Page images
PDF
EPUB

Codman v. The Vermont and Canada Railroad Company.

ford to be the law, in Lexington v. Butler, (14 Wall., 282, 293.) The objection to the jurisdiction, although not out of time, even at this late stage of the case, cannot prevail.

The defendant professes to wish to introduce the new evidence to add to the facts conceded, and not to contradict the terms of the concession. The evidence itself is newly discovered in fact, but might easily have been discovered before trial, if it had been thought that such evidence would be material; but it was not so thought by those having charge of the defence. They claim that the views of the Court make it appear to be material, and that, therefore, they ought now to have an opportunity to avail themselves of it. It is quite clear that the defendant has no right, upon any legal grounds, to have the case opened now for that purpose. If parties could first put in enough of their case to get the opinion of the Court, and then have an opportunity to make a case to fit the opinion, the administration of justice would be much protracted and large opportunities opened for abuse, although it is but just to say, that, in this instance, no attempt to patch up the case in any improper way is seen. wholesome mode of trial is for the parties to put in, and be required to put in, their evidence upon all points upon which they are to put in evidence at all, before the judgment of the Court is passed upon it. There are, probably, few cases tried but that the losing parties in which, or their counsel, are able afterwards to see, or think they see, some place where they could improve their side, if they had another opportunity. Still, it is better, in view of the whole, generally, that they should not have the opportunity. Nevertheless, there may be cases where the parties cannot bring themselves strictly within the rules for granting new trials, that the Court might and, perhaps, ought, in the exercise of its discretion, while the matter is wholly under the control of the Court, as in this case, before judgment, it is, to grant an opportunity to put in further evidence. In view of these considerations, the probable effect of the new evidence brought forward has been looked into. The evidence was full and clear that the

The only

Codman v. The Vermont and Canada Railroad Company.

plaintiffs owned and held both notes and coupons. The deposition of the notary tends to show that he had only the conpons. The action is upon the notes themselves, for not paying the interest, according to the contract in the notes, on presentation of the coupons. Ordinarily, the instrument endorsed should be presented when demand of payment is made, in order that, upon payment, it may be delivered up. (Freeman v. Boynton, 7 Mass., 483; Shaw v. Reed, 12 Pick., 132.) In this case, nothing but the coupons were to be delivered up. The notes would be retained properly and necessarily. Notice to the endorser could not be dispensed with, but that was properly given, as is expressly conceded. The contract was, that payment should be made when the coupons were presented. They were presented and payment was not made, so there was clearly a default of the maker, of which the endorser had due notice, as is also conceded. This would seem to be sufficient, whether the notary learned whom to notify from the endorsements themselves, as was before inferred by the Court, or otherwise. (Gilbert v. Dennis, 3 Met., 495.)

Besides, on further consideration of the terms of this guaranty, it seems probable that the defendant might be liable upon that alone. The only question about that is, whether it would follow the note into the hands of the plaintiffs, as bearers merely, to whom the guaranty was not otherwise made. The guaranty and endorsement are placed together over one siguature, and the defendant guaranteed the payment of the notes, and ordered the contents paid to the bearer, at the same time. Such contracts are construed according to the expressed intention of the parties, as it is to be collected from the words used. (Good v. Martin, 95 U. S., 90.) In view of the form and connection of the guaranty, it may well be understood, as suggested by one of the defendant's counsel on this argument, that the intention was that the notes should take the guaranty into circulation with them, and that the guaranty should run to the bearer, the same as the endorsement.

In arguing these motions it was still insisted, that the

$

The Goodyear Dental Vulcanite Company v. White.

defendant became a mere accominodation guarantor or endorser, and that all its undertakings in that direction were ultra vires. But, for the reasons before stated, the consideration was adequate and moved directly to the benefit of the defendant, and the statute quoted, as well as the general principles of the common law without the statute, brought the giving such notes, or becoming parties to them in other forms to the same effect, clearly within the scope of the corporate powers of the defendant. So, the evidence, if in, would not be likely to produce any different result, and there is no just occasion for delaying the cause to receive it.

The plaintiffs, in person, and with them William G. Shaw.

