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Dudley Field submitted a series of questions, which were adopted by the committee, and which are to be addressed to statesmen, jurists and others. These questions relate to public international law, and are classified under the following heads: 1. Proportionate Reduction of the Armaments of European Nations. 2. Formalities and Delays that should be required of Nations before engaging in Offensive War. 3. Arbitrations of International Disputes. 4. Progress made during the last year toward a Reform and Codification of the Law of Nations. 5. Collisions at Sea. The American branch of the Association devotes its attention at present more particularly to public international law; and the European to private international law. The series of questions relating to the latter department we recently referred to.

Under the head of "Notable Perjuries" the New York Times devotes over three columns to celebrated trials for perjury. The article is prefaced with a remark that there is a fear growing up among us that the sanctity of an oath is coming to be disregarded, and that the amount of downright perjury committed in our courts of law is something horrible. The opinion that perjury enters as a regular element into the proceedings in courts, is one that has been long held in England; and several eminent English novelists have treated of the subject. Notwithstanding the admitted fact that a great deal of perjury is

committed, the Times justly remarks, that it is dif

ficult to convict a witness of perjury, and the attempt is never made except in glaring cases. The records of criminal trials furnish comparatively few perjury cases, the very earliest English case being, according to the Times, under the rule of the Puritans five years after the execution of Charles I. The Tichborne case gave rise to a successful prosecution for perjury; but whether the Tilton-Beecher trial will be followed by any thing of this sort, is very doubtful, no matter which way the verdict may be.

In Washington Life Ins. Co. v. Shaible, 1 Weekly Not. Cas. 369, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania made a decision which seems to be somewhat inconsistent with that of the United States Supreme Court in Jeffries v. Life Ins. Co., which we publish in this issue. The Pennsylvania Court holds that where a policy of life insurance is "in consideration of the statements in the application," and contains a proviso that "if such statements are in any respect untrue" the policy is to be void, the statements in the application are representations and not warranties. The court held that if the answers were truthfully, honestly and faithfully made, and nothing was suppressed, concealed or kept back which it was material for the defendants to know, then the policy was not avoided by the fact that some of the answers were in point of fact incorrect, erroneous or

untrue. The United States Supreme Court holds that where the policy is issued on condition that the statements are "in all respects true" no question can arise as to the intention or the materiality. The liability depends upon the truth of the statements. The discrepancy between the decisions of the United States and Pennsylvania Supreme Courts may be explained to some extent by the fact that in the Pennsylvania case the application stated that any willfully untrue or fraudulent answers would render the policy void. But the policy stated that if any statements in the application be in any respect untrue, the policy should be void; and as there was no lengthy opinion written in the case we do not know how far the condition in the application may have controlled. The opinion of the United States Supreme Court will naturally and probably be accepted as the law of the land, however much the State courts may be inclined to dissent from it.

In the case of The United States v. Pratt, 2 L. T.

(N. S.) 238, Judge Brown, of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, gave a construction to § 3893 of the United States Revised Statutes relating to the transmission of scurrilous communications in the mails. This section prohibits, among other things, the sending of any postal card containing "indecent or scurrilous epithets." The penal clause imposes punishment for

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depositing for mailing or delivery any of the prisoner was charged with mailing a postal card hereinbefore mentioned articles or things." The

does you and Mrs. (giving name) get along, that you addressed to one Mills bearing the words: "How show your private letters to and persuade her to stay away from her little ones. Your taste must be low after she has been catched locked up in a room with a man that had funny curly hair and such funny eyes. My advice to you is not to read her any more of your private letters; she will expose you." On the back of the card was a picture representing the head of a colored man. The points decided in the case were, that the matter on the postal card contained "indecent or scurrilous epithets" within the meaning of the statute; and that the penal clause covered the case of postal cards, the words "articles or things" referring to the whole of the prohibitory clause.

In the case of Sheldon, a voluntary bankrupt, Judge Blatchford recently rendered an important decision. Sheldon filed his petition in November, 1873; and subsequently one Seymour proved, as a debt against the estate, a judgment recovered in the Supreme Court of New York on March 1, 1873. That judgment was recovered on a prior judgment obtained against Sheldon in July, 1862, on a promissory note. No other debt was proved. The bankrupt applied for a discharge, and this was opposed

on the ground that neither were his assets shown to be equal to thirty per cent of the debt of the creditor, nor had the creditor's assent been procured. Judge Blatchford held, that as the petition in the case was filed before the passage of the act of 1874, section 9 of that act would not apply; and the case would be governed by the provisions of section 5,112 of the Revised Statutes, under which the voluntary bankrupt would not be required to show any percentage in assets or any assent of creditors, because the only debt proved was contracted before January 1, 1869. The discharge was therefore granted.



