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Metropolitan and Provincial Law Association.
499 the special rule to exclude attorneys from be- ration and reform without regard to personal coming barristers. Any utterly unlegal man, a feeling or pecuniary considerations. So much retired tailor or scavenger, for instance, might did this feeling pervade the Profession, that it be called to the Bar in three years; while, for would be found upon investigation that many purgatorial reasons he supposed, the attorney, measures for which the Government or some who knows necessarily something of the sub- eminent Judge or barrister had received the ject beforehand, is required to wait five years. warmest praises throughout the country, had These were important questions, affecting really originated with, or been suggested by, the interests of the public even more than some metropolitan or provincial attorney. Their the attorney: and it was an undeniable truth chairman had alluded to the anomaly of the that there was no real difference between the legislation against attorneys by those who held public interest and the interest of a great body attorneys in so much personal esteem; and it like their Profession,
certainly did seem to him a strange inconR. E. Payne, Esq. (Leeds), seconded the resistency. Men of all ranks sought the solicisolution, in which he expressed his most hearty tor, and made him their confidant, their
friend, their adviser in matters of life and The resolution, as well as those subsequently death, in pecuniary concerns, and in domestic proposed, was carried unanimously.
afflictions. No man hesitated to trust his proR. A. Payne, Esq. (Liverpool), proposed the perty, his reputation, his domestic peace, in next resolution, which was,
the hands of his attorney; and yet the attor“That although these objects have to some ney was, by the very men who placed such degree been obtained by means of the various implicit reliance upon his honour and integrity, Local Law Associations throughout the country,
declared unworthy of trust when his own peyet it is only by such an organisation as that cuniary interests were concerned. They deof the Metropolitan and Provincial Law Asso
clared the attorney to be competent to do anyciation that they can be effectually secured.”
thing and everything but charge 6s. 8d. The
speaker next adverted to the attacks made upon He said he thought their associations in the the Profession by a portion of the press, and yarious localities had been of much service in said he looked forward to the time when the keeping up good rules and preserving the eti- press would see it to be its duty to defend the quette of the Profession, as well as in discourag- Profession from the unjust aspersions cast ing those who might otherwise have acted with upon it. After pointing out the beneficial impropriety. He was afraid, however, that operation of the local law societies, and the far the measure of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, greater benefits conferred by the Metropolitan passed 18 months ago, was calculated to ac- and Provincial Law Society, Mr. Moss concelerate the introduction of unworthy persons cluded by urging all the gentlemen present to into the Profession. He spoke in terms of become missionaries in their several localities, praise of the conduct of the gentlemen of Lon- and spread the knowledge of the Association, don who had taken an active part in the ma- and increase the number of its members. nagement of this Association, and especially T. Hodgson, Esq. (York), proposed the third ealogised the conduct of the worthy secretary, resolution, as follows :Mr. Shaen, to whom he wished to pay a tribute of thanks, in the name of his brethren
generally: to support the Metropolitan and Provincial
"That this meeting, therefore, pledges itself He said that the members of the Metropolitan Law Association by every means in its power and Provincial Law Association had received more than the value of their subscriptions this for the purpose of placing it on such a footing year, by the admirable way in which the di- as shall enable it to act with efficiency." rectors had brought into one focus and placed He expressed his concurrence in what had before the members the whole of the Statutes fallen from Mr. Field, and said, that so far as of last session.
his knowledge went, there was no Statute in W. H. Moss, Esq. (Hull), seconded the re- this country which created the arbitrary dissolution. He said it wanted no meeting like tinctions between the two branches of the Legal that to satisfy the gentlemen present of the Profession which had been assumed and acted importance of that association ; but he thought upon by the Bar, who had been allowed, by the it would not be time wasted if what was said sanction of the Judges, to form themselves into there that day reached the public ear, for with a sort of club, claiming the exclusive right of the public the members of their Profession advocacy in every Court in the country. The ought to be set right. The public had been Bar had, of course, a right to frame their own much misled by writers who had found it to rules, so long as they did not interfere with the their interest to misrepresent and vilify the rights of the public ; but seeing that the inProfession. It was but right, therefore, the terests of the public were seriously interfered public should know that the most able and with by those rules, it was the duty of the successful reformers of their own Profession public to interfere and stop the monopoly. were the lawyers. They had never studied He believed that in the popular mind the popersonal advantage or personal gain in any sition of the Profession was improving. And way; but wherever they had seen an evil or he was quite satisfied that the odium into which an error that could be corrected, they had the Profession fell years ago, arose, in a great boldly come forward and assisted in the alte- measure, from bad legislation, and the sad state
Metropolitan and Provincial Law Association. of the law, which frequently compelled every a fee, even if the barrister never attended the honest attorney to advise his client, even if he Court where the case was heard. He said that had a perfectly good case, not to venture to go the practice of the Bar at the present time was to law. But now that there were so many im-1-far more than at any previous time to take provements in the law, and people began to see the brief and the fee, and not to attend the that justice would be done them, the mistaken Court. These were the gentlemen who talked feeling against attorneys was rapidly wearing of the rights and wrongs of the people; and off, — not that it ought ever to have existed, the yet many of the Judges themselves had in this fault having been with the law, and not with way very frequently sinned against what he the lawyers.
