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"In awarding reparation the commission wills a claimant by his attorney upon his personal

obligation, does not, as applied to a contract rcognize an assignment *by a consignor to a with an attorney for a greater compensation, in consignee or by a consignee to a consignor, but existence at the time of its passage, the servwill not recognize an assignment to a stranger ices contemplated by which had been substan. to the transportation records."

tially performed, deprive the attorney of libSee Robinson Co. v. American Express Co., 5, especially where at the time the contract was

erty and property in violation of Const. Amend. 38 Interst. Co Com'n R. 733, 735. So made there was no legislation conferring on far as this involves a construction of the the claimant any right of recovery, and the par. act, we are unable to accept it, for reasons ties knew that Congress might refuse to recog. that have been indicated. Treating it as an nize the claim or might impose such conditions administrative regulation, it of course con

as it deemed proper. stituted no limitation upon the jurisdiction 4. UNITED STATES 111-ATTORNEY ACCEPTof the commission, even were it consistent ING AMOUNT OF FEE AS LIMITED BY APPROwith a correct construction of the act, which PRIATION ACT BOUND TIIEREBY. we hold it was not. In any event, the com- Under Omnibus Claims Act March 4, mission had power to disregard the regula- 1915, making it unlawful for any attorney to tion, as in effect it did by recognizing the collect any sum exceeding 20 per cent, of the assignments in this case.

amount of any item appropriated, any contract Other points discussed in the argument re torney for a claimant received from the treasury

to the contrary notwithstanding, where an atquire no special comment.

a warrant for 20 per cent. of the sum appropriIt results that the judgments of the Cir- ated, he took under the act and could not recuit Court of Appeals must be reversed, pudiate its provisions and any reservation by and those of the District Court affirmed. him of his rights under the contract was futile. Writs of error dismissed.

Mr. Justice McReynolds, Mr. Justice McKenWrits of certiorari allowed.

na, Mr. Justice Van Devanter, and Mr. Justice Judgments of Circuit Court of Appeals Pitney, dissenting. reversed, and judgments of District Court

On Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court affirmed.

of Appeals of the State of Virginia.

Action by C. C. Calhoun against Bland (253 U. 8. 170) CALHOUN V. MASSIE.

Massie. Judgment for defendant on demur.

rer was affirmed by the Supreme Court of (Argued March 11, 1920. Decided May 17, Appeals of Virginia (123 Va. 673, 97 S. E. 1920.)

576), and plaintiff brings certiorari. Af. No. 294.

firmed.

See, also, 249 U. S. 596, 39 Sup. Ct. 289, 1. UNITED STATES 111-CONTRACT PROVI- 63 L. Ed. 794. ATTORNEY'S FEE

*Mr. Charles F. Consaul, of Washington, D. A provision of a contract employing an at- C., for pe ioner. torney on a contingent fee to prosecute a claim Mr. James R. Caskie, of Lynchburg, for reagainst the government that the fee should be

spondent. a lien on any warrant issued in payment of the claim was void under Rev. St. $ 3477 (Comp.

Mr. Justice BRANDEIS delivered the St. 8 6383), prohibiting transfers and assign

opinion of the Court. ments of claims against the United States.

The Omnibus Claims Act (Act March 4, 2. UNITED STATES Cw111-STATUTE MAKING 1915, c. 140, 38 Stat. 962), made appropria

APPROPBIATION FOR CLAIMS HELD TO LIMIT tions for the payment of 1,115 claims aris. AMOUNT PAYABLE ATTORNEY BY CLAIMANT.