N Pettilon v. Noble, 7 Chic. Leg. News, 259, the Supreme Court of Illinois held that the assignee of a chattel mortgage takes it subject to the defenses which the mortgagor had against it in the hands of the assignor, It appeared that certain notes were given by complainant to one Noble for work done and materials furnished for complainant's shop, and a chattel mortgage was given to Noble as collateral security. The notes and mortgage were assigned to the Central National Bank of Chicago. It further appeared that complainant had a good defense against Noble on the notes and the mortgage, the contract not being properly fulfilled on his part. The bank took the notes and mortgage without knowledge of this defense. Complainant filed his bill in chancery to restrain the foreclosure of the mortgage, and to procure its delivery with the notes, to be canceled. The court held that the bank being the innocent holder of the notes, the failure of consideration could not be availed of as against the bank in respect to the notes. But by far the most important question was as to the chattel mortgage. The court held that the bank had no other interest in the mortgage than what it derived by virtue of the assignment of the notes. That carried with it the mortgage as an incident to the principal debt, but only so in equity, and only an equitable interest in the mortgage. The mortgage did not carry with it to the bank the same exemption as did the notes. The bank stood in no better position and had no greater rights as to the mortgage than the mortgagee.

In Smith v. Steele, 32 L. T. (N. S.) 195, the Court of Queen's Bench considered the liability of a master for injuries received by a servant under the following circumstances: A pilot was engaged by defendants under the compulsory clauses of the merchant shipping act of 1854, for a voyage in a vessel of which they were owners. While giving directions on board for coming out of dock, before the voyage commenced, the pilot was killed by the fall of a boat in consequence of the negligence of defendant's servants. In an action by the personal repre

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sentatives of the deceased it was held that there was no implied contract that the pilot should take upon himself the risk of injury by the ship-owners' servants, and that the action lay against defendants. Wilson v. Merry, 19 L. T. (N. S.) 30; L. R., 1 Sc. App. 326; Morgan v. Vale of Heath Railway Co., 5 B. & S. 570; L. R., Q. B. 149; Indemaur v. Dames, L. R., 1 C. P. 274; L. R., 2 C. P. 311, were considered. Blackburn, J., who delivered the opinion, said: "We think, * * * that the question in the present case is reduced to this, whether there is between the owners of a ship, and the pilot whom they are compelled to employ, an implied contract that the pilot shall take upon himself the risk of injury from the negligence of the ship-owners' servants." "An ordinary servant has ** * the power of choosing whether he will enter into the employment of a master who does not agree to act personally in the management of his business, or as an alternative, to be responsible for the negligence of those he employs. The pilot has no such choice, he must conduct the ship on the terms fixed by the statutes, which regulate pilotage, and we can find nothing in those statutes to justify the conclusion that the pilot is to take upon himself the risk.”

In Gilman v. Des Moines Valley Railroad Co., 9 West. Jur. 205, the Supreme Court of Iowa held that an agreement entered into by a sheriff to perform services in his official capacity in making a sale of property on execution for a gross sum in lieu of the legal fees is void, it being uncertain whether the sum agreed to be paid would be more or less than the fees allowed by law. By section 4167 of the Revised Code of Iowa it is provided that "any officer who willfully takes higher or other fees than are allowed by law, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and may be fined therefor a sum not less than ten nor more than fifty dollars." The agreement in this case was so framed that it could not be ascertained until after the sale whether the sum to be paid the sheriff was greater or less than the legal fees. Miller, C. J., who delivered the opinion, said: "It being clear * * that, if the sum to be paid the sheriff under the agreement should be greater than the legal fees, the contract would be null and void. It would also seem to follow, as a logical sequence, that if, from the contract, it be uncertain whether the sum to be paid be greater or less than the legal fees, and might be greater, depending upon the amount for which the property would sell on execution, the agreement would, upon principle, be likewise void." The court was of opinion that the agreement was void, as being against public policy as well as the statute, and cited Tappan v. Brown, 9 Wend. 175; Smith v. Welden, 10 Penn. St. 39; Warner v. Grace, 13 Minn. 487; Lewis v. Lenox, 2 Gill, 454; Grant v. McLester, 8 Ga. 553; Outen v. Rodes, 3 Marsh. 433; Grey v. Hook, 4 N. Y. 449.


