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pers; by the manner in which the efforts of the Commission have been bampered by the decisions of the Federal courts, especially by such decisions as that in the Counselman Case, and by the encouragement given to the formation of trusts affecting interstate commerce, by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the Sugar Trust Case. This combination of great railroad companies throws down the glove to the whole people of the United States. They will refuse to see in it merely a combination to enforce the provisions of the Interstate Commerce Law by the steady maintenance of reasonable rates steadily and for the protection of small shippers; but they will see in it a combination to maintain excessive and unreasonable rates, and to raise and maintain a joint fund, enormous in amount, for the corruption of their political representatives and their judicatories. If a combination of this kind is not within the direct prohibition of the Sherman Anti-Trust Law, then the question is, what was that law made for?
NOTES OF RECENT DECISIONS.
MASTER AND SERVANT: IMPLIED OBLIGATION OF SERVANT TO ACT FAITHFULLY LIABILITY FOR SURREPTITIOUS COPYING OF MASTER'S BOOK FOR HIS OWN PURPOSES. In the case of Robb v. Green, lately decided in the English Court of Appeal, it appeared that the defendant entered into the service of the plaintiff as manager of the plaintiff's business. As manager, he had access to the plaintiff's books, and he surreptitiously copied therefrom a list of the names and addresses of the persons dealing with the plaintiff, with the view of using the list for his own benefit, and to the detriment of the plaintiff, after leaving his service. The defendant set up a business of his own and used the list he had copied from the plaintiff's books. It was held that the defendant had committed a breach of his implied contract to act with good faith towards the plaintiff. A judgment in an action by the master against the late servant was accordingly girmed in the sum of £150 damages, and the defendant was ordered to deliver up to the plaintiff the list of names and addresses taken from the plaintiff's books, and he was restrained from making further use of such list.
PRINCIPAL AND AGENT: RESPONDEAT SUPERIOR - LIABILITY OF PRINCIPAL FOR FRAUD BY AGENT IN BORROWING FOR HIS OWN PURPOSES ON SECURITIES INTRUSTED TO HIM BY PRINCIPAL. In the case of Brocklesby v. Temperance Permanent Building Soc., it was ruled by the House of Lords, affirming the Court of Appeal,3 and following and applying a decision of Lord Romilly, M. R., that where a principal intrusts his agent with securities, and empowers him to raise money upon them to a limited amount, less than the value of the securities, and the agent, in fraud of his principal, pledges the securities with a bona fide lender, who has no notice or knowledge of the limitation of his powers, for an amount in excess of the sum authorized by the principal, and appropriates the balance to his own use, the principal cannot redeem the securities without paying the whole amount so advanced upon them.
Their Lordships carefully distinguish between the case where the securties are intrusted by the principal to the agent for the purpose of raising money, and the case where they are intrusted to him for some other purpose, and he fraudulently uses them to raise money upon them to accomplish his own purposes. In the latter case they say that it is old law that the principal is not bound by the fraudulent act of the agent.1 But in the case where they are intrusted to him for the purpose of using them to raise money for his principal, so that he is entitled generally to use them for the purpose of raising money, then — to use the language of Lord Watson “a lender, who has no notice to the contrary, should be entitled to deal with him on the footing that he had authority to pledge the securities to the full amount of their value." It is to be regretted that this salutary doctrine is not carried out on all other analogous lines in other situations, both by the English and the American courts. But an analogous American holding, proceeding on the same sound and just principle, is found in the conclusion finally reached by the Court of Appeals of New York in the celebrated “Schuyler Fraud Cases,” establishing the doctrine, followed by other courts, that where a corporation clothes its agent with the power of issuing its share certificates to subscribers or purchasers, if such agent makes a fraudulent overissue of them for purposes of his own, while the purchaser of the spurious certificates does not thereby become a shareholder in the corporation, yet he acquires a right of action, under the rule of respondeat superior, against the corporation, for his re-imbursement.2
INHERITANCE BY MURDER: RIGHT OF A SON TO INHERIT WHO HAS KILLED HIS FATHER. - In the case of Carpenter's Estate, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania have added a case to a list of regrettable decisions which tend to bring the law into popular contempt. The court hold that they are bound to stick in the bark of their statute of descent to the extent of holding that a son who has murdered his father, in order to get immediate possession of his share of his father's estate, is entitled to the fruits of his crime. The Pennsylvania Court approves of and follows the opinion of the Supreme Court of Nebraska upon the re-argument of the case of Shellenberger v. Ransom.4 In its first opinion in that case 5 the Nebraska Court approved of the reasoning of
1 Citing Martinez v. Cooper, 2 Russ. 8 32 Atl. Rep. 637 (Williams, J., 198.
dissenting). 2 McCord v. Ohio &c. R. Co., 13 4 59 N. W. Rep. 935 (1894). Ind. 220.
