« PreviousContinue »
analytical index of about 400 pages, published in 1822, and a supplement of 340 pages of similar form and print, with an index on the same plan, published in 1826. The first two volumes which constitute the original work comprehend the statutes from the date of Magna Charta, 1224–5, to the 1 and 2 Geo. IV. 1821.. The supplement comprehends the legislation of four years, the 3d, 4th, 5th, and 6th of the present reigo, showing an immense amount of legislation during this time, in comparison with that of previous periods, though it does not, in fact, correspond to the comparative space occupied by the laws of the different periods, in this digest, since the more recent laws, are in part repetitions of the old ones. But the amount of the legislation of these four years, doubtless exceeds by far that of any previous period of the same length of time; for this supplement covers a part of the period subsequent to the commencement of the great reforms in the English laws. This supplement must be an appalling object to the admirers of what is called by some "the simplicity' (viz. conciseness and fewness) of the laws; though for ourselves we confess that these 340 closely printed quarto pages of legislation for four years, give us no increased anxiety for the welfare of Great Britain, since on looking at some of the statutes, we find them quite as intelligible as the old ones on the same subjects, and containing very many improvements upon them.
Very few copies of this work have found their way to the United States; indeed we doubt whether there is more than one copy in the country. The book is somewhat expensive, the cost of the three volumes imported being about $ 30, so that very few members of the profession will think of purchasing it for their private libraries. But it would be a very useful addition to some of our public libraries, much more so than the volumes of Mr. Chitty's Abridgment, since this work is a more complete digest of the statutes passed during the abovementioned period. only omits the statutes relatiug to public revenue and expendi
The authors say in the preface, “Great caution has been used to preserve the verbal tenor of each enactment,
inserting the precise words of the statute.'
Amending or repealing statutes are incorporated with the provisions in which the alteration is made.' Under each head the titles of the statutes on the subject are given chronologically, distinguishing those repealed and those in force; “the whole are thus digested and consolidated in the order in which they would have been placed, had the whole been enacted at the same time.' • In the index (that most material and necessary part of the work) every exertion has been made to render the minutest provision accessible to the inquirer, and as many practical heads as possible have been adopted.?
Paine and Duer's Practice. The first volume of Messrs. Paine and Duer's ‘Practice in Civil Actions and Proceedings at Law in the State of New York in the Supreme Court and other Courts of the State, and also in the Courts of the United States,' has recently appeared, being the most extensive work on the subject that has yet been published in the United States. Indeed we do not remember a work of any pretensions or importance to have been before given to the American public, though one of this description in each state would be very convenient, and seems to be almost indispensable to young lawyers; and it is a little remarkable that treatises of this description have not been published in every state in the Union, excepting the youngest. The late Judge Howe, of Massachusetts, embraced the subject of practice in his course of law lectures delivered to his pupils at Northampton; and since his decease this part of liis course has been put into the hands first of Mr. Metcalf, of Dedham, and since, as we have understood, into those of Professor Ashmun, of Cambridge, to be prepared for publication. We are not informed how soon the work will probably appear. From the kuown learning and talents of Judge Howe, and his skill in presenting any subject in a perspicuous and complete manner, the profession has every reason to expect a well digested and useful manual of practice in this part of his course of lectures. We hope, however, that the gentleman to whom the manuscript is committed, will extend the plan beyond the limits to which the author must necessarily have been restricted in his lectures.
This first volume of Messrs. Paine and Duer extends to 660 pages, so that the two volumes will give a very full treatise on the subject of practice in New York, for which state a great part of this volume is particularly adapted, though the first chapter on Actions, is a part of the general law, and is adapted to every state, in the Union, except Louisiana, and so are some of the sections of the other chapters, particularly a large part of the chapter on the Courts of the United States. As far as we can judge from a perusal of the first chapter and some other parts of the work, we should think it well executed. The arrangement is good, the language concise and clear, and the authorities appear to be faithfully collected, and so cited as to make the references convenient. We do not perceive the utility of using numbers up to 100, and then from 1 again to 100, successively, in references from the body of the page to the margin. It encumbers the pages with two characters for reference instead of one, for very few pages have more than nine such references. This is, however, of no great importance, more especially as the typography is such as to present a page that is agreeable to the eye.
The table of contents of this volume is as follows :
of Civil Actions, &c. Ch. I. Of Actions. Sec. 1. of personal actions. 2. of suits relating to real property. 3. of scire facias. 4. of remedies at law which are not called actions. 5. When actions are transitory or local, and when they die with the person or survive. 6. of the parties to actions. 7. of mistakes in the form of action, and the election and joinder of actions. 8. of the time limited for the commencement of actions.
Ch. II. Of the Supreme Court, including the Circuit Court of the State and Attorneys and other officers, and of the prosecution and defence of actions in person or by attorney. Sec. 1. of the supreme court. 2. of attorneys and counsellors. 3. of the prosecution and defence of actions by attorney or otherwise. 4. of sheriff's and coroners.
Ch. III. Of the Court of Errors.
superior court of New York. 2. of the county courts of common pleas. 3. of mayors' courts in cities.
Ch. V. Of the Courts of the United States. Sec. 1. of the district courts of the United States. 2. of the circuit courts of the United States for the southern districts of New York. 3. of the superior court of the United States.
of the practice of the Supreme Court in the principal and direct proceedings to judgment in personal actions brought for the recovery of any debt or for damages only.
Ch. I. Of the modes of commencing personal actions. Sec. 1. of the original writ and process thereon. 2. of the commencement of actions by a capias ad respondendum.
