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Annual Report of the Manchester Law Association.
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE MAN-
THE following Report was read at the 17th Annual Meeting of the Manchester Law Association, held on the 9th ult. in the Association's Board Room, Norfolk Street :
"The Committee of the Manchester Law Association, in presenting the 17th Annual Report to the members, have much pleasure in stating that the financial condition of the Association is most satisfactory. Twelve new members have been elected during the year, whilst only two members have retired.
"The subject of the war has so fully occupied the attention of Parliament, that the past year has been less fruitful of changes in the law' than the preceding.
"Your Committee report the withdrawal of the Testamentary Jurisdictions Bill, to which (following the course pursued by their predecessors in office) they gave their most strenuous support. The importance of the change contemplated by this Bill, both to the Profession and to the Public, has been fully pointed out in former Reports, and your Committee hope that the time is not far distant when a complete reform will have been effected in this branch of the law.
be expected that the attention of the Legisla ture will be directed to the subject, and that, in the ensuing Session of Parliament, material alterations will be made in the present Act, and in the Law of Partnership generally.
"Your Committee having received a communication from one of the registrars of the Manchester District Court of Bankruptcy, calling their attention to the case of a messenger of that Court, who was accused of malpractice in his office, considered it their duty to watch the proceedings on the investigation of those charges, which terminated in the suspension of the messenger from his office. Your Committee also received communications from the same registrar respecting the fees of the messengers in the Bankruptcy Courts, but they were not in possession of sufficient information to enable them to propose an altered scale. They, however, cannot forbear the expression of an opinion, that the charges and fees of messengers and other officers of the Courts of Bankruptcy have, from their magnitude, tended materially to diminish the business of those Courts.
"Your Committee have been called upon by members of the Association to give their opinion on various points of practice, the particulars of which are appended to this Report. Your Committee have to allude to several matters which may be expected to occupy the "Two Bills were introduced into Parliament attention of the Profession during the coming for the alteration of the Law relating to Bills year. They would first advert to the remuneof Exchange, one by Mr. Keating, and the ration of solicitors in proceedings in Chancery, other by Lord Brougham. Deeming the pro-and in their general professional business. It visions of both to be calculated to give undue has been the cause of frequent complaint that advantage to the holders of bills of exchange, by the general orders of October, 1852 (upon your Committee submitted a series of observa- which neither solicitors nor taxing masters tions on them to the local members, to the were consulted), and by reason of the changes Law Officers of the Crown, and to the mem- which have taken place in Chancery proceedbers of the Committee of the House of Com-ings, the fees allowed by the Court are inademons, on Mr. Keating's Bill. This Bill, however, obtained the sanction of the Legislature, and is now the law of the land. Of the two, it was certainly the less objectionable.
"Your Committee also directed their attention to the Bill for giving protection to purchasers against judgments, and suggested that the great expense incurred by searches for judgments in the Registration Courts would be obviated by the institution of one office for the registration of all judgments and other incumbrances intended to affect real estate. They also expressed a desire that, if the Bill passed, provision would be made to settle the vexed question whether the registration of a judgment is ipso facto notice to a purchaser of real estate. Your Committee were in correspondence on this subject with George Hadfield, Esq., M.P., who took charge of their report, and made every effort to give effect to their recommendations, but the Bill passed into a law without their suggestions being introduced into it.
quate to the remuneration of solicitors. Although the attention of the Lord Chancellor has been repeatedly called to this subject, the orders of 1852 remain unaltered; but a commission has been appointed to consider the existing system of remuneration, the members of which are Lord Justice Turner, Vice-Chancellor Page Wood, Mr. Walton, and Mr. Follett. It is to be regretted that some experienced London and provincial solicitors were not included in the commission, as their practical knowledge would have been of material service in effectuating its objects. The Incorporated Law Society has transmitted to the commissioners a statement of such charges as in its view should be allowed, and Lord Justice Turner has addressed a letter to the various law societies throughout the kingdom requesting suggestions upon the objects of the commission. Your Committee hope that their successors in office will make every effort to bring about such a change in the present system as the justice of the case requires.
