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inflicted upon the poor by their inability to divorce dress is a luxury. The county court already has a an upfaithful partner. Whether the home that is limited jurisdiction in probate and admiralty which shattered is a cottage or a mansion makes no differ- it has discharged with credit to the country. Let ence so far as regards the bitterness of the cup it be intrusted with a limited jurisdiction in which the innocent party has to drain -indeed, the divorce, say, upon affidavit of the injured party moral ruin is, perhaps, more disastrous in the poor that his or (if it is the wife) her husband's income home, because the hardships it entails on the inno- does not exceed £3 a week. The evil is undeniable, cent party cannot be escaped from. There is a no- the necessity of relief even the Old Book itself tion — I have heard it myself --- that divorce is a
concedes. What readier or more satisfactory soluluxury, and, like other luxuries, is neces
essarily lost tion of the difficulty could be desired than to confer to the working man, and that, moreover, he does upon county court judges the powers of the presinot feel the same urgent necessity for getting rid of dent of the divorce division within some such limits a faithless partner as he does for having a ready as I have suggested ? In order to make the sugmeans of recovering his wages. But, in accordance gested remedy effectual there is, however, one with the best traditions of our law, we are bound to feature of the high court divorce practice which provide a remedy for every wrong. And here is would require modification. As matters stand a the most grievous wrong of which human nature is husband has to pay for the defence of his wife, capable a wrong productive of consequences more whether she be innocent or guilty. I do not, of permanent and far-reaching than any other wrong course, object to the law taking care an innocent with which I am acquainted — a wrong that eats wife should not be hampered in establishing her ininto the very vitals of the State, and paralyzes the nocence by want of funds. But it is surely a monenergies of those who are the immediate sufferers; strous shame that this law should enable a guilty and yet to a large majority of Englisb people it is a woman to put forward an entirely vexatious defence wrong practically without a remedy, because that for no other reason than the pleasure of adding to remedy is so utterly inaccessible. It is idle to say her unfortunate husband's misery an appalling bill that, if we cheapened divorce, we should be imme- of costs. This would never do in the County Court. diately inundated with such a flood of cases that It would be easy to compel the wife as a condition the courts would be blocked. This very suggestion of being allowed to defend to declare her merits in a shows how fearful we are of Icaruing the truth preliminary affidavit, though of course when such i. e., that there are hundreds of innocent persons an affidavit was not forthcoming the court would patiently enduring this most iniquitous wrong, have to be on the alert against connivance. It may because they cannot afford the remedy. I am be said that this is not one of those “reforms' which not
of those who would enlarge the are insisted upon by those who advocate the cause grounds upon which divorce be ob- of the working man. My reply is, that the time of tained; by no means enlarge the remedy, but by all the professional reformer is so entirely absorbed in means bring it within the reach of those who de- the pursuit of the illusory living wage,' and the serve it. How, then, can it be so brought within various phases of the eternal warfare between capital reach?
