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The Legal Observer,
SATURDAY, MAY 20, 1837.
" Quod magis ad nos
| some clause having this object introduced
in the Bill now before the House. But, THE CORONERS' INQUEST BILL, at any rate, we object to the imposition
of any additional burden on the coroner.
If the Bill passes in its present shape, A Bill has lately been introduced into the coroner, who passes his accounts only Parliamenta relative to the expenses of once a year, will be out of his money, Coroners' Inquests, which is very objec- which may be a considerable sum, for a tionable in some of its details. By sec. 1, very long and inconvenient time, and after the coroner is directed to pay these expenses all he may, by the caprice of the justices, out of his own pocket; and by sec. 2, he is be refused payment altogether. to be reimbursed by laying before two jus- We would submit the following plan intices, at some petty sessions to be holden stead of the one proposed :-for the division in which such inquest shall The county rates are paid by the overhave been holden, an account of his ex- seers out of the poor rate to the high conpenses, with proper vouchers; and the jus- stables of the various hundreds, and paid tices may examine the coroner on oath, and in by these constables at every quarter sesif satisfied, make an order on the treasurer sions to the county treasurer; so that the of the county for the payment of the ex- overseers as constables have always county penses out of the county rates. Thus, it money in hand. Now let the coroner give will be seen, that the disbursement of the an order on them to pay these expenses, coroner is obligatory, and his reimburse I and let the coroner's order be received by ment optional with the justices. Now the the treasurer as a voucher and discharge for coroners are a very deserving body, and are so much of the county rate as these may at present very slightly remunerated for amount to; or, if this should be considered their trouble. Their present allowance was as giving too much power to the coroner, fixed by the 25 G. 2, c. 29, (just eighty-five let him be empowered to exhibit his acyears ago,) and they receive only 1l. for counts to two justices at quarter sessions, each inquisition, and 9d. a mile for their as provided by the 25 G. 2, c. 29, for travelling expenses ; so that in an extensive passing the usual and ordinary accounts. district, considering their loss of time, they | It is little inconvenience to a coroner ta are frequently rather losers than gainers by | attend a quarter sessions, he being genethe discharge of their duties. A Bill was rally there on other business, but a petty brought in some time ago by Mr. Cripps to sessions may be held at a distance from his increase this allowance, which was, how. residence, and he will be saddled with the ever, suffered to drop through. We be- expense of going and returning there. lieve, however, that Sir George Strickland | These details may appear trifling, but the and many other members, are favourable to coroners are not at present so well paid this increase; and we should be glad to see for their trouble, as to make them unim
portant to them. a Printed antè, p. 23.
We particularly call the attention of the VOL. XIV.-NO, 898.
Olservations on the Coroners' Inquest Bill. – Law of Attorneys.
Legislature to this Bill, because by the late ' ment or tender of the charges in any parAct for Registering Deaths, Births, and ticular cause will not entitle the attorney Marriages, (6 & 7 W. 4, c. 86,) several ad- to the delivery of the papers therein, so ditional duties are imposed on coroners, long as he continues indebted to the agent without any remuneration. Thus, by sec. for other business ; citing Ward v. Kepple, 19, it is enacted, that in the case of any 15 Ves. 297; and Ex parte Steele, 16 Ves. dead body found exposed, the coroner shall 164. It has, however, lately been held at furth with give notice of it to the registrar; nisi prius, that the town-agent of an attorby sec, 25, in every case in which an in-ney has a lien upon the money received in quest shall be held on any dead body, the the particular cause and upon the papers jury shall inquire of the particulars required in the particular cause for the amount due to be registered, and the coroner shall, by to him by the attorney for the agency bill his certificate, inform the registrar of the in that particular cause only, and that he finding of the jury; and by sec, 27, the has this lien against all the world ; and if coroner is to give an order for the burial in he has had no payment made to him specithe form in the schedule F. Now the fically on account of this cause, he is encoroner has to do all this for nothing. The titled to this lien until his agency bill in the registrar, who is simply to make his entries, particular cause is satisfied; and that if the is to be well paid; but the coroner, who is agent has parted with the possession of the to have almost all the work, is not to be papers by his own act, though by mistake, paid anything: he is not even provided his lien is at an end; but if the papers did with blank forms to fill up, with which the not get lawfully out of his possession, his registrar is fully supplied for his part of the lien continues, and he may maintain trover duty. But the giving these notices will for them. In giving judgment, Mr. Justice entail other expenses which are left un- Littledale said, “ It is a rule of law that an provided for. There is a Bill for amending attorney has a lien upon all papers of his the Registration Act now before the House client which are in his hands for his bill for of Commons, and we are desirous of seeing all business of that client. However this the duty of giving notices required under is not so with the attorney's agent. The sec. 19, placed on the overseer, and not on agent has only a lien upon the money rethe coroner; and we submit that the covered and upon the papers in his hands coroner, for the certificate required under in the particular cause, for the amount due sec. 25, should receive the same fee as the to him by the attorney in the particular registrar.