THE 'HE decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, that a contract to pay for lobby services is invalid, is one that comes home to the business and bosoms of quite a numerous and apparently respectable class of men—including, we hope, however, few lawyers. But as the dividing line between professional service and the service of the lobbyist is not always clear and sharp, we purpose to refer, more fully than we have hitherto done, to the opinion of the Supreme Court.

The facts of the case - Burk v. Child-were as follows: Nicholas P. Trist had a claim against the United States for his services touching the treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo. After a delay of nearly twenty years he concluded to submit it to congress and ask its payment. He made an agreement with Linus Child that Child should take charge of the claim and prosecute it as his agent and attorney. As a compensation for the services of Child, it was agreed that he should receive twenty-five per cent of whatever sum congress might allow in payment of the claim. If nothing was allowed, he was to receive nothing. His compensation depended wholly upon the contingency of success. Child prepared a petition and presented the claim to congress. Before final action was taken upon it, by that body, Child died. The appellee, his son and personal representative, who was his partner when the agreement between him and Trist was entered into, and down to the time of his death, continued the prosecution of the claim. By an act of the 20th of April, 1870, congress appropriated the sum of $14,559.90 to pay it. The appellee thereupon applied to Trist for payment of the twenty-five per cent stipulated for in the agreement between Trist and his father. Trist refused to pay upon the alleged grounds that both the father and son had grossly neglected the proper prosecution of the claim, and that he had been compelled to avail himself largely of the aid of others, and that hence he ought not to pay the appellee so large a compensation. Upon the application of the appellee the payment of the money to Trist was suspended by the government, and it is still in the treasury. The appellee thereupon filed this bill.

This agreement, the court said, was for the sale of the influence and exertions of the lobby agent to bring about the passage of a law for the payment of a private claim without reference to its merits, by means which, if not corrupt, were illegitimate and considered in connection with the pecuniary interest of the agent at stake, contrary to the plainest principles of public policy. No one has a right, in such circumstances, to put himself in a position of temptation to do what is regarded as so pernicious in its character. The law forbids the inchoate step and puts the seal of its reprobation upon the undertaking."

Both the elder and the younger Child were spoken of as lawyers of ability and high character, and for mere professional services would have been entitled to compensation. In the category of professional services the court included drafting the petition to set forth the claim, attending to the taking of testimony, collecting facts, preparing arguments and submitting them orally or in writing to a committee or other proper authority, and other services of a like character. In other words, all those things intended to reach only the reason of those sought to be influenced would be included under the head of professional services resting on the same principle of ethics as professional services rendered in a court of justice, and no more exceptionable. This was the distinction made by the court, and one which serves to show very clearly the line of demarkation between the lawyer and the lobbyist. In this case, however, the court held that the appellee could not recover, even for professional services, because they were so blended and confused with those which were forbidden as to be one and indivisible. This decision was not put upon the ground that the contract was against morality, for the court expressly said: "There is no reason to believe that they (the services) involve any thing corrupt or different from what is usually practiced by all paid lobbyists in the prosecution of their business." But it was put upon the ground that all such contracts are against the maxims of sound policy.


The court decreed to him the amount of his claim,WE have already had occasion to call the attention

and enjoined Trist from receiving from the treasury "any of the money appropriated to him" by congress, until he should have paid the demand of the appellee. The younger Child was obviously an expert in his line, as appears from this extract from a letter of his to Trist, which the court thought characterized the transaction: "Please write to your friends to write to any member of congress, every vote tells, and a simple request may secure a vote, he not caring any thing about it. Set every man you know at work-even if he knows a page, for a page often gets a vote."

of our readers to what the Inns of Court in London are doing to promote a higher and more thorough education among those who are candidates for admission to the English bar, and we are induced to add a few words upon the subject in consequence of having received from a friend there copies of the papers made use of in the "Hilary Examination" of 1875, which came off during the first week of January last. The programme of the examination was issued in November last, and serves to show the spirit and interest with which the subject has been taken up and is being prosecuted by the "Council of Legal Education." One striking feature in the

affair is the growing interest which is thereby indicated in the study of general jurisprudence and Roman civil law. The profession there seem, at length, to be aware of the intimate relations there are between the civil and the common law, and that to understand and appreciate the latter, as a broad and liberal science, requires no inconsiderable knowledge of the former. The change which has come over the English bar in this respect within the last hundred years has been most marked, and it might suggest, one would suppose, to some of our American law schools the introduction of the study of the Roman law into the regular curriculum of their instruction. The books recommended by the Council are Gaius and Sandars's edition of the Institutes, which are accessible to every one now, and the time is coming, we are confident, when a lawyer, on his admission to the bar, cannot afford to be entirely ignorant of the civil law.

