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for the master's office. In the latter, the fees are reasonable; whereas the customary scale of counsel's fees on arbitrations are excessive and unjustifiable. The heavy additional fees demanded by counsel for each sitting, frequently of short duration, and the frightful amount of costs which the losing side has often to pay, has rendered the practice of referring cases to gentlemen of the bar very unpopular. The plea which is set up by counsel, that in undertaking an arbitration, or in appearing before an arbitrator, they are leaving their ordinary duties, and should therefore receive special remuneration, is as rotten as any ancient vacation plea; for they have been retained to conduct the cause, and, if their time is not occupied in court, their client has a claim to it out of court; and moreover the references are, in practice, held at times inost convenient to counsel. The arbitrator, of course, must be adequately remunerated, and any additional labour or expense of time imposed upon counsel, arising from the peculiar nature of the suit or course of proceeding, should be provided for; but the practice of making a “good thing” out of arbitrations cannot be too loudly condemned.
The report contains some interesting details as to the business transacted in judges' chambers, which is important both in amount and character. We find that last year there were issued from the three courts upwards of forty thousand summonses, in which counsel on each side attended in about two thousand seven hundred instances. The learned judges have had, in the course of their duty at chambers, to peruse about thirty thousand affidavits, and some four thousand exhibits. There was, however, only one bill of exceptions to be signed, and one writ of error.
The statistics will, in future, include the number, nature, and result of the suits entered for trial. The return at present, as to the result of the suits which proceeded to trial, and the state of the business before the courts,” is meagre, and the figures do not "come out” quite right, according to our calculation.
The circuit statistics are interesting to the young counsel seeking a circuit, and in that felicitous condition of having no
more connection or interest in one than another. The number of cases tried at Nisi Prius, were on the Home Circuit
179 318 Durham
114 S. Wales
38 N. Wales
As to the causes of action in the above suits, we see that the most prolific origin of litigation was, on account of “goods sold and delivered," (135.) Next comes ejectment, (131.) Then special contracts, (123.) Trespass on lands, &c., (90;) and notes and bills, (63.) For breach of promise of marriage, there were eleven actions brought; for seduction, 7; libel, 13; slander, 32; and assault, 30.
The proceedings of the Court of Error exhibit the following phenomena:Notices and Writs of Error
37 Set down for argument
26 Writs affirmed
14 Writs reversed
8 As to appeals from the Court in Banco
The notices of appeals lodged were 48
7 There are only two facts which we shall single out of the statistics relating to County Courts, for the purpose of impressing them upon
the reader's mind :-
219,931 This shows a most monstrous and cruel impost, on which comment is needless.
So, too, the succinct statement of a few items relating to Bankruptcy, will convey certain information to the law reformer not without value. Assets received by the official assignees
£1,785,263 Special charges and deductions
318.729 Expenses of administration
409,862 Thus, the special charges and deductions amount to 17.8 per cent. on the assets; the debts paid in full, and dividend ordered, to 53.8 per cent. The expenses of the bankruptcy 229 per cent.
Passing over some curious details unfolded with respect to the insolvency jurisdiction, we come to the returns appertaining to the Court of Chancery. The following returns comprise only the half-year ending 1st November, 1858:Summonses to originate proceedings :For the administration of estate
137 Under the Charitable Trusts Acts
17 For appointment of guardians and maintenance of infants
59 For other purposes
secution (including 9 for winding up
8729 Amount of debts proved
£3,973,696 Accounts passed (other than receiver's accounts) : Number of accounts
413 Receipts therein
£2,544,094 Disbursements and allowances therein
£2,274,592 Receiver's accounts passed : Number of accounts
183 Receipts therein
£449,326 Disbursements and allowances therein
£344,542 Sales of Estates under orders of Court: Number of sales
262 Amount realized
£1,075,263 Purchases of Estates under order of Court:Number of purchases
We have next an interesting return of the comparative particulars for the whole of the year 1858, with those of the five previous years :
1858 1857 1856 1855 1854 1853 Summons originating proceedings in Chambers
650 654 518 447 463 475 Other Summons
15,427 14,528 13,896 11,639 10,974 6,862 The number of all matters disposed of in each of the years ending 1st November :
1858 1857 1856 1855 1854 1853 Appeal motions and special motions
1,315 1,235 1,309 1,374 1,672 1,888 Petitions
2,346 2,549 2,574 2,730 3,046 3,180 General paper
1,777 1,653 1,923 1,848 1,763 1,456 Appeals and rehearings .80 99 109 120 70 80 Claims
79 112 130 211 265 383 Orders on Summonses drawn by the Registrars
5,322 4,991 4,457 3,993
3,993 3,325 1,632 Total
10,919 10,639 10,502 10,276 10,141 8,619 The yearly amount of fees collected by stamps in 1858 was upwards of £13,000. The number of petitions set down for hearing Before the Lord Chancellor
8 the Lords Justices (on App.) 34 Kindersley, V.C.
194 Stuart, V.C.
285 Wood, V.C.
727 Master of Rolls
The explanation of the favour in which the court of Stuart, V.C., is held, can easily be explained by the practitioner in equity. With the Accountant-general's return and the Fee fund we will not now meddle, as we purpose to consider the subject in greater detail ere long.
In the Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Court we find there were 352 petitions filed; those for dissolution of marriage were to those for judicial separation as 244 to 82. The causes tried amounted to 58 ; judgments given, to 52. There were about 600 summonses and motions heard and disposed of.
The proceedings of the Court of Probate and Principal Regis
try, may briefly be stated as including about 1300 probates and administrations. Trials prosecuted in the court were eight in number, and causes heard by the judge only nineteen. Probates and administrations were granted :On hearing of causes
24 On motion
253 On summons
In forty district registries about 17,000 probates and administrations were granted in common form, and nineteen under direction of a judge. The amount, however, of duty stamps was in these courts a little more than half of that paid in the principal registries.
In the Court of Admiralty there were given 130 final judgments, 105 of which were for the plaintiff, and 25 for the defendant.
The number of appeals before the Judicial Committee of Privy Council in the year 1858, were 58; 26 being from the Admiralty courts, 1 from the Ecclesiastical courts, 4 from the Channel Islands, 12 from the Colonial courts, and 15 from the courts in India. On 36 appeals judgment was affirmed, on 4 varied, and on 28 reversed.
And lastly, in the House of Lords the number of appeals and causes in error presented were 47, of which 25 were heard, 16 were affirmed, 2 affirmed with declarations, 1 reversed, and 6 reversed with declarations. There were still 69 remaining for hearing
Such is a brief abstract of the elaborate tables entitled Judicial Statistics, which henceforth must be consulted by every one who seeks to promote amendment in legal procedure, or to discover the principles by which litigation is governed, and protection extended to society in the enjoyment of legal rights by the enforcement of legal remedies. We may be assured that, by reading aright the results of “judicial statistics," our means of measuring the advancement and retrogression of the civilization of the country will be obtained. They indicate to some extent the course which the national mind is pursuing, and which veritable