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Notes of the Week.-Legal Education.

NOTES OF THE WEEK.

OXFORD CIRCUIT.

THE Judges have arranged that at Abingdon and Oxford both Courts should sit for the despatch of business on the commission day.

NON-ATTENDANCE OF JURYMEN.

At the sittings at Nisi Prius at Westminster, before Lord Campbell, on the 21st instant, five jurymen were fined 40s. each for non-attendance.

NEW MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT.

The Honourable Dudley Francis Stewart Ryder, commonly called Viscount Sandon, for Lichfield, in the room of Henry Manners, Baron Waterpark, who has accepted the office of Steward of her Majesty's manor of Northstead, in the county of York.

John Biggs, Esq., for Leicester, in the room of Richard Gardner, Esq., deceased.

ELECTION OF CORONERS FOR THE COUNTY OF

NORFOLK.

It has been ordered by her Majesty in council that in lieu of the town of King's Lynn, the parish or place of Gaywood, situate in the said Lynn district, in the county of Norfolk, shall be the place at which the courts for the election of coroners for the said district shall be holden.-From the London Gazette of June 27.

LAW APPOINTMENTS.

The Queen has been graciously pleased to appoint Richard Levinge Swift, Esq., Barrister-at-Law, now her Majesty's Consul at Buffalo, to be her Majesty's Consul at Riga. From the London Gazette, of June 13.

We are informed that J. Worlledge, Esq., Barrister-at-Law, will be the New Judge of the County Courts (Circuit No. 33), in the room of Francis King Eagle, Esq., deceased. Mr. Worlledge was called to the bar by the honourable society of the Middle Temple, the 23rd of November, 1838, and went to the Norfolk Circuit.

Mr. William Woodman, solicitor and town clerk of Morpeth, has been appointed treasurer of the County Courts of Northumberland and Durham.

Charles Saunders, Esq., Recorder of Plymouth and Devonport, has been appointed judge of the county courts (circuit No. 57), in the room of Graham Willmore, Esq., deceased. Mr. Saunders was called to the Bar by the Hon. Society of Lincoln's-inn, on the 17th November, 1829, and went the Western Circuit.

Thomas Frederick Kelly, Esq., L.L.D., was presented to the Queen at the levee last Wednesday, by Sir George Grey, on his appointment as the Judge of the High Court of Admiralty in Ireland.

RESULT OF TRINITY TERM EXAMINATION. At the examination of articled clerks which took place on the 3rd instant, ninety-three out of 114 completed their testimonials, and were entitled to be examined; but three did not attend. The examiners were engaged nearly three days in considering the answers to the questions, and ultimately passed eighty-three and postponed seven.

LEGAL EDUCATION.

181

REDUCTION OF STAMP DUTY AND INCREASED QUALIFICATION.

To the Editor of "The Legal Observer."

SIR, I fully intended on the last occasion I troubled you to remain for the future, in regard to this subject, sub silentio, and to allow your correspondent, if he desired it, the merit of an apparent victory; but, like the rest of the world on certain occasions, my intention has been overruled by circumstances, over which I have had no control, and I therefore feel compelled, at the risk of wearying yourself and readers completely out with this neverending discussion, to set right your correspondent where he has entirely, but, no doubt, unintentionally, misrepresented my views, and in one place, as I shall show, altered my words.

I appeal to you, Sir, and to such of your readers who have perused our respective communications, whether your correspondent has not shifted his ground since he first began to write. I honestly confess I considered him, in the first instance, as the chivalrous supporter of ordinary clerks as against the profession and its articled members. But as soon as I humbly reply, giving my reasons against your correspondent's views, though acknowledging, in a general way, the worth of his supposed clients, he turns round upon me in his rejoinder with the insinuation of flattery, throws overboard, altogether his former friends, the ordinary clerks, and takes under his protection that unfortunate, illused body of men, the articled clerks! Truly, I may venture to add, with all due respect to B., "parturiunt montes, nascitur ridiculus mus."

If there be any class in society less deserving of, or less requiring the aid and sympathy of the profession, that class is, I think, the articled clerks. In the first place, they are almost always the younger sons of gentlemen of fortune and station, and in very many instances have something to fall back upon, They are not the most industrious, nor the most easy to manage in an office. They come and they go when and where they like; are impatient of control, and not generally gifted with any very large share of diligence, though, of course, there are exceptions. It has been my opinion for some time that the only stimulus they required was rather a stiffer examination than a lightening of their pecuniary burthens.

