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the decision of the cause, which proved to be of a very destructive character, in regard to the interests of the United States, and the court naturally followed the lead of the Minister of Justice.
But we have occupied so much space that we shall feel compelled to be more brief in regard to the English mode of preparation and argument of causes, than we had purposed at the beginning of this article. There is one thing, especially, surprising to all American lawyers, that while with us the judges invite, and by their rules require, written or printed briefs of the points of the argument, no such thing is expected, or even tolerated, in any of the English courts. The counsel may make any extent of written or printed memorandum of his argument or authorities, which he finds convenient or desirable for his own use, but on no account will he venture to offer the same to the judge, and the judge never invites the surrender of any such brief. And in practice no such briefs are made as among us. There seems to be a very decided opinion, both at the bar and among the judges there, that such a thing would be in bad taste, if not positively offensive. The English judges have paper-books in which they enter memoranda of points, &c., during the argument. There is, in some of the States, a practice among the bar of handing the judges their briefs, throughout the docket, at the opening of the term, which always had to us rather the appearance of an effort to secure the ear of the court at the earliest moment. But as the opportunity is equally open to all sides, there does not appear to be any impropriety in that practice even. We question whether it gives much advantage any way. But it contrasts strikingly with the English practice.
But we desire to contrast the English practice with our own in another particular. It seems to be supposed with us, that unless the case is one that may fairly be regarded as frivolous, the court will hold it under advisement, and deliver a formal and prepared judgment. But in the English courts the rule is precisely opposite. It is understood there, that if the case can be decided at the hearing, with the concurrence of all the judges, it will be. More than three-fourths of the causes in the Superior Courts, and many in the courts of appeal, are so decided there. Under such a practice, extended briefs and memoranda of authorities are of very
small account to any one. tice of reserving judgment, and revising our first impressions,
It is our prac
which has led to the practice of requiring briefs. But in fact, where the court have any very great amount of labor to perform, we fear, these revisions are rather apparent than real. We have known some very able American judges, who always insisted that the impressions which they obtained of a cause during the argument were the very best they could ever reach. And we have known others who seemed to require long time for reflection upon a difficult cause, who spent days, and perhaps weeks, in turning the matter over in the mind, without ever recurring to the briefs, or reading the authorities, and the counsel would find their rows of books, carried into the court-room, just as they left them unless the judge happened to be thoughtful enough to disarrange them, to keep up the appearance of having read them!
In a hearing many years since before a committee of the House of Commons, where this subject came under discussion, Lord St. LEONARDS declared that in his whole judicial life he had made it the rule to deliver judgment immediately upon the conclusion of the argument. There can be no question that in this mode the arguments become more compact, and very much more to the point, and that the mental discipline both to court and bar is far more effective. It is impossible for one to sit through the hearing of an important law question in any of the Superior Courts in Westminster Hall, or the Courts of Chancery in Lincoln's Inn, and not feel that every one concerned in the hearing, court as well as counsel, have made it a personal effort to contribute all in his power to bring the case to the point of determination as speedily and as fairly as it could be done. They have appliances in the courts of Westminster Hall for this very purpose. The court rooms are extensively lined with such law books as are in most constant request, among which are all the most approved digests and elementary treatises as well as reports. And at every new turn in the argument, the judges are constantly sending their messengers for one book and another, and in this way they are enabled to correct, as far as practicable, as they go along, the over-statements and false impressions of the counsel. And it is not uncommon to have four or five counsel employed in the argument of important causes on either side, each contributing his portion as the argument proceeds, and each, in order of seniority, beginning with the highest, making a formal argument to the court.
It cannot be denied that this course of practice is more difficult, and makes larger demands upon the ready learning and mental resources of the profession, than that which has come into vogue in the American courts, where the counsel sometimes prepares a brief of fifty or more closely printed pages, and feels bound to read, if not to discuss, the whole extent of it before the court. Under such circumstances he feels himself almost unfairly treated if the court interrupt him by impertinent questions, and he naturally supposes that they are becoming impatient. The court have no alternative but to sit quietly, and endeavor to keep up the appearance of listening.
The arguments before the Law Lords, on appeals to the House of Lords, are more formal, and less conversational, than in most of the other English courts.
But there is one practice at the English bar which tends very much to increase the interest of law arguments-the same counsel very seldom reargue a cause, either in the same or an appellate court.
I. F. R.
RECENT AMERICAN DECISIONS.
Supreme Court of Maine.
ELLEN WILSON v. GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY COMPANY.
The holder of a railway passenger ticket is only entitled to passage with such personal baggage as he carries with him at the time. Baggage sent by an after train will be at his risk, and not that of the company.