cause only, and in this case the plaintiff We sincerely hope that these observa- I would have a lien to that extent against all tions may find their way to the proper the world, but his lien goes only to the quarter. There is perhaps no public officer extent of the papers in that cause for the so ill remunerated as the coroner, yet his money due to him in that cause only. The duties are arduous, unceasing, and difficult plaintiff was the agent of Mr. Smith, and to perform. We would propose, therefore, it is proved that the remittances wbich that he should receive a further fee for his were sent him on Mr. Smith's general acincreased labours under the Registration count had satisfied that account all but Sli, Act; that his allowance for travelling ex- but it appears that no payment had been penses should be increased to ls, a mile ; made in this cause specifically. Now, if and that, if he is to advance the expenses of there was any balance due to the plaintiff, the inquest, he should not, at any rate, be he had a lien on these papers till the agency longer out of pocket than three months. bill in this particular cause was settled.
The defence is, that the plaintiff had sent
the papers into the country to Mr. Smith, LAW OF ATTORNEYS.
Now if the plaintiff had parted with the papers he had no lien upon them; but if
he had not, he still has his lien. If the LIEN OF AGENTS.
plaintiff parted with the possession of the In our eighth volume, p. 177, we stated at papers by his own act, he has no longer some length the cases relating to the lien any lien upon them
| any lien upon them; but if they were got of agents; and we there ventured to lay it out of his possession wrongfully, his lien down that an attorney cannot compel 'the remains.” Dicas v. Stockley, 7 Car. & delivery of any of his papers in the agent's | Pay. 587. possession without paying the whole of the costs due to such agent, and that the pay
Law of Attorneys.
I may be deemed, and wholly inconsistent with
the possibility of safely transacting judicial A party is not compellable to produce, for affairs, if the authorities are in its favour, we the purposes of an action or suit, cases laid must submit. Radcliffe v. Furamın, 2 Bro.P. before counsel in the progress of a cause, / C. 514, is the case commonly relied on in these and prepared in contemplation of such action questions. It is a decision of Lord. Kiny's, a or suit. . Bolton v. Corporation of Liverpool,
firmed in the House of Lords. If it had deci.
ded the question, there would have been no 1 P. Cooper's Rep: 22.
alternative but submission. The report in .“ With respect to the cases sought to be in- Brown is imperfect, and in one respect not corspected (says Lord Brougham, C.), these are the rect; for it conveys an inaccurate notion of the cases laid before counsel in contemplation of the nature of the demurrer But even by the report, action, and pending the proceedings. Their , and certainly by the printed cases which I have dates come down to the 29th Oct. 1831, the bill examined, together with my noble and learned having been filed in Nov. 1830, and the an. predecessor, it appears plaiu that the record did swer sworn in Dec. 1831. Most of the cases not show any suit to have been instituted, or were laid before counsel after the demurrer was even threatened, at the time the case was stated arguerl; nay, after it came before me on appeal for the opinion of counsel ; and the decision
-some of thein on the very eve of the present being upon the demurrer, the Court had no application to the Vice-Chancellor. They are right to know any thing which the record did sworn in the answer to have been prepared not disclose. All the Court knew was, that a in contemplation of and with reference to the case had been laid before counsel at soine time action and suit.' It is suggested, that one of in order to satisfy the party consulting, whether them is the very brief for counsel at the trial of or not his rights had been affected by a certain the action, to prepare himself against which lapse of time. And the ground on which the the plaintiff in equily claims the inspection production was resisted appears to have been And whether this be so, in point of fact, or the mischief of disclosing statements confidennot, is immaterial, as it may well occur in any tially made for the private ease and satisfaction cause, if the rases laid before counsel in of parties. So far this decision rules that a reference to that cause at law can be obtained case laid before counsel is not protected ; that by conjing to this court.
