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80. As appears in its title, it also contain a selected list of lawyers in nearly three thousand cities and towns, — " the result,” the editor tells us in his preface, “ of a private correspondence with nearly ten thousand presidents or cashiers of banks, bankers, or leading merchants in the various sections of the country.” Such a directory is undoubtedly of value to lawyers and business men, and we wish it did not encourage touting; but so long as the temptation to have one's name in larger type than his fellow's brings a pecuniary advantage to the editor, the inducement will be given, and the practice encouraged. So far as we can judge, the work of this volume has been thoroughly done.
The Statutes of Illinois. An Analytical Digest of all the General Laws of the
State in force at the present time. Official and Standard, by Act of the Legislature, 1818 to 1873. Edited by William L. Gross, Counsellor at Law. Volume III. Acts of 1873. Springfield: William L. Gross. 1873.
We have hitherto noticed the first and second volumes of this edition (4 Am. Law Rev. 561, and 7 Am. Law Rev. 155), containing all the general laws of Illinois in force in 1872. This third volume contains, in addition to the acts of 1873, the organic laws of Illinois, and a revision by the last legislature of several important heads of the law. To continue this revision a joint committee of the two legislative houses has been appointed to sit during the adjournment, and report to the next legislature. The arrangement of this volume is substantially that adopted in the previous ones, and the editor in his preface says, that the reception accorded to his former publications of the statutes" has seemed to us such an indorsement, both of the matter and manner of publication, as to forbid any material departure from the general arrangement heretofore adopted.” The book is well printed, and “ each section has been twice carefully compared with the enrolled law filed with the Secretary of State." Among the acts of the legislature of 1873, we notice on page 73 a continuation of the so-called “farmers' movement" against railroad corporations, which has already cost Judge Lawrence his seat on the supreme bench, and bids fair to be the chief element in Illinois politics for some time forth.
Leading and Select Cases on Trusts : with extended abstracts of important
cases, explanatory and critical notes, and numerous citations of authorities bearing on every branch of the Law of Trusts. Also, a full Report of the great case of the Covington and Lexington Railroad Company against Robert B. Bowler's Heirs and others, just decided at the Winter Term, 1873, of the Court of Appeals of the State of Kentucky. By PETER ZINN, of the Cincinnati Bar. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co. 1873.
“ This work,” says Mr. Zinn in his preface, “ has its origin mainly in two circumstances: First, in there being heretofore no special compilation of authorities on the subject of trusts; and, secondly, a desire to economize labor in the preparation of the Covington and Lexington Railroad case for trial. In default of being beneficial in that case, it was desired to put the result of this work in such form as to renew, in the attention of the profession and the reading public, the great rules for the administration of trusts." The character of the book may easily be guessed from this sketch of its history, which its author gives with such engaging frankhess. The idea that a case can be prepared for trial more economically by writing a book on the general head of law under which it falls than by the method hitherto in use, will strike many as more original than any thing else in the book; and, if it is generally received, will throw upon the reviewer an amount of work which we shudder to contemplate. Leading Cases on Perjury, by Dr. Kenealy, or A Treatise on Injunctions, by David Dudley Field, might be amusing, but we pray to be spared the task of examining two new law books for every important case which hereafter is tried in this country. Perhaps our author might profitably have devoted some of the labor which he economized” by writing his book to examining the excellent works already in existence on the subject. Had he doze so, be might have become satisfied that the vacancy which he has aimed to fill did not exist.