"One of the objects which the Association has in view is, to support the respectability of the Legal Profession, and maintain its interests. The exclusion of attorneys and solici
Non-payment of Counsel's Fees.-Moot Points.
tors from the commission of the peace, appears | any payment on account, and that led me to to your Committee a matter which should have consider that the conveyancer, who was not. the attention of the Association. The youngest otherwise employed by me, was as well entitled member of the bar is eligible for the appoint- to wait for his fees as I was to lay down money ment of a justice of the peace, while the attor-again and lose something in the shape of inte ney or solicitor, however great his experience rest. The gentleman sent his account to me, or profound his professional attainments, is after it had been standing for a few months, considered and treated as ineligible. That this with a note threatening to apply personally to practice is not consonant with the feeling or my client if the account was not discharged judgment of the community at large, is evident by a certain day. It was the first time I had from the fact, that from no class of society in been so addressed by any gentleman and I deproportion to its numbers is the selection of the cided to take no notice of his threat,-because chief magistrate of cities and boroughs more if he did write, it would "touch the conscience frequently made, than from that of which we of the king " I thought, and I was indifferent. are members. Your Committee trust that The threat appeared to have been carried out. their successors will, in conjunction with other But instead of any avowal from the country law societies, be enabled to induce the Lord Solicitor that his agent was already in advance, Chancellor to review the grounds upon which the fees were probably remitted without obhe has hitherto excluded the solicitor from the servation, and the agent would suffer in the magisterial dignity, and to take up others more opinion of the gentleman. in conformity with the public good and the views of an enlightened age.
I think it would be well, for two reasons, if country clients would require that Counsel "A deputation from the Committee of this should have signed their fees when papers were Association attended the annual meeting of the returned. It would remind clients that fees Metropolitan and Provincial Association at had to be paid on papers; and next, it would Birmingham, in October last, at which it was secure to counsel the prompt payment of their resolved that the next annual meeting of that fees. And this would much tend to get rid of association should be held in Manchester. the present complaint about the non-payment Your Committee have no doubt that efficient of fees. It is always gratifying to agents, and arrangements will be made by their successors much facilitates the progress of business, to for the reception of the members of that and keep short accounts with Counsel, but clients any other association who may attend the should assist them to do this. It is a serious forthcoming meeting. matter in large agency offices. A SOLICITOR.
"In conclusion, your Committee hope they may congratulate the members of the Association on the prospects of the ensuing year. An influential legal periodical has stated its opinion that already the results of the reforms in procedure are found in the steady increase in legal business, and that the season of extreme depression is past. All the evil of change has been endured, the benefits are just beginning to be felt, and the year 1856 opens upon the lawyer with far brighter prospects than any of its predecessors for a long time past.' While your Committee are disposed to concur in these sentiments, they are deeply convinced that the circumstances of the present time, as regards their professional standing and usefulness, need the watchful care of this society as much as did those which first called it into ex
[A report of the speeches at the annual dinner will appear in a future Number.]
NON-PAYMENT OF COUNSEL'S
To the Editor of the Legal Observer. SIR-I notice the letter of "a Quondam Conveyancer" in your number of the 9th instant. I had this case a little time back. As directed by a client in the north of England I placed his papers before his friend Mr. and I paid the gentleman several fees. A fur. ther account was incurred principally in my client's personal matters. I was not receiving
A. B., several years since, assigned a policy of assurance on his own life to C. D., a feme sole, who has since become his wife. The policy is, and was at the time of their marriage, of considerable value ;-it was not settled. Notice of the marriage was given to the office, and the premiums upon the policy have assured being a reversion expectant on the life since been paid by the husband. The money of the husband, the questions which arise are
1. Whether by the payment of the premiums by A. B. to prevent its forfeiture, the policy has not been reduced into possession so as to entitle him to the ownership?
2. If not, is A. B. entitled to its present value, and can he make a title pro tanto either to a mortgagee or purchaser, or surrender the policy to the office?
3. If he is not entitled either to the policy or its present value, has he not an equitable lien on the policy for the premiums he has paid upon it?
Jan. 16, 1856.
Clement Tudway Swanston, Jun., Esq., B.A.
Francis Vaughan Hawkins, Esq., B.A.
Henry Denne, Esq., B.A.
Henry Oliver Barker, Esq., B.A.
Nov. 17, 1855.
Thomas Randle Bennett, Esq., M.A.
Thomas Francis Freemantle, Esq.
Herbert Eliot Ormerod, Esq., B.A.
William Algernon Slade Gully, Esq., M.A.
Charles Marshall Griffith, Esq., M.A.
T. Henry Baylis, Esq., M.A.
Charles Wentworth Walker, Esq., B.A.
Nov. 17, 1855.
Hopson Pinckney Walker, Esq., B.A.
Jan. 26, 1856.
Robert Marshall Straight, Esq.
John Dickie, Esq.
Thomas Henry Derbishire, Esq.
John Richard Andrews, Esq.
Nov. 17, 1855.
James Goodson, Esq.
Jan. 26, 1856.
