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MARCH 2, 1878.

No. 1

Current Topics.

The Senate has just passed the bill providing for the holding of the Constitutional Convention but with the amendment that the delegates shall serve without compensation.

It has long been a question about which men of the best abilities differ, whether the policy adopted by the Senatethat members of Legislative bodies should serve without compensation--is the true one or that they should receive pay commensurate with their labors and loss of time.

To follow the policy expressed by the Senate would undoubtedly shut out from such bodies many honest and able men such as are peculiarly fit for just such duties; men holding the best interest of the State always paramount to other interests but who are entirely unable to serve it without at least compensation equivalent to their expenses and loss of time; and again such a rule in its results permits only the men whom fortune and good luck have placed within its pale to make all laws in exclusion of those more entitled to their benefits and who should have a voice in their enactments. Whether a concentration of capitalists would make a body sufficiently trusty to make laws for the other classes is hardly debateable.

On the other hand, too much compensation would encourage idlers and unworthy men to press claims for membership who are totally unfit for such a duty.

Pay, equal to the expense necessarily entailed upon members should be given, thus allowing all that are earnest to make the race, and the rest must remain with the voters in their choice and selection of suitable representatives.

ABOUT a year ago one Charles J. Frank was arrested for a violation of what is known as the Sample Sellers' License, which requires that if any goods are sold or offered for sale that are not manufactured in the city a license of $100 shall be charged. Frank took out the usual license to sell jewelry from a fixed place of business, paying for it at the rate of $5,50 per quarter. In addition to selling the goods he had on hand in the city, he alo took orders for gloves, chamois skins, towels, etc., sending the orders to the East to be filled. For this violation of the ordinance he was arrested on complaint of the License Collector, the charge proven against him, and fined $100 in the Police Court. Immediately after his conviction he appealed his case to the County Court, and after a delay of six or eight months the decision of the lower Court was sustained. He then appealed the case to the Supreme Court, and that tribunal have reversed the decision of the County Court and declared the law inoperative, unreasonable and oppressive.

JUDGE FREEDMAN, of the New York Superior Court, in charging a jury in a case involving the value of a lawyer's services, says :

“ To become proficient in the necessary knowledge relating to all these matters involves years of self-denial, close application and devotion, and a study of almost a life-time. A lawyer's compensation is therefore not to be measured merely by the time he actually spends in the discharge of his duties. An advice given in a short interval, but founded upon years of previous acquaintance with the question involved, may, in an important case involving large interests, be worth quite a sum of money.”

This should be charged in all similar cases and undoubtedly is the true rule, notwithstanding the popular prejudice against large charges for apparently small service. But when the work done is mechanical simply, then the compensation should only be commensurate with the actual labor performed.

IN the matter of the Estate of Kehoe the Supreme Court have affirmed the judgment of the court below.

Kehoe was the executor of the will of William McConnell. Upon a final settlement of his account he was due the estate $3,876 95. A decree settling the account was made by the Probate Court. Kehoe died before the estate had been distributed. Letters of administration cum testamento annexo, were issued to one Cronin who presented the claim of the estate of McConnell against the Kehoe estate, which was allowed by the executor.

Cronin as administrator of the estate of McConnell moved the court upon a final settlement of the Kehoe estate for an order that the claim of said Cronin as administrator be declared as preferred claim. The court refused to allow the claim as a preferred claim.

The question presented is whether the decree settling the final account of John Kehoe as executor of the will of McConnell is a judgment within the meaning of section 1643 of the Code of Civil Procedure so as to entitle the McConnell claim to preference over simple debts.

The respondent claimed also that the order refusing to give any claim a preference is not one of the enumerated cases where appeals may be taken from the judgment or order of the Probate Court.

Dyer vs. Scalminini, was an action upon a street assessment. The court below held that the petition was insufficient and the assessment therefore illegal and void. The petition was in these words:

To the Honorable Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco:

GENTLEMEN.—Your petitioners respectfully represent to your Honorable Board that they are the owners and agents of the owners and in possession of a majority of the frontage of the lots and lands liable for the expense of the work in said city and county hereinafter mentioned, and they do respectfully request that your Honorable Board do order, etc. Nelson vs. Doble, 750 feet frontage. John R. Spring, 750 feet frontage, etc.

The only question presented is the sufficiency of the petition to confer jurisdiction on the Board to order the work. Defendants say it is insufficient in form because it omits to state that the parties signing are the owners of the lots named in the petition; that it is bad in substance because it does not show on its face that it represents a inajority of the front feet, except by mere assertion.

The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Court below.

WE regret that we have no written opinions of our Supreme Court to publish this week. The Court has been too busy hearing causes to give much time to the deliberation and thought necessary in the proper exercise of those onerous duties. They will hear no other cases, however, this term, except those specially set, so that we may reasonably expect to soon furnish our subscribers with several interesting and important decisions.

It will be seen that we appear with this issue under our new title, and in a new dress. We have adopted a style and size of type uniform with all publications of this character, and have increased the size of each weekly issue, thus making a volume of six months aggregate 520 pages. We have arranged to print 1000 copies of each number, so that we may not fail to supply any and all missing numbers, as well as to meet the demand that will necessarily be made for this new volume.

The decisions of our State will receive full attention, and each will be prepared with the greatest care, giving the facts in each case.

This volume will comprise decisions of our Supreme Court, that will not be reported officially for nearly two years, and while we do not expect to supercede the publication of the official volumes, we do know that when the profession shall be convinced that our labors are earnest and shall place full confidence in our reports, after close watching, our work will be as highly appreciated and in one particular more valuable, in this, that it contains all the decisions, whilst the reports contain only such as are designated by the Court.

U. S. Circuit Court.



BLEY, Trustee, etc.

Appeal from the Consular Court at Hiogo in the Empire of



script of the libel, bill, answer, depositions and all other proceedings in

the case.

2. SAME.— The transcript should be a single document certified at the end as

being a full and correct copy of the proceedings in the case, and au

thenticated by the official signature and seal of the consul.
3. Loose PAPERS NOT A PROPER RECORD.--Where on appeal from a Con-

sular Court of Japan the record sent up consisted of a mass of loose, sep-
arate papers, some having the appearance of being originals and others
of being copies not certified or in any manner authenticated, the appel-

late court declined to take jurisdiction and dismissed the appeal.

the Consular and Ministerial Courts of China and Japan to the Circuit
Court of the United States for the District of California, the record on

appeal must show an allowance of the appeal.
5, APPEAL-CITATION.-A citation is necessary unless the appeal is allowed in

open court : Query, whether a citation is not always necessary, if the
Consular Court has once adjourned after rendering a decree, there being
no terms of such courts?


This case purports to be an appeal from the United States Consular Court at Hiogo in the Empire of Japan. The papers having been filed in this Court, counsel appears on behalf of the appellee and moves to dismiss the appeal on the grounds : 1. That no authenticated transcript of the libel, bill, answer, depositions, and other proceedings has been transmitted to, or filed in, this Court, as required by section 4093 of the Revised Statutes; and, consequently, that there is no authentic record upon which the Court can act. 2.

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