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Greene, Q.O., and Parker ; Bigham, Q.O., and Dickens. SOLICITORS, T. R.
Mr. Eltox, Q.C., M.P., proposed the health of the Incorporated Law the appeal, with costs, without hearing any argument on behalf of Society, to whom they were indebted for this splendid hospitality. In the the defendants, holding that the plaintiffs had failed to shew that the name of all the lawyers—in the name of all who had chosen to accept this matters of which they complained were due to any acts of the defendants. hospitality-he thanked them. IIe could not sit down without saying one Cotton, L.J., expressed his regret that a case of this kind should have to word in respect to the chairman, whose voice had ever been listened to be decided on affidavit evidence, without any opportunity of crosswith the deepest respect whilst he was in the House of Commons. He examining the witnesses. Without absolutely deciding the point, he could safely say that on every occasion on which he had spoken upon ques- thought that means might have been found for having an issue tried tions of statesmanship or questions of law, he was listened to with the with virâ voce evidence. Bowen, L.J., concurred. He thought that the greatest deference and the most affectionate regard.
question in dispute ought to have been settled either by a reference to a The CHAIRMAN, who was met with loud plaudits, in acknowledging the skilled arbitrator or upon oral testimony, not upon affidavit evidence. compliment, said: As a solicitor I was almost, I may say, born; as a solicitor | Moreover, the plaintiffs' case rested upon samples of the water of the I have lived, and as a solicitor I hope to die. All my thoughts have been for river, and in such a case the value of the experiment depended entirely the interest of the profession. I may say, certainly, since I entered the upon the fairness with which the sample was taken. The only satisfacHouse of Parliament, that I hope that, in some degree, my efforts have tory way of taking such samples was to give the opposite side an oppor. tended to maintain these interests and the honour and dignity of the pro- tunity of seeing how the sample was taken. The plaintiffs had not fession to which I have the honour to be a member. I believe the Incorpo- attempted to submit their samples to any witnesses but their own, or to rated Law Society has done honest, sincere, and truthful work in the give the defendants in any way an opportunity of checking them. The operations which it has undertaken. I remember the first institution of the plaintiffs were bound to shew that the mischief of which they comsociety. I remember its small beginnings. I remember it began almost plained was produced by something peculiar to the defendants' 'manuas a social institution, for the purpose of maintaining harmony amongst the facture-that the injury must come from the defendants. The only thing members of our common profession. It has gradually extended its operations. peculiar to paper manufacture which could produce the alleged injury It has become almost a university in the proper sense of the term. It has was the refuse of esparto grass. The defendants said that the alterations become a great institution of examination and of discipline; and, as it had which they had made in their works had rendered it impossible that the faithfully fulfilled its duties and obligations, those which had been cast upon esparto refuse should find its way into the river. That defence, if it it by Parliament, and those which have been recognised in society, I believe was true, was unanswerable, and the only way of meeting it was by it has tended not only to the benefit of our profession, but to the common cross-examining the defendants' witnesses, or by inspecting the defend benefit and welfare of the general community.
ants' works to ascertain if it was true.
almost inconceivable that the plaintiffs should not have adopted either of those courses. THE BALL.
The court came to but ope conclusion, that the plaintiffs had not estabOn Tuesday, evening a ball was held at the Society's Hall, Chancery. lished their case. Fry, L.J., was of the same opinion. He thought that lane, at which nearly 2,000 ladies and gentlemen were present.
The North, J., had dealt somewhat hardly with the defendants in depriving PRESIDENT and the VICE-PRESIDENT received the guests in the council
them of the costs of the motion.-COUNSEL, Cookson, Q.O., and Farwell ; room, and among them were the Lord Chancellor and Lady Halsbury, Cozens - Hardy, Q.C., and S, Hall. Solicitors, Pritchard, Englafield, & Co.; Lord Herschell, Lord Justice Cotton, Mr. Justice Grantham, and Mr. Justice Clarke, Voodcock, & Ryland. Kekewich, and a considerable number of Q.C.'s and members of the
WALLASY LOCAL BOARD v, GRACEY-Stirling, J., 8th June. bar. Dancing commenced soon after nine o'clock, and was continued until four a.m. The whole of the building, which was profusely decorated
ACTION BY LOCAL BOARD TO RESTRAIN ALLEGED PUBLIC NUISANCE FROM throughout with growing plants and laid with crimson cloth, was utilized.
WHICH THE BOARD SUSTAIN NO DAMAGE. The Examination Hall, in which was stationed the band of the Royal The Wallasy Local Board sought, by a motion in the terms of the writ Artillery, conducted by Mr. L. Zavertal, and the Reading Room, where in an action brought in the name of the board, to restrain by injunction was Willoughby's band-conductor, Dr. L. P. Willoughby-were the ball an alleged public nuisance. The board had sustained no damage by the rooms, and the whole of the premises occupied by the club were used for the alleged nuisance. It was objected that the action was wrongly framed. purpose of supplying light refreshments during the evening. In order to
STIRLING, J., held that the objection was well founded, as the consent avoid any block, the guests entered the supper-room by means of the library of the Attorney-General had not been obtained, whereas the proceeding staircase, and afterwards gained the lower rooms by a temporary staircaso should have been by information in his name.-COUNSEL, Graham Hastings, constructed outside the building. Messrs. King & Brymer supplied the Q.C., and Bardswell; Buckley, Q.C., and F. Smith. SOLICITORS, Jaques & refreshments, and Messrs. Cutbush were responsible for the decorations. Co., for Layton & Steel, Liverpool; Wynne, Holme, f Wynne, for Simpson & The line of carriages and cabs extended from end to end of Chancery-lane North, Liverpool. and along Carey-street, and in front of the Courts of Justice.