Omnibus Claims Act March 4, 1915, § 4, ing out of the Civil War which had, from providing that no part of the amount of any time to time during the preceding 28 years, item appropriated by that act shall be paid or been referred by resolution of the House or delivered to any agent or attorney for services of the Senate to the Court of Claims for inin excess of 20 per cent. of the amount appro- vestigation, either under the Bowman Act priated, and that it shall be unlawful for any at- (Act March 3, 1883, c. 116, 22 Stat. 485), or torney to withhold or receive any sum in ex- under the Tucker Act (Act March 3, 1887, C cess of the specified percentage, any contract to the contrary notwithstanding, limits the amount 359, 24 Stat. *505), or under section 151 of the recoverable by the attorney from the claimant, Judicial Code (Comp. St. § 1142). Among and not merely the amount payable from the the claims which that court reported favor. specific fund received from the government.

ably was one of Bland Massie, which had 3. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW E278(7)—UNITED been referred to it by resolution of the

STATES 94-STATUTE VALID THOUGH LIM- House on February 3, 1911.1 By section 1 of
ITING AMOUNT RECOVERABLE BY ATTORNEY
ON CLAIMANT'S PERSONAL OBLIGATION.

1 63d Congress, 20 Session, House Report No. 97; Omnibus Claims Act March 4, 1915, con- Senate Report No. 357; 63d Congress, 1st Session, strued as limiting the amount recoverable from House Doc. 64.

LIEN

ON

*171

SION MAKING
CLAIM VOID,

*172

Om For other cases see same topic and KEY-NUMBER in all Key-Numbered Digests and Indexes

*173

(40 Sup.Ct.) the Omnibus Claims Act (page 989), the Sec- the federal Constitution, and hence is void. retary of the Treasury was directed to pay For nearly three-quarters of a century Massie $1,900. Section 4 of the act (page Congress has undertaken to control in some 996), provided as follows:

measure the conditions under which claims “That no part of the amount of any item ap against the government may be prosecuted. propriated in this bill in excess of twenty per Its purpose has been in part to protect just centum thereof shall be paid or delivered to or claimants from extortion or improvident barreceived by any agent or agents, attorney or at gains and in part to protect the treasury torneys on account of services rendered or advances made in connection with said claim.

from frauds and imposition. See United "It shall be unlawful for any agent or agents, States v. Van Leuvan (D. C.) 62 Fed. 52, 56. attorney or attorneys to exact, collect, withhold | While recognizing the common need for the or receive any sum which in the aggregate ex- services of agents and attorneys in the presceeds twenty percentum of the amount of any entation of such claims and that parties item appropriated in this bill on account of

+174 services rendered or advances made in connection would often be denied the opportunity *of sewith said claim, any contract to the contrary curing such services if contingent fees were notwithstanding. Any person violating the prohibited (Taylor v. Bemiss, 110 V. S. 42, provisions of this Act shall be deemed guilty of 45, 3 Sup. Ct. 441, 28 L. Ed. 64) Congress a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in any sum not exceeding $1,000.” has manifested its belief that the causes

which gave rise to laws against champerty Massie had executed on April 18, 1911, an and maintenance are persistent. By the enagreement as follows:

actment from time to time of laws prohibitFee Agreement.—This agreement witnesseth: ing the assignment of claims and placing That I, Bland Massie, of Tyro, Nelson county, limitations upon the fees properly chargeable Virginia, have employed C. C. Calhoun, of for services2 Congress has sought both to Washington, D. C., as my attorney to prosecute prevent the stirring up of unjust claims my claim against the government of the United against the government and to reduce the States for property taken by the federal forces during the late Civil War, and in consideration temptation to adopt improper methods of of his professional services in the prosecution prosecution which contracts for large fees of said claim I hereby agree and bind my heirs contingent upon success have sometimes been and legal representatives, to pay him, his heirs supposed to encourage. The constitutionality or legal representatives as a fee a sum equal of such legislation, although resembling in to 50 per cent. of the amount which may be col- its nature the exercise of the police power, lected upon said claim, said fee to be a lien on

has long been settled. Marshall v. Baltimore any warrant which may be issued in payment & Ohio Railroad Co., 16 How. 314, 336, 14 L. of said claim."