it must be disclosed. But the decision does "It seems plain that the course of justice must not rule that disclosure must be made of a case stop if such a right exists. No man will dare laid before counsel, in reference to, or in conto ronsult a professional adviser with a view to templation of, or during the pendency of a suit his defence, or to the enforcement of his rights. or action, to serve the purposes of which action The very case which he lays before his counsel, the production is sought. to advise upon the evidence, may, and often “The case of Preston y. Carr, 1 Yo. & Jer. does, contain the whole of his evidence, and 175, would seem to have carried the doctrine way be, and frequently is, the brief with which of Radcliffe v. Fursmin this one most inaterial that or some other counsel is furnished to con step farther, but apparently without intending duct his cause. The principle contended for, to do so, for one of the learned judges says, that inspection of cases, though not of the that he agrees with those who have expressed opinions, may always be obtained as of right, an opinion that it should not be carried further. would produce this effect, and neither inore There is, however, a decision of this Court since nor less : that a party would go into Court anil Preston v. Carr, by which I am disposed to be try the cause, and there would be the original guided, in deference as well to all the princiof his brief in his own counsel's bag, and a copy ples upon which it proceeds, as to the authority of it in the bag of his adversary's counsel; nay, of the noble and learned judge wlio pronounas often as a party found himself unprepared, cedit-I inean the case of Hughes v. Biddulph, or suspected that something new had coine to 4 Russ. 190. I can, however, see no difference his adversary's knowledge, he might (at least if between the letters there excepted from the he were plaintiff) postpone the trial, and obtain order to produce documents, and the cases laid a discovery of those new circumstances, which before counsel. They were letters which pasin all likelihood had been laid before counsel sed between the client and the solicitor, and for advice. If it be said that this Court coin pels between two solicitors employed by the client the disclosure of whatever a party has at any in the progress of the cause, or rrith reforence time said respecting his case ; nay, even wrings to the cause before it was instituted. This was his conscience to disclose his belief, the answer the line which Lord Lyndhurst drew: and I can is, that admissions not made, or thoughts not see no difference betiveen the statements of a communicated to professional advisers, are not case in such correspondence, and the stateessential to the security of men's rights in courts ments which are laid before counsel in the form of justice. Proceedings for this purpose can be of a case for their opinion. Something which conducted in full perfection, without the party occurred in the correspondence might happen informing any one of his case except his legal to be kept ont of the case so laid before counadvisers; but without such communication to sel, and that might be a motive in one instance professional men, no person can safely come for not refusing the production ofthe case, while into a Court, either to obtaiu redress or to de- the party might have a reason for refusing the fend himself against a claim.
letters. But that is accidental, and cannot af
36 Law of Attorneys.- Notices of New Books : Maugham's Outlines of Law. ect the principle ; for it is clear that the case I “ Instead of voluminous works, designed for may, and in such circumstances probably will, the full and complete information which the contain as much matter as the letters, which I practitioner requirers in all the details of his pro. the client cannot safely disclose ; and it may fessional duty, -a general summary of the Law very well happen that the case prepared by the and Practice appears to be necessary for the solicitor should contain more than the letters. student,-an Outline sufficiently full to afford a Vent v. Pacey, 4 Russ. 193, which followed two comprehensive view of the subject, but without years after, though reported next in the same entering either into minute particulars and volume, is said to throw a doubt upon Hughes endless details, or into cases of rare occurrence. v. Biddulph, at least as far as regards its appli. “In attempting to supply this deficiency, cation to this question. In the first place, and to afford at least some additional means however, the Vice-Chancellor having acted on of instruction, the aim has been not merely to Hughes v. Biddulph, as regards the letters, his point out the course which the student should order was appealed from and affirmed. But stake, but actually to accompany him on his next it is said, that a case laid before counsel | way ;-—not merely to direct him to select for appears incidentally to have been produced, himself the useful parts of large and compreThe observation which I have made will explain hensive works, but to make the selection for that; for the party may not bave resisted the him:—to cull from various sources into a comproduction, on the accidental ground which I pendious form that which he should render have referred to, of the letters happening to familiar to his recollection, and engraft abidcontain what he was reluctant to disclose, ingly into his mind. though the case did not. But be that as it inay, “With this purpose in view, the compiler there was no contest on the production of the has endeavoured to bring the matter into case, and the question was not decided. such limits, and arrange it in such order and
“I am therefore upon the wbole of opinion, method, as may enable the student, within a that cases laid before counsel in the progress of reasonable time, to make himself master of a a cause, and prepared in contemplation of, and considerable extent of legal knowledge, on with reference io an action or suit, cannot be many of the subjects with which he ought to ordered to be produced for the purpose of that be intimately acquainted. He thus hopes to action or suit.