(Mr. F.) called one of the plainest laws of right Arthur Ryland, Esq. (Birmingham), second- and honour. In America, in such a case, the ed the resolution, and, referring to an observa- barrister, however high his position, would retion made by Mr. Moss, said, that if reports turn his fee as a matter of course. were made, showing the suggestions of law J. H. Shaw, Esq. (Leeds), on rising to move reform made by attorneys, which had not been the next resolution, said, the part allotted to adopted, as well as those which had been him was fortunately so limited in extent that he passed into law; and if similar returns were should not have to trespass long upon the time inade with regard to the reforms which had of the meeting. The subject of his resolution been suggested by barristers, it would be was one he had often dwelt upon on former found that the preponderance of real, practical, occasions, and he could only now repeat a valuable reforms, lay with the attorneys to an more than twice told tale, but he could accomoverwhelming extent. As a means of aiding pany the reiteration of it by saying that another this Association, he suggested that they should year's experience had greatly strengthened his hold annual meetings, at which papers should conviction. They had received from Mr. Field be read and discussions taken upon legal sub- and other speakers much valuable information jects, treated in a scientific as well as a practi- upon the general state and future prospects of cal way, after the manner of the British Asso- the Legal Profession, and upon the endeavours ciation for the Advancement of Science. With and he hoped he might say, to some extent, respect to Birmingham, the members of the the success of the Metropolitan and Provincial Association resident there called a meeting re- Law Association, in arresting the progress of cently, at which their respected friend, Mr. the downward course of which they had so much Unett, presided, and where they passed a reso- reason to complain. They had heard also from lution, a copy of which was sent to every solici- other gentlemen, and especially from Mr. Moss, tor in the town, and which would be followed that justice was not done to the Association by 'up by an active canvass. The resolution they the public (nor indeed, he, Mr. Shaw, thought
, "had thus passed and circulated was as follows: was it done by even their own branch of the —“That this meeting is of opinion that the Profession), for the services which it had renimportance of the objects of the Metropolitan dered. That injustice arose simply from its and Provincial Law Association-the uniformly services not being sufficiently made known, zealous and well directed efforts of the com- and he was therefore exceedir:gly desirousmittee to maintain the character and interests (indeed, he thought it of the highest importof our branch of the Profession-and the un- ance)--that greatly increased publicity should remitting and successful attention which the be given to the labours of the committee of the committee has devoted to the various Bills of Association, so that the members of the ProParliament and Rules of Court which have fession and the public might be much better from time to time been introduced for the informed than they were of the amount of good amendment of the law-entitle the Association which had been done, and (what he thought to a more general support of the solicitors in quite as important) the amount of evil which Birmingham than it has bitherto received." had been prevented. That could only be ac.