I do not consider that I reasoned quite so illogically as B. would very cleverly make to appear. My statement was this:-If the ordinary clerks are so immoral as B. would make out, it "was the greatest inducement possible to withdraw the attornies from so contaminating an influence." I reasoned if B. or myself were about to engage a servant that we should both feel anxious that he was honest, moral, and respectable; that if he were not so, we should not look for the first cause of his worthlessness, whether it were owing to his training or manner of life, but dismiss him at once. I know I should. I shoulp not stop to inquire the why and the wherefore he were bad, nor whether it were possible to redeem him, but should seek at once to be relieved of his presence. So, no doubt, in the case of law clerks, the very fact of their being a bad set of men (whether or no it were reasonable so to do) would be likely to prejudice the public and the profession against them. If I am advocating the interests of a body of men, I do not place their character and conduct in the worst

POSTSCRIPT.

PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS RELAT

ING TO THE LAW.

Royal Assents.—June 23.

Public Health (Supplemental).

Drafts on Bankers.

Pawnbrokers.

House of Lords.

Joint-Stock Companies. For third reading. June 30. Married Women's Reversionary Interest. For second reading.

Charitable Uses. For second reading.

Police Counties and Boroughs. For third reading, June 27. Marriages in Scotland.-Lord Brougham. For third reading.

Clergy Offences.-Bishop of Exeter. For second reading. Sleeping Statutes. In committee, June 27.

Oath of Abjuration.-Lord Lyndhurst. Negatived. Divorce and Matrimonial Causes. Report of Amendments, July 3.

Oaths of Abjuration Amendment.-Earl of Derby. In committee, June 27.

Grand Juries. In committee, July 1.

Judicial Statistics.-Lord Brougham. For second reading. Bankruptcy (Scotland).-Lord Chancellor.

reading, June 30.

IN SELECT COMMITTEE.

Drainage Act Amendment.

BILLS PASSED.

Appellate Jurisdiction.

Mercantile Law Amendment.
Mercantile Law of Scotland.

County Courts Act Amendment.

House of Commons.

For third

Leases and Sales of Settled Estates. For second reading, June 30.

Appellate Jurisdiction. For second reading, June 30. Law of Partnership (No. 2).-Mr. Lowe. In Committee, June 30.

Joint-Stock Companies' Winding-up Acts Amendment. Re-committed, June 26.

County Courts' Amendment. In Committee, June 27. Mercantile Law Amendment. For second reading, June 30. Mercantile Law Amendment (Scotland). In committee, June 30.

Judgments Execution, &c.-Mr. Craufurd. For second reading, July 2.

Amendment of Procedure and Evidence.-Sir F. Kelly. In Committee.

Court of Probate of Wills and Grants of Administration.— Solicitor-General. In committee, July 3.

Testamentary and Matrimonial Jurisdiction.-Sir F. Kelly. For second reading.

Ecclesiastical Courts.-Mr. Collier. For second reading. Judge and Chancellors (Ecclesiastical). In committee. Poor Law Amendment.-Mr. Bouverie. For second reading.

Church Rates Abolition.--Sir W. Clay. In Committee, June 27.

Amended Formation of Parishes.-Marquis of Blandford. In Committee.

Advowsons.-Mr. Child. In Committee, June 30. Tithe Commutation. In Committee, July 1. Burial Acts Amendments.-Mr. Massey. For second reading.

Public Health Amendment. For second reading, June 26. Medical Profession. Re-committted.

Medical Qualification and Registration.-Lord Elcho. For second reading.

Trust Property Criminal Appropriation.-Attorney-General.

Intestate's Personal Estate.-Mr. Locke King. In committee.

Metropolis Local Management Act Amendment.-Sir B. Hall. For second reading, June 27.

Courts of Common Law (Ireland). Re-committed, June. Corrupt Practices Prevention.-Lord Palmerston. For second reading, June 26.

IN SELECT COMMITTEE.

Shipping Tolls, &c. Public Prosecutors.