Ch. II. Of the proceedings after issuing the capias until the defendant's appearance. Sec. 1. of the arrest and service of the writ. 2. When the defendant may be held to bail. 3. of bail to the sheriff, or bail below. 4. of the return of the writ by the sheriff, and his duty thereon.
Ch. III. Of the defendant's appearance. Sec. 1. of common appearances and notices of retainer. 2. of special bail.
Ch. IV. Of the declaration. Sec. 1. Of the parts and requisites of the declaration. 2. of the filing and service of the declaration.
Ch. V. Of Pleas and the subsequent pleadings, and of Demurrers. Ch. VI. Of the issue.
Ch. VII. Of the proceedings from issue to trial. 1. of the circuit roll. 2. of notice of trial and in quest, of countermanding the same, and of preventing inquest and putting off trial. 3. of the venire for foreigu jurors, and the mode in which they are drawn
and summoned. 4. of the evidence and the witnesses, and the mode of compelling their appearance,
Ch. VIII. Of the trial and its incidents. Sec. 1. of pleas puis darrein continuance. 2. of drawing jurymen, of talesmen, and of challenges. 3. of proceedings before the jury; swearing and examining witnesses, demurrers to evidence, bills of exceptions, and non-suits. 4. of verdicts general and special, and of the conduct and duties of the jurors. 5. of the portion and rule for judgment. 6. of the damages.
Ch. IX. Of final costs. Sec. 1. of the general rules awarding, regulating, and limiting costs. 2. of the taxation of costs.
Ch. X. Of amendments.
Ch. XI. Of judgment by confession. Sec. 1. of warrants of attorney and entering judgment thereon. 2. of cognovit.
Ch. XII. Of judgment by default and the assessment of damages thereon. Sec. 1. of the default. 2. of the assessment of damages by the clerk. 3. of the assessment of damages in a court of inquiry.
Ch. XIII. Of discontinuance, nolle prosequi, retraxit, and cassetur billa vel breve.
Ch. XIV. Of judgment by default of the plaintiff. Sec. 1. of judgment of non pros. 2. of judgment as in case of non suit.
Mr. Willard's Address to the Worcester Bar. It has become a custom, in some counties, to hold an annual meeting of the members of the bar, and besides the convivial entertainment very naturally incident to such an occasion, to hear an address from some one of the fraternity. In the early meetings of this description the discourse very naturally turns upon general views of the law and its professors, and upon historical and biographical notices and reminiscences. Such subjects will of course be soon exhausted, and where these meetings are continued, they will accordingly become the occasion of learned discussion of some question of law or legislation, subjects which offer to orators inexhaustible materials with which it will not be difficult to instruct, as well as interest, such an audience.
A meeting of this kind was held in the county of Worcester, in Massachusetts, on the second of October last, being the first of the kind in that county, at which Joseph Willard, Esq. of Lancaster, made an address, that he has recently published. This being the first occasion of the kind, a great variety of topics crowded in upon the orator's mind, any one of which would have afforded ample matter for a discourse.
In the introductory part Mr. Willard speaks of the obligations of every man to do something for his species, quoting the passage of Lord Bacon, - It is a poor centre of man's actions, himself. It is right earth : whereas all things that have affinity with the heavens, move upon the centre of another which they benefit.' But still he owes something to himself, and his own particular pursuits. These two topics being touched in an appropriately ornamented style, bring the speaker to a consideration of the stage of society in which a profession of the law is demanded; for in a state of barbarism and violence, admirably described in a few lines of Bryant's poem of “The Ages," "Then waited not the murderer for the night,' quoted by Mr. Willard, there is no place for the science of social rights and obligations, or its professors. After glancing at the profession in Rome, England, and Scotland, the more interesting and appropriate subject of its history in the colony and province of Massachusetts, is introduced; in respect to which Mr. Willard has very diligently collected his materials, and gives a number of striking facts relating to the profession in general, and its earlier members in the Bay ; that is, after there was such a profession, for in the commencement of the 'plantation in these remote parts,' there were no practising lawyers, although Winthrop and a number of the other emigrants had studied law in England; in the colony (the parties spoke for themselves, for the most part;' though sometimes, when it was thought the case required it, they were assisted by a patron, a man of superior abilities,' but without fee or reward,' and as late as 1687, according to Randolph's letter to Povey, lawyers, or at least honest ones, did not greatly abound, for he complains of the want of two or three honest attorneys,
such thing in nature.' We have but two,' says he, one is Mr. West's creature, come with him from New York, and drives all before him. During the whole period of the colonies, the practice of the law appears to have been but a mean trade, and most of those concerned in it, trusted almost entirely, for their qualifications, to their natural gifts, and not their education. But occasionally one appears who had been educated in the profession, and among the rest, Thomas Lechford, of Clement's Inn, came over in 1637, but after three years of practice, he was convented' before the Quarter Court, Dec. 1, 1640, for pleading with the jury out of court,' and as Mr. Willard says, according to the record,
acknowledged he had overshot himself, and was sorry for it, promised to attend his calling, and not to meddle with controversies; and was dismissed.' This promise was a somewhat inconvenient one for an attorney to keep, as Lechford proved, for as he says in his 'Plain Dealing,' after trying the business of writing petty things,' (drawing up contracts &c.) for a short time, he found himself starved out and returned home.
These, says Mr. Willard, were the simple days of old, when heresy was punished with banishment, and stubbornness in children, cursing or smiting parents, idolatry, blasphemy, consulting with a familiar spirit, &c. were capital offences. When the title