Page images

Incorporated Law Society-Annual Report.

duties of examination and registration. The frontage required for this purpose is about 35 feet, which is rather more than half the extent of the societies property on the south side.

The houses on the site on which the new building is proposed to be erected are in such a dilapidated state, that they must, at an early period, either be pulled down and rebuilt, or a considerable sum expended on them; and the houses on the southernmost part of the society's property, not required for the extension, are in a tolerable state of repair.

The Council have consulted Mr. Hardwick, Jun., as architect, who has prepared the plans of the new buildings and alterations, copies of which have been placed in the hall for the inspection of the members. The tender for the work has not yet been received, and it will be necessary to borrow the principal part of the amount on the security of the society's property, which is amply sufficient for the purpose.

Advantages of additional building.-The additional accommodation to be derived from the proposed new building may be stated as follows:

1. The completion of the library by erecting a south wing corresponding with the one on the north side of the hall, and by a very material improvement in the library staircase.

2. The two offices next Chancery Lane, now occupied by the secretary and clerks, will be at the service of members as conference rooms.

3. Large and convenient offices will be placed on the additional site, for the despatch of the business of the society.

4. A corridor will be formed on the south side of the hall, leading to the Council room, the arbitration rooms, and secretary's office.

5. The present Council room may be used for arbitrations. Two other arbitration rooms are provided, and the new Council room will be placed on the additional site.

6. Twenty-one additional strong rooms will be provided, with a convenient office for the examination of deeds deposited in the strong rooms

7. An open area on the new site will afford additonal light and air to the library staircase and front vestibule.

The state of the funds of the society will appear by the auditors' account, which, as usual, has been laid for inspection in the secretary's office since the 15th April. It may be briefly stated here, that, out of the surplus income of the society, a further sum of £500 of the debt due to the bankers has been paid off; that the receipts for the year 1855 amount to £6,078. 8s. 11d., and the payments to £5,502. 5s. 6d.; and that in the present year a further sum of £500 has been paid out of the surplus income, in further reduction of the loan.

The act of 16 & 17 Vic. c. 63, reduced the annual certificate tax by one-fourth only, and if the tax had been entirely abolished, provision must have been made for the annual registration of all solicitors, for which a fee would have been payable to the society. As this object was not effected, the attention of the Council has since been directed to the propriety of providing other funds from the profession generally, for

the purpose of relieving the society from the expenses paid or incurred out of its funds for objects in

which the profession generally, and not the members of the society individually, are interested, and by the promotion of which they are benefitted. The fees hitherto received by the society for examination and registration, did not cover the expenses direct and incidental incurred in reference thereto.


The Council therefore deemed it right on the part of the society to submit to the judges the propriety of exercising their powers for increasing the fees of examination from £2. 2s. to £3. 3s., and for the registration, from 1s. 6d. to 2s. 3d. Their lordships have been pleased to order the fees to be increased accordingly.

The library. Since the last annual meeting, about 400 volumes have been added to the collection of works in the library, exclusive of the proceedings, reports, returns, and other papers of the House of Commons.

The society is indebted to several authors and members of the society for their contributions to the library, and the club has also presented to it several periodical works during the year. Amongst the donations are a considerable number of old and scarce books upon various branches of law and practice; and the Council would suggest to the members, when they are clearing their shelves of old legal works which may appear to be of no immediate utility, that they should forward a list to the society, in order that any defects in the society's collection may be supplied. They would also call attention to the circular annually sent to the members, specifying the numbers of the London Gazette which are yet required to complete that extensive work.

The Council have also to acknowledge the contribution of copies of numerous local, personal, and private acts of Parliament, which have been made by the solicitors for the promoters, during the years 1853, 1854 and 1855; and though the collection of these acts are at present imperfect, the Council trust that, by the aid of the members and other solicitors who are engaged in Parliamentary business, the collection will ultimately be completed.