THE THEATRICAL ENTERTAINMENTS. On Thursday evening, the following theatres were placed at the disposal of the visitors : --Lyceum (Louis XI.), St. James's (Lady Clancarty), and the
CASES AFFECTING SOLICITORS. Court (Dandy Dick).
Ex parte PHILLIPS, Re WATSON-C. A. No. 1, June 8. SOLICITOR— TAXATION OF Costs-Services Whilst NO PERSONAL REPRE•
SENTATIVE EXISTED, BUT BENEFICIAL TO ESTATE.
This was an appeal by Mr. Watson, a solicitor, against an order of the CASES OF THE WEEK.
Divisional Court (Lord Coleridge, C.J., and A. L. Smith, J ), for a review
of the taxation of his bill of costs, reported 35 W. R. 296, 18 Q. B. D. WALSH v. THE DARWEN PAPER MILLS CO.-C. A. No. 2,
116. On May 12, 1877, Harriett Cross died leaving a will, but the 8th June, executor named therein renounced probate.
On September 3, 1878, BREACH OF INJUNCTION-MOTION FOR SEQUESTRATION – MODE OF TAKING
letters of administration with the will annexed were granted to Ann EVIDENCE.
Phillips and Catherine Noyes, the sisters of the deceased. Ann Phillips This was an appeal by the plaintiffs, who were cotton spinners carrying After their deaths a man named Easton, who had married the daughter of
died September 14, 1879, anà Catherine Noyes died December 12, 1879, against the refusal of North, J., to issue a sequestration agaiust the who had previously acted for the estate, to perform further service care defendant company for an a'leged breach of an undertaking given by them à solicitor with respect to the administration of the estate. higher up the river than the plaintiffs" mills? <On the 27th of April, 1885, estate, and the continued to act until June, 1882, when he received notice an order was made in the action by Pearson, J., on the application of the fronte ne Robert Phillips revoking his authority. On August 17, 1882, letters plaintiffs, any prescriptive or other right to pollute, deteriorate, impound, January, 1886, he obtained an order for the delivery of Mr. Watsona bated injure the plaintiffs in the enjoyment of the flow of the water unpolluted the itemsi nint respectator the work done between December 12, 1879, came taking not to pollute, &c., any water of the river, or any of its a muertes, administratores field, 5., refused, on appeai, to direct a review of taratiei; forced for a period of eight months troms the water tank the wonder, he ene but the Divisimake conet es tract of the deceased person liable for services so as to conduct their works as to avoid thoring the plaintiffs any injurets readerhey were trendered under an contract with someone authorized to it was by consent ordered that the defendants should pay the plaintiffs' bind the estate. costs of the action, to be taxed as between solicitor and client. During the eight months the defendants made some alterations in their works, and
The Court (Lord Esher, M.R., LINDLEY and Lopes, L.JJ.) affirmed
the decision of the Divisional Court, and dismissed the appeal. The who had not previously made any complaint since the expiration of the eight months, gave notice of motion for the issue of a sequestration against services.
he could not recover costs from the administrator in respect of those
If he had acted as a volunteer, the administrator could have J., dismissed the motion, but without costs.
The Court of Appeal (Cotton, Bowen, and Fry, L.JJ.) dismissed | Watson; Smiles, Binyon, f Oliard, for Page, Hay.
or as trustees.
The executors may, in such cases, be registered as LAW SOCIETIES.
owners, and a distringas may be lodged for the protection of the parties beneficially interested." Legislation has in the interim abolished
the necessity of deducing title for sixty or even fifty years, and not only INCORPORATED LAW SOCIETY.
thereby, but in other respects, has lessened the difficulties of achieving
the result which by the above plan it was desired to attain—a result which LONDON MEETING.
was declared to be of great national interest and importance, and entitled
to careful and serious examination." It is impossible to refrain from making PAPERS AND Discussion.
the observation, if effect had been given to this practical suggestion of On Tuesday morning the members of the Society met at the Freemasons' one of the leading solicitors of the day, how great weuld now have been the Tavern, Great Queen Street, for the reading and discussion of papers, the progress towards the accomplishment of the registration of titles, which most PRESIDENT taking the chair. Considerably over 1,000 gentlemen were people think desirable, but which no one has yet been able to devise the present at the morning sitting.
means of accomplishing by legislation. And this alone is a sufficient answer The President said : Before boginning business I desire to say how much to those who assert that a system of registration would long since have been the council of this society feel the pleasure of your visit to us here in effected but for the interested obstructiveness of the legal profession. The London. As I have already said we have been so often entertained by you in truth is, as the slightest reflection will show, by far the larger portion, if not the country, that we are delighted to have the opportunity of a return visit all, of the successful attempts to give vitality to any proposed amendments from our country friends.
in the law of real property—and they have been numerous during the reign
of the Queen-have emanated from lawyers practising in one or other branch THE VICE-PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS.