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OPYHOLD and COURT - KEEPING PRACTICE. With nearly Two Hundred Precedents, and the Act for the Amendment of the Law with respect to Wills; intended not only for use in the office of the more experienced practitioner, but simplified in such a manner as to enable a town or country Solicitor, previously unacquainted with Copyhold or Court-keeping practice, to transact with ease all the general business in admissions, purchases, and sales, mortgages, annuities, leases, deeds, for benefit of creditors, bankruptcy and insolvency, wills, partitions, and enfranchisements, court-keeping, adjustment of fines, fees, &c. &c. Price 10s. By ROLLA ROUSE, Esq., Barrister-at-Law.

Thomas F. A. Day, 13, Carey-street, Lincoln's-inn.

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The Legal Observer,

AND

SOLICITORS' JOURNAL.

THE AMENDED
COURTS BILL.
JURISDICTION.

SATURDAY, JULY 5, 1856.

ECCLESIASTICAL | the Registrars, Deputy Registrars and Proc-
TESTAMENTARY

THE Solicitor-General's amended bill may now be considered as including within its clauses the several Bills of Sir Fitzroy Kelly and Mr. Collier, and we have before us the consolidated print as amended in committee and re-committed for further consideration. We shall proceed to notice briefly the principal parts of the measure as now under consideration, and the alterations which have been adopted since the bill was last before our readers.

There is to be a distinct "Court of Probate and Administration," as well of real as personal estate, with power to grant certificates of intestacy, and to decide on the construction of wills, to declare the rights of the parties, and administer the assets of deceased persons (s. 6).

The judge must have been an advocate of ten years' or a barrister of fifteen years' standing. The judges of the common law courts, the Master of the Rolls, and the Vice Chancellors may sit with or in the absence of the judge (ss. 6, 12).

Then a 66 Testamentary Office is to be established in such place as her Majesty in council may appoint (we presume) in the metropolis; and also District Testamentary Offices in each of the circuits of the county court judges (ss. 22, 3).

The Officers of Court (with power to increase the number) are to be

In the Testamentary Office:

One principal Registrar;
Three Registrars;

Ten Official Proctors;

So many principal Clerks, Assistant
Clerks, &c., as may be necessary.

In the District Office :

One Registrar:

tors in the present ecclesiastical courts may, within a year, be admitted as solicitors and attorneys in the superior courts of law and equity (s. 33); and the Articled Clerks and Proctors who have already served, or may hereafter complete their service, are to be entitled to admission on the roll of solicitors on the same conditions as if they had been articled to solicitors (s. 34).

All solicitors and attorneys may practise in the Probate Court; and the commissioners for taking oaths in chancery may take oaths in the New Court (s. 35).

Proctors, solicitors, or attorneys appointed to any office under the act are not to practice (s. 124).

The registrars are to have power to administer oaths (s. 125); and the judge may appoint commissioners for that purpose (s. 126).

The Mode of Proceeding to obtain probate or administration has been altered, for the purpose of including applications to the district registrar.

The will, and a copy, are to be left at the Testamentary Office, or with a district registrar, as the case may be, with such affidavits as are requisite, according to the forms given in the schedules to the act.

In the case of an application to a district registrar any question arising in the transaction of common form business, may be referred to the principal registrar for the directions of the judge (s. 42).

But no probate or administration is to be granted through a district office, unless the deceased had a fixed place of abode in the district and the personal estate does not exceed £1,500 (s. 43). And it is not obligatory to apply to a district office (s. 45).

A note of the probate and a copy of the will or of the administration is to be sent by the district registrar to the principal registrar (s. 46).

Probate and other official copies of wills or administrations are to be printed under the So many Clerks as may be necessary diections of the principal registrar, and printed (s. 24).

The Accountant-General and Taxing Masters of the Court of Chancery are to act as such in the New Court (s. 67).

As to the Practitioners, it is provided that
VOL. LII. No. 1,478.

copies sent to the Metropolitan Register Office of births and deaths; the Prerogative Office in Dublin; the Commissary in Edinburgh; the clerk of the county court in the district, where the deceased died, &c. (ss. 47, 48.)

L

170

The Amended Ecclesiastical Courts Bill-Testamentary Jurisdiction.

These printed copies may be inspected for | a fee of 6d., and printed official copies may be obtained, or official extracts (ss. 50, 52).