Edward J. Phelps and Francis A. Brooks, for the defendant.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

In an action for damages for publishing a libel, the answer omitted to deny

statements in the complaint as to the manner in which the plaintiff was damaged and as to the amount of the damages sustained. The defendant was allowed to amend the answer, by denying such statements, on the ground that the omission to deny them ought to have been regarded by the plaintiff as inadvertent.

(Before WALLACE, J., Southern District of New York, August 7th, 1879.)

WALLACE, J. The defendant moves for leave to amend his answer so far as to deny certain allegations of the complaint, which, not being denied in the answer, stand as admitted. The action was commenced in May, 1875, and the complaint alleges that the defendant published certain libel

The Goodyear Dental Vulcanite Company v. White.

lous matter concerning a patent of the plaintiff, “knowing that the plaintiff was then offering for sale, and was about offering for sale, licenses or office rights to use said invention under said letters patent, and maliciously contriving to cause it to be believed that the plaintiff was not the lawful owner of the exclusive rights secured by said letters patent, and could not lawfully sell licenses to use said invention, and could not lawfully compel the payment of royalties for the use of the invention, and to prevent the plaintiff from effecting sales of licenses, as aforesaid, to dentists."

The complaint further alleges, “ that, by reason of the said several false and defamatory publications, great numbers of the dentists, and particularly the persons mentioned in Schedule A, hereto annexed, were dissuaded from purchasing said licenses, and refused, and still refuse, to purchase the same, in consequence thereof,” and that the plaintiff has sustained damages in the sum of $75,000. Schedule A sets forth the names and residences of over fourteen hundred dentists, residing in all parts of the United States. To this complaint the defendant interposed a pleading which combined demurrers to each count in the complaint, with pleas of the statute of limitations, and matter in defence which could only be urged in mitigation of damages. The demurrers were noticed for argument from time to time, but the hearing upon the demurrers was delayed, and the decision was not had until October, 1878, at which time the demurrers were overruled, and the pleading permitted to stand as an answer, upon the payment of the costs of the demurrers. The defendant then moved to amend the answer, and the motion was granted, but, upon the hearing of that motion, it was first discovered that the answer, as amended, did not contain a denial of the allegation in the complaint which states, that, by reason of the publications of the defendant, the dentists mentioned in Schedule A were dissuaded from purchasing licenses of the plaintiffs, or of the allegation that the plaintiff has sustained damages in the sum of $75,000; and, thereupon, leave was obtained to move for the further amendment now asked for.

The Goodyear Dental Vulcanite Company v. White.

It is palpable, that the defendant did not intend to admit the truth of these averments, and that, upon the issue as it now stands, the defendant will be precluded from disputing his liability for very heavy damages. It is urged, in opposition to the motion, that the plaintiff has relied upon the implied admission in the answer, and, resting upon this from 1875 until this motion was made, it has not issued commissions and taken testimony de bene esse, as it otherwise would have done, and, in consequence, by the death, or removal, or forgetfulness of many of the dentists mentioned in Schedule A, it will be unable to produce proof, as to a large number of these dentists, that they were influenced by the defendant's publications, and were thereby dissuaded from taking licenses from the plaintiff; and it is further stated, in the plaintiff's affidavit, that the additional expense of obtaining its testimony at the present time, owing to peculiar circumstances, will be very onerous.

It would be a great hardship upon the defendant to preclude him from controverting so important an issue in the case, in consequence of a slip of his counsel in framing the answer; and the Court will struggle against the result, and, in furtherance of justice, give him an opportunity to present the truth of the matter, unless constrained to the contrary because of the countervailing hardship which such action would impose upon the plaintiff.

Was the plaintiff justified in relying upon the implied admission in the answer? Had he a right to suppose that the issue which would eventually be tried was that which was tendered by the answer? Here was a pleading containing demurrers which went to the whole complaint, and also matter by way of defence. By the demurrers the defendant admitted all the facts in the complaint, while, by another part of the pleading, he sought to deny the plaintiff's right to recover. What was the legal effect of such a pleading? A defendant may demur to part of a complaint and answer as to the residue, when the complaint joins several causes of action, but he cannot demur and answer to the same cause of action.

« PreviousContinue »