Hampson William Whitmarsh, Esq.
Appointed under the Fines and Recoveries' Act, with dates when Gazetted.
Scudamore, Frederick, Maidstone, in and for the county of Kent. Feb. 15.
Stockwood, John, Cowbridge, in and for the county of Glamorgan.
COUNTRY COMMISSIONER TO ADMINISTER
Appointed under the 16 & 17 Vict. c. 78, with
Woodward, John Harry Jonathan, March, Cambridgeshire. Jan. 29.
DISSOLUTIONS OF PROFESSIONAL PART
From 22nd Jan. to 15th Feb., 1856, both inclusive, with dates when Gazetted.
Allan, Robert Munro, and Michael Allan, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Attorneys and Solicitors. Jan. 29.
Croome, Thomas Clutterbuck, and Henry Harris, Cainscross, near Stroud, Attorneys and Solicitors. Feb. 12.
Myers, William Hugh, and John Clarkson Birkbeck, Manchester, Attorneys and Solici tors. Feb. 8.
Richardson, Thomas, and John Cobb, Uttoxeter, Attorneys and Solicitors. Feb. 1.
Thomas, Joshua, and Lauriston Winterbotham Lewis, Tewkesbury, Attorneys and Solicitors. Feb. 5.
House of Commons-Public Petitions.-Notes of the Week.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
EVERY Member presenting a Petition to the House must affix his name at the beginning thereof. (Vide Commons' Journals, 1833, March 20.)
Every Petition must be written and not printed or lithographed. (Vide Commons' Journals, 1793, May 6; 1817, March 12.) Every Petition must contain a prayer. (Vide Commons' Journals, 1843, July 10.)
Every Petition must be signed by at least one person on the skin or sheet on which the Petition is written. (Vide Commons' Journals, 1817, March 12.)
Every Petition must be written in the English language, or be accompanied by a translation certified by the member who shall present it. (Vide Commons' Journals, 1821, Mar. 16; Mar. 21.)
Every Petition must be signed by the parties whose names are appended thereto by their names or marks, and by no one else except in case of incapacity by sickness. (Vide Commons' Journals, 1675, Nov. 8; 1689, Nov. 14; 1774, June 2; 1826, Dec. 13; 1836, June 28.)
No letters, affidavits, or other documents, may be attached to any Petition. (Vide Commons' Journals, 1826, Feb. 20; Nov. 28.) No reference may be made to any Debate in Parliament. (Vide Commons' Journals, 1822, Mar. 28.)
No application may be made for any grant of public money, except with the consent of the Crown. (Vide Standing Orders.)
All Petitions, after they have been ordered to lie upon the Table, are referred to the Committee on Public Petitions, without any question being put; but if any such Petition relate to any matter or subject with respect to which the Member presenting it has given notice of a Motion, and the said Petition has not been ordered to be printed by the Committee, such Member may, after notice given, move that such Petition be printed with the Votes. (Vide Standing Orders.)
NOTES OF THE WEEK.
NEW COURTS FOR TRIALS AT NISI PRIUS.
THE power given by the Common Law Procedure Act for two Courts of Nisi Prius to sit at the same time, has induced the City authorities to inquire of the Judges whether such Courts were likely to be permanent, and being informed in the affirmative, the Common Council have promptly directed plans and estimates to be prepared. We have been favoured with an inspection of them, and knowing there are
many able attorneys and solicitors in the Common Council, we doubt not their attention will bé directed to the details of the plan of these New Court rooms, and that the convenience of attorneys attending the trials will be duly provided for.
HEARING OF ORIGINAL CAUSES BEFORE
Vice-Chancellor Wood, whose Cause List is very heavy, intimated some time ago that the Lords Justices were willing to hear a limited number of the causes which stood for hearing in this branch of the Court, if any parties desired it. His Honour has since expressed his surprise that no parties had availed themselves of the opportunity thus presented of having their causes speedily disposed of.
NON-DELIVERY OF PAPERS FOR THE COURT.
In a cause called on before Vice-Chancellor Kindersley, it appeared that no copies of the pleadings had been left for the use of the Judge; and the solicitor, whose duty it was to see that this was done, not being in Court, His Honour said, that he should in future take measures for preventing a recurrence of that dereliction of duty on the part of solicitors. Sir J. Leach would in such a case have ordered the cause to be struck out. He should, however, content himself with causing the name of the solicitor, and a note of the matter to be communicated to the Taxing Masters, in order that the solicitor should suffer in costs for his neglect.