The answer is plain and irresistible and labour, that he overlooks domestic needs, inthrough the instrumentality of the county court, cluding the fact that the working man has a heart that court which has acquitted itself with such as well as a stomach, and that his wretched home signal
in which may sometimes be more due to au errant partner it has yet been tried, and which, as I have than to the want of a living wage.' History and endeavored to show, has carned the confidence and experience have taught us that the worst enemy of respect of the whole country. Surely and steadily, the State is a system of unequal laws - laws which year by year, have the merits of this tribunal be- handicap the poor man in asserting and maintaining come recognized, and Parliament has not been slow his right against another's might. Discontent is to observe the signs of the times-viz : that it is the always smouldering, and, as the professional agitator only tribunal which is really popular, because it is well knows, very little stirring sets it ablaze. Our the only one whose justice fullls the triple ideal set litw fortunately learned long since that the finest forth in Magna Charta of accessibility, economy safety-valve for discontent is the right of public and despatch. If the law is to be saved from the meeting and free speech. There are many less stigma of being inaccessible to the poor man - a protitable occupations for the young constitutionalstigma than which there is none more dangerous to ist -- and such, I take it, every lawyer ought to the State -- there must be placed within his reach be -- than occasionally going out of his way to hear all the remedies that are within reach of the rich the views of his country's law expressed by the poor man, and the Stute fails in its duty to its citizens if man under circumstances where he is able to address it gives any countenance to the belief that legal re- his fellows with perfect freedom. The oratory may be
occasionally turgid, the orator unjust, but the result with foreign nations, lasting altogether only four offers plenty of food for reflection to those who de- years and a lialf. We have been literally the peace sire that the law should have the implicit confidence nation of the world. Great Britain has settled of the people. It is because on such occasions I about a dozen in the same period, and all the nations have observed that the charge which is most fre- of Europe have had from one to seven cases. quently made and most bitterly resented is that Japan and China have, in this way, settled difficulwhich heads my paper--because I think it is a charge ties; all the South American republics except two, that is misapprehended, and is to-day undeserved and two of the Central American republics, bave —and because I think the part silently played by done the same. What it is proposed to do is to crysthe County Court in its refutation and in the evolu- tallize into law what is the general practice of this tion of the working classes generally bas not re- nation to-day, and, to a considerable extent, the ceived the merit it deserves, that I determined to practice of our nations. offer these few remarks. Finally, my thoughts re- “We shall find another interesting subject of disvert once more to those ever-memorable words of cussion in the proposed establishment of a great the great Sir Edward Coke, in which he so eloquently international tribunal of arbitration, which shall be reminds us that the aim of our law is to secure to to the nations of the world what the United States every subject “justice and right for the injury done Supreme Court is to the States of this republic." him freely without sale, fully without denial, speedily without delay.” Although it is 300 years since these words were uttered, can anyone improve upon them
HABITUAL CRIMINALS. as an ideal conception of what law ought to secure? What we as lawyers have to do is to take this conception of Coke's, and breathe into it the breath of
TOJE little interest has been aroused this week life, so that it may cease to be merely the dry bones
by newspaper accounts of the arrest of a man, of a stillborn ideal, and become the living substance
alleged to be “ well known to the police,” who was of an accomplished end. Finis coronat opus !
merely “ loafing along the street" at a point below Liberty street, in this city. The prisoner was discharged when taken before a magistrate, and the
episode has served to call attention to a custom, NATIONS AS CLIENTS.
said to have formerly' obtained among the police, of THE following account of the growth of interna- arbitrarily arresting, without a warrant, and although
no suspicious acts had been observed, ex-convicts Benj. F. Trueblood: “The first real cases of inter- | found in the neighborhood of Wall street. The national arbitration were between this country and custom, if it ever existed, was, of course, illegal. Great Britain less than a century ago. These were
Even in order to have the status of habitual crimi. provided for by the Jay treaty of 1794. From 1816 val imposed upon a person, he must have been exto the present time there has been an average, pressly arijudged one upon at least a second conthrough the whole seventy-nine years, of one im- viction of a penal offense, and in addition to or inportant case of arbitration per year. Only four or stead of other punishmeat. (Code of Criminal five of these are known to most people, for one war
Procedure, § 510.) Certain arbitrary powers of makes more noise than a hundred arbitrations, and
