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but the time limited for this by rule is forty days, and supposing six months on an average are consumed in the operation, it will not materially affect the question. These cases have then been waiting three, four, and five years for hearing, from no fault of party, lawyer or witnesses, but solely for want of a judge—and where was he? not a-sleep, nor on a journey, but so engaged in the other duties of his office, that this fourth class was not reached, for the order is inflexible, and pleadings and proofs come always last. “But the important fact is not to be lost sight of, that not one of these long delayed causes was heard at this January term, all lying over till the April following;' and what does that calendar show ! It contained 201 causes, of which, there were in the first class, which I shall not hereafter notice, thirty-six. “The second contained twelve, no older than 1837. “The third class contained twelve, also of 1837. “But the fourth class again! Here, there were 132 cases, of which, in
one, the date of the issue was, - - - - 1827 In two, the date of the issue was of . - - 1829 “one, . - - - - - - 1830 “four, . - - - - - - 1831 “five, . - - - - - - 1832 “fifteen, - - - - - - 1833 “twenty-one, . - - - - - 1834 “ twenty-five, . - - - - - 1835 “twenty, - - - - - - 1836 And the rest of - - 1837 & 1838
“It is needless to translate this statement.—And what was done at this term ' Why, six causes in the last class, out of the 123, were heard, and the rest adjourned, till the next term.”
“The July calendar is usually a small one, (the last contained but 152 causes), and from the season, little business is, or can be done at it.
* They were Remanets according to the English technicality.
* In England a less delay than this was considered intolerable. In debate on the 7th of March, 1811, sir Samuel Romilly observed, “it was notorious that great delay and grievance really existed, and it would be a denial of justice not to inquire into them; that from the great pressure of business within the last two years, causes had stood for that time on the lord chancellor's paper (calendar) for hearing, without having been heard.” Two years' delay would be but an interlude in our courts,
“The present October calendar of that court contains 238 causes, of which 118 are in the fourth class, of these,
Sixteen date from - - - - - 1833 Sixteen, - - - - - - 1834 Twenty-one, . - - 1835
“There is not the slightest probability, that any thing more will be done at this, than at any previous term. The condition of things in the court is briefly this. It is overwhelmed by motions. Every Monday is motion-day, which means that motions have then preference over other business. On that day, the room is thronged. These motions almost invariably occupy Tuesday and Wednesday, and then the vice-chancellor finds so much business made for him, that he either adjourns the court till the next motion-day, when the same thing is gone over again, or else perchance finds time to hear a cause, on the second or third class. He does not pretend to take up the fourth class, to go through it, in regular order, and the answer which is attributed to him, as having been made to some young counsellor, who inquired, when he expected to take up the fourth class—'Sir, I never expect to see the fourth class again,” has its origin in very sad truth.”
After this, one can feel the force of lord Erskine's reply to lord Kenyon, who proposed to refer a party to a cause before him, to the court of chancery—“Would your honor send a fellow-creature there * *
2.—A Summary of Practice in Instance, Revenue, and Prize Causes, in the Admiralty Courts of the United States for the Southern District of New York; and also on Appeal to the Supreme Court: together with the Rules of the District Court. By SAMUEL R. Betts, Judge of the District Court. New York: Halsted and Voorhies, 1838.
The author of this summary, in his well written and interesting introduction, informs us, that his work is but an abstract or abridgment of a much larger treatise on the Admiralty Practice of the
* It was said of lord Keeper North, that his death was accelerated by his irritation on account of the arrears in his court. Judges are not so delicately constituted now-a-days. If like causes produced like events, there would be a terrible mortality upon the bench.
United States courts, which he has been for some years preparing, but which is not yet completed. He says: “Some years since the author commenced the preparation of a Treatise on the Admiralty Practice of the United States' Courts in this District, embracing Proceedings in Prize and Revenue Causes. Circumstances of an official and domestic character delayed the completion of the work, and it having become necessary to republish the Rules of Court, applications were made the author that the Treatise might be finished and published cotemporaneously with the Rules. His other engagements prevented a compliance with this request, but as the Rules were about going to press, he yielded to the suggestion that a Summary or Abstract should be made of the work so far as prepared and be given the profession with the Rules. He has bestowed all the attention the short period and urgency of the case would admit on the preparation of such Abridgment, and in order that the Rules might be ready for the bar early after the summer vacation, the sections of the text were handed the printer as rapidly as they could be struck off and have gone through the press pari passu with the Rules.” Besides the summary, which occupies one hundred and twentysix pages, the volume before us contains the rules of the district court of the United States for the southern district of New York, arranged under the three divisions, of Admiralty rules, Common Law Practice, and Prize rules. The history of the admiralty courts and practice in this country, commencing with the earliest establishment of these tribunals, is an interesting as well as an important subject; and, from the introduction to the summary, we infer that it is one with which the author is well acquainted. We hope he will give a full account of it in his forthcoming treatise on admiralty practice. The summary, we think, must be found extremely useful in practice, particularly in the court over which the learned author presides.