The Queen has been pleased to appoint Christopher Temple, Esq., to be a Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of Ceylon.From the London Gazette of 15th Feb.
NEW MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT.
Gervaise Tottenham Waldo Sibthorp, Esq., for the city of Lincoln, in the room of Charles De Laet Waldo Sibthorp, Esq., deceased.
George Ridley, Esq., for Newcastle-on-Tyne, in the room of John Fenwick Burgoyne Blackett, Esq., who has accepted the office of Steward of her Majesty's Manor of Northstead.
Samuel Warren, Esq., Q.C., for Midhurst, in the room of the Right Hon. Spencer Horatio Walpole, who has accepted the office of Steward of her Majesty's Chiltern Hundreds.
John Villiers Stuart Townshend, commonly called Viscount Raynham, for Tamworth, in the room of John Townshend, Esq., now Marquis Townshend, summoned to the House of Peers.
Superior Courts: Lord Chancellor.-Lords Justices.-Rolls.-V. C. Kindersley.
Sir Andrew Agnew, Bart., for the county of Wigton, in the room of John Dalrymple, (commonly called Viscount Dalrymple), who has accepted the office of Steward of her Majesty's Manor of Northstead.
Philip Wykeham Martin, Esq., for Rochester, in the room of the Honourable Francis John Robert Villiers, who has accepted the office of Steward of her Majesty's Chiltern Hundreds. Adam Black, Esq., for the City of Edinburgh, in the room of the Right Honourable Thomas The Right Honourable Spencer Horatio Babington Macaulay, who has accepted the Walpole, M.A., for Cambridge University, in office of Steward of her Majesty's Manor of the room of the Right Hon. Henry Goulbourn, Hempholme.
RECENT DECISIONS IN THE SUPERIOR COURTS.
THIS was a petition under the 16 & 17 Vict. c. 98, s. 8, for payment to the mortgagees of the pension of Mr. Papps, formerly an officer of the Court, of the surplus thereof, after payment of the portion ordered to be appropriated for the liquidation of certain moneys due from him in respect of his office.
G. Lake Russell in support; Bacon for Mr. Papps; Taylor for the solicitor to the Suitors' Fund.
The Lord Chancellor granted the petition as prayed, and directed interest at 5 per cent. to be paid on the debt in respect of his office from the period it was incurred.
INJUNCTION SUIT.-FILING PRINTED BILL. -EXTENSION OF TIME.
The plaintiff in an injunction suit omitted to file a printed bill under the 15 & 16 Vict. c. 86, s. 6, within the 14 days limited by the 3rd Order of August 7, 1852: Held, dismissing an appeal from the Master of the Rolls, that the Court had power to give leave to file the printed bill.
THIS was an appeal from the decision of the Master of the Rolls, giving leave to file, within a limited time, the printed copy bill in this injunction suit, under the 15 & 16 Vict. c. 86, s. 6, although the time for so doing had expired.
By the 3rd Order of August 7, 1852, it is directed, that "the Clerks of Records and Writs shall at the expiration of 14 days from the filing of any written bill or written copy of a bill, take off the file of the Court, without further order, the bill or copy so filed, unless
a printed copy thereof shall in the meantime have been filed, and the plaintiff in the suit, or his solicitor, who shall personally have undertaken to file such printed copy, shall pay to the suit, such costs to be taxed by the Taxing the defendant all the costs incurred by him in Master, without further order, upon production to him of the certificate of the Clerk of Records and Writs, that a printed copy of the bill has not been filed pursuant to such undertaking, and to be recoverable in like manner as costs ordered to be paid by a party in a suit to another party in a suit are now recoverable."
Lloyd and Currey in support; R. Palmer and H. C. Jones contrà.
The Lords Justices said, that the Court had power to relax its rules in such manner as, according to its view of justice and right, would he proper, and the appeal was accordingly dismissed.
Master of the Rolls.
In re London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway Company, exparte Earl of Abergavenny. Jan. 31, 1856.
LANDS' CLAUSES' ACT. — INVESTMENT OF
PURCHASE-MONEY ON PETITION OF TENANT IN TAIL.
Order on the petition of the tenant in tail of certain lands taken by a railway company for the investment of the purchase-money, which had been settled by arbitration and paid to him instead of into Court under the 8 & 9 Vict. c. 18, s. 69.
THIS was a petition by the tenant in tail of certain lands taken by the above railway company, for the investment of the purchasemoney, which had been settled by arbitration and paid to him instead of into Court under the 8 & 9 Vict. c. 18, s. 69.
Waller in support.
Cur. ad. vult. The Master of the Rolls granted the petition as asked.