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writes very earnestly that we have misunderstood his language and intention. As this was the gravamen of the case in our remarks, we very cheerfully give Mr. Bradley's own view of it. He says: “But this I can and ought to say, in justice to the gentlemen with whom I conferred, and who were acting with me -not young men, but men of very high standing in the profession, and of high honor and very pure character, that neither of them understood or intended it to be a challenge, and so far from it, the one who was to have acted with me, if my invitation to Judge Fisher had been accepted, was not even to present a challenge if we had met outside the District. My course was perfectly defined in that event, and Judge FISHER and his friends would have had no cause to complain of it. In addition to this, let me say that no gentleman of my acquaintance who has ever had anything to do with such matters has put that construction upon it. They, without exception, say it was an overture which left the case open for future adjustment. Finally the matter was laid before the grand jury of the Criminal Court at a term held by Judge FISHER. He had caused my arrest and had me bound over to appear at that term of the court. Yet, after a full investigation, the grand jury dismissed the complaint.”
Viewing the letter in this light, the case was hardly one which called for public comment; and, considering the disclaimer by Mr. Bradley, and the opinions of his friends, the grand jury and the court itself, as expressed by Judge WYLIE, we are disposed to admit that the letter is not so clearly a challenge as to demanı the remarks we made upon the crime of offering violence to a judge, though we still think it was unfortunately worded so as most naturally to bear that construction.
The events subsequent to those narrated in our March number may be briefly stated.
On February 1st 1869, Mr. Bradley presented a written apology to the court, which the court, through Judge WYLIE, declared not satisfactory.
We have read this paper since writing the article, and think it a reasonable and fair apology to the court. It does not say in terms that Mr. Bradley was altogether in the wrong, still less that Judge FISHER was entirely in the right, and no one should expect that it would do só; but it does disclaim any intentional
disrespect to the bench, express "profound regret” for any contempt of the court, and ask permission to recall and withdraw any act or expression which might be interpreted as an indignity to the judicial tribunals of the District; and it states, apologetically, that he acted under “sudden impulse and continuous excitement."
It could not be expected that Mr. Bradley should apologize personally to Judge Fisher, whom he considered the original aggressor, but to the court the apology was, it seems to us, as fair and ample as any gentleman could be expected to make under the circumstances, and when, after the expressions quoted, he goes on to show that the letter was not a challenge and to define his position upon the rules and orders of the court, objecting even strenuously to the jurisdiction of the court to punish him by ex post facto order, we fail to discover anything disrespectful or beyond what a man may fairly do in his own vindication,
On February 6th 1869, Mr. Bradley having announced his intention not to apply to the Criminal Court for restoration to that bar, the Supreme Court of the District applied the rule of January 26th to him, and he is not now allowed to practise in that court. Whether Mr. Bradley proposes to submit to this order and terminate this unpleasant affair here, we are not advised. To him personally we presume an exclusion from that court would not be of much consequence; but considering the er post facto nature of the order as applied to him, and the evasive compliance with the letter of the mandate from the Supreme Court of the United States, we think it unlikely that he will rest under an apparent defeat. We hope that for the prevention of further scandal and discredit to the legal profession, both at bar and on the bench, the court will reconsider its present untenable position, and restore Mr. Bradley to his professional rights, and that this may be the last occurrence of the kind we may have to chronicle or allude to.
J. T. M.
ABSTRACTS OF RECENT AMERICAN DECISIONS.
SUPREME COURT OF GEORGIA.1
COURT OF APPEALS OF MARYLAND.?
SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK.3
SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA..
What will excuse Performance.--In an action to recover damages for the breach of a contract by which the defendant, in December 1864, agreed to tow with his steamboat, the plaintiff's sloop and her cargo from one place on the Hudson river to another, the judge instructed the jury, in substance, that although navigation was prevented by the act of God, yet the defendant was liable if, at the time he contracted, he had reason to apprehend that navigation would be thus prevented before the contract was to be performed; as he should have provided for such a contingency in the agreement. Held, that if the freezing of the river excused the failure of the defendant to perform his contract, the charge was erroneous : Worth v. Edmonds, 52 Barb.
Held, also, that it was unnecessary for the defendant in the agreement to provide against such a contingency, as the law did it for him. And that if the evidence in regard to the condition of the river satisfied the jury that there was a sufficient cause, in such condition, to excuse the defendant from performance, he was entitled to a verdict: Id.
The freezing of a river is such an act of God as excuses performance of a contract to tow a vessel thereon; it being an act to which human agency does not contribute, and which it cannot control, and therefore for the consequences of which a party is not responsible: Id.
ATTACHMENT. Abandonment by prior Attaching Creditor.--Both paintiff and defendant in error had issued attachment against Joseph A. Crew, and each had served I. S. & Sons with summons of garnishment. The garnishment in favor of B. & Co. was just served. B. & Co., after Murphy had obtained judgment on his attachment, dismissed their attachment in vacation. At the next term of the court, they were permitted with the consent of the defendant in attachment to reinstate their case. Held, that they lost their priority over Murphy by dismissing the attachment, and that they could not regain it by reinstating their case : Murphy v. Bruce & Co., 38 Georgia.
| Prepared by J. H. Thomas, Esq., from advance sheets of 38 Ga. Reports. 2 From J. S. Stockett, Esq., Reporter ; to appear in 28 Md. Reports. 3 From Hon. 0. L. Barbour ; to appear in vol. 52 of his Reports. * From P. F. Smith, Esq., Reporter ; to appear in 57 Penna. State Rep.