arrest without warrant are conferred as to babitual costs more than a thousand. Only recently the criminals, but they apply only to formally adjudicaPresident of the United States, as arbitrator, settled a ted habitual criminals, and not to persons who difficulty between Brazil and the Argentine republic merely, as matter of fact, are ex-convicts or the involving a territory of thirty thousand square miles, constant associates of criminals. and the papers of this country bad, perhaps, two It would, however, be exceedingly difficult for a inches notice of it! In the last twenty years these man of bad record, and who could not decisively cases bave occurred at the rate of two or three a show that he had reformed, to gain any substantial year. They have covered questions of boundary, redress for such an infringement of bis constituof insult to the flag, of property, of personal in- tional rights. And the incident serves to call attenjury -- every question, in fact, with which nations tion afresh to the advisability of further developing have to do except the one question of the actual | the “habitual criminal” remedy, and of making use of existence of the national life. In every case the it in its present form more frequently than has heretodifficulty bas been settled for all time, and no war fore been done. A person was adjudged an habitual lias grown out of any of them. Our country bas criminal in this city by Recorder Goff a few weeks settled more than forty of these difficulties. During ago, and such action attracted considerable comthis period of eighty years we have had three wars ment because of its rarity. A statute is in force in
Ohio providing that every person convicted a third Abstracts of Recent Decisions. time of felony shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life. The enforcement of such law has been
ASSIGNMENT FOR CREDITORS held constitutional by the Supreme Court of Ohio,
Where an assignee was the cashier of a creditor where the first of the two previous convictions of the defendint occurred before the passage of the bank, the insolvent's preference of an usurious
claim to the bank will invalidate the deed of (Blackburn v. State, 36 N. E. R. 18.) We
assignment. (!Tiller v. Ellis [Miss.), 18 South. strongly approve of the policy of this statute. It
Rep. 95.) gives more than a fair chance for reform. But, when a person has committed three felonies, it may ATTACHMENT DAMAGES. -- In an action for the properly be said that his criminal disposition is per- wrongful attachment of property which the owner manently fixed, and it is simple folly to go on turn- had sold, the value of the property, in estimating ing him loose to prey anew on the community, and the measure of damages, is the price contracted for, to waste public money in fresh trials and convic- though it is in excess of its market value. (Curry tions. Somewhat the same result as that contem- v. Catlin (Wash.], 41 Pac. Rep. 55.) plated by the Ohio statute may be accomplished in our State under section 688 of the Penal Code, pro
CONFLICT OF LAWS -- INSOLVENT CORPORATIONS -viding for sentences for increased terms upon con- PREFERENCES.—The fact that the laws of New York victions for second offenses. Under this section, forbid preferences by insolvent corporations does Judge Fitzgerald wisely exercised his discretion not render void authority conferred in that State, last week to impose practically a life sentence on by the board of directors of an insolvent corporathe fire-bug Shoepholse. We do not see why the tion, organized under the laws of New York, but law of New York should not be retained practically holding its entire property in Pennsylvania, on the as it is
cover cases of second offenses, and the corporation's president, to execute in Pennsylvania, Ohio statute also borrowed in order to make a life a judgment note in favor of a creditor of the corsentence inevitably follow a third conviction of poration. (Appeal of Chautauqua County Nat. felony, no matter what the grade of the different Bank (Penn.), 32 Atl. Rep. 539.) offenses.
MISSOURI The criminal classes are apt to be quite prolific
Rev. St. Mo, 1889, § 3195, providing reproducers of their kind, and observation and sta
that county warrants not presented for payment tistics show that the criminal disposition is almost
within five years of their date, or, being presented invariably transmitted to offspring. Of course en
within that time, and protested for want of funds, vironment has much to do with hardening the inherited nature, but the specific criminal heredity is funds are set apart for payment thereof, shall be
and not presented again within five years after often so potent that educational ivfluences and barred, prescribes a special limitation for actions on moral surroundings during childhood are incapable such warrants, within section 6791, providing that of neutralizing it. The perpetual imprisonment of
the limitation of ten years prescribed by section habitual criminals, besides protecting the present 6774 for action on any writing for the payment of generation from their practically certain depreda
money shall not extend to any action which shall tions, would quite materially diminish the quota of
be otherwise limited by any statute. (Knox County heredity criminals of the next generation.
v. Morton [C. S. C. C. of App.), 68 Fed. Rep. 787.) It is altogether possible that the indefatigable efforts of modern Charity Organization, by making DEED--TITLE TO VEST AFTER GRANTOR'S DEATH. it more difficult to pick up a living by mendacity -An instrument from a father to his children, and begging, will drive considerable numbers of which is in form an absolute deed, and executed as shiftless persons into positive crime. But we can- such, but not attested as a will is required to be, not say that the policy of Charity Organization is to
which contuins the clause “ provided always, and be deprecated because of this incidental rrsult. If it is expressly understood and agreed, that this the status of babitual criminal, with its penalties as
conveyance is not to take effect till after my death, above outlined, certainly await a conrict, an addi- and that, at my death the title to the foregoing tional deterrent from crime and an additional in- lands are to vest immediately in my said children,” centive to honest work will be offered. And, in will be construed as a deed reserving a life estate the long run, society can probably deal with the to the grantor, where it was delivered when exehopelessly vicious as habitual criminals to better cuted, and the grantor lived on the land with the advantage than if they were permitted to go on un grantees till his death, without attempting to make molested in their impositions upon the benevolent. any other disposition of the land. (Abuey v. Moore -N, Y. Lau Journal.