The members of the society having occasion frequently to refer to the acts and ordinances of her Majesty's colonies, the Council endeavoured to purchase a collection for the library, particularly those of recent date; but they have been unable to meet with any copy for sale; and they therefore, applied to the Colonial Office, for any duplicate or other copies of these acts and ordinances which could be spared, and the Council have been favoured with a communication to the effect, that in future the acts and ordinances will be supplied to the society.

The lectures delivered in the hall of the society comprised a course on equity and bankruptcy, by Mr. Humphry; on conveyancing by Mr. Baggallay, and on common law and criminal law, by Mr. Kerr, commencing in Michaelmas Term, and extending to the latter part of March. These lectures have been attended by a considerable number of the members, as well as by the Council in rotation, and by 172 students or articled clerks.

The number of new members admitted during the year has been 78, and after deducting the deaths and retirements, the society now consists of 1234 town and 317 country members, making together 1551.

There have been no vacancies in the Council since the last meeting. The names of the members who go out of office in rotation have been placed up in the hall, in accordance with the bye-law, and they are eligible for re-election.

Although the society has of late largely increased in number the Council would remind the members, that it is desirable to enrol every respectable solicitor under the charter of incorporation, so that ultimately, like the College of Surgeons, and the Society of Apothecaries, "the Incorporated Law Society may comprise every attorney and solicitor

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

THIS bill, by an incumbrancer of an alleged remainder-man against the tenant for life for the production of the title-deeds and delivery of copies and abstracts, was dismissed with costs. The defendant's costs were taxed at £410. The plaintiff objected to the allowance of a charge of £60 13s. 4d. for drawing an abstract of the defendant's title-deeds, and of £60 13s. 4d. for making two copies thereof for counsel, and of opinions of various counsel on the title; also for making two copies of the interrogatories and other papers to be laid before counsel for preparing the answer; also fees, &c., to two junior counsel for settling the answer and attendances; also the increase from £5 3s. 8d. to £13 3s. 8d. of the item for abbreviating the answer, by estimating it at its total length, including the schedules, and this after the bill had been brought into the office; and lastly for consultation with reference to the exceptions which were taken to the answer. The Master had disallowed all the objections.

The Master of the Rolls said

"This is an appeal from the taxation of a bill of costs by one of the Taxing Masters, the bill in the cause having been dismissed with costs.

"The first item complained of is an item of about £60 for drawing an abstract of certain documents which were required for the defendant's answer. The question is the propriety of the amount the Master has allowed. The amount in the bill charged was £79 6s. 8d., and the Master has diminished the number of brief-sheets by his mode of calculating. "This depends on the 120th order of the 8th of May, 1845. The words of the order are these:--'Where costs are to be taxed as between party and party, the Taxing Master may allow to the party entitled to receive such costs, all such just and reasonable expenses as appear to have been properly incurred in' (I pass over those that do not relate to this) supplying counsel with copies of, or extracts from, necessary documents.' The word abstract,' I have reason to know, at least I have been so informed by extremely good anthority since this case was heard, was purposely omitted from this order, in order to avoid the extra price of 68. 8d. per sheet being obtained, instead of 3s. 4d,, which would be the price allowed for a copy. At the same time, if a solicitor who might have copied at length a large number of documents, and might have charged 3s. 4d. per sheet for them, has omitted to do so, but, in lieu thereof, has prepared an abstract of less than half

[ocr errors]

the size, and at a less expense than would have been incurred by making copies of the documents, I should think, that on the taxation of costs, this might properly be allowed, because, in point of fact, there is a benefit derived to the parties by it. But in either case, the documents in question must be prepared for the purpose of the suit, and whether this was so or not in the present case depends on the affidavit of Mr. Hooper, the clerk of the solicitor of the defendant, who has put in in a very fair affidavit stating how the matter stood. The passage which refers to this matter is this:

"I personally superintended the management of this suit on behalf of the above-named defendant, and in particular the preparation of the abstract of title laid before counsel on behalf of the said defendant, for the purpose of enabling them to prepare the answer to the bill filed by the abovenamed plaintiff in this cause, and that the preparation of such abstract of title (being the same abstract as is mentioned in the bill of costs of the said defendant in this cause) was commenced on or about the 30th day of May, 1854, at which time an arrangement was pending for supplying the plaintiff, at his own expense, with such abstract of title, without suit, but such arrangement was not carried out, and the above-named plaintiff filed his bill of complaint in this cause, when such abstract of title was completed, and used for the purpose of preparing the answer of the defendant, as before mentioned, and such abstract of title was not prepared for any other purpose or occasion whatever than that before mentioned.'

