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Way. Land taken and used for a plank-road by a private company was abandoned by them, and thereupon claimed by the county commissioners as a highway, and used as such. Held, not such a change in the use as to entitle the owner of the fee to new compensation. Both were similar public uses, and equally onerous. Heath v. Barman, 49 Barb. 496.


WILL. 1. Testator asked a witness to read a paper, which he did, silently. The testator then asked him to witness his signature, and said, in answer to questions, that he had heard the paper read, and thought it was all right. Another person was then called into the room, and asked by the testator to witness his signature. Both witnesses then signed. Nothing was said as to what the paper was. Held, that this was not a sufficient publication. – Abbey v. Christy, 49 Barb. 276.

2. A party who had destroyed a will under an impression, mistaken, but justifiable, that it was inoperative, was allowed to prove the substance of it by his own testimony, only aided by circumstances, although he was made thereby residuary legatee. – Wyckoff v. Wyckoff, 1 C. E. Green, 401.

3. Devise and bequest of “all the rest and residue of my real and personal estate" to trustees. “To give to my sister C. N. 250 shares of the capital stock of the N.Y. & B. T. Line.” Similar legacies to other relatives, and legacies of other specified stocks to other friends. The trustees were "authorized to retain and hold” testator's present investments, “unless requested, in writing, by his wife to change the same; ” and the trust fund, in fact, contained stocks of the specified kinds in excess of the amount bequeathed. There were provisions as to surplus interest and dividends. Held, from these and other circumstances (reversing the decree of the chancellor), that the legacies of stock were specific. — Norris v. Thomson, 1 C. E. Green, 542, ib. 218; s.c. 2 McCarter, 493.

4. Bequest and devise to executors in trust to pay over the same to officers of a charitable school, “ when the available means of such school shall amount to $40,000.” More than eleven years had elapsed without any thing having been done toward raising the rest of the sum. The executors took the residue of the testator's estate in trust “to be distributed by them to deserving relations, and such indigent persons as they may think worthy." A provision for a son of the testator was expressed to be “in full for his share in my said estate." Held, that the condition precedent to the payment to the charitable school had not been performed within a reasonable time; and that, allowing the distinction between a lapsed devise and a lapsed legacy having been abolished by a statute by which a devise would pass after acquired real estate, both the land and money given for the school fell into the residuum; that, under the clause disposing of the residuum, the trust for deserving relations was to be preferred; and that, after the failure of the original trust, the said son was not excluded from a share by the above expressions. Drew v. Wakefield, 54 Me. 291.

5. Gift of residue to A., B., C., and D., “ four children of E. and F. A.


A Treatise on the Law of Marine Insurance and General Average. By THEOPHI

LUS PARSONS, LL.D., Dane Professor of Law in Harvard University, at Cambridge. Boston: Little, Brown, & Company. 1868. 2 vols.

In 1859, Mr. Parsons published a treatise on Maritime Law. This included the law of Shipping, Insurance, and Admiralty, and was published in two volumes, about five hundred pages being devoted to Insurance. Since this treatise appeared, we have had frequent occasion to consult it, and have always found the authorities fully and accurately collected. We regard it as one of the most valuable of Mr. Parsons' works. In preparing a second edition, Mr. Parsons found that the recent cases made it impossible to confine the work within its former limits. He therefore determined to prepare a new book on the law of Marine Insurance, founding it on the former work, but so increasing its size as to enable him to make it as complete as he could; and the result is before us in two volumes, which contain more than double the space devoted to Insurance in the former work. That this treatise will be of great value to the profession we have no doubt. The principles of insurance law are stated in the text with great fulness and with great accuracy, and in the notes are to be found, we will venture to say, a far more complete collection of the authorities than is to be found elsewhere. We were struck, when the work on Maritime Law appeared, with the great number of cases which Mr. Parsons had caused to be obtained in advance of their publication in the reports. Cases which were not reported until 1864 were known to the profession by the means of his work in 1859. We find in this work the same commendable enterprise.

Mr. Parsons' plan of stating in his text the principles of law, and in his notes referring to every case bearing with any force upon the statements in the text, with copious extracts from the leading authorities, has been followed in this work. This plan has many advantages and some disadvantages. It certainly is better than that adopted by some writers, of putting every thing but the name of the case in the text, and of stating at length case after case, without any attempt to extract the principles involved. Where a point is well settled, no elaborate history of the law respecting it is necessary; but, as every lawyer knows, there are very many questions still undetermined, or, if settled in one State, not so in another; and in regard to these it is certainly very important that one should know exactly how the question stands, what courts have passed upon it, and how they have decided. There is, however, some danger of yielding to the temptation of making longer citations than are necessary, and we think Mr. Parsons sometimes errs in this respect; but this is a fault of excess which can readily be pardoned. In conclusion, we heartily commend this work to the profession.

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