Mr. Field, in answer to a question, said, that complished through the medium of that powerin America they adopt the ancient practice of ful organ, the influence of which on the public England-the Bar and the solicitors being the opinion of this country was almost irresistible, same. The English Inns of Court were for- he meant the press. One of their main obmerly Universities ; and the Bar of America jects, therefore, ought to be, through the press, had now to pass an examination. Judge to make generally known the clains of the ProStory, whilst Judge of the Supreme Court of fession, and demonstrate the interest which the Appeal, was held in much more honour as public had in supporting those claims; behaving the head professorships of the great cause he maintained it to be a clearly deschool of law in America. He spent one half monstrable truth, that the interests of the of the year in teaching school, and the other Profession and those of the public were half in presiding as one of the Supreme Judges completely identical. This was necessary, of the country. But the great difference be- as a matter of justice to themselves, but he tween the Bar and the Attorneys in this country urged it for the still more important purpose was intimately connected with the rules of right of increasing the efficiency of their institution, and wrong. If an attorney received 1001. to and its power of rendering that service to do something, which he did not do, he would, others, as well as themselves, which they wished as a matter of course, return the money. But to render. His allotted province, however, was the Bar holds it to be unprofessional to return even more limited than this. The point to
Metropolitan and Provincial Law Association:
501 which he had particularly to call their attention gaged. One requisite, therefore, for that purwas that this medium of communication with pose was what a gentleman who had already the public was, in part, under the control and addressed them, emphatically called “the guidance of hands decidedly hostile to them. sinews of war.” But there was another equally He was quite aware that there were gentlemen essential. Any member of their Profession who thought it hazardous to deal freely with who paid attention to the attacks made upon this topic for fear of rousing into increased ac- them through the press, must be aware how tivity the hostility of which they complained; easy it would be in many cases not merely to but for himself, he would say explicitly (and refute them, but expose their outrageous abhe hoped he spoke the feeling of the meeting), surdity. . They often consisted of misrepresenthat, whilst he acknowledged the power with tations so enormous, and blunders so ludicrous, which they had to grapple, he was not disposed as to excite only a smile from the professional to quail before it. He believed that in public reader, but still they would mislead even acute as well as in private life the temperate and ju- minds not familiar with the Profession, and on dicious, but manly and unflinching, assertion that account unprepared to detect fallacies of right, was not only the truest honour but the quite palpable to those who were. They soundest policy, and he believed that truth to wanted therefore not only increased pecuniary be especially applicable to the relation of their means, but that the members of the Profession branch of the Profession with the press. A individually, as far as possible, should furnish portion of that mighty engine habitually accurate statements of facts within their own aspersed their Profession, and a long.continued observation or knowledge, which would furnish silence under those aspersions had given to by far the most powerful weapons for the dethem something like the authority of admitted fence of the Profession. Let it be once brought facts, and enabled those who made them to as- to be a contest between the weapons of misresume an appearance and semblance of impartial presentation and abuse on one side, and the observers and critics, when they were in reality weapons of fact and argument judiciously nothing better than prejudiced and often inter-wielded on the other, and he well knew what ested partisans. He believed they would to no would be the result of such a contest in this inconsiderable extent, disarm those writers of country. It was with especial reference to this their power of mischief by the very act of plac- subject that he had been requested to address ing them in their true position; not that of them; and with the strong sense he had of its impartial judges, to which character they had importance—with his conviction, indeed, that no claim whatever, but of either parties or ad- it was absolutely essential to the attainment of vocates, and generally very uncandid advocates, the object they had in view—the maintenance on one side. For these reasons he had always of the honour and interests of their Profession urged upon the committee of the Association a - he hoped that those present would carry vigilant, active, and systematicoperation through back to their several neighbourhoods a deterthe medium of the press, which if it afforded mination strenuously to support the society, to the bane would equally afford the antidote, for endeavour to increase its numbers, and by it was as open to their body as it was to their every available means strengthen the hands of assailants. He laid particular stress upon the the committee in all its efforts, and more paroperation being systematic. He was aware that ticularly enable it greatly to extend its efforts in there every now and then appeared articles of the very important sphere to which it had been great ability, which, on particular questions, his special province to invite their attention. and to those who went to the consideration of He begged to movethem with minds not already imbued with prejudice, might carry conviction ; but these oc
“That attorneys and solicitors having been casional and spasmodic efforts in isolated cases made the subject of systematic attacks by a would have little effect upon persons whose portion of the press, it is important that the minds were pre-occupied with prejudices in- public mind should be disabused through the stilled into them by the systematic misrepre. same channel ; and that for this purpose this sentations of months and years. If they wished Society call upon the Profession to afford them to exercise any beneficial influence through the increased support.” press, it must be by making the defence of the Profession as systematic as the attacks upon resolution, He briefly expressed his approval
J. Case, Esq. (of Maidstone), seconded the it; and how could that be better done than of the society, and said he believed its effect what was necessary for doing it but that the upon legislation of past years had been exceedAssociation should receive from the Profession
The resolution was carried. a more general and efficient support? What they required was the steady unremitting de F. F. Beever, Esq. (of Manchester), movedvotion of time and talent in the important task "That this meeting is glad to recognise the of correcting and refuting misstatements and efforts which have been made by the Incorpodoing themselves justice; but they could not rated Law Society to improve the educational command, nor could they with honour to them- test of attorneys and solicitors; but they selves accept, that steady unremitting devotion earnestly trust that further steps may be speedily of time and talent, unless they had the means taken to secure for the Profession a higher of fairly remunerating those whom they en- standard of general education.”
