. Hence it appears that among these items, amounting to
Total 40 14 2 511. 5s. 8d., there is charged for professional “On these charges the only remark to be skill, 291. 12s., and for copying, 21l. 138. 8d., made is, that the taxation itself really occupied for which, however, the law stationer, would five hours; but as one hour is allowed at the charge 61. 10s. Id.; and the solicitor charges, office for every 25 folios in the bill, the whole herefore, for copying, 15l. 3s. 7d. more than 11 hours are charged for by each of the three its market value ; -that is 29), per cent. on solicitors at 6s. 8d. an hour. (See the Chancery those items, and 20 per cent. on the whole Commissioners' Report, App. A., p. 110.) amount of the bill.
) "The cost of copying the bill of costs is “As an example of the expenses of special | 121. 158. pleadings, the costs of a special declaration of “These instances will suffice to show how 20 folios would be as follows :
| large a proportion of a bill of costs the charges
Remuneration of Solicitors - Manchester Law Association - Annual Meeting.
for copying and engrossing usually constitute wise and well-considered legal reforms than They do not, however, explain the whole of the the Profession itself, -objects, however, which, influence the exorbitant profit allowed upon as individuals, they were powerless to obtain, them has upon the purse of the client. That and which could only be successfully urged as influence must now be traced a step further. they had been by the combined efforts which In what has been said it has been assumed their Association afforded. But the efficiency that the documents which have been spoken of of the Association had not only been maniwere of a fixed length, and incapable of exten- fested in the objects to which he had alluded sion or curtailment; but that is by no means -it had been shown in its exertions to correct the case. The verbosity and prolixity of con- the extortions and abuses of the lower grades as veyancers has been so long notorious that well as in maintaining its position and in prowords would be wasted in any attempt to bring tecting its just rights and privileges from eathe charge home to them; and it is appre- croachment by the higher branches of the Pro. hended that special pleaders and equity drafts- fession. They would remember, that on the men will be admitted to have been hitherto discussion of the County Courts' Bill, the Atopen to a similar imputation. There is, how-torney-General and members of the Bar in ever, the best authority for stating that pro- the House of Commons endeavoured to gire lixity and the introduction (frequently to a to the Bar the right of pre-audience over the scandalous extent) of unnecessary and irrele- attorneys, which was a direct interference with vant matter into pleadings, conveyances, and the privileges of the latter, as well as with the other legal documents, constitute a most seri- rights of the Public. It was an innovation ous evil, for which at present there is no ade- I highly important to that portion of their quate remedy. Your Committee think that branch of the Profession who practise adro. under the present system no other result cap cacy in those Courts, and their own and other reasonably be expected ; since for every au- Law Associations felt bound to take the most ditional 75 words the solicitor can get into a efficient means to resist it, as well to obriate deed he will be paid – for drawing it, 1s., for the more immediate consequences of such an fair copy, 4d., for engrossing, 8d.; and a infringement, as also to prevent the equally similar profit, more or less, is to be made on important object, that of preventing its being every pleading at Law and in Equity; that used as a precedent in the pending and proconveyancers, pleaders, and equity draftsmen spective legal reforms; and although the Lar are also in great measure paid according to Associations were so far successful in their length; and last, thouyh not least, that his objects, it would be remembered that in a want of legal knowledge must, in almost every recent Act a declaratory clause had been incase, place the client, so far as the length or serted with regard to a subject which had necessity of the documents for which he has to been much discussed, viz., the right of the pay are concerned, entirely in the hands of his Bar to receive instructions from litigants professional adviser."
themselves, and without the intervention of With regard to law stationers' charges, so attorneys; in effect, to break down that line of often repeated in the report, the solicitors useful in being maintained to preserve the real
demarcation which he thought was not less who employ them are responsible, as already interests of the Bar than their own and those observed, for the accuracy of the transcripts, of the Public. He believed, however, that up and the law stationer's examination is:
to the present time the members of the Bar never relied on. The writers they employ he believed
had not availed themselves of this practice;
writers they employ he believed that generally the Bar did not parmake the most strange and ignorant blunders. ticipate in the views of a learned individual of Besides, the solicitors are not obliged to em. I their own body, in whom the town of Bir. ploy law stationers: they may have careful mingham rejoiced, and who had recently linclerks in their own establishments, and, in
**mortalised himself by the publication of a
" pamphlet containing his views of the relative cluding a competent examination of copies and positions of the Bar and the attorneys, one of engrossments, with the responsibility incurred, which for their edification, he would give to the usual charge is perfectly reasonable. them in his own words :-“Why," (said the
learned gentleman, addressing his own branch
of the Profession),—"why should you employ MANCHESTER LAW ASSOCIATION.
a middle-man to do that which is best done
by yourself: If the attorney were only the ANNUAL MEETING.
barrister's clerk, which, under a good system, [Concluded from p. 379.]
he should be, there would be no harm in his Mr. George Thorlev, in continuation, said- introducing the case to his master." He There was scarcely anything of value in the (Mr. Thorley), however, trusted that, notwithrecent Equity changes but what had been pre standing this gentleman's sage conclusions viously suggested by solicitors. Indeed.'the and advice, that for the maintenance of the course adopted by their own and all kindred honour and prestige of the Bar, the right wo associations had illustrated another of their which he had alluded would never be exerleading principles, that none are more desircised by any of its members; and he concur. ous or more really interested in promoting red in the views of the writer of an articie 1
Manchester Law Association - Annual Meeting.