*175

Ed. 953; United States v. Hall, 98 U. S. 343, Calhoun prosecuted Massie's claim before 354, 555, 25 L. Ed. 180; Ball v. Halsell, 161 the Court of Claims and secured the allowance of a motion to transmit its report to : Assignment of Claims against the United States: Congress, which thereafter made the appro

Act July 29, 1846, c. 66, 9 Stat. 41 ; Act Feb. 26, 1853,

C. 81, 81, 10 Stat. 170 ; Rev. Stat. 3477 (Comp. St. priation above stated. On May 5, 1915, the $ 6383). Repayment of moneys collected by direct government paid the $1,900 by means of two tax: Act March 2, 1831, c. 496, § 3, 26 Stat. 822. treasury warrants, one for $380 (20 per cent.

Indian depredation claims: Act March 3, 1891, c. 538,

§ 9, 26 Stat. 851, 854. thereof), made payable to Calhoun, the other July 8, 1870, c. 225, § 7, 16 Stat. 193, 194, as amended

R. S. $ 4785 (Act for $1,520 (80 per cent. thereof), made paya- by Act July 4, 1884, C. 181, § 3, 23 Stat. 98, 99 [Comp. ble to Massie. Calhoun demanded of Massie St. $§ 9112, 9115]); R. S. § 5485 (Act March 3, 1873, a further sum of $570, equal to 30 per cent. Ř. S.' $ 4711 (Act March 3, 1873, c. 234, $ 17, 17 Stat.

c. 234, $$ 31, 32, 17 Stat. 566, 575 (Comp. St. § 9114]); of the claim. Payment was refused; and he 566, 572 (Comp. St. $ 8999]); Act Jan. 25, 1879, c. 23, brought this suit in a state court of Virginia $ 4, 20 Stat. 265 (Comp. St. $ 9113); Act June 27, 1890, to recover the amount, claiming that the

c. 634, § 4, 26 Stat. 182, 183 (Comp. St. $ 8938); Act

March 3, 181, c. 542, 26 Stat. 918, 979; Act March warrant for 20 per cent. had been accepted 3, 1891, C. 548, 26 Stat. 1081, 1082; Act Aug. 5, 1892, by him without waiving or releasing his right c. 379, $ 2, 27 Stat. 348, 349 (Comp. St. § 9071); Act under the contract to the balance. A decla. Feb. 28, 1903, c. 858, § 3, 32 Stat. 920, 921 (Comp. St. ration setting forth in substance the above $ 8995) : Act April 19, 1908, c. 147, § 3, 35 Stat. 64

(Comp. St. $ 8985); Act May 28, 1908, c. 208, 35 Stat. facts was demurred to on the ground that re. 418, 419; Act Sept. 8, 1916, c. 470, § 4, 39 Stat. 814, covery was prohibited by section 4 of the act 845 (Comp. St. $ 8981d); Act July 16, 1918, c. 153, § 2, under which the appropriation was made. 40 Stat. 903, 904. (Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1919, $ 8985b).

Pay and bounty of colored soldiers: Act March 3, The demurrer was sustained and judgment 1873, C. 182, § 2, 20 Stat. 377, 402 (Comp. St. § 3969). entered thereon was affirmed by the Supreme Arrears of pay or allowances in connection with

Act Dec. 22, 1911, C. Court of Appeals of the State of Virginia services in the Civil War: (123 Va. 673, 97 S. E. 576). The case comes

6, 37 Stat. 47, 49 (Comp. St. $ 2204). Mississippi

Choctaws: Act May 31, 1900, c. 598, 31 Stat. 221, here on writ of certiorari (249 U. S. 596, 39 237. Services for Indians: Rev. Stat. § 2104 (Comp. Sup. Ct. 289, 63 L. Ed. 791); Calhoun having St. $ 4088); Act June 30, 1913, c. 4, $ 17, 38 Stat. 77, contended in both lower courts, as here, that 95; Act Aug. 1. 1914, c. 222, § 17, 38 Stat. 582, 599.