So with international law as well as general jurisprudence. In an educational point of view, they may be regarded as well nigh, if not quite, indispensable. The student needs to know something of them to relieve his mind from the stiffness and rigidity of mere technical learning. The English bar are setting a commendable example in this respect, and, as they are willing to borrow the works of our own Woolsey and Story as text-books upon subjects of international law, there seems to be little cause for waiting till the time shall be more opportune before requiring of the American law student some knowledge, at least, of what is made a department of instruction and examination in the Inns of the English courts.

But to recur to what the Council of Legal Education of those Inns are doing to promote the branches of education, of which we have spoken, they say: "As an encouragement to students to study jurisprudence and Roman civil law, twelve studentships of one hundred guineas each shall be established and divided equally into two classes, the first class of studentship to continue for two years, and to be open for competition to any student as to whom not more than four terms shall have elapsed since he kept his first term; and the second class to continue for one year only, and to be open for competition to any student not then already entitled to a studentship, as to whom not less than four nor more than eight terms shall have elapsed since he kept his first term." The examination in January included that for a studentship and honors, and for a certificate of fitness to be called to the bar, and in the Roman civil law.

The proposed examination took place, and the papers are before us, fourteen in number. Of these four are for "Studentships," three relating to the Roman law, and one to Jurisprudence and International Law. Five of them were "Pass papers," including "Common Law," "Equity," "Real and

Personal Property, ""Constitutional Law and Legal History," and "Roman Civil Law." Five were "Honors" papers, upon the same subjects as the "Pass" papers, except substituting "Jurispru dence, Civil and International Law" for that on "Roman Civil Law"- the difference in the papers consisting chiefly in the questions being of a somewhat higher order in the "Honors" papers, and the student being required as to them to give his reasons for his opinions and conclusions, or, in the words of the rules prescribing those examinations, "from candidates for honors, the examiners will require a more advanced knowledge of the application of those principles, and a knowledge of leading decisions." The distinction between "Pass" and "Honors" papers, in this respect, is obvious at a glance. And though a student might be able to answer the several "Pass" papers without being profoundly learned in the law, it is such a point gained in favor of an improved education for the bar, that the fact of requiring even such an examination is a cause for congratulation. Would it not be well for the American Bar if some such awakening could be excited as to the qualifications of candidates for its honors, both as to time and amount of study, as has been shown by the English barristers of late? They left it to be settled by the number of dinners one had eaten at the bar table, and the number of times his name had been enrolled on the books of the inn he had chosen, till they found out that the brain had quite as much to do in becoming a lawyer as the stomach, and are acting up to so profound a philosophic discovery.



N Bailey v. Weir et al., the United States Supreme Court held that the clause of bankrupt laws limiting the commencement of actions by and against the assignee to two years after the right of action accrues is to be construed so that where the action is intended to obtain redress against a fraud concealed by the party, or which from its nature is secret, the bar does not commence to run until the fraud is discovered. Miller, J., delivered the opinion, which is as follows: "This was a bill in chancery, brought by the assignee of Benjamin Glover, a bankrupt, to set aside as fraudulent and void conveyances of real estate by the bankrupt to defendants. Their demurrer to complainant's bill was sustained because the suit was not brought within two years from the appointment of the assignee. This appeal is taken from the decree of the court dismissing the bill, and the sole question here is whether on the case made by the bill this decision of the Circuit Court was right.

"The bill makes a very clear case of fraudulent conspiracy to defraud the only creditor of the bankrupt named in his petition. The mode of perpetrating this fraud was by conveying all his property, of which the bankrupt possessed a large amount beyond what was necessary to pay his debts, to Hugh Weir, his fatherin-law, Nathaniel Glover, his son, and Elenora Glover,

