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that the majority of cases requiring extraordinary acumen are decided on a principle very nearly resembling a lottery, and that a decision in one court, even on some definite point, one day, is sometimes decided the other way the day after : take the following as an instance; we cite three cases recently reported in the same number of the Law Times :

Brompton, Tuesday, June 17.
(Before ANDREW Amos, Esquire.)

CRAFT v. Cox.
Jurisdiction - Another action pending in superior court.
Quære, may an action be brought in the County Court, another

action being pending for the same cause in the superior courts.

Herbert, before the case was gone into, called an attorney, who proved that plaintiff had brought an action in one of the superior courts against his client, the defendant, for the recovery of the same debt; that plaintiff had declared that defendant had obtained an order for the delivery of the particulars of the plaintiff's demand, which had not been obeyed, and that such action was still pending. Defendant's attorney, therefore, submitted that the court had no jurisdiction.

The Judge was, however, of opinion, that as plaintiff had not obtained judgment in the action, the objection was untenable.

Herbert applied to the judge to take a note of his objection, which his Honour did, and gave him time for consideration, and leave to mention the case again at the rising of the court. The trial then proceeded.

Judgment for plaintiff'; damages, ls. 5d. Herbert, at the rising of the court, again submitted that his Honour had no jurisdiction, and cited the case of Kerbey v. Siggirs, 2 Dowl. P. C. 659.

The JUDGE said he had been reconsidering the matter, and, without determining the question whether in this action he had jurisdiction or not, he was of opinion that defendant's evidence of the lis pendens in the superior court was not sufficient, and that he should have produced the different proceedings in the action.


Manchester, Wednesday, June 16. (Before J.S.T. GREENE, Esquire, in the absence, through indis

position, of R. BRANDT, Esquire.)

ROBERTS v. WILLIAMS. Action pending in superior court between the same parties no bar

to plaint in County Court. Whitworth, for defendant, applied to the court to have the sum

mons dismissed, on the ground that an action between the parties for the same cause of action and the same amount of debt, was now pending in the Common Pleas at Lancaster, to which an appearance had been entered for defendant.

His Honour said this was no defence, and that he had no power to dismiss the summons, and ordered the cause to proceed.

Thursday, June 17.

(Before Henry TRAFFORD, Esquire.) Action pending in a superior court is a bar to plaint in County


Harding, on behalf of a defendant in a case called on this morning, proved that an action was now pending in another court between the same parties for the same debt, when his Honour at once nonsuited the plaintiff.

It will be perceived, from the above, that two judges in the same court gave different decisions.”

Thus one judge leaves as an open question the point, whether lis pendens in a superior court is a bar to a trial' in an inferior court; another judge holds it to be a conclusive bar; and the third rules it to be no bar at all! This is by no means a singular instance of judicial discord. We cite bere merely a fraction of them. Allowance of costs of counsel and of attorney are the rule, and disallowance the exception, in some courts,- while in others allowance is the exception and disallowance the rule. Adjournments of cases simply because one party is not prepared are allowed in some courts without qualification, because they are “in their infancy,” and are wholly refused in others. Unsatisfied judgments in the superior courts are held sometimes to be recoverable in the County Courts, and sometimes not. Service of summons on a wife, in the husband's absence, suffices without further proof in some courts, and does not suffice in others. A new trial was very properly granted in one court, on an affidavit that material evidence was

omitted owing to the ignorance of one of the parties. In another we find this report given in the County Courts Chronicle,' which but for its being uncontradicted we should have supposed to be a typographical blunder of no ordinary magnitude :

Mercer having made some application to the judge about a new trial,

“ His Honour expressed his inability to grant a new trial in any case where the defendant had appeared at a former one."

"A very useful record of the proceedings in these courts.

What, then, does the judge imagine are new trials granted for? They are seldom granted in a case where the defendant does not appear in the superior courts, nor ought they in the new courts, where the defendant is duly summoned. Law such as would certainly startle Westminster Hall not a little has been held in many more instances than one.

As regards the deportment of the judges, and the order maintained in the courts, we find the following judicious remarks, significant of the existence of strange doings, in the last County Courts Chronicle :