Provisions are made as to the time of proving wills and rendering inventories, &c. (ss. 53, 56). And for entering caveats, and as to proceedings to establish wills (ss. 58, 65).

The court is empowered to appoint a representative of real estate (ss. 67, 73). And the powers of such representatives are defined (ss. 74, 82). Power is also given to appoint administrators (ss, 90, 96).

Appeals are to lie from the Probate Court to the Lords Justices, and thence to the House of Lords; or to the House of Lords in the first instance (s. 38).

The Trial of Issues on questions of fact arising in suits in the Probate Court, may be directed to take place before itself by a special or common jury, or before any judge of assize (ss. 100, 104).

Jurisdiction of the County Courts. If the personal property be under £200, the county court of the district where the deceased died may decide all disputed questions. So where the real and personal property is under £300 (ss. 105, 106). And the clerk of the county court is to transmit to the registrar a certificate of the decision of the county court (s. 107).

The Fees of the court are to be regulated by the Lord Chancellor, and to be paid by stamps (ss. 131, 134, 137).

made with the former opponents of the reform, there is time in two or three weeks to steer to the haven of royal assent.

The preceding statement will have shewn several of the last alterations made in the Solicitor-General's Bill; and we subjoin the following notes, more particularly calling attention to the new clauses :

Section 23 establishes DISTRICT testamentary offices in the circuits of the county court judges, and provides a distinct registrar, clerks, messenger, &c.

Section 39 enacts that, persons desirous of proving a will or obtaining administration must apply personally or through a solicitor at the Testamentary Office, and leave the will and also a copy, with an affidavit, according to the form in schedule C. But where the application is made to a district registrar the person applying may employ a solicitor or agent.*

The district registrar is to administer oaths; and by the 40th section he is directed to transmit to the principal registrar the original will, affidavit, and other papers, and the principal registrar shall thereupon cause probate, &c. to issue, and forward the same to the district registrar, with such number of printed official copies as shall be required.

The district registrar is then to enter the probate or a note of the administration in a "district search book."

The registrar or district registrar is then to deliver or transmit a probate through the post to the person applying as his solicitor.†

But no probate or administration, according to section 43, can be granted in a district office, unless the intestate or testator had a fixed place of abode

The Salaries are specified in Schedule F., within the district, and unless the personal estate

viz. :

Principal Registrar, £2,500; Three Registrars, each £1,500; Sixty District Registrars, each £500; Ten Official Proctors, each £800. Compensations to the judges and officers of the abolished courts appear to be most amply provided; and the advocates of Doctors Commons may practise not only in the Probate Court but in all the superior courts.

The compensation to the Proctors is to be estimated by the Lords of the Treasury, and annuities granted equal to one half the net profits of each proctor in respect of testamentary causes and matters, founded on the average of five years immediately preceding the commencement of the act (ss. 145, 146).

And, as before stated, the proctors are to be entitled to admission within twelve months in all the superior courts as solicitors and attorneys.

Such are the proposed enactments in the amended bill, and we are assured there is every probability that it will be passed; yet we are now in the first week in July, and it is rumoured that the session will close before the end of the month. The measure has yet to pass through all its stages in the Upper House. If, however, the compensations have been accepted, and a satisfactory compromise

does not exceed £1,500.

The 45th section gives the option of applying either to testamentary or the district office.

Then the 46th section enacts, that a copy of the will or note of administration is to be sent to the re

gistrar, monthly, by the district registrar of wills and administrations granted during the preceding month.§

The jurisdiction of county courts is provided by the 105th section, where the personal property is under £200, in which case the county courts may decide all disputed questions. So by the 106th section, where the real and personal estate is under £300, the judge of the county court is to have the same jurisdiction as the court of probate.|| Section 107

directs the clerk of the county court to transmit to the registrar a certificate of the decree for the grant or revocation of probate.

It should be made clear that an attorney or solicitor

only can act, where the party does not apply personally. Here the party or his solicitor (not an agent) can alone transact the business.

As there will be a probate of real as well as personal property, the real should be included,-both not exceeding £1,500.

§ The 46th clause seems inconsistent with the 40th, which provides for the transmission of the will, &c. to the registrar at the testamentary office, in order to obtain probate. The 46th clause assumes the grant to be made at the district office.

It does not appear why this clause varies in the power conferred from the previous one.

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