419 the last number of a Quarterly Review, on the closely, and to render their Association more Life and Letters of the late Mr. Justice Story, I powerful in organisation and efficiency “to the eminent American jurist, who, after stat- stand by their order," and to protect their own ing that he entered the office of Mr. Samuel just rights and privileges. For, like the late Sewell, of the Essex Bar, observes :
Government, and very unlike their friends of " It is called an office : for the barristers of the Peace Society, he believed that so long as the United States, except in the Supreme human nature should retain its present attriCourt of Washington, may be, and commonly butes, that until the lion should lie down with are, admitted and act as attorneys also-a the lamb,—until, indeed, the millennium itself union of characters happily, as we think, un- should come, and there should be no longer known as yet in England, which, though it need of law or lawyers, the best means of premay frequently give to the barrister a more venting attacks and invasion of every kind practical and intimate knowledge of the details would be by maintaining in a state of efficiency of procedure, tends to lower the tone, and with their defences. And when he then looked conscientious minds even to fetter the freedom around in that the fortress and citadel of their in the discharge of their duties. It is not good Association and beheld the large array of for the advocate to be immediately in contact mental and physical force which could at any with the hopes and fears, the strong unreason-moment be summoned into action, although able likeings and hates of his clients, still less they would, for the promotion of evil, of selfish, to have to search for witnesses, to guard them or unworthy objects, be powerless, yet he felt against tampering, and to go through all that confident that, in maintaining their own just preliminary contention in a cause which must rights, in the correcting of abuses, and in obbring the mind heated and embittered to what taining wise and well-considered legal changes, ought to be the open, measured, free, and yet their efforts would be found to possess the courteous contention of the trial.”
confidence and support of the Public, and in In making those observations, he (Mr. T.) | the results irresistible. wished to guard himeelf from any feeling of Mr. Stephen Heelis proposed the healths of hostility towards the Bar, for whom, as a body, the Lord Chancellor and the Judges. Mr. he had always entertained the highest esteem Heelis observed that this toast included all the and regard, both for their learning, integrity, Judges of the Superior Courts, both of Law and that fearless spirit of independence, to and Equity in London, who, he had no hesitawhich we may mainly attribute, in a constitu- tion in saying, were a body of men unequalled tional point of view, the protection of our in the world. He did not mean to say (for it rights and our liberties, and the maintenance would be affectation if he did), that there were of the pure administration of the laws, as well not to be found in other professions, and in by their learning and research, as by the sa- high places in other professions, men of great lutary influence they produce, even in the ability, but, without fear of contradiction, he highest tribunals; and he believed them to be asserted that there was no profession which highly useful, both to the Public and their had at its head the same galaxy of talent which own branch of the Profession. His only hope was displayed by the Judges of the Superior was, that pothing should occur with regard to Courts in this country. And while he said such a body, and least of all emanating from that, and while he would more particularly itself, that should injure its prestige or impair refer to that great law functionary who was its usefulness, or which should bring the two the first in their Profession-the Lord Chanbranches of the Profession into hostility and cellor-he might be permitted to express a reunfriendly feeling. And although it was per- gret (which he believed was common amongst haps to be expected, that in the extensive the Profession and the community at large) changes which had taken place in various de- that circumstances had prevented a nobleman partments of the Law, and the confusion and recently elevated to that distinguished position jostling of the Profession, out of their usual from retaining it, in consequence of a change and accustomed positions, some encroachment in ner Majesty's Government. Lord St. Leomight naturally be expected, yet he had great nards had long been looked to by the commuconfidence that in the exercise of a sound dis- nity at large as a man decidedly fitted to occretion and right feeling by both branches, cupy the post which eventually he was called and, he would add, a sense of the mode in upon to fill-and having been called at a short which the administration of Justice and the notice into that position, at a time when great public good would be best served, that a short changes were looked for, and great changes time only would be required to dispel any dif- going on, he thought it might be averred that ficulties, and that the Profession would settle he was found quite eqnal to the task which the down into that useful division of labour and times and the public service had imposed upon pursuits, within the principles of their ancient him ; and he went to the performance of his and accustomed limits, which he believed duties not merely in order to carry on the law would be found to be in the result most con- as it then stood, but also to initiate and carry ducive to the best interests of both branches of out those improvements in practice, which they the Profession, as well as of the community. had seen done within the last twelvemonths in On the other hand, he by no means wished to a manner which challenged the admiration and be understood that they should relax in their approval even of his birterest political foes. exertions to connect themselves still more He (Mr. Heelis) was satisfied that in all quar