5 47 N. W. Rep. 700 (1891).
the majority of the New York Court in the case of Riggs v. Palmer,l and held that a father who had murdered his daughter in order to inherit her property, acquired by reason of his crime, no title by descent to her property ; on the re-argument the Nebraska Court approved of the dissenting opinion of Gray, J., in the New York case, and held 3 that the murderer got a good legal title by descent notwithstanding his crime, and hence that, irrespective of the question of notice, a purchaser from him would be protected. But the Nebraska and the Pennsylvania Courts, as well as the two dissenting Judges in the New York case, felt, as the Pennsylvania Court says, that “ the statutes of descent were absolute and peremptory” and “ that the estate cannot be diverted from those persons, and given to other persons, without violating the statute.” Commenting on these decisions a learned writer in the New York Law Journal, signing the initials of S. Q., says:
This reasoning makes the question one of statutory construction merely of the statutes of descent in the Nebraska and Pennsylvania cases and of the Statute of Wills in the New York case, and thus overlooks, as it seems to me, the vital point of the controversy. It is submitted that the requirements of these statutes can be satisfied and yet a just result be reached by the application of the familiar equitable principle that no one may take advantage of his own wrong, and that one who through crime or fraud acquires the legal title to property belonging to another must hold that.property as a constructive trustee for the person thus wronged or his representatives. For another application of this principle see Lewin on Trusts (9 ed., pp. 60–64). No one will claim that the result reached in the Nebraska and this Pennsylvania case was a just one, while the view here set forth accomplishes justice, violates no statute and preserves the rights of a purchaser without notice of the crime or fraud. The application of this just principle makes unnecessary the attempted distinction between cases of wills and cases where the statutory laws of descent are in question. We fail to see wherein “the two cases differ widely," as the Pennsylvania Court says they do, for there is no difference between reading into the Statute of Wills & clause of revocation, as was done in the New York case of Riggs v. Palmer, and reading into the Statute of Descent a disinheriting clause, as was done in the first opinion of the Nebraska Court. To do either is unjustifiable, and is " an unwarranted exercise of judicial legislation” (39 Cent. Law Jour. 217), and it is unnecessary.
The true view of this question is set forth in two very able notes in volume 4, page 394, and volume 8, page 170, of the Harvard Laro Reviero.
The above reasoning brings to the front the true principle which should govern in such a case. That principle is that every statute, couched in general terms, is necessarily subject to implied exceptions founded in the rules of public policy and in the maxims of natural justice. It is a paramount rule, followed and applied in judicial adminis
1 116 N. Y. 506 (1889).
8 59 N. W. R. 935 (1894),
tration, that a man shall not be allowed to acquire, through the aid of the judicial courts, an advantage from his own wrong, unless the Legis. lature distinctly says that he shall. If the Legislature, in enacting a statute of descents, or a statute of wills, had said that the statute should be equally applicable in case the heir or devisee should murder the ancestor or testator in order to come immediately into possession of his share of the estate, -- then the courts would be obliged to enforce that rule. But can such a monstrous intention be attributed to any Legislature that ever sat? The object of all statutory interpretation is to ascertain the real meaning of the Legislature. Is it within the bounds of the wildest imagination that any Legislature in enacting a statute of descent or a statute of wills ever contemplated such a result? If the State does not hang him for the murder, but if he comes into the estate without the aid of its courts of juctice, then that is an accomplished fact an execution of the statute in pais. But when a murderer comes red-handed into a so-called court of justice and there demands that the court shall execute a statute in a manner which never could have been intended by the Legislature which enacted it, so as to allow him to come into the possession of property through a capital felony, - or, what is worse, through the most heinous of all felonies, — the crime of parricide, - then the courts ought to withhold their aid. By granting it they make themselves in a moral sense accessories after the fact, and lend encouragement to murders of this kind.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: POLICE POWER - REGULATING CARPET-BEATING IN CITIES.- In Ec parte Lacey, the Supreme Court of California hold that a city ordinance, prohibiting the establishment or conducting of any steam shoddy or carpet-beating machine within 100 feet of a church, school or residence, passed under article 11, section 11, of the constitution of California, authorizing any city to make and enforce all such police and sanitary regulations as are not in conflict with general laws, is not unreasonable, and does not deprive anyone of property without due process of law.
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: VALIDITY OF A STATUTE RELIEVING ONE SUING FOR WAGES FROM GIVING SECURITY FOR Costs. In Jones v.
Shiawassee Circuit Judge, the Supreme Court of Michigan hold that a statute of that State, providing that, in actions for labor performed, the court shall not order security for costs, where the plaintiff shall make an
1 41 Pac. Rep. 411.
2 63 N. W. Rep. 976.