"Now I think, upon this statement, that the abstract cannot be said to have been prepared for the purpose of the answer. It was, in point of fact, prepared before the suit, and with a view to an arrangement, although arising out of the same matter, and between the same parties, and I think that the order confines the allowance to such documents only as are prepared really and bona fide for the answer. Certainly, if it were done for a totally distinct purpose some time before, no one could reasonably contend that it could be charged, and so, also, if done in respect of a question between the same persons, but on a distinct occasion. I think that, to entitle it to be charged, it must be done bona fide for the purposes of the answer, and that this was not so in the present case, as it appears, in fact, to have been prepared before the bill was filed. The copy of it, for the counsel who prepared the answer, is proper, and must be allowed.

"The next question is, the propriety of the allowance of two junior counsel to settle the answer of the defendant, Lord Dysart. Mr. Measure, a conveyancer of eminence, had been consulted by Lord Dysart on the subject of his title, and also as to what documents might be produced, and what not; it was, therefore a matter of importance to Lord Dysart that the advice and assistance of Mr. Measure should be obtained in the preparation of his answer. Mr, Measure, however, not being in the habit of practising in court as an equity draftsman, it required some other gentleman should be employed as junior counsel. This is certainly a very good reason why, for Lord Dysart's satisfaction, two counsel should have been employed on that occasion, but, in my opinion, it affords no good reason for charging it against the plaintiff. In every case it might be a satisfaction to the defendant to have the united assistance of two counsel to prepare his pleadings, and I see no circumstances of peculiar difficulty or intricacy in this case which requires the assistance two counsel for the performance of those duties which are almost invariably performed by the junior counsel alone. It is, in fact, the introduction of a third counsel in the case, for certain parts of the suit, and I am unable to discover any grounds on which I

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Lam of Costs.-Inns of Court Examinations.

could refuse to allow this in the great majority of cases, if I were to allow it in the present instance.

"As a general rule two counsel are allowed, a junior and a senior; where more are allowed it is an exception to the general rule. So the preparation of the answer by two counsel is an exception to the general rule, and in my opinion the sanction of the court should be obtained for this extra assistance, before it can properly be allowed by the taxing master in a question between party and party. It is the court alone that is able to judge of the propriety of this extra assistance being charged, inasmuch as it has before it all the details of fact and the points of law which are raised and discussed, on which it has to form and pronounce an opinion.

"In my opinion, therefore, all that portion of this bill of costs which has been occasioned by the employment of Mr. Measure, however proper as regards Lord Dysart, cannot properly be charged as between party and party against the plaintiff, and it must be omitted from the bill.

"The fee for abbreviating the answer by estimating the answer at its total length, including the schedules, I find, on inquiry, is the regular and legitimate charge. This, therefore, is right, and ought to be allowed. I may also observe, that the Master is right in allowing the bill of costs to be altered for this purpose. The bill of costs, as between party and party, is always susceptible of being added to or varied, after it has been brought into the office. In this respect, it is quite different from a bill of costs taxed under the statute, where an alteration cannot be made as against the client, except with his consent, after the bill has been brought in for taxation. In cases of taxation of costs, as between party and party, the bill of costs is analagous to a mere statement of facts, and is a claim by one party against another party to a suit, and it may be amended, in any way and at any time, before the taxation is concluded. This has been the invariable practice, as I am informed on inquiry.