his wife. These conveyances were made without consideration, and with intent to take the benefit of the bankrupt law, which he did very soon after these transactions, and procured his discharge. At the time he was indebted to John A. Winston & Co., in the sum of ten or twelve thousand dollars, for which judgment had been obtained against him, and his only purpose was to evade the payment of this debt. The bill further alleges that said Benjamin Glover, the bankrupt, and said Elenora Glover, and Nathaniel T. Glover, and Hugh Weir kept secret their said fraudulent acts and endeavored to conceal them from the knowledge of the assignee and of the said John A. Winston & Co., whereby they were prevented from obtaining any sufficient knowledge or information thereof until within the last two years, and even up to the present time they have not been able to obtain full and particular information as to the fraudulent disposition made by the said Benjamin of a large part of his property. The bill was filed January 20, 1873, the complainant was appointed assignee December 1, 1869, and the bankrupt received his discharge April 11, 1870. That W. Jones, surviving partner of John A. Winston & Co., in December, 1871, filed a petition in the District Court against the bankrupt in order to have his discharge set aside for this fraud, but before process could be served on Glover he died. These are material allegations of the bill, and if true, the whole scheme was a gross fraud, concealed by the defendants from the knowledge of the assignee and from Winston & Co., against whom the fraud was perpetrated. It also shows that this suit was brought three years and a few weeks after the complainant became vested with the rights of an assignee in bankruptcy in the case.

The second section of the bankrupt act reads as follows:

"The Circuit Court shall have concurrent jurisdiction of all suits at law or in equity, brought by the assignee, against any persons claiming an adverse interest; or by such persons against the assignee touching the property of the bankrupt transferable to or vested in the assignee; but no suit at law or in equity shall in any case be maintainable by or against such assignee, or by or against any person claiming an adverse interest, touching the property or rights of property aforesaid, in any court whatsoever, unless the same shall be brought within two years from the time of the cause of action accrued for or against such assignee."

"Counsel for appellant argues that this provision of the statute has no application to the present case because it is not shown that defendants have set up or asserted any claim to the property now sought to be recovered adverse to that of the assignee. It is rather difficult to see exactly what is meant by this proposition. The suit is brought to be relieved from some supposed claim of right or interest in the property on the part of the defendants. If no such claim exists, it does not stand in the way of complainant, and he does not need the aid of a court of equity to set it aside. If it is intended to argue that until some one asserts in words that he claims a right to property transferred to the assignee by virtue of the act, which is adverse to the bankrupt, the statute does not begin to run though such person is in possession of the property, acting as owner, and admitting no other title to it, we think the construction of the proviso entirely too nar


This is a statute of limitation. It is precisely like other statutes of limitation and applies to all judicial contests between the assignee and other persons touching the property or rights of property of the bankrupt transferable to or vested in the assignee, where the interests are adverse and have so existed for more than two years from the time when the cause of action accrued for or against the assignee. Such is almost the language in which the provision is expressed in section 5,057 of the Revised Statutes.

"It is obviously one of the purposes of the bankrupt law, that there should be a speedy disposition of the bankrupt's assets. This is only second in importance to securing equality of distribution. The act is filled with provisions for quick and summary disposal of questions arising in the progress of the case, without regard to usual modes of trial attended by some necessary delay. Appeals in some instances must be taken within ten days; and provisions are made to facilitate sales of property, compromises of doubtful claims, and generally for the early discharge of the bankrupt and the speedy settlement of his estate. It is a wise policy, and if those who administer the law could be induced to act upon its spirit, would do much to make the statute more acceptable than it is. But instead of this the inferior courts are filled with suits by or against assignees, each of whom as soon as appointed retains an attorney, if property enough comes to his hands to pay one, and then instead of speedy sales, reasonable compromises, and efforts to adjust differences, the estate is wasted in profitless litigation, and the fees of the officers who execute the law.

"To prevent this as much as possible, Congress has said to the assignee, you shall commence no suit two years after the cause of action has accrued to you, nor shall you be harassed by suits when the cause of action has accrued more than two years against you. Within that time the estate ought to be nearly settled up and your functions discharged, and we close the door to all litigation not commenced before it has elapsed.

"But appellant relies in this court upon another proposition which has been very often applied by the courts under proper circumstances, in mitigation of the strict letter of general statutes of limitation, namely, that when the object of the suit is to obtain relief against fraud, the bar of the statute does not commence to run until the fraud is discovered or becomes known to the party injured by it.

"This proposition has been incorporated in different forms in the statutes of many of the States, and presented to the courts under several aspects where there were no such statutes. And while there is unanimity in regard to some of these aspects there is not in regard to others.

"In suits in equity where relief is sought on the ground of fraud, the authorities are without conflict in support of the doctrine that where the ignorance of the fraud has been produced by affirmative acts of the guilty party in concealing the facts from the other, the statute will not bar relief provided suit is brought within proper time after the discovery of the fraud.

"We also think that in suits in equity the decided weight of authority is in favor of the proposition, that where the party injured by the fraud remains in ignorance of it without any fault or want of diligence or care on his part, the bar of the statute does not begin to run until the fraud is discovered, though there be no special circumstances or efforts on the part of the party committing the fraud to conceal it from the

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