Mr. Zinn's book is not composed of selected leading cases, but of leading cases and selected cases, two distinct classes. In the selection of leading cases he says: “I have taken such as have been the result of the most deliberate consideration and labor of the judicial minds, whose opinions have given shape and weight to the laws of England and America. In the choice of other cases I have selected those especially lately decided, which, it is hoped, will prove of practical use to the profession.” The result of this method is a book of six hundred pages, one-fifth of which is devoted to a report of the Covington and Lexington Railroad case, in which the author was one of the counsel, and the rest is a reprint of cases taken from various reports and put together without any sort of arrangement, either logical or chronological. The larger part are cases bearing upon the points raised in the railroad case, and these are interspersed with others, taken apparently at random, and bearing about as much relation to each other as the cases in a volume of Vesey's Reports. It is possible to imagine circumstances under which the volume might be of service where the reports were inaccessible, but even its value in such a case is impaired by the fact that the author has not contented himself with publishing the cases as they are reported, but has cut out whatever strikes him as unimportant, including even parts of opinions; and in one House of Lords case has gone so far as to leave out entirely the leading opinion, that of the Lord Chancellor Hatherley, printing only the opinion of Lord Westbury, his reason being that the latter stated all the points more concisely, which is undoubtedly true, but hardly justifies the omission of the principal opinion in a leading case.
The remedy against such books is with the profession. As long as they buy them, authors can be found in abundance to write them.
Reports of the Decisions of the Court of Appeals of the State of New York, not
heretofore reported under official sanction. Arranged alphabetically, with: notes and references to subsequent decisions and legislation. Edited by AUSTIN ABBOTT. Vol. I. A-D. Vol. II. E-K. New York: Diossy & Co., publishers. 1873.
A PRIORI, one is inclined to say that a collection of the cases decided in any court in New York between 1860 and 1870, and not reported by some of
the book-makers there, would hardly repay the labor of scissors and paste. pot. But it seems that the possibilities of law reporting are not yet exhausted, for Mr. Abbott, perhaps as a retort to the committee of the Bar Association, who are just now endeavoring to invent a plan to relieve New York from being swamped by the multitude of her reporters, and the character of their products, has furnished two, and proposes to furnish three more, of a series of five volumes, containing the unreported decisions of the Court of Appeals decided during the time covered by Tiffany's Reports. If we had been consulted before the publication, we should have given to Mr. Abbott Punch's advice to persons about to marry, “ Don't !”
Our compiler says, in his preface, “the work had its origin in the generally expressed desire for a consolidated edition of all the decisions of this court, which should supply all that is believed to be authoritative of the valuable decisions which are not to be found in the official series known as The New York Reports; and the editor, with the express sanction of the court, commenced the preparation of such an edition.” But, on second thought, he concluded not to venture so extended a work, and so modified it as to publish in five volumes cases omitted from, and some that were misreported in The New York Reports. Some of the opinions here published were printed in The Transcript Appeals, and others were scattered through the numerous volumes of Practice Reports, and a large number furnished an excuse for Keyes' Reports, which the “ Committee on Law Reporting," above referred to, say: “ Considering the existence of an official reporter, and the practice of the court to designate what cases should be reported, can only be regarded as an audacious attempt to foist another set of generally worthless reports upon the profession, for the sole benefit of the reporter, and without the provision regulating the price of the regular report prescribed by statute."
That there are grave defects in the reports of the state of New York is certain, but whether an irregular, unmethodical, partial attempt to remedy them will result in general benefit may be questioned.
How thoroughly Mr. Abbott has done the task he set himself we have not now the means or inclination of judging, suffice it to express our notions of the task itself.
Such an inspection of the work as we have had opportunity for making has satisfied us that Mr. Abbott has reported many cases which the profession should have had access to before, and thus far he will supply the need ho desires to, but we also find cases deciding points of practice, or confirming previously reported cases, which certainly should not be reported ten years after their time, if ever.
Reports of Cases in Law and Equity, determined in the Supreme Court of the
State of Iowa. By EDWARD H. Stiles, Reporter. Volumes XII. and XIII., being Volumes XXXIII. and XXXIV. of the series. Published by the Reporter. Ottumwa. 1873.