"With respect to the remaining items, I think that a consultation on the exceptions between the counsel was proper, and ought to be allowed, distinct from the consultation on the cause, although, by arrangement, the exceptions stood over to come on with the hearing of the cause. I do not understand correctly whether copies of interrogatories are charged for in this consultation as distinct from the copies made for the purpose of the preparation of the answer. It appears to me, that such is the case. If s So, then my opinion is, that only copies of the interrogatories to those answers which were excepted to can be allowed for this purpose; and as I have already stated with respect to the employment of a third counsel, one copy only ought to be allowed in the preparation of the answer.

"In all other respects, the taxation of the Master, on the matters complained of, appears to me to be correct. There must, therefore, be an order to review the taxation in the matters mentioned, and no costs on either side. Probably after the statement I have made it will not be necessary to send the bill back to the Master, but it may be moderated by the solicitors on both sides, who will easily be able to arrange it, after what I have stated as my view of the case."

Davis v. Earl of Dysart, 21 Beav. 124.




THE Council of Legal Education have approved of
the following rules for the Public Examination of
the students.

following rules of the inns of court:-
The attention of the students is requested to the

"As an inducement to students to propose themselves for examination, studentships shall be founded of fifty guineas per annum eàch, to continue for a period of three years, and one such studentship shall be conferred on the most distinguished student at each public examination; and further, the examiners shall select and certify the names of three other students who shall have passed the next best examinations; and the inns of court to which such students belong may, if desired, dispense with any terms, not exceeding two, that may remain to be kept by such students previously to their being called to the bar. Provided that the examiners shall not be obliged to confer or grant any studentship or certificate unless they shall be of opinion that the examination of the students they select has been such as entitles them thereto."

"At every call to the bar those students who have passed a public examination, and either obtained a studentship or a certificate of honour, shall take rank in seniority over all other students who shall be called on the same day."

"No students shall be eligible to be called to the bar who shall not either have attended during one whole year the lectures of two of the readers, or have satisfactorily passed a public examination."

Rules for the Public Examination of Candidates for Honours, or Certificates, entitling Students to be called to the Bar.

An examination will be held in next Michaelmas Term, to which a student of any of the inns of court, who is desirous of becoming a candidate for a studentship or honour, or of obtaining a certificate of fitness for being called to the bar, will be admissible.

Each student proposing to submit himself for examination will be required to enter his name at the treasurer's office of the inn of court to which he and he will further be required to state in writing belongs, on or before the 23rd day of October next, whether his object in offering himself for examination is to compete for a studentship or other honourable distinction; or whether he is merely desirous of obtaining a certificate preliminary to a call to the bar.

The examination will commence on Thursday, the 30th day of October next, and will be continued on the Friday and Saturday following.

It will take place in the Benchers' Reading Room of Lincoln's-inn; and the doors will be closed ten minutes after the time appointed for the commencement of the examination.

The examination by printed questions will be conducted in the following order :

Thursday Morning, the 30th October, at halfpast Nine, on Constitutional Law and Legal History; in the Afternoon, at half-past one, on Equity.

Friday Morning, the 31st October, at half-past nine, on Common Law; in the Afternoon, at half-past one, on the Law of Real Property, &c.

Saturday Morning, the 1st November, at half

[blocks in formation]

past nine, on Jurisprudence and the Civil Law; in the Afternoon, at half-past one, a paper will be given to the students, including questions bearing upon all the foregoing subjects of examination.

The oral examination will be conducted in the same order, during the same hours, and on the same subjects, as those already marked out for the examination by printed questions, except that on Saturday Afternoon there will be no oral examination.

The oral examination of each student will be conducted apart from the other students; and the character of that examination will vary according as the student is a candidate for honours or a studentship, or desires simply to obtain a certificate.

The oral examination and printed questions will be founded on the books below mentioned; regard being had, however, to the particular object with a view to which the student presents himself for examination.

In determining the question whether a student has passed the examination in such a manner as to entitle him to be called to the bar, the examiners will principally have regard to the general knowledge of law and jurisprudence which he has displayed.

A student may present himself at any number of examinations, until he shall have obtained a certifi


Any student who shall obtain a certificate may present himself a second time as a candidate for the studentship, but only at one of the three examinations immediately succeeding that at which he shall have obtained such certificate; provided, that if any student so presenting himself shall not succeed in obtaining the studentship, his name shall not appear in the list.