APPLETON, C. J.- The plaintiff was a passenger on board the defendants' cars, having seasonably paid her fare. Her baggage was not with her, it having been left behind without any fault of the defendants. Some two or three days afterwards it was left in the charge of their servants to be transported to the Empire station, on their line, but it never reached its place of destination. This suit is brought to recover the value of the baggage lost.
The presiding judge instructed the jury, “ that, if they should find that the plaintiff went on board the defendants' road as a passenger on Tuesday preceding without baggage, and that the trunk and its contents were ordinary personal baggage, such as a passenger would be entitled to take without extra charge, it was not necessary there should be proof that anything was paid for carrying the trunk between the same points; that the price paid by the plaintiff for her own passage, and the evidence in the case, if found to be true, were sufficient consideration for the promise alleged in the writ."
As the plaintiff's trunk was taken for transportation some days after she had passed over the defendants' road, the substance of the charge of the presiding judge was, that the price paid by the plaintiff for her ticket included the compensation due to the defendants for their subsequent transportation of her trunk-the trunk and its contents being personal baggage. In other words, it was not necessary that the baggage of the passenger should go with the passenger, but that it might be forwarded subsequently and without any additional charge for its freight.
The fare for the passenger includes compensation for the carriage of his baggage, as to which the carriers of passengers are to be regarded as common carriers. There need be no distinct contract for the carriage of the baggage. The fare of the passenger covers the compensation for the freight of the baggage. The baggage must be ordinary baggage, such as a traveller takes with him for his personal comfort, convenience, or pleasure for the journey. It must be the “ordinary baggage” of a traveller, regard being had to the journey proposed.
It is implied in the contract that the baggage and the passenger go together. “The general habits and wants of mankind,” observes ERLE, C. J., in Phelps v. L. and N. W. Railway Co., 115 E. C. L. 327, “must be taken to be in the mind of a carrier when he receives a passenger for conveyance; and the law makes him responsible for all such things as may be fairly carried by the passenger for his personal use.” In Cahill v. L. and N. W. Railway Co., 100 E. C. L. 172, WILLES, J., says: “Where a passenger
, takes a ticket at the ordinary charge, he must, according to common sense and common experience, be taken to contract with the railway company for the carriage of himself and his personal luggage only; and that he no more extends the contract to the conveyance of a single package of merchandise than of his entire worldly possessions.” In Smith v. Railroad Co., 44 N. H. 330, Bellows, J., uses the following language: “Until a comparatively recent period, the English courts were inclined to hold that carriers of passengers by stage-coaches and otherwise, were not liable for injuries to their baggage, unless a distinct price was paid
for its transportation. But it is now well settled that the price paid for the passenger includes also the personal baggage required for his personal accommodation; the custody of the baggage being regarded as accessory to the principal contract. In general terms it may include not only personal apparel, but other conveniences for the journey, such as a passenger usually has with him for his personal accommodation.” “The baggage,” observes MULLIN, J., in Merrill v. Grinnell, 30 N. Y. 619, “ must be such as is necessary for the particular journey that the passenger is, at the time of the employment of the carrier, actually making.”
It follows from the nature and object of the contract that the right of the passenger is limited to the baggage required for his pleasure, convenience, and necessity during the journey. As it is for his use and convenience, it must necessarily be with him as it is for him. He may reasonably be expected to exercise some supervision over it during and be ready to receive it at the expiration of his journey. In the present case the baggage of the plaintiff was forwarded two days after she had passed over the road. If its transmission may be delayed two days and the carrier is required to take it without any compensation save the fare paid by the passenger who had preceded it, it may equally be delayed weeks or months, and the carrier be required to forward it without any additional pay. It presents a different question when the delay is caused by the fault of the carrier or there is a special agreement with him or his agent for the subsequent transportation of the passenger's baggage.
The fare paid by the passenger over a railroad is the compensation for his carriage and for the transportation, at the same time, of such baggage as he may require for his personal convenience, pleasure, and necessity during his journey. Baggage subsequently forwarded by his direction, in the absence of any special agree. ment with the carrier or of negligence on his part, is liable, like any article of merchandise, to the payment of the usual freight.
The foregoing opinion unquestionably his ticket beyond that of safely carrying places the case upon the true ground--that him to the point indicated on the ticket, in the absence of all contract or consent together with such personal baggage as on part of a railway company, they are he may find it for his convenience to under no adiitional duty or obligation to carry with him, not exceeding the limit a passenger by reason of his purchase of fixed by the rules and regulations of the