contribute, in some small degree, to diminish the difficulties in which his younger brethren are placed, and to assist somewhat in smooth
ing their path to a satisfactory result. NOTICES OF NEW BOOKS.
“ It appeared to the compiler that the most
| useful course would be to coinmence with some STUDY OF THE LAW.
branch of the law, of very general application
to professional business." "He has therefore Outlines of Law: or Readings from Black
selected for consideration, the various Injuries stone and other Text Writers ; altered cognizable in the Superior Courts, affecting the according to the present Law: compris. Persons and the Property of individuals. These ing Injuries to Persons and Property, and involve the important duty of the legal adviser their Remedies in the Courts of Law, to determine rightly in what Court, and in what Equity, and Bankruptcy. Designed for form and manner, the Remedy should be sought, the use of Young Practitioners, Artičied) -whether at the Common Law or in Equity :
or in the collateral branch of Bankruptcy. The Clerks, and other Law Students. By
redress thus afforded for each injury, and the Robert Maugham, Secretary to the In-specific nature of each remedy, ought of course corporated Law Society. London: Rich- to be well known to every practitioner. ards & Co., 1837.
1 “In considering these injuries, and the ap
propriate remedies afforded in the Courts of The utility of this work, and its general | Common Law, it appeared impossible to follow scope and design, appear to be fully de- a better model than Sir Wm. Blackstone. His scribed in the Preface or Introduction; and masterly summary of the Law relating to Prithe author thus adverts to the existing want. vate Wrongs, contained in the third volume of in reference to the means of study, which he
the Commentaries, stands altogether unrivalled;
but the abolition of all actions concerning real aims to supply :
property except ejectment, dower, and quare “Our legal writers (he says) appear to have impedit, has rendered no longer practically directed their attention to works suited rather useful a considerable part of that volume. Yet to the busy Practitioner than the Student or the a concise account of so much of the former law Junior Members of the Profession. With the as bears upon its present state, appeared neexception of the Commentaries of Sir William cessary to be retained. Blackstone, there is scarcely any elementary “Looking at the extensive and rapid altera. work to assist the student in the early stages of tions which have been made within the last few his progress. It is true there are many books years, compared with the slow and limited to advise him ; but most of them point out so changes of former times, it is interesting to large a field for cultivation, that he is disheart. notice the remarks of Sir Wm. Blackstone. ened in commencing his labours, and has but When law's (he says) are to be framed by little hope of satisfactorily concluding them. popular assemblies, eren of the representative Notices of New Books: Maughan's Outlines of Law. kind, it is too Herculean a task to begin the would probably at the present day have deemed work of legislation afresh, and extract a new | it advisable to leave to the historian and antisystem from the discordant opinions of more quary, much of that legal learning which he than five hundred counsellors." A single legis- wrought out and embellished with such singulator or an enterprising sovereign, a Solon or lar skill and excellence. This task of omission a Lycurgus, a Justinian or a Frederick, may at has been reluctantly performed. any time form a concise, and perhaps an uni. “In the departinent of Equity, the Outline form, plan of justice: and evil betide that pre- given in the Commentaries appeared to be sumptuous subject who questions its wisdom or insufficient for the purpose of the student, and utility ! But who, that is acquainted with the not to bear an equal proportion to the summary difficulty of new-inodelling any branch of our of the Common Law remedies. The first statute laws, (though relating but to roads or Chapter of the Second Part of this volume, to parish settlements,) will conceive it ever fea, which treats of the general nature of Equity, sible to alter any fundamental point of the com- contains all that is to be found in the Common law, with all its appendages and conse- mentaries on that subject ; except a brief statequents, and set up another rule in its stead?ment of the principal stages of proceeding, When, therefore, by the gradual influence of which belong