Students who have kept more than eleven terms shall not be admitted to an examination for the studentship.

The Reader on Constitutional Law and Legal History proposes to examine on the following subjects:

He will expect the candidates for honours in the ensuing examination to be thoroughly acquainted with the chapters in Hallam's Constitutional History, which treat of the reigns of Henry the Eighth, of James and Charles the First, James the Second, William the Third, and Anne.

He will expect them also to be well acquainted with the chapters in Stephen's Blackstone relating to the Law of Treason, and the History of our Testamentary Law as regards Land and Personal Estate; and with the State Trials during the period mentioned above.

He will expect them to possess an accurate knowledge of English History, from the Conquest to the year 1782.

The candidates for a pass will be required to answer any general questions as to the leading events in English history, to be well acquainted with the history of the reigns of James the First, Charles the First, and Charles the Second, and with the chapters in Mr. Hallam's Constitutional Hittory, in which the events of that period are discussed.

He will expect them also to be well acquainted with the trials of Russell, College, and Sydney.

The Reader on Equity proposes to examine in the following books and subjects :

1. Smith's Manual of Equity Jurisprudence; Mitford on the Pleadings in the Court of Chancery. Introduction: chapter 1, sec. 1 and 2; chapter 2,

sec. 1; chapter 2, sec. 2, part 1 (the first three pages); chapter 2, sec. 2, part 2 (the first two pages); chapter 2, sec. 2, part 3; chapter 3. The Act for the Improvement of the Jurisdiction of Equity, 15 & 16 Vict. c. 86.

2. The Cases and Notes contained in the First Volume of White and Tudor's Leading Cases.

Candidates for certificates of fitness to be called to the bar will be expected to be well acquainted with

the books mentioned in the first of the above classes.

Candidates for the studentship or honours will be examined in the books mentioned in the two classes.

The Reader on the Law of Real Property, &c., proposes to examine in the following books and subjects:

1. Joshua Williams on Real Property; the same author on Personal Property; Hayes on the Common Law, Uses and Trusts.

2. The Alienation of Real Estate by Tenants in Tail and Married Women respectively.

3. The Law of Judgments. Prideaux on Judgments; the Statute 18 & 19 Vic. c. 15.

4. The liability of Purchasers to see to the application of their Purchase Money.

5. The Law of Perpetuities. The Law as to accumulation of Income-Cadell v. Palmer, 1 Clark and Finnelly, 372; and Griffiths v. Vere, 9 Vesey, 127; and the Notes to those Cases in Tudor's Leading Cases in Conveyancing.

Candidates for honours will be examined in all the foregoing subjects, and candidates for a certificate in those under heads 1, 2, and 3.

The Reader on Jurisprudence and the Civil Law proposes to examine candidates for honours in the following books :

1. The Introduction and First Book of the Institutiones Juris Romani Privati of Warnkönig.

2. The last two Titles of the Last Book of the Digest, De Verborum Significatione and De Regulis Juris.

3. Wheaton's Elements of International Law. Part I., chapters 1 and 2; Part II., chapters 1, 2,

[blocks in formation]

Drudgery of an Attorney's Office.-Legal Miscellanea.

subjects 1 and 2 supra, and as connected therewith respectively in the following cases:

A. (Law of Homicide). Mackalley's Case, 9 Rep., 61, 65; R. v. Maugridge, Kelyng R., 129; Reg. v. M Naghten, 10 Cla. and F., 200.

B. (Law of Contracts). Pinnel's Case, 5 Rep. 117 Pigot's Case, 11 Rep. 26. Sibree v. Tripp, 15 M. and W. 23. Master v. Miller, 1 Smith, L. C. 686.

Candidates for honours will also be expected to answer questions touching the ordinary steps and proceedings in an action at law, and at a criminal trial, and having reference to the law of evidence there administered (as to which see Taylor's Evid. 2nd edit. part III. chaps. 2 and 3).