[Ala.], 18 South. Rep. 60.)
of the verdict is in the usual form that is, upon the
above findings, the law is with the plaintiff, then SPECIAL VERDICTS IN INDIANA UNDER
we find for the plaintiff and assess bis damages at STATUTE.
dollars; and if the law is for the defendant,
we find for the defendant. To the Editor of the Albany Law Journal :
So vital a change in the form of special verdicts The General Assembly of the State of Indiana, at
cannot but attract the attention of the profession at the session of 1895, made a radical change of the large, and if it should prove satisfactory, other law as to special verdicts. This law has come be- States may be inclined to profit by the example. fore the courts for the first time at the Fall sittings.
JOHN A. FINCH. It is as follows:
INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 2, 1895. “That in all cases tried by the jury, the court shall, at the request of either party, in writing,
New Books and New Editions. made before the introduction of any evidence, di
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES AT rect such jury to return a special verdict upon any
THE END OF THE FIRST CENTURY. By George S. or all of the issues of such case. Such special ver
Boutwell. dict shall be prepared by the counsel on either side
A long experience as legislator and as a legal of such cause and submitted to the court, and be practitioner has given the author of this work a subject to change and modifications by the court. familiarity with the Constitution of the United The same shall be in the form of interrogatories so States which renders him unusually well fitted to framed that 'the jury will be required to find one prepare such a work as this. The book is prepared single fact in answering each of such interrogato- in a way which is almost novel to members of the ries; the jury, on retiring, shall take all the plead-legal profession, and may be considered not only a
treatise but also a text-book on this most important ings in the case, including the instructions of the
subject. Its value, however, extends largely beyond court, if in writing, and the interrogatories as ap- that which a text-book ordinarily possesses. Its proved by the court, and shall answer each of the preparation shows careful and conscientious work, interrogatories submitted to them.”
aided by great experience and unusual ability. The Under our former practice the courts were re- work is divided into sixty-four chapters, which at quired to order the jury to render a special or a first seem to be too many in a work of only 400 general verdict at the request of either party. If a pages, but the convenience of the subdivisions is special verdict was required, the courts were re
apparent after a careful examination. The work be. quired to order the jury to answer special interroga- gins with the Declaration of Independence, and tories on the request of either party. If the general subsequently the Constitution of the United States verdict was not in harmony with the answers to the haps, the most valuable part of this work to be the
is published with annotations. We consider, perinterrogatories, judgment might be rendered upon analytical index of the Constitution of the United the answers to the interrogatories and against the States, which occupies sixty pages of the volume. party in whose favor the general verdict was ren
Few persons who have not carefully studied the dered.
Constitution appreciate the immense amount of maThis law repeals the law allowing special inter-terial which is contained within the few pages, and rogatories to be propounded, and the only form we the index to which we refer strengthens the opinion now liave is the general verdict, or special verdict which we have bad of the immensity of the Constiprepared according to the above statute. Each of
tution. We consider that this index alone will give the Superior Courts and the Circuit Court of this lawyers a more easy means of referring to the Consticounty has had special verdicts rendered under this decisions of the Supreme Court on constitutional
tution than anything we have ever seen before. The statute, and the change from the old practice is questions are cited under the sections to which the thought to be very satisfactory, especially in cases decisions relate, and the leading decisions appear where a jury might be more affected by sympathy | with a careful examination of their scope and meanthan by the facts proved.
ing, while the lines between State sovereignty and The practice under this new statute is, after the national government are distinctly marked. proper request by either party, for counsel on each The development of the Constitution from the coloside to prepare a special verdict in the form of in- nial charters is ably demonstrated; in short, the terrogatories. The court takes these forms as pre-whole work is a most complete and comprehensive pared and has a new draft made embodying any book on the subject. The arrangement of the work thing pertinent in either form submitted, and is most appropriate, and we are especially pleased adding any other interrogatory that seems to be with the way in which each section of the Constitunecessary for a finding upon all of the facts. This tion has a chapter devoted to its explanation, origin is submitted to the jury as coming from the court, and development. It is bound in cloth and in a and they have no intimation as to which side pre- convenient form for use. pared any particular interrogatory. The conclusion Published by B. C. Heath & Co., Boston, Mass.