of the profession. Indeed, what is to be apprehended is not a factious The Vice-President (Mr. Henry Markby) read an address in which he ment, but a fear lest the pressure put upon the Government, for what is
opposition on the part of the legal profession to the Bill now before Parliasaid : Speaking to the members of our society who are now present, there called a large and liberal measure of land reform, may lead to the hasty is one Bill of first importance which is now before Parliament to which passing of a measure which will only add another to the numerous failures some allusion is necessary. I refer to the Bill entituled, “An Act to further
upon this subject. The report of the above-mentioned Commission was simplify titles and facilitate the transfer of land in England and Wales." issued in 1857, but the system of registration proposed in such report was Its object is stated to be an attempt to settle and carry further the legisla- not adopted by the late Lord Westbury when in 1862 a Bill to facilitate the tion which is associated with the name of Earl Cairns, to whose ability and proof of title to, and the conveyance of, real estate was introduced by his profound knowledge of the law the Land Transfer Act of 1875, the Con- fordship into Parliament, and became law in the session of Parliament held veyancing Act of 1881, and the Settled Land Act of 1882 are mainly due. in that year. The Act sought, as you know, to establish a system of indeThe Bill contemplates that registration should eventually become compulsory feasible titles, and required a very strict and expensive investigation of title and universal. Its provisions in this respect are to come into operation upon as a preliminary to registration. After a short experience of the working of death, or as and when it may be wished to effect a sale or transfer of land its provisions, it proved to be unacceptable to the public, and in 1868 a Royal in any district declared by Order in Council to be subject to its operation. Commission was appointed to enquire into the working of it. This CommisIn this gradual adaptation of the principles of registration of titles to real sion reported in 1870, and confirmed the view which the public, as well as property the Bill follows, to some extent, a suggestion made many years since the legal profession, had taken, and stated that the evils of which complaint by an eminent member of the council of our society, whose views were set was made were “ directly and visibly traceable to the main principle of the forth in a paper read in May, 1852, before the Society for Promoting the Act," and that the system had failed.” In 1874 and 1875, Bills for the Amendment of the Law, and printed by that society. I refer to the late registration of titles were introduced into Parliament by the late Earl Cairns, Mr. W. Strickland Cookson, who was, I believe, throughout his life a con and in 1875 “ An Act to simplify titles and facilitate the transfer of land in sistent advocate of registration. In May, 1853, a Bill to provide for the England,” which came into operation on the 1st January, 1876, was passed. registration of assurances was read a second time in the House of Commons
The Act was designed to remedy the defects of Lord Westbury's Act, but it and referred to a Select Committee. Before that Committee the views of also has failed to work satisfactorily, and has become, as was stated in the Mr. Cookson were supported by the evidence of himself, the late Mr. John report of the Select Committee which sat in 1879, “ a dead letter."
The Bullar, the well-known parliamentary draughtsman, the late Mr. E.W. Field, task, therefore, of establishing a system of registration which will satisfy the and Mr. W. Williams, of whose aid in their deliberations the council still retain requirements of simplicity, expedition, and cheapness, so as to become a the benefit. Mr. Búllar submitted for the consideration of the Committee a valuable acquisition to the owners of land in this country and a boon to the plan prepared in concert with the above-named gentlemen for the registration public at large, has yet to be accomplished. The present Bill adopts, with of legal ownership in land, which received the approval of the Committee, as some exceptions, the provisions of the last-mentioned Act, and proposes, in affording a means of facilitating the transfer of land, combined with great opposition to the strongly expressed opinion of the late Earl Cairns, when simplicity and security of title, and the Committee concluded their Report giving evidence before the Select Committee of 1879, to make registration by recommending that the Bill for the registration of assurances should not compulsory upon any landowner who desires to sell, settle, mortgage, or, as proceed, but that a Commission should be appointed, and that a Bill adopting it would seem, to grant a lease for a term exceeding twenty-one years of any the scheme so suggested should be brought into Parliament in the then ensuing portion of his estate, a provision which will, even if the possessing session. In 1854 a Royal Commission was issued, which, after a very lengthened owner elect to register a possessory title only, render it necessary enquiry, reported that “all owners or proprietors of land who have the right for him to incur an immediate expenditure of a very considerable of possessing or the power of disposing of it in fee simple should be at liberty amount in the preparation of plans and the giving of notices, &c. . But, to apply for the registration of ownership thereof, so that such ownership, or looking to the failure of the two preceding Acts, surely it will be advisable the title to the land, which is the subject of the same, may thenceforth be to postpone the enactment of compulsory registration, at least, until it has manifested by the Register alone.” This was substantially an adoption of been found by experience that the proposed legislation will work satisfacHir. Cookson's plan, who proposed to make a record only of the transfers of torily, and so to avoid the risk of hampering instead of facilitating the the legal estate and to keep the details of trusts and incumbrances of the transfer of real property, and of imposing upon “ possessing ” landowners, Register. He also proposed to adapt the system of restraining transfers of upon whom in these days no unnecessary burthens should be cast, a scheme stock by distringas to restraining the transfer of land, the intention being which will inflict upon them a heavy outlay, without, it may be, any corthat on and after a day to be named, " Where any dealing with land takes responding advantage to themselves or the general public. There are in the place by a person entitled to or having power over the whole fee-simple, a Bill other provisions of great importance which are simplifications of the transfer shall be executed, conveying the whole fee-simple to one or more Law of Real Property, and which may be found to be useful. The boldest persons absolutely. That such transfer shall be on parchment in original of these provisions proposes to assimilate real and personal property by and duplicate, in a simple printed form, and shall express the true considera- making real estate in case of an intestacy devolve upon the personal reprechaser, or mortgagee, or trustee, who shall thereupon become the registered persons as if it were personal estate as to which he had died intestate.”. And owner. That both parties shall sign the instruments, in order that the this, I may observe, is in the direction indicated by our president in the signature of the purchaser may be on the register as a check on any future address which he delivered at York at the meeting held last autumn. The transfer by him. That both parts shall be lodged at the Transfer Office, Bill also proposes to put an end to estates tail; and whilst this provision will and compared with each other there : and that the duplicate shall be filed certainly tend to simplify the law, it probably will not be found to interfere to the registered owner or the original may be filed and the duplicate re usefully exercised. I need hardly say that these observations are made with turned. That it shall be competent;for, if not obligatory on, parties to add a the hesitation which one must necessarily feel in dealing with a subject so map to the schedule, for better describing the lands. That the validity of complicated and so important as a reform of the Law of Real Property. I the title of the first registered owner shall depend, as it does now, on the do not wish for a moment to deny that the Bill of the Lord Chancellor, which