By Order of the Council,


Council Chamber, Lincoln's Inn, 4th August, 1856.



I was articled in an office where there was not what may be called 'sharp', but certainly very active practice. My master had a large business of a miscellaneous kind, and was frequently opposed to men who had very small scruples, in the means by which they sought to attain their ends. These, however, were the exceptions to the general rule.

I had frequent opportunities of witnessing examples of the probity of attorneys towards their clients, and fair and honourable practice towards their brethren, which, I am sure, could not be surpassed by any class of society. I was often also delighted with the skill and ingenuity with which difficulties were met and overcome; when I thought our opponents had put us to a non plus, and that we must surrender at discretion or make the best terms we could for our client, I was delighted to find that my master, by some counter movement, like a skilful player at chess, turned the tables on his adversary, and out of an apprehended defeat gained a decided advantage. This was often attained by great labour and promptitude.

When I first went into his office, I was immediately placed at the desk, and set to copy or 'ingross as it was called a declaration. I was told this was the second step in an action at law: the first being a writ, to which the defendant was compelled to appear. The ingrossment of this declaration occupied me two days, it contained several counts or statements of distinct grounds of action I found it very tedious: each count resembled the others except only in a few words.

I was next directed to copy a draft deed, the meaning of which I could not precisely understand in consequence of the multitude of words, which it was said were necessary to prevent the possibility of mistake. Many of them might perhaps be dispensed with, but I was told that it was not the duty of an attorney to encounter the responsibility of striking out terms and expressions which might be deemed unnecessary, especially as the courts had put a technical construction on their legal import.

My next achievement was the copying of a Bill in Chancery. The first day was occupied upon what


is called the stating part of the bill. It was rather verbose, but not so unintelligible as the declaration. It related to a ship that had been lost at sea. The second day found me working hard upon the charging part of this elaborate document. It appeared that there had been very foul play about this ship; it had scarcely a sound plank; it was not sufficiently manned; nor rigged; nor victualled; it had not guns enough; the captain was ignorant and the mate inebriated. Then it set forth that the defendants sometimes admitted part of the facts alleged, but defended their conduct by various pretences, whilst at other times they denied everything; and so it went on making shadows of defences, and then dispersing them. On the third day I had to copy the interrogating part of the bill. Here all the facts were again repeated in the form of questions, always concluding each interrogatory with an inquiry "if the fact was not so, why it was not so, or how otherwise?" Amongst other points it was alleged that the ship had been lost in consequence of certain rat-holes which had not been repaired, and it was asked whether there were not in and about the said ship one hundred or how many rat-holes, and (as if it were a merit to have them) if there were no rat-holes, why not, or how otherwise? I did not understand why a general interrogatory might not have been framed, calling upon the defendants to answer all the facts alleged fully and particularly as if they were separately interrogated to. I deemed this copying, day by day, to be great drudgery, and at last did as little of it as I could.

Thus far our " Old Practitioner," whose illustrations are indeed somewhat ancient, for many of them apply to forms of proceeding abolished twenty years ago. We may add, on the subject of "office drudgery," that during the early part of the clerkship to an attorney, it is useful to learn the forms and modes of preparing and transcribing professional papers. This knowledge will be most effectually acquired by repeatedly writing them, and he will thus also acquire a habit of patiently plodding through very tedious and laborious duties, which he will have to encounter when he comes into practice for himself. He will have to study confused and incomplete papers upon very dry and uninteresting subjects, and the drudgery to which he now demurs will serve as a good exercise for that labour in which he will be hereafter engaged ED. for his own advantage.



For a long period of years, the annual number of acts passed has been usually large, although varying considerably in every session. Between the 4th and 10th of George 4, 1,126 acts were wholly repealed, and 443 repealed in part, chiefly arising out of the consolidation of the laws by Mr. Peel (afterwards Sir Robert). Of these acts, 1,344 related to the kingdom at large, and 225 to Ireland solely. The greatest number of acts passed in any one year during the last fifty years (since 1800 the year of

« EelmineJätka »