3.—The most important Parts of Blackstone's Commentaries, reduced to Questions and Answers. By AsA KINNE. New York: printed and published by W. E. Dean, 1838.
We have here, within the compass of one hundred and eighty octavo pages, an analysis of those portions of Blackstone's commentaries, with which the American lawyer finds it necessary to be acquainted. We say an analysis, for the work, though in the form of question and answer, partakes more of the character of an analysis than of a catechism; and is intended to refresh the memory which is already familiar with the commentaries, rather than to communicate original instruction. This seems to have been the intention of the author, as expressed in his preface : “In order to gain a more thorough acquaintance with the Commentaries of Blackstone, and to impress more permanently on his mind their leading facts, the compiler adopted the method of putting the material points, as they were presented in the course of reading, into the form of question and answer. He found this process, although somewhat laborious, to be an important auxiliary in the prosecution of his studies. The work was continued, from time to time, as inclination prompted, until it reached its present dimensions,—embracing, it is presumed, all those subjects treated of in the Commentaries, with which, as they are of everyday occurrence in the practice of law, it is absolutely necessary that all in any way connected with the profession should be familiarly acquainted.” We have no doubt, that the work of Mr. Kinne, (which, though quite unpretending, must have cost him a great deal of labor), will be found useful both to the student, and to the practising lawyer.
4.—The Jurist: containing Reports of Cases determined in Law and in Equity, during the year 1837; with a General Digest, Table of Cases, and Inder. London: S. Sweet, Chancery Lane; and W. & R. Stevens, Bell Yard, Law-Booksellers and Publishers; and Hodges and Smith, College Green, Dublin. 1838.
A periodical, under the title of The Jurist, or Quarterly Journal of Jurisprudence and Legislation, was begun in England in 1827, and continued at irregular intervals through nine numbers, when it was stopped, we believe, for want of sufficient patronage. Some time since, we saw it announced, that this journal was about to be revived. The only evidence, however, that we have seen of its resuscitation, is the volume before us; which bears the same
title, indeed, and is published by the same publisher, but is almost wholly different in its plan from the former. This is published weekly; the other appeared quarterly. This is a royal octavo in double columns; the other was in the common form and style of the quarterly reviews. Whether the work before us is the promised continuation of The Jurist, we are unable to say; but not having seen or heard of any other, we presume that the plan has been changed, and that the present weekly periodical has been substituted for the quarterly.
The plan of The Jurist, as set forth in the first number, embraces reports and term proceedings in all the courts of law and equity,+original articles on conveyancing, pleading, practice, evidence, and the various subjects of law reform, proceedings in parliament, including bills in progress and statutes enacted, and reports of election cases, gazettes of the week, containing lists of bankrupts, declarations of insolvency, &c.—reviews, more or less extended of all legal works,—and a quarterly (or rather yearly) digest of the reports.
This programme includes almost all the topics, which interest the professional reader; but the chief value of the work consists in its reported cases, in which department, the editors remark, “an attempt will be made to attain the correctness of the usual reports, without their prolixity.” The numbers, thus far published, fully correspond to the plan announced, and bear ample evidence of the learning, ability, and spirit of the editors. We shall take the liberty to enrich our columns, by occasional extracts from this journal.
5.—Revue de Législation et de Jurisprudence. Tome IX, lre & 2e livraisons. Paris, October et Novembre, 1838.
This journal, edited by Mr. L. Wolowski, at Paris, has now reached its fifth year, and appears to be conducted with the same spirit and ability, with which it was commenced. The following is a summary of the contents of the first two numbers of the ninth volume:—Sketches of ancient and modern jurisconsults. I. Port