contains many other provisions of a most important kind, is, as we should gistered owner must investigate the title—the legal find equitable title as expect from all we know of his lordship, a bold and able attempt to grapple he does now. That when the first registered owner shall afterwards sell to with the difficulty of the task which is imposed upon him—a difficulty which the register the evidence of the title for the ten or Twenty years, and for system, and have not put thoir own hands to the task of remedying them, twhich would, " when, under this system, land should have been transferred ventured to express are concurred in or not, I need not hesitate to add that, for fifty or sixty years, be a sufficient title." Nr. Cookson also pointed out preserving in this respect the traditions of our society, law reform, in any and dispatch. An equitable mortgageer may obtain a distringas i ho holds a improvement attained, will not meet with opposition from the council which simple undertaking of the owner to grant a mortgage when required." And represents our branch of the legal profession. added that “ Provision must be made for devises, where the whole ownership is not devised to one or
Passing from this question, I will now take leave to occupy some small more persons, either beneficially portion of your time with a subject which is peculiarly well fitted to be
discussed on the present occasion. I mean the progress which the mercial education, a competent knowledge of at least Latin, geography, education of our branch of the profession has made during the course of history, the elements of mathematics and ethics, and of one or more modern the present reign, when contrasted with what had occurred in the four languages.” The efforts of our society for the improvement of education, previous centuries. [After dealing with the history of the legislation on the thus early acknowledged, have never been relaxed. The lectures of the Bubject prior to the present reign, the Vice President said that] at a date society were continued, and considerable care was expended upon the conduct almost coincident with the commencement of the present reign-a few months of the oxaminations. But it was felt that further reforms were still neces. only prior to the accession of her Majesty—there was held for the first time an sary, and in the year 1860 a Bill for that purpose was introduced examination, in which the council of our society took a recognised part. Six. into Parliament, which was prepared under the direct instruotions teen members of the council of our society, together with certain officers of the of the Council. This Bill became law, and by its provisions our society court, were elected to superintend the examinations, of which the first was were enabled to set on foot the Preliminary and Intermediate Examinations, held in the hall of our society in November, 1836, when 101 candidates This Act was passed during the presidency of Mr. Cookson, to whose were examined, of whom ninety immediately received certificates of fitness ; ability and active interest in the well-being of the profession of which he and on the following day, after further consideration, six more were passed, was an ornament I have already referred. In 1872 (it having long been felt five only being postponed, all of whom were re-examiaed one week later that the endeavours to raise the standard of legal education for solicitors and received their certificates. In 1837 the Master of the Rolls made a throughout the country would be more likely to be successful if our society similar order for the examination in equity of candidates seeking to be were brought into somewhat more close connection with the societies placed on the roll of solicitors, and it was ordered that such examination established, and still in course of establishment, in the large towns of should be held at the Rolls House in the presence of one of the masters in England), a supplemental charter was obtained, under which the members of chancery and one of the sworn clerks of the court, testimonials as to due the council were increased in number, and power was given to elect extra. service having previously been left with the secretary of the Incorporated ordinary members from the presidents of any other law societies established Law Society in the same as was required previously to the at any place in the United Kingdom except the metropolis, with the like or examination of attorneys. The Equity examiners met at the Rolis House, kindred purposes for which our society has been established. The number and examined the one candidate who presented himself, and he received a of such extraordinary members was limited to ten. The power thus given certificate to which it will, I think, be admitted his enterprise fairly entitled has since that date been constantly exercised, and has been found to be him. That the powers which were thus for the first time entrusted to the most useful for the purpose for which it was intended. Up to this time, council of our society have been exercised with advantage to the profession however, our society had only a limited control over the examinations for and to the satisfaction of the public we need not feel any doubt. Had it admission into the ranks of our branch of the profession. The Legislature not been so we should not have found, as we in fact do find, that these had not, in the first instance, done more than enable the judges to depute to powers have been constantly increased by the Legislature, until our society the council certain functions which they could at any time resume. But in has come to hold, with respect to legal education, the same powers in regard 1877 an Act which originated with, and was actively promoted by, our to solicitors as are held in regard to barristers by the Inns of Court. And society became law. The passing of this Act was mainly due to the these powers have been 60 conferred, as I believe, because tho council has experience, tact, and indomitable perseverance of Mr. Francis Thomas throughout been acting in harmony with the movement which was also set Bircham, who was vice-president in 1874 and president in 1875, aided in a on foot in the early years of her Majesty's reign, and which has ever since large degree by Mr. G. B. Gregory and Mr. E. F. Burton. It conferred been continued-1 mean the endeavour to raise the standard of the legal upon our society, subject to a right of appeal to the Master of the Rolls, profession in all its branches. In January, 1844, by an order of the Master the entire management of the preliminary, intermediate, and final examinaof the Rolls, and in Easter Term, 1846, by an order of the judges of the tions. Upon the passing of this Act, an Examination Committee (upon Queen's Bench and other courts then sitting at Westminster, the masters of which some country members always serve) was formed to inaugurate and the several courts of law, and a certain number of attorneys and solicitors superintend the working of its provisions, Assistant examiners were who were always selected from the council of our society, to be elected selected from practising members of the profession to assist in the conduct annually, were appointed to be the examiners of candidates seeking of the examinations, and in 1879 elementary classes for the benefit of admission as attorneys and solicitors. In 1845 the Charter of Incorporation, articled clerks who had not passed their intermediate