American Bar Association in 1890 at Saratoga, The Albany Law Journal.
and that is the necessity of having some legis
lation governing and regulating commercial ALBANY, NOVEMBER 9, 1895.
paper, so as to get somewhat of a uniformity.
We all know that under the decisions of AlaCurrent Lopics.
bama a person who takes negotiable paper as [All communications intended for the Editor should be ad collateral security for pre-existing debt, with no Jressed simply to the Editor of THE ALBANY LAW JOURNAL.
new consideration, is not a bona fide purchaser All letters relating to advertisements, subscriptions, or other business matters, should be addressed to THE ALBANY LAW for value; that is also the law in New York. JOURNAL COMPANY.)
In 1880, I think it was, a railroad company T the recent meeting of the Alabama State made a note, and all its directors endorsed it,
Bar Association, H. C. Tompkins, Esq. I and turned it over to an agent to negotiate that offered several interesting suggestions in regard note for the purpose of raising money for the to changes which might be made in the statute
benefit of the railroad company; the agent took law of the State in order to make it conform more properly to the laws of the United States owed that bank an overdraft he deposited it
that note and carried it to his bank, and as he and of the different States. Mr. Tompkins
with that bank as a collateral security for his showed that at present the law in Alabama was
overdraft. Subsequently the bill matured, it that a person who took negotiable paper as col
was not paid, the bank instituted suits in the lateral security for a pre-existing debt without
courts for the money against the endorsers on any new consideration is not a bona fide pur- that paper, the case went to the Court of Apchaser for value. The same principle is recognized in New York State, and Mr. Tompkins this bank was not a bona fide purchaser for
peals of New York, and that court held that as showed how the law was practically over-ruled on account of the different holdings in the value, that, therefore, there could be no recov
ery. United States courts. A few remarks can
At that time the laws of the United States demonstrate the necessity of uniformity of allowed a bank to bring a suit in the courts of laws in the States and the United States, and the United States regardless of the residence of there was an evident feeling at the meeting the parties. The bank brought suit in the Circuit that some action should be taken in this direc- Court of the United States for the southern tion. Just before the close of the session of district of New York; they got a judgment for the Association this desire was put in a prac- the amount, and that case went to the Supreme tical form by the introduction of a resolution Court, and the Supreme Court held that a party to promote uniformity in the existing laws on taking paper of that sort was a bona fide purthe subjects of marriage and divorce, the form chaser for value, and that the railroad company of notarial certificates, the descent and distri
was liable. They had not sued the railroad bution of estates of decedents, acknowledg-company in the first suit. Now, a man can ments of deeds, execution and other subjects make a note in Alabama, an accommodation relating to the domestic relation, and the trans- paper, it can be deposited by a mere depositor action of business. It was also determined who has endorsed it as collateral security for his that commissioners should be appointed to pre-existing debt, bring a suit in the courts of promote such uniformity and to act in conjunc-Alabama, the bank or party taking it cannot retion with like commissioners who have been or cover, but if he happens to live in Georgia and may be appointed by other States. It is with he can make it convenient to stop in Columbus great pleasure that we regard this increasing and live months enough to be considered a residesire on the part of active members of the dent, and bring suit in the courts of the United bar to further the ends of this most important States he can recover. Again, we have what reform. Mr. Tompkins said in part:
we call irregular endorsements. I make my note There is another matter that I would like to to you promising to pay you so much money call to the attention of the Committee on Leg- by a certain date; I procure my friend Col. islation, it is a matter that I have thought a Hargrove to endorse that note - what we call great deal about, and read an article before the an irregular endorsement under the laws of
VOL. 52 No. 19.