BAILMENT. Pledge by Agent to secure his own Debt.-An agent for the sale of goods cannot, as against the owner, pledge or mortgage them to a third party to secure an advance on his own account: First National Bank of Macon v. Nelson & Co., 38 Georgia.
To constitute a pledge or pawn, under the Code, there must be a deposit of the thing pawned, and this cannot be dispensed with by a written agreement, that the party making the pledge will be the bailee of the pawnee : Id.
BANKS. Assignment by.-Where a bank made an assignment of its assets for the benefit of its creditors, and a large portion of the assets was in money at a market value, and a creditor nearly twelve months after the assignment, filed a creditor's bill, charging that six months after the assignment, and again shortly before the filing of the bill, he had demanded his share of the cash assets from the assignees, and they had refused to pay him unless he would release the bank from the whole of his claim, and the bill prayed an account. Held, that the bill was not demurrable. If there was complication or cause for further delay, it ought to be set up by way of defence, it cannot be assumed : Dobbins v. Porter, 38 Georgia.
COMMON CARRIERS. Where one transportation company receives from another freight, to be carried from one place to another, under a contract between the latter and the owner, it is entitled to the benefit of all stipulations in such contract affecting its liability : Manhattan Oil Company v. The Camden and Amboy Railroad, &c., Company, 52 Barb.
Thus, where freight was delivered to a company, at Cincinnati, under a contract between the latter company and the owner, to receive the same and carry it to New York, which contract contained a provision that the company receiving such freight should not be liable for damage or loss by fire, or other casualty, while the property was in depots or places of transhipment; and the property, after being carried by said company to Philadelphia, was delivered to the defendant, to be carried by it to New York, and there delivered ; and the same having been carried by the defendant to New York and stored in its freight-house there, was destroyed by fire without any negligence, and before any notice of its arrival had been given to the owner: Held, that, as the company receiving the property at Cincinnati would not, under these circumstances, be liable for the value of such property, neither was the defendant liable: Id.
CONFEDERATE Notes. See Trustee. As Consideration for Contract.-Where a contract was made between two citizens of the late Confederate States during the war, on the 12th July 1862, payable three years after date, the consideration of which was Confederate treasury notes, the only circulating currency at that time, and which was recognised as lawful by the assumed authority which had the actual possession and control over the territory and people at the time the contract was made, Helul, that although the issuing of such notes by the assumed Confederate authority, for the purpose of
carrying on a war against the government of the United States, may have been illegal, as against that government and the citizens thereof who, during the war, were under the actual protection of that government, outside of the lines of the assumed Confederate authority; yet such a contract made between citizens residing within the lines of the assumed Confederate authority, in their ordinary business transactions between themselves, and having no connection with the prosecution of the war against the United States, is not an illegal consideration, as between the contracting parties themselves, they having made the contract under the assumed authority which was then over them, and the assumed authority (whether rightfully or wrongfully is not now the question) recognised the currency as legal and valid at the time the contract was made; therefore as between the contracting parties themselves, the plaintiff below is entitled to recover: Miller v. Gould, 38 Georgia.
CONVEYANCER. Liability of:--The rule of liability of conveyancers for errors of judgment is the same as lawyers and physicians : Watson v. Muirhead, 57 Penna.
A conveyancer employed (before the decision in Sellers v. Burk, 11 Wright 344) in the purchase of a ground-rent, relying on the opinion of legal counsel, that it was clear of encumbrances, so represented it to his principal, there being at the time a judgment by default against the vendor, the damages on which had not been liquidated, and under which it was afterwards sold by the sheriff. Held, that the conveyancer was not liable to the purchaser for negligence: Id.
To pass the title at that time with such an encumbrance, was not evidence of want of ordinary knowledge and skill and due caution, even if the conveyancer had passed it on his own judgment: Id
CORPORATION. Action for Dividends, Evidence.--In an action by a stockholder against a corporation, to recover a dividend declared by resolution of the directors in general terms, of so much money per share, evidence that the earnings of the corporation were received in property other than money, is incompetent, as it alters the legal effect of the resolution ; which is no more admissible than it would be to alter its terms: Scott v. The Central Railroad and Banking Company of Georgia, 52 Barb.
Where a corporation makes dividends, payable in dollars, without any limitation, and without directing the payment to be made in any currency whatever, the case of Ehle v. The Chittenango Bank, 24 N. Y. 518, prevents an inquiry into the means out of which it determined to make the dividends. The corporation is concluded by the resolutions directing the dividends. Per INGRAHAM, J.: 11.
CRIMINAL LAW. Motion in Arrest of Judgment.—The bill of indictment contained but one count, which was for murder. The jury returned a verdict of guilty of “involuntary manslaughter," which was received by the court and the jury discharged. A motion was made in arrest of judgment on the ground that there are two grades of involuntary manslaughter-one