“ Courts of Request were bear gardens in noise and confusion, and their character was at the lowest ebb. It is supposed, even by members of the profession who have not acquainted themselves with the extensive jurisdiction and the real importance of the County Courts, that they are only Courts of Requests augmented to 201. There is, therefore, a prejudice against them which deters many good men from going into them-a prejudice which can only be overcome by proof that they are courts where a gentleman can appear to conduct a cause without having to bandy personalities, and where he may feel as much in place as in an Assize Court. We are fully aware of the extreme difficulty of preserving such strictness of form and order where the business is of so miscellaneous a character, and because of its difficulty, do we thus earnestly urge it upon the notice of all officially and professionally engaged in the County Courts. Nor do we write from impulse alone, or fear of future laxity. Complaints have come to us of a tendency towards it in some courts, which we will not now name, in hope that these remarks, addressed to all, may influence the particular instances to which we allude, but with the full understanding that we shall not hesitate to name hereafter any cases in which it may satisfactorily appear that the officers do not maintain for their courts the character after which they ought to strive. In one instance, the advocates took to calling each other names-one being a barrister and the other an attorney, and the judge suffered them to proceed for a long time, and then merely requested silence, instead of administering a severe rebuke, as he should have done. In other cases we have heard of an impatience of the cross-examinations and speeches of advocates on the part of the judge which it would be as well to repress; for however tedious and prosy these may be, they are necessary evils, endured for the sake of a greater good, and the judges of the County Courts would do well, in this respect, to take example by the judges at Westminster, and learn to endure patiently the infliction of such tediousness. And, as a general rule, we hope the judges will do what in them lies to encourage instead of discountenancing the attendance of both branches of the profession in their courts. It may annoy them sometimes to have their sittings protracted by the arguments and talk of advocates; but even these are less troublesome than the irregularities of unrepresented parties, and beyond all else does the presence of the profession give character to a court.”'

It is also complained in some courts that undue haste occurs, and sixty or seventy plaints are the average per hour! Many of course are struck out on the names being called : and one of the parties is often absent; but still very improper haste seems to exist in the cases tried in some courts, if one half of the reports which reach us are correct. We are very glad to find that a general feeling pervades the whole body of judges, that it is improper to permit of the appearance in these courts of professional men, by other than professional means. In one case a barrister appeared before J. M. Carrow, Esq., in which the following colloquy is reported to have occurred :

Barrister—'I appear in this case for defendant.'
“ The Judge.--'Are you instructed by an attorney?"
B.- I am not.'
“ The Judge.--" Then I cannot hear you.'

B.-'I was going to rely on a part of the 91st section, which says, or by leave of the judge.

The Judge.— I would not consent to any barrister in England appearing without being instructed by an attorney.'

* B.- Of course I must submit to your decision.'

“ The Judge.-- Yes; I am quite sure that the act leaves me no discretion ; but if it did, I would not consent to it.

The act says, “ that no person shall be entitled to appear for any other party at any proceeding in any of the said courts, unless he be an attorney of one of ber Majesty's superior courts of record, or a barrister at law, instructed by an attorney, on behalf of the party, or by leave of the judge, any other person.

But that means any


but av attorney or barrister. If he is an attorney, he must be a properly qualified one; and if a barrister, he must be a barrister instructed by an attorney.'

B.-Then no barrister can appear to argue without being instructed by an attorney?

“ The Judge.No; I think the act is imperative. If you like to have the case adjourned, in order to be instructed by an attorney, you can.'' Other judges have likewise refused to allow any persons to appear, except the parties themselves or professional men. We concur in the remarks made by one of the newspapers on this subject some weeks before :

“The judges of the recently constituted County Courts are showing a laudable desire to give the public every possible advantage in the administration of justice under the new measure. One of the inost serious evils to which the suitors resorting to inferior tribunals have been exposed, that of being duped into the employment of sham practitioners, has already received a very decided check from the judges presiding at Southwark and in Bloomsbury. It has been determined in both these places, that persons professing to be clerks of attornies and solicitors shall not be heard unless they can give very satisfactory proof that they are acting with the authority and on behalf of their principals. It is perfectly true that the interference of unqualified persons in legal proceedings is not only a great and growing evil,' 'as the judge of the Bloomsbury County Court observed, but it is an abuse to which the new act is calculated to afford considerable encouragement. The fees allowed for professional assistance to suitors are so exceedingly moderate, that there is a probability of the business of the County Courts falling into the hands of the humblest class of practitioners, between whom and the imposters against whom it is so desirable to guard, it may not be always easy to discriminate.”

Due attention to the improvement of the conduct of business in these and other respects may be expected to take place, not only in points of decorum, but in the correctness of the decisions.

After allowing for all these defects, a vast deal of rough justice is done in these courts.

If any one imagines that because we point out defects,—which it is very important to the public to have remedied before fresh powers are given to these courts,—therefore we are desirous of running down and depreciating them, we are grossly misunderstood. Our earnest desire is to see them improved, and rendered safe and just tribunals for the recovery of small debts and the settlement of small claims. We think, as we have said, that this legitimate sphere of action has been unduly extended, but we are not thereby deterred from doing justice to the real merits of the measure.

One or two very important questions have arisen with regard to these courts, to which we shall now apply ourselves. One affects the attendance of professional men, which

appears to us, upon the whole, desirable. A barrister in Gloucestershire, who had been retained to conduct a defence involving an important question of partnership liability, finding ninety or a hundred cases down for trial before his own, and other professional men similarly inconvenienced, applied to Mr. Francillon, the judge, for precedence to those causes in which professional men are engaged, urging upon his consideration the advantages of the attendance of professional gentlemen to the suitors generally, and the propriety of encouraging their attendance, pointing out at the same time that the delay caused by the present system was likely to exclude from the courts precisely that class of professional men whose time was of the most value, and of whom was most desirable to encourage the attend ce In reply to this application the judge made the following remarks :

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