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DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, TO WIT:
District Clerk's Office. Be it remembered, that on the seventeenth day of June, A. D. 1829, and in the fiftythird year of the Independence of the United States of America, Benjamin L. Oliver Jr. of said district has deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wit :
“A Selection of Pleadings in Civil Actions, with Occasional Annotations, by Joseph Story. A second edition, with Additions, by Benjamin L. Oliver Jr.”
In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled “ An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned;" and also to an act, entitled “ An act supplementary to an act, entitled, “An act for the encour.agement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors
and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned ;' and extending the Denefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints.
JON. W. DAVIS,
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
The design of the following selection is to facilitate to the American student the practice of special pleading. A variety of English books on this subject are at once elaborate and learned. Yet such is the difference of our customs, statutes, and common law, that they will be found, in many instances, inadequate to supply the necessities of our own juridical practice. The compilations of Rastall, Coke, Thompson, Herne, and Brownlow, however valuable for the conciseness and precision of their forms, are profuse in ancient lore, applicable to special jurisdictions, or obsolete with feudal doctrines; and those of Mallary, Lilly, Morgan, and Wentworth, though highly useful, abound with matter calculated only for an English forum. These considerations, added to the high price of foreign books, suggested the present compilation.
In the arrangement of the pleadings, method has been pursued, so far as it was deemed advantageous for facility of reference; but as portions only of the pleadings are occasionally selected, * where the whole seemed unnecessary, and the choice of position was not always dictated by any relation between them, exactness in this respect has not been always practicable. Annexed to many of the pleadings will be found annotations immediately referable to them; and sometimes occasional dissertations upon contested points. These last, however, are few; and are submitted with deference to the profession. Volumes might be written on the law, which bears on pleading; but the present design was to be concise and useful; to add no irrelevant matter ; and to keep strictly to the points in the forms. In this view it was thought advisable, for the convenience of students, to select and arrange in notes such authorities and principles as invalidated or substantiated the precedents. In this respect, the head of " Abatement” may appear unnecessarily copious. But when it is considered, that few of the printed Entries are on this head copious and correct; that these pleas are necessarily drawn in haste amid the hurry of the sittings ; that, being dilatory pleas, they are odious, and of course the greatest accuracy and precision in form is required; and that the law respecting them'has on many important points been but lately settled ; it is presumed, that the annotations will be found neither inconvenient nor superfluous.
The sources, whence the work has been drawn, are manuscripts of accomplished pleaders, records of adjudged cases in our own courts,
This is chiefly done in actions, where one general plea admitted of various replications and rejoinders ; as, in the pleas of Limitations in Assumpsit, and plea of General Performance in Debt on Bond to account. In these cases it was deemed unnecessary to select more than the replications and rejoinders; and sometimes the latter only.