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or the text-writer, some instructors devoted much time to discussing concrete problems. Many men are still living who know that the work of those old days must not be treated disrespectfully; but Professor Langdell, though trained in the method then current, was of opinion that he knew a method more scientific, more thorough, and better fitted to produce successful lawyers. He knew-as, indeed, every law student learns in the first week of his studies--that the existence and limits of a rule of law must be proved finally, not by a textbook, but by the reported decisions of courts. He knew that when a lawyer had occasion to test a rule of law he searches for those decisions. Professor Langdell determined that the student should be trained to use those original authorities, and to derive from judicial decisions, by criticism and comparison, the general propositions which text-writers, if they do their work conscientiously, find in the same manner; that, in other words, the student should not be fed with predigested food. The plan as worked out, was that the instructor should reprint from the reports the cases adapted to show the growth of legal doctrine ; that the student should master five or six cases in preparation for each class-room exercise; and that the exercise should consist of stating and discussing these cases and solving related hypothetical problems. However easy it may be to-day to see that this plan is reasonable, in 1870 it appeared to many persons, and indeed to most, impracticable and unscientific. The fact seems to be that this was an extremely early attempt to apply the inductive method of the laboratory to matters foreign to the natural sciences. To Professor Langdell it seemed the most natural plan possible. He had devised part of it in his own student days. He understood himself to be simply applying to the student's stage of the lawyer's life the method established from time immemorial as to the work of the practitioner and the judge. On the title of his first collection of cases, he tied himself to the past by quoting words written by Coke two centuries earlier : “It is ever good to rely upon the book at large, for many times compendia sunt dispendia, and melius est petere fontes quam sectari rivulos.”
• After Professor Langdell began the new plan, to persevere with it required further courage ; for the majority of students, teachers, and practitioners showed only too clearly that they considered it foolish and almost sacrilegious to lay aside old methods and the time-honoured treatises. Many years passed before the new system was adopted unanimously by Professor Langdell's colleagues.
· Meanwhile the Harvard Law School was bitterly attacked upon the supposition that this was the only method used; and in consequence the attendance remained nearly stationary, being saved from serious diminution by nothing but the increase in the attendance upon Harvard College, and in the resort of Harvard graduates to the law school.
About 1890 there came a great change. Almost simultaneously the Harvard Law School began to grow and the Langdell system began to spread to other universities. To-day Professor Langdell's triumph is complete. Time has demonstrated that persons trained under his system are sound and successful lawyers. That system is now the only one employed at Harvard. Most of the other law schools use it, wholly or partly, or some modification of it; and those which cling to old methods find it advisable to insert in their announcements argumentative matter to the effect that they combine with the old methods some features of the method discovered by Professor Langdell. The law schools employing the new system, wholly or partly, in its unmodified form, are distributed widely; and leaving out of the account States in which there are no law schools at all, one might have traced for Professor Langdell a triumphal progress from the Atlantic to the Pacific, passing exclusively through States in which at least one law school professedly uses his system.'
The Editor of this Review had the opportunity of saying something about Langdell in his own place in 1895 (L. Q. R. xi. 326; *The Expansion of the Common Law,' p. 6). He will not attempt to speak of Langdell as a man, for the acquaintance, though very pleasant, was interrupted by long intervals, and too brief when it recurred. Nothing has happened to alter his opinion that Langdell's genius for the pure logic of the Common Law was unique or almost unique in our time. In the last year's of Langdell's life the same keen analytical power was applied to the leading conceptions of equitable jurisdiction (L. Q. R. xxi. 434). The little book on Equity Pleading published many years earlier is still not much known among English lawyers, but it goes to the root of the matter far more thoroughly than any other modern treatise known to us, though probably there is no other so short.
It is perhaps necessary to say here, though in America it is now superfluous, that the Harvard Law School under Prof. Langdell's system has produced not mere theoretical students, but lawyers well equipped for practice: so well that the leading legal firms of the Eastern States-if not of more remote ones-have actually been competing for their services for ten years and more. Meanwhile the majority of the English Bar, or at any rate of those in authority, continues, it seems, to believe that law cannot be taught at all. The Law Society thinks otherwise.
At the end of Watts v. Stevens (1906] 2 K. B. at p. 339, will be found a note on the pagination of Blackstone's Commentaries. It was much condensed by reason of the small space available, and some of our readers may like to have a little more detail.
The marginal pagination by which Blackstone's Commentaries have been referred to for more than a century was introduced in the 12th ed., 1793, the first with Christian's notes. The Advertisement, vol. i, p. ix, states that the pages of the former editions are preserved in the margin. Now this statement is incorrect. The publishers of 1793 preserved, in fact, the paging of the 10th ed., 1787, which corresponds nearly but not quite with that of the 9th ed. (the first with editorial notes, by Burn), 1783; this 9th ed. is not to be found in the Inns of Court or the Law Society's library, but has been verified in the British Museum copy. There are considerable variations between the 9th and roth editions in the third volume; elsewhere the discrepance is only slight and occasional. Again, the 9th ed. does not reproduce the paging of the editions published in Blackstone's lifetime. Those editions appear to have been uniform in paging notwithstanding the change from quarto to octavo form, so that the dislocation of the original numbering must have been due to the insertion of additional footnotes, as in like manner further increase of the notes accounts for the variance between the 9th and the oth editions. The actual paging of the 12th and later editions need not be considered.