Claims under War Risk Insurance Act: Act June section 4 deprives him of liberty and proper 12, 1917, c. 26, $ 8, 40 Stat. 102, 104 (Comp. St. 1918, ty guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1918, § 514ee).

Pensions:

U. S. 72, 82, 84, 16 Sup. Ct. 554, 40 L. Ed., statute is impossible, because the act forbids 622.

the collection or receipt of any compensation [1-3] The provision in the contract sued on in excess of 20 per cent. purporting to give a lien upon any warrant In the case at bar there are special reaissued was void under section 3477 of the sons why the contract cannot prevail over the Revised Statutes (Comp. St. $ 6383). Nutt statute enacted later. At the time when the v. Knut, 200 U. S. 12, 20, 26 Sup. Ct. 216, 50 contract was entered into there was no leg. L. Ed. 348. It is urged that the act here in islation, general or special, which conferred question should be construed as limiting only upon Massie any right of recovery even if he the proportion of the specific funds received should establish to the satisfaction of Confrom the government which may be applied gress that his claim was equitable. A staito payment of attorney's fees; but the sec- ute making an appropriation to pay the ond paragraph of the law leaves no room for claim was thus a condition precedent to lia. construction. It provides that:

bility on the part of Massie to Calhoun; and “It shall be unlawful for any

at

the thing contracted for was Calhoun's aid torney * to * * receive any sum in securing its enactment. The aid was to which in the aggregate exceeds twenty per be given by representing Massie before the centum" of the claim.

Court of Claims. But both of the parties Calhoun contends, however, that if the act knew that, although Calhoun might have suc

cess before the Court of Claims, Congress is construed as limiting the amount recoverable from a claimant upon his personal obli- would still be free to refuse both to recog. gation, it is void as applied to contracts in nize the claim as an equitable one and to

make existence at the time of its passage, at least

an appropriation for its payment. where, as here, the services contemplated They also knew that, if it concluded to grant

relief, Congress was free to do so upon such had then been substantially performed.

conditions as it deemed proper. That an act limiting the compensation of

Compare attorneys in the prosecution of claims Ball v. Halsell, supra, 161 v. S. 82, 84, 16 against the government is valid also as to Sup. Ct. 554, 40 L. Ed. 622; Kendall v. Unitcontracts which had been entered into before ed States, 7 Wall. 113, 117, 19 L. Ed. 85. In

view of the past action of Congress limiting its passage was expressly held in Ball v.

attorney's fees, referred to above, it was at Halsell, supra. The act there in question least conceivable when the contract was was passed 17 years after the date of the

made that Congress might, as it proved, 3 be contract, and the attorney had performed important services before its enactment. unwilling to enact any legislation without Here

, it is said, substantially all the services assuring itself that the benefits thereof , required of Calhoun had been performed would not inure *largely to others than those when the act was passed. The difference in named in the act. Assent by Calhoun to the the percentage of services performed cannot insertion in the act of a condition such as here affect the legal result. An appropriate this, which he might reasonably have conexercise by a state of its police power is con- templated would be required to insure its sistent with the Fourteenth Amendment al-passage, was therefore, implied in the conthough it results in serious depreciation of tract to aid in securing the legislation. property values ; and the United States may, Compare The Kronprinzessin Cecilie, 244 U. consistently with the Fifth Amendment, im- S. 12, 22, 23, 37 Sup. Ct. 490, 61 L. Ed. 900. pose for a permitted purpose restrictions up- [4] Furthermore, Calhoun accepted and reon property which produce like results. Lot-ceived from the treasury a warrant for 20 tery Case, 188 U. S. 321, 357, 23 Sup. Ct. 321, per cent. of the sum appropriated. The mon. 47 L. Ed. 492; Hipolite Egg Co. v. United ey was paid and it was received under the States, 220 U. S. 45, 58, 31 Sup. Ct. 364, 55 act which provided that it was unlawful to