Metropolitan and Provincial Law Association.-Law of Attorneys. The subject of an educational test of fitness to that candidates for the Profession should rebe articled had frequently engaged the earnest ceive something more than a merely legal eduand zealous attention of the committee, and cation, and he therefore felt that it devolved during the past year various suggestions had upon them to exert themselves to endeavour been submitted to the Incorporated Law So- to bring the Legislature into the same way of ciety, it being considered that that body was thinking; and he hoped that before long, with peculiarly qualified to bring the question to a the assistance of the Incorporated Law Society, practical solution. Since the stamp duty and they might have formed a code of rules which the duty on articles of clerkship had been re- would secure those advantages. He begged to duced, by which means the facilities for enter- second the resolution, which was carried after ing the Profession had been increased, this some remarks by question had become of still greater import- The Chairman, who stated that the attention
No doubt the poor candidate should not of the Incorporated Law Society had been be excluded simply because he was poor, but anxiously devoted to the subject. they must not allow their sympathy for worth Mr. Field having taken the chair, R. Barr, by poverty distressed, make them forget that Esq., of Leeds,
moved in a very complimentary poverty was not a proof of worth. Let their manner, and T. Burn, Esq., of Sunderland, candidates, whether rich or poor, be examined seconded before persons especially appointed, and stand “That the cordial thanks of this meeting be upon their merits. They might leave to the given to the Chairman for his excellent services examiners to decide whether the examination in the chair this day, and for his constant de should be on ancient classics and mathematics, votion and zeal to the interests and honour of or on a curriculum of a more general and prac- the Profession generally.”. tical character; but he thought the examina- After the meeting above forty members dined tion should precede clerkship, and should be together at five o'clock, at the White Horse made a test of fitness for articles. With such Hotel; Mr. Shaw in the Chair. A good deal an examination they would have some guaran- of interesting conversation took place upon the tee as to the future success of the candidate. proposed educational test, and on the sugges
J. Lewis, Esq. (Wrexham), said, the subject tion which had been made by Mr. Ryland, that had been before the members for the last eight at these meetings previously prepared papers or ten years, that the Legislature had in a should be read and discussed.
This suggreat degree conceded the necessity of it, by gestion met with general approval, and a warm affording advantages to gentlemen who had invitation was given by Mr. Unett, of Birmingtaken a degree at the university. Whilst a ham, to make that town the place of meeting classical education was necessary, it was not next year. The party broke up soon after ten enough, and he hoped that ere long, gentle- o'clock. men before they were articled would produce certificates that they attended a course of lectures on all the various branches of physical
LAW OF ATTORNEYS. science. After illustrating the great importance of such knowledge, Mr. Lewis said, he TAXATION OF costs. thought it must be obvious to every one that a CATE NOT FILED.--RESTRAINING ACTION mere pecuniary test was not at all satisfactory. Any man who could raise his sol. could, if it
It appeared that on May 23, 1850, a client were necessary, raise a larger sum, and therefore a pecuniary test could not be any
evi- presented a petition to the Master of the dence of respectability. He could recollect the Rolls for the taxation of the bill of costs of time when the idea of solicitors undergoing her solicitor, upon which the usual order was any examination as to their legal fitness was made, and a direction that no proceedings at laughed and sneered at, and in some instances law or otherwise should be commenced against it was said by members of the Bar that attorneys did not require a knowledge of law. They her in respect of the bill pending the reference. knew the reason of that. If an attorney did not The Master accordingly certified on August know law, he must take a great many more 30, 1850, but the amount of the bill as taxed counsel's opinions. Gentlemen of the Bar stood in an invidius position-a man who
was less by a sixth part than the bill delivered. could not write his own name might be called The client died on Dec. 31, 1851, without to the Bar if he would pay his 1001.