THESE volumes contain singularly few cases of general interest or of value as precedents. The supreme court of a state is of necessity largely occupied in determining questions of purely local importance, such as arise under state statutes or the rules of local practice, and their decisions on these points could not properly be omitted by their reporter; but, making every allowance for our inability to appreciate the value of many cases to the Iowa bar, we cannot but think that not a few cases might have been omitted from these volumes without impairing their usefulness. Still, it is perhaps safer to have every decision reported in the first instance by an official reporter than to run the risk of having new series of unreported cases published by volunteers, — the pernicious practice which has become so popular in New York.
Stuart, assignee, v. Hines & Eames, one of the longest cases in the first volume, contains quite an elaborate discussion on the effect of bankruptcy proceedings upon a suit in a state court, but the points raised weré neither new nor difficult.
The State v. Weir decides that a “ local option ” law is unconstitutional, and à propos of intoxicating liquor it may interest the profession to know that its use by a juror in a trial for homicide, "combined with other curative agents, as a medicine without medical advice, will not vitiate the verdict in the absence of any showing that it was so used without the knowledge of the prisoner or his counsel, or that its effects were intoxicating,” which was one of the points decided in The State v. Morphy.
Hubbard & Spencer v. The Hartford Fire Insurance Co. determines a nice question of insurance law arising under a condition in a policy against other insurance, and Richmond v. The Dubuque f. Sioux City R.R. Co. discusses at some length the doctrine of specific performance. All the foregoing cases are reported in Volume XII.
In Volume XIII. we notice The State v. Porter, where the court decide that the instruction to the jury in a case of homicide, “ If, however, you find that the defendant.inflicted the blow upon the deceased that caused his death, then the burden of proof is upon the defendant to show that he did it in self-defence," was erroneous, it being sufficient if the evidence in the case, whether introduced by the prosecution or the defence, leaves a reasonable doubt upon the question whether the act was in self-defence. This is another decision in harmony with the prevailing current of authorities, of which The People v. Stokes is the most conspicuous recent example.
In Miller y. The Mutual Benefit Insurance Co. a policy of life insurance contained a condition exempting the company from liability for death" by reason of intemperance from the use of intoxicating liquors.” The insured, in a fit of delirium tremens, escaped from his keepers and ran through the streets in inclement weather, without clothing, - an exposure which contributed to his death. Held, a death from intemperance.
In Smothers v. Hanks, an action to recover damages from a physician for malpractice in setting a broken limb, the court (BECK, C. J., dissenting) hold that a physician is not liable for not possessing or employing such skill as is ordinarily exercised by thoroughly educated physicians, but is bound to possess only the average skill of his profession, and refuse to follow the Pennsylvania case of McCandless v. McWha, 22 Penn. St. 261, which lays down the opposite rule. If, however, the practitioners who bring down the average take warning by this decision and retire from practice, the result of the two cases will eventually be the same.
The cases are well reported, and Mr. Stiles cannot be blained if they are
not interesting, but he might profitably devote more time to his head-notes, which seem unnecessarily long. Such propositions as this, “ A party purchasing a promissory note, after maturity, takes it subject to any and all defences which could have been urged against it in the hands of the payee,” should not be put in a head-note, as no such point is ever decided now, or if it is, the case may safely be left unreported.
Reports of Cases argued and determined in the Superior Court at Indianapolis ;
with collection of authorities cited touching each case. 0. M. Wilson, Official Reporter. Indianapolis: Journal Company, Printers. 1873.
The Bible in the Public Schools. Opinion and Decision of the Supreme Court
of Ohio, in the case of John D. Minor et al. v. The Board of Education of the City of Cincinnati et al. Extracted from Volume 23 Ohio State Reports. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co. 1873.
The St. Louis Journal of Law.
This weekly is a consolidation of the Legal Exchange of Iowa and the Law Nows of Missouri, both of which were monthly papers. We gladly welcome it on our list of exchanges, and hope that consolidation in this case means strength. The Journal has a position geographically that should insure a carefully prepared publication, and a large subscription list.
New York Medical Journal.