collect any sum in excess of 20 per cent., L. Ed. 364; Hoke v. United States, 227 U. “any contract to the contrary notwithstandS. 308, 323, 33 Sup. Ct. 281, 57 L. Ed. 523, 43

ing." Calhoun cannot take under the act L. R. A. (N. S.) 906, Ann. Cas. 1913E, 905; and repudiate its provisions. Compare ShepHamilton v. Kentucky Distilleries & Ware ard v. Barron, 194 U. S. 553, 567, 24 Sup. Ct. house Co., 251 U. S. 146, 40 Sup. Ct. 106, 64 737, 48 L. Ed. 1115; Grand Rapids & IndiL. Ed. The sovereign right of the gov- ana Ry. Co. v. Osborn, 193 U. S. 17, 29, 24 Sup. ernment is not less because the property af-ct. 310, 48 L. Ed. 598; Interstate Railway fected happens to be a contract. Louisville Co. v. Massachusetts, 207 U. S. 79, 28 Sup. & Nashville Railroad Co. v. Mottley, 219 U. Ct. 26, 52 L. Ed. 111, 12 Ann. Cas. 555. The S. 467, 481, 31 Sup. Ct. 265, 55 L. Ed. 297, allegation in the declaration that he accepted 34 L. R. A. (N. S.) 671; Union Dry Goods the 20 per cent. “without waiving or reCo. v. Georgia Public Service Corporation, leasing any of his rights under the aforesaid 248 U. S. 372, 39 Sup. Ct. 117, 63 L. Ed. 309. contract” was doubtless intended as a state Here, unlike New York Central v. Gray, 239 ment that the amount collected from the U. S. 583, 587, 36 Sup. Ct. 176, 60 L. Ed. 451, government was not accepted as a full seta performance of a substitute for the obligation undertaken and later prohibited by the * See 51 Cong. Rec. p. 324; 52 Cong. Rec. 5289, 616

[ocr errors]

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(40 Sup.Ct.) tlement of his rights against the defendant In effect, the court now holds that stateunder the contract. But it was a protesta- ment was obviously erroneous, and that Caltion totally at variance with his conduct. houn would have committed a misdemeanor The payment to him by the treasury of the if he had accepted a fee exceeding the 20 per 20 per cent. could be made only under the cent. act. It must be held to have been accepted according to the terms of the act. Any res.

As to Certain "Special Reasons Why the ervation which he may have made in words

Contract Cannot Prevail Over the was futile. Capital Trust Co. v. Calhoun,

Statute Enacted Later." 250 U. S. 208, 218, 219, 39 Sup. Ct. 486, 63 L. (1) It is said that, when he executed the Ed. 942.

contract of employment, Calhoun impliedly Affirmed.

assented to the insertion in any future apMr. Justice MCREYNOLDS, dissenting.

propriation act of a condition like the one

under consideration; therefore he cannot In 1911 Calhoun made a lawful agreement

recover. with Massie to prosecute the latter's claim tion of the act in direct conflict with the

This assumes: First, a construcagainst the United States *for property taken meaning heretofore attributed to it; and, secduring the Civil War (Taylor v. Bemiss, 110 ond, that so construed it is within the power U. S. 42, 3 Sup. Ct. 441, 28 L. Ed. 64); and of Congress. If these two assumptions are Massie expressly bound himself to pay, as a correct, of course there is no right to recover. fee for such services, "a sum equal to 50 per This special reason can only serve to mislead. cent. of the amount which may be collected, (2) It is further said that, as Calhoun resaid fee to be a lien on any warrant," etc. ceived 20 per cent. of the amount appropriat

Calhoun performed his full part in strict ed by an act which declared unlawful the colaccordance with the contract. As a result of lection of anything more, he thereby in effect his proper efforts, Congress finally approved estopped himself from making a personal dethe claim and appropriated $1,900 to pay it. mand against his client. But this again asAct March 4, 1915, c. 140, 38 Stat. 962, 989. sumes a construction of the act contrary to

But the same act (section 4, p. 996) provid- what we have declared, and further assumes ed that not more than 20 per cent. of the that so construed it is valid. If these asamount appropriated should be paid, or deliv- sumptions are correct, no further discussion ered to, or received by, any attorney for is needed. This special reason lacks substance services, etc.; also:

and can serve no good purpose. "It shall be unlawful for any agent or agents,

The Meaning of Section 4. attorney or attorneys to exact, collect, withhold or receive any sum which in the aggregate ex- Considering the definite statement concernceeds twenty per centum of the amount of any ing the true meaning of this section made item appropriated in this bill on account of serv- 12 months ago in Capital Trust Co. v. Calices rendered or advances made in connection houn, 250 U. S. 208, 39 Sup. Ct. 486, 63 with said claim, any contract to the contrary Ed. 942, and quoted above, it would seem at notwithstanding. Any person violating the provisions of this Act shall be deemed guilty of a least unusual now to announce a wholly difmisdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall ferent view accompanied by the mere asserbe fined in any sum not exceeding $1,000.” tion that there is “no room for construction."

Capital Trust Co. v. Calhoun, 250 U. S. 208, No mention *is made of what was then said 39 Sup. Ct. 486, 63 L. Ed. 942, affirms the in very plain terms. Of course this has been power of Congress to exenrpt the appropriat- accepted as authoritative both by lawyers ed fund from any demand for counsel fees. and courts. The result is necessarily inju

In that case Calhoun, relying upon a con- rious both to the court and the public. tract like the one presently before us, recov. In United States v. Delaware & Hudson ered a judgment in the state court for the Co., 213 U. S. 366, 408, 29 Sup. Ct. 527, 536 difference between 20 per cent. received from (53 L. Ed. 836) this was said: the treasury and fifty per cent of the appropriation. The matter came here, and we tions, by one of which grave and doubtful con

"Where a statute is susceptible of two construcexpressly declared (250 U. S. 216, 39 Sup. Ct. stitutional questions arise and by the other of 488, 63 L. Ed. 492):

which such questions are avoided, our duty is "If the judgment only establishes a claim to adopt the latter." against the administrator to be satisfied, not out of the moneys received from the United eral times, it would seem worthy of some

As that statement has been repeated sevStates, but from other assets of the estate, u situation is presented which it was said in consideration now. Nutt v. Knut, 200 U. S. 12, 21, would not en- I presume nobody doubts that Congress has counter legal objection. In other words, the power to prescribe reasonable rules concernlimitation *in the act appropriating the money ters in United States courts, and to regulate

ing champerty, maintenance or kindred matto 20 per cent. as the amount to be paid to an agent or attorney would have no application or assignments of claims against the governbe involved.”

ment. But, under the adopted construction,

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section 4 (Act March 4, 1915) destroys an, by Mr. Justice Gray in Ball v. Halsell, whereentirely lawful contract made long before its in he pointed out the clear distinction be passage, deprives counsel of his right to en-tween the two cases, ought not to be lightly force the personal liability of his client to disregarded. pay for services already performed, and ren- It is certainly a very serious thing to deders criminal the acceptance by him of more cide that Congress, by its arbitrary fiat, may than an arbitrarily specified amount.

wholly deprive counsel of the right to enforce Marshall v. Baltimore & Ohio R. R. Co., 16 payment of compensation for long-continued How. 314, 316, 14 L. Ed. 953, United States efforts theretofore lawfully put forth, and v. Hall, 98 U. S. 343, 354, 355, 25 L. Ed. 180, prevent him, indeed, from accepting anything and Ball v. Halsell, 161 U. S. 72, 84, 16 Sup. therefor. If a limit may be set at 20 per Ct. 554, 40 L. Ed. 622, are referred to as au

*182 thority for such oppressive legislation. They cent, any payment may *be proscribed. We give it no support.