It appears on the whole, then, that owners of any edition of the Commentaries earlier than the tenth cannot safely use their copies for the purpose of making references.
We desire to add that the Keeper of the Printed Books in the British Museum, on the request of the Editor of the Law Reports, a request made, of course, wholly as a matter of favour and not of right, was so good as to procure a much better collation of the ninth edition than any one not specially accustomed to bibliographical work would have made for himself.
Not much inconvenience can arise at this day from the singular carelessness of the publishers of 1793, as the great majority of the copies of Blackstone in working use must be of later date. But it was worth while to establish the facts.
In these days, when the wealth of the world is so largely represented by stock and share certificates, it is of the utmost importance that people should be able to place implicit trust in such documents of title. Hence the long line of authorities establishing the doctrine of estoppel by certificate against companies. But forgery puts a different complexion on the matter. In Ruben v. The Great Fingall Consolidated, 75 L. J. K. B. 843, H. L., affirming (1904] 2 K. B. 712, 73 L. J. K. B. 872, the transaction was a fabula acla from beginning to end-a fraudulent scheme on the part of the company's secretary to serve his private ends. The shares purporting to be transferred had no existence, the transfer was forged, the company's seal was fraudulently affixed to the certificate, the names of the directors on the certificate were forged. To have made the company liable in such a case for the fraud of its secretary—a fraud of which the company and its directors were absolutely innocentwould have been carrying the doctrine of estoppel to quite unreasonable lengths. That doctrine presupposes a representation made by the person sought to be charged or by his agent duly authorized. Such a person says—to use Lord Blackburn's words--'I take upon myself to say such and such things do exist and that you may act upon the basis that they do exist, and if the other man does really act upon that basis it is of the very essence of justice that between those two parties their rights should be regulated not by the real state of facts but by that conventional state of facts which the two parties agree to make the basis of their action. All this might have applied in the Great Fingall case had the fraudulent secretary had authority to make representations on behalf of the company. The fallacy of the argument for the appellant lay in assuming that because the secretary had authority to deliver the share certificate, he had authority to warrant its genuineness.
To have held the company liable in such a case would have created a general danger much more serious than the particular grievance of the defrauded stockbroker: it would place companies at the mercy of an unscrupulous secretary.
When a company has once, under its articles, delegated the management of its affairs to a board of directors, it cannot resume control of those affairs at the pleasure of a mere majority. This is the moral of The Automatic Self-cleansing Filter Syndicate Co., Lim. v. Cuninghame (1906] 2 Ch. 34, 75 L. J. Ch. 437, C. A., and a very instructive and salutary moral it is. Articles are the act of the whole body of shareholders, and where they nominate certain persons to be directors, with full powers to manage the affairs of the company, that is tantamount to a mutual agreement by all the shareholders that the control of the company shall, so long as the directors remain in office, be vested in such directors, and that their discretion shall not be interfered with. If the company is dissatisfied with the directors' management, if it wishes to remove them and resume the control of its affairs, it must do so in the manner provided by the articles. In the Automatic Self-cleansing Filter case the situation was this: one large shareholder and his friends, holding together a majority of the shares of the company, quarrelled with the policy of the directors; they wanted the directors to sell the undertaking of the company to a new company; the directors thought the proposed sale improvident, and refused to carry it out. The shareholders' majority was not strong enough to remove the directors, which required a special resolution, but though with only 1502 votes against 1198 they claimed by virtue of this mere majority to set aside the judgment of the directors in a matter of management delegated to them by the whole body of the shareholders. It would be most unreasonable that a narrow majority like this should overrule not only the directors but the dissentient minority of shareholders unless the articles, as representing the mutual agreement of all the shareholders, sanction such a right. A company's articles are with its memorandum the constitution of the company, and it is not without good reason that any alterations in such articles can only be made by a special resolution, that is with the sanction of a two-thirds majority of the whole of the shareholders. Directors are there not to do the bidding of one party or another among the shareholders, but to hold the scales evenly between them in the general interests of the company.
The jerry builder clearly existed in the days of good Queen Anne, what time the once fashionable quarter of Soho was a-building, and his shoddy building materials wrought upon by the time and weather of two centuries supplied Warrington J. with an interesting problem in Torrens v. Walker (1906] 2 Ch. 166, 75 L. J. Ch. 645
Since the ruling of Tindal C. J. in Gutteridge v. Munyard, 7 C. & P. 129, 132, 48 R. R. 773, it has been familiar law that where a very old building is demised and the lessee enters into a covenant to repair, it is not meant that the old building is to be restored in a renewed form at the end of the term or of greater value than it was at the commencement of the term. All the lessee undertakes in such a case is, in Cave J.'s words, to 'patch the thing up so long as it is, in the nature of things, right and reasonable that the thing should be patched up.' But there is a limit to this patching up process-even the 'wonderful one hoss shay' succumbed at last, 'by time subdued, what will not time subdue ?' and the decayed old Queen Anne house had fallen upon the same fate. The bricks were crumbling, the mortar perished, the walls broken and bulging. Was the lessor, under these circumstances, compellable practically to rebuild under a covenant that