not to the present volume. It foreign trade and domestic tranquility, the became necessary, therefore, to resort to some spirit of our military tenures began to decay, other text-writer to extend the Outline farther, and at length the whole structure was removed, I and fill up partially some of the principal heads the judges quickly perceived that the forms and of Equity. For this purpose, the compiler has delays of the feodal actions (guarded with their resorted to an early edition of the Treatise on several outworks of essoins, vouchers, aid-pray. Equity, edited by the late Mr. Fonblanque, ers, and a hundred other formidable intrench- and wherever necessary, he has stated the rements) were ill-suited to that more simple and cent authorities. The leading principles of commercial mode of property which succeeded Equity, however, have not undergone much the former, and required a more speedy deci- change in late times; and there has been comsion of right, to facilitate exchange and aliena- paratively little occasion to depart from the tion. Yet they wisely avoided soliciting any doctrines laid down in the early reporters. great legislative revolution in the old establish- “ The Third Part of the volume, which ed forms, which might have been productive of treats of Bankruptcy, is unavoidably concise, consequences more numerous and extensive like the other parts of the work. This has been than the most penetrating genius could foresee, compiled principally from the statute of 6 G. 4, but left them as they were, to languish in ob- with the addition of some judicial decisions ; scurity and oblivion, and endeavoured by a and it is hoped that it will be found arranged series of minute contrivances to accommodate in a convenient manner, and will enable the such personal actions, as were then in use, to student to fill up the Outline by further read. all the most useful purposes of remedial justice : ing. The Fourth Part, which relates to the and where, through the dread of innovation, Law of Distress, and the Fifth to Arbitration, they hesitated at going so far as perhaps their are placed at the end of the volume, not being good sense would have prompted them, they connected direcily with the remedies belongleft an opening for the more liberal and entering peculiarly to any of the Courts. prising judges, who have sate in our courts of " It was deemed advisable to depart in some equity, to shew them their error by supplying | instances from the arrangement adopted in the the omissions of the courts of law. 'And, since Commentaries, for the sake of coinmencing the new expedients have been refined by the with subjects which appeared more likely to practice of more than a century, and are suffi- occur in the ordinary course of professional ciently known and understood, they in general business. The text has been carefully preanswer the purpose of doing speedy and sub- / served except where the law was subsequently stantial justice, much better than could now be altered, and these alterations have been em-; effected by any great fundamental alterations. I bodied in the work wherever they occurred. The only difficulty that attends them arises from The passages which have been omitted, (betheir fictions and circuities: but, when once we sides the repealed parts of the law), consist of have discovered the proper clew, that labyrinth some of the historical statements, but others is easily pervaded. Our syetem of remedial have been retained for their useful explanation law resembles an old Gothic castle, erected in of the existing law. Those portions of the the days of chivalry, but fitted up for a modern | Commentaries which relate to the mode of inhabitant. The moated ramparts, the em- proceeding in the several Courts have been rebattled towers, and the trophied halls, are served for another volume, if haply the manmagnificent and venerable, but useless, and ner in which this has been executed should be therefore neglected. The inferior apartments, favoured with the approbation of the profesnow accommodated to daily use, are cheerful sion.” and commodious, thaugh their approaches may
The following is a summary of the conbe winding and difficult. “ Whatever might have been the learned
tents of the volume. The First Part relates Commentator's opinion of the wisdom of that
to Injuries to Persons and Property, and « great legislative revolution in the old esta.. their Remedies in the Courts of Common blished forms' which has been effected in our Law, and the subjects are arranged as foltimes, and contrary to his expectation,--helows: