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man who wrote a book without punctuation, and then put the stops altogether at the end, that his readers might punctuate at their pleasure.
We naturally expect, in a recent book on Admiralty, to find some discussion of the doctrine of the case of Pratt v. Reed, 19 How. 359. On turning to the list of cases, p. 397 is given as the only reference. On turning to this page, we find that the case is cited as an authority for a point, which in fact it did not decide. On p. 216, we accidentally discovered the case of Pratt v. Reed, cited under the name of The Sultana, as an authority for the extraordinary proposition that " coal was not deemed necessaries, and so conferred no lien." These are the only references to this case. Nor have we been able to find any reference to the question whether Admiralty has jurisdiction over a contract of affreightment where the voyage is between ports of the same state.
On p. 78, the author seems to bo laboring under the impression that there are no rales in this country, made by Congress, in regard to collision. As if doubtful on the point, he says, "But vide Appendix G." On turning to this we find the rules of 1864, but no reference to the Amendatory Act of 1866. The Admiralty rales, which went into effect in 1845, are given in the Appendix; but the author seems to be entirely ignorant that the twelfth rule was changed in 1859, the twenty-first in 1862, and that additional rules were made in 1850, in 1851, and in 1854.
The Practice in Courts of Justice in England and the United States. By ConWay Robinson. Volume V. As to the Grounds and Form of Defence in Personal Actions. Richmond: Woodhouse & Parham. Baltimore: Cushings & Bailey. Philadelphia: T. & J. W. Johnson & Co. 1868. pp.1053.
The first volume of this able and elaborate work, alike creditable to the profession and its author, was published in 1854, and then grew out of a demand, made by the bar of the Southern States, for a new edition of a smaller and more local work published by Mr. Robinson in 1832 and 1835, both editions of which had been long exhausted. The first volume was devoted "to the place and time of a transaction or proceeding treating chiefly of the Conflict of Laws and the Statutes of Limitation."
The second volume appeared in 1855, treating of "the Subject-matter of Personal Actions, or the Right of Action."
In 1858 the third volume was published, treating of "Personal Actions with respect to parties who may sue and be sued; the form of action, and the frame of the Pleadings."
This was followed two years later, in 1860, by the fourth volume, "As to Pleadings in Personal Actions;" and this again, after a lapse of eight years, by the volume whose title we have given at length above. Another volume is now in preparation.
The work will thus, when completed, comprise six volumes, averaging more than eight hundred closely printed pages each, and occupying in their preparation the leisure of no inconsiderable part of the author's active professional life. And we hazard nothing in saying that we do not know, within the scope of its subjectmatter, a work more accurate and able, or one more useful to the lawyer in full and active practice.
The title is unfortunate, in that it gives no adequate idea of the scope, extent, or general character of these volumes. In the language of a most eminent English judge: "We hardly do it justice in calling it a Practice merely. It is to a great extent a Nisi Prius Manual."
In the six volumes, under the title of "Practice of Law in Courts of Justice in England and the United States," Mr. Robinson treats, with great ability, accuracy, and conciseness, of the whole subject-matter of personal actions at law, whether in contract or tort, and their remedies and defences; embracing a view of the whole law, by which the existence of rights and defences are ascertained. The word "Practice," in its general and technical acceptance, carries with it a much more limited idea, — that of a work treating merely of the details of forms of actions, and the courts and modes for their prosecution, but excluding all discussion of their causes and subject-matter. Hence its inadequacy as a title to these volumes. We suspect it is only a kind of paternal attachment to it, as the title of his earlier and local work, that has induced Mr. Robinson to retain it in this.
We have no space to enter into an analysis or upon an elaborate criticism of this work or of its last volume. In the language of the writer we have already quoted, "there is probably no book now in use by American lawyers so capable of affording aid in the commencement and prosecution of suits, and the discussions of issues of law before courts, as this book of Mr. Robinson's. And this is just as true of it in one State of the Union as in another; for although there is not a uniformity of decision, or of statute law, or of forms of practice and remedy, in the different States, it is the peculiar excellence of this work, that it takes notice of and states with accuracy and fulness the law of England and the law of each State of the Union on the subjects on which it treats; points out the diversity of decision or legislaflon, and puts the reader in possession of the past and present state of the law, and the modes of remedy throughout the United States."
We are inclined to believe that, if a practising lawyer could have in his general practice access to but a single work, this would be the best he could select.
In the recent case of The City Discount Co. v. Berger, in the Exchequer Court, the following colloquy occurred: —
Baron Bramwell. You will find, Mr. Powell, the law on this head well stated in the 5th volume of Mr. Conway Robinson's Practice.
Mr. Powell. But shall I find any thing there that will help me, my Lord?
Baron Bramwell. No, it is too well done.
That this work is well done, a mere cursory examination will assure any one. And such a work we should expect from the character of its author. Ho has been for years a leader at the Virginia bar, and is a thorough and eminent lawyer, with no ambition or inclination for other pursuits, if we except an occasional literary or historical production, into which his scholarly tastes have led him. He is not only a practitioner, but a jurist, an'd alike eminent as both; as this work, in which are embodied the results of the study, experience, and labor of so much of the twenty best years of his life as could be spared from active practice, amply demonstrates.
Tins book is not in so general use at the North as it ought to be, and will be, when its sterling merits are known and appreciated. At the South, it has long been in general use, and is regarded as high authority by court and bar. We feel that we shall do the profession a favor by calling their attention to it. The Chief Justice of one of the courts of England has recently said, "It seems a most comprehensive and valuable work upon the subjects which it embraces, likely to be quite as useful in this country as in America," — an opinion in which any one who has occasion to consult it will readily concur.
The Jurisprudence of Medicine in its relations to the Law of Contracts, Torts, and Evidence, with a Supplement on the Liabilities of Vendors of Drugs. By John Ordronaux, LL.B., M.D. Philadelphia: T. & J. W. Johnson & Co. 1869.
This is a very different book from the ordinary Treatises on Medical Jurisprudence: they are medical books for the use of lawyers; this is a law-book for the use of doctors. The bulk of works on Medical Jurisprudence is devoted to a discussion of those facts and theories connected with medical art and science, concerning which testimony in courts of law is most frequently offered: such as the effects of poison, the signs of pregnancy, the symptoms of insanity. This present work states the general rules of law which govern in the professional delations of physicians to their patients, to each other, and to the community, ami of the nature of the testimony of medical experts. We have never seen a book of the kind which we liked better; partly, perhaps, because the learned author remembers that he is a bachelor of laws as well as a doctor of medicine. Sometimes, in truth, he holds his medical brethren to an almost too severe legal liability.
The matter of the book we can heartily praise; we cannot say as much for the style. Where Dr. Ordronaux forgets himself in his interest for the subject he writes as well as need be, but as soon as he begins to think of his words, he becomes cumbersome and pedantic, thus : —
"The duties arising from consensual obligations are not exclusively private in their nature, and limited ex vi termini to the contracting parties alone, but postulate to this fact are the exoteric duties," &c. One is tempted to exclaim with Vittoria, in Webster's White Devil: "Surely, this lawyer here hath swallowed some pothicaries' bills." It is a pity that such good sense should be clad in so ungraceful a garb.
The Bankrupt Law of the United States, with the Rules and Forms in Bankruptcy and Notes of Decisions. By Frederick C. Brightly, Esq., Philadelphia: Kay & Brother. 1869.
Tins is one of those manuals of which several have appeared since the passage of the Bankrupt Act, containing the text of the law with the cases which have been decided under it in the district courts collected in notes at the foot of tho pages. Each new one surpasses its predecessors by containing more cases, and each runs the risk of being superseded by some later rival. Mr. Brightly brings a skill and a vast experience to the task of condensing the decided cases into the notes. We can speak with confidence as to his success, for we have recently had occasion to go over the same ground in preparing the Bankruptcy Digest for publication in tho American Law Review last April. The work has unusual difficulties, for many of the decisions, especially the earlier ones, were hastily given and are badlv reported, but Mr. Brightly has been very happy in giving, concisely and accurately, the points decided.
Mr. Brightly's failing, and though it be a failing which leans to virtue's side it is still a failing, is love of overmuch brevity; especially in a manual which is intended to aid lawyers, whether they have the original authorities within reach or not, a fuller statement would have added to the value of the book. For instance, such a sentence as this: "As to when the Court of Bankruptcy will enjoin proceedings in a State court, see Ex parte Reed, 6 Int. R. llec. 21; Ex parte Jacobi/, Ibid. 149; Ex parte Robinson, 2 Bank Reg. 108; Ex parte Campbell, 16 Am. L. R. 100,' would not materially assist a lawyer who had not by him the Internal Revenue Record, the Bankruptcy Register, and the American Law Register.
The typography and general "get up" of the book are singularly pleasing.
Noles on the General Statutes of Massachusetts. By Uriel II. Cuocker & George G. Crocker. Little, Brown &, Company. 1869.
The main design of this book is to give the statutes and decisions since the publication of the General Statutes which all'ect the law as laid down in that revision of the Laws of Massachusetts. How great assistance such a book, accurately done, would be to every lawyer in the Commonwealth need not be said. It would be in daily use and save an incalculable amount of time and waste of patience; but such a book, inaccurately done, would be worse than useless.
Fortunately, we have a guaranty in Mr. U. II. Crocker's former book, " Notes on Common Forms," of the thoroughness with which he works. The Notes on Common Forms have been growing, and deservedly growing, in popularity since their publication, and we congratulate the profession in Massachusetts that a work which is of so great importance to them has fallen into competent hands. The Messrs. Crocker have also noted many of the decisions prior to the General Statutes which touch directly, or by analogy, on the earlier laws retained in the revision. This collection of earlier decisions does not profess to be full, but Mr. Crocker's incompleteness is better than many people's completeness.
Common Bench Reports. New Series. Cases argued and determined in the Court of Common Pleas, and in the Exchequer Chamber, in Michaelmas Term and Vacation, 1863, and Hilary Term, 1864. By John Scott, Esq. Vol. XV. With References to Decisions in the American Courts. James Parsons, Esq., Editor. Philadelphia: T. & J. W. Johnson & Co. 1869.
We recall no reporter whose career is so long, nor who has been concerned in publishing so many volumes, as Mr. Scott; if, indeed, the John Scott, Esq., who has been so long occupied in giving to the world the arguments and determinations in the Common Pleas be one and the same individual. He began in 1831, near forty years ago, by editing, in conjunction with Mr. Moore, the four volumes of Moore and Scott, then came the eight volumes of Scott's Reports, next eight volumes of Scott's New Reports; then, in company with Mr. Manning and Mr. Granger, he edited the nineteen volumes of the Common Bench Reports, and afterwards he brought out alone the twenty volumes of the New Series of the Common Bench, and when the series of the Law Reports was started he did not retire, but was enrolled among the regular reporters of the Council of Law Reportmg, has edited already three of the annual volumes of the Common Pleas Reports, and is at work, with unabated vigor, at the fourth. In all, he has taken part in the preparation of sixty-two volumes, though but a small part of that number are cited by his name. All of them have now been republished in America, except the sixteenth, seventeenth, and twentieth of the New Series of the Common Bench Reports, the fifteenth of that series is now before us.
The cases it contains were decided five or six years ago, but as this is the first time that they appear in America, in a generally accessible shape, we notice some of the points decided.
The plaintiff had, in a cause of collision in the Admiralty, obtained the whole proceeds of the sale- of the defendant's vessel, but the amount so recovered was insufficient to cover the damage he had sustained. Held, that such recovery was no bar to a subsequent action at common law. Nelson v. Couch, p. 99. There is an American note to the case.
It is no defence to an action for money paid at the request of the defendants, to plead that the money was paid in respect of losses on wagering contracts which the plaintiff had made as broker for the defendant with third persons. Rosewarne. v. Billing, p. 316.
A. deposited a dock-warrant for brandies with B., as a security for a loan, which was to be repaid on Jan. 29th, or, in default, the brandies were to be forfeited. On the 28th, B. agreed to sell the brandies to C., and on the 29th delivered to him the dock-warrant; C. took actual possession on the 30th. The court agreed that, as A. had the whole of the 29th to redeem, the delivery of the dock-warrant to C. was a conversion; but on the measure of damages they disagreed. Erie, C. J., and Byles and Keating, JJ., held that A. ought to recover the actual damage he had sustained by the conversion, which, as there was no intention on A.'s part to redeem, was merely nominal, but Williams, J., held, that the proper measure of damages was the value of the thing converted. Johnson v. Slear, p. 330. An American note is appended to this case also. See Pigot v. Cubley, post, p. 701.
The head-note to Blackman v. Bainton, p. 432, is quaint. "Twenty-five witnesses and a horse on one side, against ten witnesses on the other. Held, not such a preponderance of 'inconvenience' as to induce the court to bring back the venue from the place where the cause of action (if any) arose."
A., B., and C. agreed that each should furnish £3000 worth of goods, to be shipped on a joint adventure, the profits to be divided according to the amount of their several shipments. Held, that this did not constitute a partnership between the three, so as to make B. and C. responsible for goods bought by A. to furnish his quota of the cargo. Heap v. Dobson, p. 460.
In 1851, the defendant forbade his wife to incur debts for clothing for herself and two daughters, telling her he would allow her bOl. for that purpose, beside 65/. which was settled to her separate use. In 1860, the wife contracted a debt with the plaintiffs for clothing. The plaintilfs had no notice of the revocation of the wife's authority. In an action against the husband to recover the price of the goods, the jury found that the articles were necessaries, that the wife's authority was revoked in 1851, that if the Wbl. had been regularly paid it would have been sufficient, but that it was not regularly paid, and that what was paid was insufficient. Held, by Erie, C. J., and Williams and WUles, JJ., that the plaintiffs