, and eat having filed the certificate, and in July, 1852, the requisite number of dinners, and then he her representatives tendered the amount as might claim the exclusive privilege, which was taxed to the solicitor, who refused to accept not found in America, and which prevented solicitors from conducting their cases from the the same, and in the November following comcommencement to the termination. It menced an action against them for the amount often annoying to hear barristers not only tinker, but actually maul, your case, and to · We are indebted for this Report to The feel that you had no alternative but to remain Leeds Intelligencer of 21st October, with a copy quiet, and afterwards take the blame of your of which, accompanied by some corrections, client. He thought it was actually necessary we have been favoured.—ÉD.
Law of Attorneys.-Law of Costs. Annual Registration of Attorneys. 503 of his bill after deducting the excess of re- Considering that his Honour was dealing with ceipts over payments. The Master of the a case which affected the general interests of Rolls, on Jan. 17, 1853, granted an injunction society, and particularly the whole class of to restrain this action, and for the delivery solicitors, I think that it would have been to up of documents, against which the solicitor forget what was due to the Court, to society, now appealed.
and to justice, not to make the order. I am Bruce, L. J., said,—“The taxation was com- not sure that I am doing right in not giving pleted in August, 1850, and the Master issued my voice for a stronger decision than merely his certificate. The lady lived until the end of saying, as I do—that the appeal ought to be 1851. During this time—a year and six dismissed with costs." In re James Campbell, months-it appears that the certificate of the 3 De G. M‘N. & G. 585. Master was not filed, but the solicitor did not require it to be filed or complained of its not
LAW OF COSTS. having been filed, nor has he ever alleged that he was unaware of its nature, which he must
OP SUIT, WHERE TRUSTEE DIVIDES ESTATE be taken to have well known.
UNDER COUNSEL'S ADVICE. “It has been urged on his behalf, that by this
The trustee of a will, acting upon the omission the certificate became void; but I opinions of two counsel, had distributed the am clearly of opinion that it did not. It whole estate according to a different view of may very well be that until filing it no pro- the construction of the will to that which the ceedings could be taken under it, or for the Court, upon a claim, held the proper construcpurpose of complaining of it. That is quite a tion. He was ordered to pay the costs of the different question. There is no pretence for the suit
, as well as pay the amount of the share to argument that the certificate was invalid by
a child who was entitled. Boulton v. Beard, 3 reason that it was not filed.
De G., M'N & G., 608. “The lady having died in December, 1851, without having paid this small amount [91.] due from her, a tender, or substantially a
MONEY OF LAND TAKEN FOR RAILWAY. tender, of that sum was, in the following July, made to the solicitor on behalf of her repre
It appeared that the purchase-money of sentative, her daughter, accompanied by a de. some settled land, taken under the powers of mand of her papers, which, on payment, he a railway act, was paid into Court, and that
afterwards a contract was entered into for the was bound to return. He refused to return
investment of the money in land. A petition them, upon the ground, as I understand-an utterly mistaken ground—that the taxation was subsequently presented for the temporary
investment of the money in consols : Held, was invalid for the reason that I have before mentioned. Some months afterwards, still
that the proceeding was not vexatious, and retaining the deeds and having declined to
that the company must pay the costs. In re receive the money, he took the strange course,
Liverpool, &c., Railway Company, 17 Beav.
392. which is very greatly to be regretted, of bringing an action for the whole amount of his bill, as if no taxation had been had. Whether that ANNUAL REGISTRATION OF AT
TORNEYS. was a contempt of the Court, I am not prepared to say, but this I will say, that it was a course which no solicitor ought to have taken,
The Forms of Declaration, under the 6 & 7 -that it was a course which a solicitor would | Vict. c. 73, may be had on application at the be justly and highly censurable for advising or Office of the Incorporated Law Society, Chanpermitting a client to take. To take it on his cery Lane. own behalf and in his own case was still more to be particular in filling them up, either by
The Members of the Profession are requested censurable.
themselves, their partners, or their London "A petition was presented at the Rolls, for Agents ; and to send them to the office on as the delivery of the deeds and for the stay of early a day as possible. the action, and the Master of the Rolls, with does not contain all the particulars required by
1. No Declaration can be acted upon which perfect propriety, made the order with costs, the Act of Parliament. but allowed the solicitor the gl. due to him. 2. Every Declaration must be delivered at
OF TEMPORARY INVESTMENT OF PURCHASE