should follow Capital Trust Co. v. Calhoun, Marshall y. Baltimore & Ohio R. R. Co. was and reverse the judgment below. an attempt to collect compensation for lobby- The Fifth Amendment was intended to proing; and the holding was that a contract is tect the individual against arbitrary exercise void, as against public policy, and can have of federal power. It declares no person shall no standing in court by which one party stip- be deprived of life, liberty or property withulates to employ a number of secret agents in out due process of law; and this inhibition order to obtain the passage of a particular protects every man in his right to engage in law by the Legislature of a state, and the honest and useful work for compensation. other party promises to pay a large sum of Adair v. United States, 208 U. S. 161, 28 Sup. money in case the law should pass. The case Ct. 277, 52 L. Ed. 436, 13 Ann. Cas. 764; Copappears unimportant in connection with this page v. Kansas, 236 U. S. 1, 35 Sup. Ct. 240, controversy.

59 L. Ed. 441, L. R. A. 1915C, 960; Adams In United States v. Hall the court ruled v. Tanner, 244 U. S. 590, 37 Sup. Ct. 662, 61 Congress has power to declare that embezzle-L. Ed. 1336, L. R. A. 1917F, 1163, Ann. Cas. *181

1917D, 973. ment or fraudulent con*version to his own use by a guardian of pension money received on Mr. Justice MCKENNA, Mr. Justice VAN behalf of his ward from the Government is DEVANTER, and Mr. Justice PITNEY conan offense against the United States. This cur in this dissent. case might be relevant if Calhoun were seeking to reach the fund appropriated by Congress; but he is not. In Ball v. Halsell, 161 U. S. 82, 16 Sup. Ct.

(253 U. S. 182) 556, 40 L. Ed. 622, an attorney sought to re

NEWMAN et al. v. MOYERS et al. cover under a written agreement, concerning

(Argued March 11, 1920. Decided May 17, which this court said:

1920.) "The instrument was an unilateral contract,

No. 85. not signed by the attorney, por containing any agreement on his part, and-so long, at least, 1. UNITED STATES 94–STATUTE LIMITING as it bad not been carried into execution-might

COMPENSATION OF ATTORNEYS FOR CLAIMANTS be revoked by the principal, or might be disre. garded by him in making a settlement with the United States, or might be treated by him as

Omnibus Claims Act March 4, 1915, § 4, absolutely null and void in any contest between limiting the compensation of attorneys for him and the attorney. * By the very

claimants in payment of whose claims appropriaterms of the contract, the attorney was to be tions are therein made to 20 per cent of the paid only out of money recovered and received amount appropriated, is valid. by him from the United States."

2. APPEAL AND ERROR 1169(1)–JUDGMENT The case is wholly unlike the one now

IN SUIT FOR ILLEGAL PURPOSE REVERSIBLE

REGARDLESS OF INTEREST OF APPEALING DEbefore us. Mr. Justice Gray took pains to

FENDANTS. explain the difference between it and Davis v. Commonwealth, 164 Mass. 241, 41 N. E. $ 4, limiting the compensation of attorneys for

Under Omnibus Claims Act March 4, 1915, 292, 30 L. R. A. 743, where the Massachu-claimants, where attorneys for a claimant sued setts court ruled that an agent of the state the claimant and the treasury officials to compel employed to prosecute a claim against the payment from the amount appropriated of a United States could recover compensation greater percentage than that provided by the notwithstanding the act of Congress appro- statute, plaintiffs were seeking to recover moneys priating money to meet the claim provided which they were prohibited by statute from re that no part of such sum should be paid by treasury officials to dismiss the bill was error

ceiving, and the overruling of a motion by the the state to any attorney under previous for which the judgment must be reversed, whethcontract.

er or not they or the government have any inDavis v. Commonwealth and the language terest entitling them to appeal.

Com For other cases see same topic and KEY-NUMBER in all Key-Numbered Digests and Indexes

IS VALID.

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