examination, which granted to the society by King William the Fourth, was surrendered, have since been continuously conducted by a London member of our branch together with all the individual rights of property in the funds of the of the profession with very ccnsiderable success, were established. On the Institute, as it then existed, in order that the same might thenceforth be 28th of February, 1879, the council instructed the Examination Committee applied to the general purposes of our society in promoting professional to communicate with the various local societies in the country, with a view improvement and facilitating the acquisition of legal knowledge. By these of ascertaining whether or not it would be practicable to establish local means all trace of the commercial character which had, in its origin, been classes in country towns of the same character as those which have been unwittingly impressed upon our society, and which had been found to have established by our society for the benefit of articled clerks who had not a prejudicial effect upon its progress, was removed. In August, 1846, passed their intermediate examination, and accordingly a circular letter was Select Committee of the House of Commons, which had been appointed addressed to those bodies. At the time the local societies did not see their to inquire into legal education in England, made its report. The way to the establishment of such classes, and the suggestion met with but Committee advert to the fact that in none of the collegiate establish- little encouragement from any of the societies who responded to the letter ments being places of preliminary study to the Universities were any of the Examination Committee, with the exception of the Liverpool Law legal courses, however elementary, pursued; that in neither of the Society, who considered that the establishment of local law classes would great Universities of England (Oxford or Cambridge) were there more meet with “ great approval and be strongly supportod.” Such important than two chairs, one for promoting the study of civil, the other for towns as Birmingham, Liverpool, and Newcastle-on-Tyne have since seen promoting the study of English law ; that of these 'chairs one had their way to establish law classes in conjunction with our society, and been discontinued on account of the paucity of students, and that the these classes the council have had the satisfaction of being able to other, although more efficient and better frequented, still assist, in
degree, by means
yearly grant. inadequate ; that in the University of London efforts had been made to honours examination has been established, at which candidates from the and that although in the College of Haileybury such requirements had been made through the liberality of former members of the profession ; and there supply their wants, but for the time only had their efforts proved successful; country have taken a full share of the prizes, for which provision has been better met, they were limited to students for India, The committee then agencies for the furtherance of the main object of our Society are now in state it to be their opinion that there was in our schools and universities no active operation. I have thus shown that no inconsiderable progress fessional student, whilst the Innx of Court had long since discontinued their of candidates for admission "upon the rolls of solicitors in England lectures and readings, and consequently, there was neither for barristers or and Wales. solicitors any legal education of a public kind worthy of the name.
Much remains (to be done in the same direction, and if speaking more particularly of our branch of the profession, the committee go legal education, and operates in some degree as an incentive to greater
And the foregoing narrative calls attention to the importance of the question of on to state that the solicitor entered upon his professional duties ill entitled, exertions on the part of the existing law societies, both in town and country, give, to that conidence and reliance which the very delicate and complicated attempt to do justice to the labours of the council of our society with satiotion of the Continent, where that branch of education held (as it still holda) portion of our professional brethren to enrol themselves as members of the and still is, given in the Universities of those countries, with the wants of during the last few years : considerable addition has been made out on your any such facilities for the study of the law which coristed in wingland, wandt ge humber, yet our society does not include, as it should do, a large majoritetet does not admit of correction; on the contrary, they have received, during for which it was founded, and especially that of establishing a good system their course of inquiry, very direct and unquestionable proofs from all classes, of legal education, would be insured. professional and unprofessional, not only of the necessity, but also of the facility, of reform.”
The last subject upon which I shall venture to make any observations, of success have been made by the establishment and operations That " already commencements, with no small degree and thoso very few and with very great diftidence, is one upon which the
in is a great divergence of opinion-viz., the amalgamation of the two branches In those matters the best labourers are the voluntary, and the reformat nately, and it has consequeninst received the "Consideration of the Bake Canon likely to be so general, effective, or permanent, as that which is the result of mittee.
It is not within my province, nor do I presume to make any The report closes by recommending, amongst other things recta y han commodo dobar was thought it advisable to adopt. The interests of the bar they have through previous tom amision to apprenticeship.catisha tabia kaming ting the cour brancha be the professitat may well follow a like couches of pro
fession to the other has been made, comparatively speaking, very easy. Mr. C. H. STANTON said he had the honour of representing the Newcastle But in saying that no active steps should be taken to disturb the distinctions Law Society, and he hoped that next year the members would meet at Newwhich at present exist, I do not intend to indicate that the matter is one castle. which can with prudence be wholly disregarded. On the contrary, it Mr. J. LEWIS (Wrexham) expressed a hope that this invitation would be deserves our careful attention and constant watchfulness. Ultimately it will accepted. no doubt be determined, as such a question should be, by stress of circumstances and the requirements of the public. That the present distinctions, The EXTENSION of the Society, ITS FUNCTIONS, AND Powers. although they may be modified, will ever be entirely swept away, I do not The PRESIDENT read a paper with this title, as follows :-Although the believe. These distinctions are not artitrary, accidental, or based upon con- duty of delivering the annual address has, for the reasons stated by him, siderations which have no longer any effect. They are not peculiar to this devolved this year upon the Vice-President, I feel that after the experience country, and even where they have been abolished by law they have a gained in my year of office there are matters connected with the constitution tendency to reappear. There is no country in Europe where all the functions and functions of our society upon which I may usefully say a few words at of a barrister and a solicitor are performed by one person. Everywhere this meeting ; and I hope that these observations may not be considered to be there is a line of separation drawn, although it is drawn very differently out of place in coming from the President in the form of a paper, and not in from our own. Generally on the continent of Europe a distinction is the form of an address. It appears to me that the time has arrived when made between contentious and non-contentious business. For non-contentious membership of our society should include every solicitor upon the roll.
At business there is an officer who is called a notary, whose duty it is present, out of the fourteen thousand solicitors who are upon the roll, only to prepare legal documents of every description for persons who are about about one-third of that number are enrolled as members of this society; and to enter into a transaction which requires a writing of a formal kind. In when we consider the important functions which our society exercises with Germany the contentious business is placed entirely in the hands of the respect to the discipline of the profession and the examination of candidates advocate, who superintends it in its progress both in and out of court. But for admission to it, and that the Incorporated Law Society stands forward in France this is not so, for in addition to the notary and the advocate there and is acknowledged as the representative body of the whole profession, it is a third legal functionary called an avoué. The avoué conducts the ought, if it is to be thoroughly representative, to embrace every practising actual procedure of the litigation, whilst to the advocate are entrusted the solicitor. In a very able paper which was read by the late Mr. Francis duties of personally advising his clients and appearing in court. The avoué Thomas Bircham, at Liverpool, in October, 1875, the following passage is called in only when his services are required for carrying on the machinery occurs :-“ To me it appears that the Incorporated Law Society will not be of litigation. It is remarkable also that where there is a formal union between what it ought to be until every fitly-qualified member of the profession shall the functions of barrister and solicitor in litigious business there is very have joined it, shall have entered into its fellowship, given it his aid and generally, if not always, a strong tendency towards practical separation. influence, accepted its control, and thus done his best in regulating and Persons who possess the special qualities required by a successful advocate helping and elevating the class to which he belongs.” These are words are by no means invariably the persons best suited to advise as to the pregnant with wisdom; but, although they were uttered now twelve years management of an intricate litigation, or upon the other manifold questions since, no step has been taken in the direction of giving practical effect to the with which solicitors have day by day to deal, and vice versa. And it is this important suggestion thus made. In a paper read by Mr. Marshall, at natural division of capabilities which leads to a voluntary separation of Liverpool, in October, 1885, reference is again made to this subject, and ho duties. I am told that many advocates in Germany devote themselves solely, notices, as one of the defects of our constitution, the insufficient support or very nearly so, to appearing in court, while others very rarely leave their given to the Incorporated Law Society, especially by solicitors in the proown chambers. In Canada the professions of barrister and solicitor are vinces. The time for energetic action in this matter appears to have separate to the extent that there are two distinct rolls—a barristers' roll and arrived; and unless it is taken in hand and dealt with practically, the a solicitors' roll—but the one individual usually appears on both rolls. As a Incorporated Law Society can never be the thoroughly representative body solicitor he is the officer of the court, and under its control; but, nevertheless, of the profession which it should be, and in the end must be. No doubt, if a separation of duties finds its place. In Toronto there is, or very recently all the solicitors on the roll became members of the society, it would follow was, a firm of nine members, of whom four are Queen's counsel; and it is in that the whole body of the profession would elect the members of the that country a well-established practice in large firms for the senior partners council. The number of representatives on the council to be selected to devote themselves to court work exclusively, whilst the intermediate from London practitioners, and the number to be selected from country partners help the seniors and the juniors, and the juniors devote themselves practitioners, would be a matter for consideration hereafter. If this exclusively to otrice work. In the United States of America, as is well fusion of the whole profession with the Society were accomplished, we known, the law makes no distinction of functions whatsoever. But here, should bave achieved that which has been so long desired, namely, the again, the voluntary separation appears in a very decided manner. Partner- unity of the profession; and the society in London, acting in the name of the ships are formed with an express view to a division of work, so that one whole body of the profession, would speak with redoubled authority, and the partner almost invariably appears in court, whilst another advises the clients influence of the society would be very materially advanced. The scheme of the firm and carries on the general business. In heavy causes suitors need not impose upon those who are not at present members of the society avail themselves of the special assistance of a qualified practitioner, "if any serious burden. An increase of the fee now paid to the society as conspicuous in some particular branch of the law, outside of the registrar of solicitors, which increase need not be of large amount, is all office where the proceedings are initiated,” who is called in expressly for the that would be requisite, and that increase could be made to constitute purpose of conducting the case in court. Still, if some separation of legal membership without any further annual subscription or payment. Another functions will in all probability continue, there are not wanting indications subject upon which I should desire to say a few words gathered from the that some change in the distribution of these functions may take place. experience of my presidential year, is the exercise by the society of its disThis question must, as I have already said, be determined by the necessities ciplinary functions over solicitors. These duties are increasing year by and requirements of the public. But if we do our best to improve the year very formidably. When I first had the honour of joining the council education and to uphold the dignity and honour of our branch of the profes- in 1873, it happened rarely that complaints were referred to the council with sion, we need not, I think, take alarm, and act as if we thought that every respect to the conduct of solicitors. There was probably an average of one such change must be injurious to our interests. If the change be one which a week, and the practice then was for the president to hand the papers to steadily progresses, it is probable that it will do so because public convenience some member of the council, that he might consider them and report to the lies in that direction ; and we must, whilst using vigilance to regulate, as council at their next meeting. Now, the complaints addressed to the society, far as it comes within our province so to do, that progress, adapt ourselves and the papers forwarded, have reached such magnitude, that it has for some to it rather than oppose it. Indeed, there is one point which will require years past been found necessary to have a special committee of the council the utmost watchfulness on our part, and it is this. No other body of men called the Discipline Committee, who meet every week, and consider and report are placed by the law (and rightly so, having regard to the interests which to the council. The work of this committee includes applications for exempare confided to our care) under such strict supervision and control as we solicitors are ; and if any of our functions are to be assumed by others, we the judges, and the cases presented for the consideration of the Discipline must insist that persons outside the ranks of our profession who desire or Committee average weekly from thirty to forty, and in some cases involve under a like supervision and control, and be subjected, in case of failure, to that the increase in the numbers of discipline cases is due to the increase of like consequences ; and in this way we shall discharge our duty to the malpractices in the profession, as I believe the increase is not more than a general public, by whom and in whose interests this question, I repeat, rateablo increase in proportion to the numbers which are every term added must be determined.
to our body, but I think the increase is due in great measure to the fact The President said that as there were other papers to be read which touched upon the same subject as the address, he would invite the members impo-tant functions which our society exercises in this respect, and so the present to postpone any discussion until they had been read.
assistance of the council is sought. I should mention that in the so-called
discipline cases which are considered by the committee are included cases of Mr. WILLIAMS, as senior member of the council, moved that the thanks of the infringement by unqualified persons of the privileges of the profession. the meeting be given to the Vice-President for the very admirable paper These are not inconsiderable, and are generally to be found amongst persons they had listened to.
calling themselves accountants, who hold themselves out as legal practiMr. BERNARD WAKE (Sheffield) seconded the motion. He said that some tioners. This latter class is summarily dealt with before a justice of the the bench, the bar, and solicitors were three branches of one profession. hells and the Lord Chancellor the other evening, when "We had stated that Obtained. But in those cases which are strictly disciplinary, and involve
complaints of malpractices, these are necessarily dealt with by an application The motion having been carried with acclamation,
to the court. The applications have grown to very considerable proportions, The Vice-President briefly returned thanks.
and each application involves the collection of a mass of evidence to convict
the delinquent, the briefing counsel, and other outlays and expenses, and the Next YEAR'S MEETING, the place of meeting for the following year, The PRESIDENT said that at this period of the meeting it was usual to fix able. A reference to the court in these cases seems to involve an unnecessary
expense, and to be a waste of energy. The vast majority of the cases which
are brought before the court are applications for removing a practitioner to exclude, by equally strict proof, the possibility of anyone other than from the rolls, or suspending his certificate. They consist chiefly of cases the applicant having any interest in the land. The expenditure of time, where punishment follows as a matter of course, the delinquent having been and labour, and money required to prove a title for forty or sixty years in either convicted of a criminal offence, or having been proved to have mis this way was enormous. The several instances quoted in the report of appropriated his client's money, or to have improperiy retained it, or to have Mr. Osborne Morgan's Committee were, so far as my information goes, been guilty of other gross professional misconduct. The function now not exceptional, but only average cases ; and although this elaborate and exercised by the court, at considerable cost to the society, could well be exhaustive inquiry into each title was no doubt absolutely necessary so exercised by the council alone, subject of course, to the practitioner affected long as the effect of a certificate of the registrar was to bar the claims of having the right to appeal to the court within a prescribed time, against the everyone to the registered land, the immense difficulty of proving to decision of the council. A suggestion to this effect was made by Mr. Lowndes, at demonstration every fact and every document required to support a title, Liverpool, in the year 1885, and he proposed that the council should apply with its accompanying cost and delay, unquestionably prevented recourse for a fresh" charter, and should ask for the same powers to remove members being had to the registry. But the difficulties did not cease after a title from the roll for misconduct which the bar have of disbarring, subject to an was once registered. On each subsequent dealing with the land registered appeal to the judges.”. Such a measure appears to be a necessary develop with an absolute title the formalities required were far greater than with un. ment of the functions which have, from time to time, been entrusted to the registered land. Deeds had to be printed; every signature to a deed had to be society, all of which have been exercised with the strictest justice and impar: proved by a statutory declaration. In the case of death of an owner, a detiality, and the time seems to have arrived when the jurisdiction and visee under his will could not be registered until he had served notice of his authority of the society, over solicitors should be completed, by investing application on the heir-at-law, or obtained his consent, and a fresh ad valorem them with this additional jurisdiction. The third and last suggestion which fee had to be paid on substituting the name of devisee or heir for deceased I venture to make is this. Only those who have served upon the Discipline owner. In one case in which I was concerned I had to go to the Master of committee referred to, can conceive the number of complaints which are the Rolls for an order before the registrar would register the title of a purmade that a certain class of solicitors, who are on the rolls, allow unqualified chaser from a first mortgagee selling under his statutory power, because persons (usually clerks who have had experience in the office of a solicitor) I could not procure the consent of subsequent incumbrancers. In another to practice in their name, on a division of profit or some other arrangement, case a client of mine bought a house and garden, one number on the in which the delinquent solicitor is interested. Many cases occur where the register, and then bought an adjoining strip of land, being another solicitor appears to have offices at various places, where the business is conducted number on the register, to enlarge his house; and on the transfer the and carried on by a clerk in his name, the solicitor only visiting these offices registrar refused to amalgamate the two numbers, but obliged us to go on occasionally for the purpose of keeping up appearances. These irregular practi- with two separate titles, and two certificates, involving double fees and tioners are real pests to the public and to the profession. They tout for business trouble in every future dealing with the house. On a purchase by in every direction, especially in accident and such like cases. They agree to myself of land, the title to which was on the register, after the transfer do the business upon terms of “no cure, no pay,” taking one-half the pro- to myself had been proved with all due formalities, I was required, before ceeds of the verdict or settlement as the price of their services. They I got my certificate of title, to prove, by production of certificate of squeeze the poor client from time to time for advances on account, and in marriage, that I was not married before 1834. ` I subsequently made two the result they get hold of the amount of the verdict, or compromise and small further purchases of adjoining land, and on each occasion had to pocket the greater part of the proceeds, and then comes the complaint of the produce the marriage certificate, to exclude the risk of my leaving a wife poor client to the law society. There is great difficulty in bringing about who could claim dower under the law repealed fifty years ago. The reà conviction of delinquent solicitors of this class, inasmuch as his guilt can sult of this particularity and want of elasticity not only deterred people only be proved out of his own mouth, or the mouth of his so-called clerk, from putting their titles on to the register, but induced them to take and we are very seldom able to get at sufficient facts to make out a prima them off. The total number of original registrations under the Act of facie case for an application to the court—but if we do succeed in making 1862 was 411, and as many as 170 titles have been taken off after being out a case after going to the expense of preparing affidavits, and briefing put on. The titles have been increased in number by sub-division of the counsel, the court upon being satisfied that a primă facie case has been made original registration, so that these numbers do not imply that 17-40ths, out, refers it to the master to consider and report, and then the solicitor is nearly one-half of the titles, have been taken off the register ; but they brought up and examined. Then, and not till then, comes the pinching do show that registration, as hitherto worked, has been very unpopular. point, for if he be actually guilty of irregularity, he must either commit flat With this experience of the past it is not surprising that those who perjury (and he is seldom prepared for this) or be convicted out of his own desire to make registration compulsory should propound a new scheme for mouth. He can be asked what salary he pays the so-called clerk, or how the future, and this, it seems to me, the Lord Chancellor does, although otherwise he is remunerated; who pays the rent of the offices where the his Bill retains old names. In the first place, as registration is to be business is carried on, and who pays the office expenses, and he is subjected compulsory, everyone applying for it will naturally apply for what costs to a searching examination, with a view to establish the fact, that although least money and time-viz., å possessory title. This may be obtained nominally he is conducting the business carried on in his name, it is really under the Act and existing rules by the applicant (or one of them, if carried on by the clerk, who is actually practising in the name of the delin more than one) and his solicitor making a declaration verifying the quent solicitor. It would very much facilitate the getting at the facts in description of the land, and stating that, to the best of their belief, the cases of this nature if the council were empowered at the outset to examine applicant has a good title, and that possession or receipt of rents is in the suspected solicitor on oath, without going to the expense of applying to accordance with the title, and that if some one document, produced with the court, and then having the case referred to the master ; and it is believed the application, is marked by the registrar, the fact of registration of the that if the council had summary power in cases of this nature, it would go title cannot be concealed from any other person dealing with the land. very far to suppress the objectionable practice referred to, if not entirely to When the registrar is satisfied with the declaration and the description, eradicate it. Of course, the suggestions thus made would involve going to and that the registration cannot be concealed," he shall register the Parliament for extended powers, having first obtained the views of the applicant with a possessory title." Under the Bill this possessory title judges with respect to the proposals made ; but the question of going to can be made absolute by the applicant stating on affidavit, with par: Parliament is a minor consideration when contrasted with the very great ticulars to be prescribed, that he has made due inquiry into the title, that benefits which would be derived by efficient legislation in the direction he is not aware of any question affecting it, and that the confirmation of indicated.
it will not prejudice any interest of any other person in the land. CerTHE LAND TRANSFER Bill.
tain notices are then to be given locally and by advertisements, and to be Mr. John Hunter (London) read the following paper on this sub. repeated for five years. If no adverse claim is made during the five ject :--The Bill to further simplify Titles and facilitate the Transfer of years, the applicant's possessory title may be confirmed by the registrar, the Lord Chancellor, is so great an advance on every scheme for in applicant for an absolute title having to produce strict proof of his title Land in England,” which has been brought into the House of Lords by and become an absolute title. Thus it will be seen that, instead of an proving the law of real property which has been laid previously before for forty years preceding his application, and equally strict proof ofis Parliament that it deserves full discussion and consideration at this meet negative the rights of every other possible "claimant, and of these proofs ing; and although the subject occupies a prominent place in the vice being examined by the officials, in future he will have to produce only president's address, I think a paper specially devoted to the proposals of some one document for the purpose of its being marked, so as to insure the Lord Chancellor may be acceptable. The Bill consists of two parts, subsequent dealers with the property having notice that the title ois one referring to registration of title, the other to alterations in the law of registered, and his title may be made absolute without any investigation is to supplement and carry further the legislation effected by the Land solicitor, if no adverse claim is put in after five years' advertising. The from that established by the Act in most important particulars es indieed, excessive precautions to prevent improper registration to excessive Transfer Act, but the registration proposed by the Bill differs essentially pendulum could hardly swing further from one side to the other from although the three names of absolute, qualified, and possessory titles anxiety to facilitate registration from all comers.
The absolute title under the Act, when obtained, differs almost as the only point in which the scheme to be established by the abilis win much from the absolute title under the Bill as the two modes of obtains resemble that established by the Act. Under the Act of 1875, as well as ing it differ. Under the Act the "first registration of any personas under the prior Act of 1862, all applications for a registered title came proprietor of freehold land with an absolute title shall vest in the pietatis, It the application for an absolute title was unsuccessful it was withdrawne, privileges, and appurtenances belonging or appurtenant thereto" cubierto for no one wanted to be registered with a qualified title, which was direct to incumbrances and tou can fegistered equipes as therein mentioned notice to everyone dealing with it that there was a flaw in the title. The
“ free from all estates and interests whatsoever." under it. Registration under the Acts has,"kherefore, witherten bereitet registered owner from anyutlaitis, for by section 10, sub-section by clients stand that not more than a dozen possessory cities have been registered Bioprae certificate of aby uke title annot intended to protect the first the registrar, by strict proof, that every link in the title ceas correct antak (which enables the enlargement of possessory into absolute titles) " of the
This conferred on the