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publishers have been putting out nothing but practical treatises, usually mere digest compilations. It is gratifying to note the recent output of works of scientific and philosophic merit. If the lawyers will read these books, the law can still have claim to be considered a learned profession.
A. M. Kidd
LAW APPLIED TO MOTOR VEHICLES. By Charles J. Babbitt, 3d ed. by Arthur W. Blakemore. John Byrne & Co., Washington, D. C., 1923. pp. clxxxiv, 1654.
Despite its relative modernity, the motor vehicle has come to exert so far-reaching an influence upon our times that the living body of our law is now concerned in myriad ways with the manufacture, sale and use of the automobile. Thus the title of this book is advisedly indicative of the breadth of scope necessary to a work which would constitute a text on so-called "automobile law."
The Law Applied to Motor Vehicles is a comprehensive volume, including in its subject matter chapters devoted to insurance, principal and agent, pleadings, practice in negligence cases, evidence, rights and remedies of buyers and sellers, and kindred topics, as well as discussions of matters bearing more directly upon motor vehicles such as their licensing, operation and equipment, the law of the road, speed limitations, garages, and garage keepers. All of these and many other related subjects are treated in the sixty chapters of the book, and, in addition, there are appendices which include synopses of motor vehicle laws in the various jurisdictions of the United States and Canada, anti-theft laws, weight restrictions in state motor vehicle laws, street traffic regulations and other material of similar character.
The chapters of the book are well subdivided into sections-there being 2356 of the latter-to the end that its contents should prove accessible for ready reference to any particular inquiry which might arise in the experience of a busy practitioner. This accessibility is the more apparent by reason of a subject index, containing numerous sub-topics, and constituting nearly one hundred and fifty pages of the volume. There is in addition a "table of cases cited" which is said to contain all the reported cases relating to automobiles decided during the first twenty years of the use of motor vehicles upon the public thoroughfares. This feature of the book is, in itself, one of more than ordinary importance to the student or practitioner, who is seeking to make an analysis of the growth of the law as related to motor vehicles.
More than one hundred pages have been devoted to general discussion of the law of principal and agent as relating to motor vehicles. Upon examination of recent and current reports of decisions in the various jurisdictions of the United States, justification may readily be found for the author's somewhat prolonged treatment of this topic. One cannot fail to be impressed by the fact that in much of the litigation in which automobiles are involved, the
decisions are made to turn on questions of agency. It is, of necessity, extremely difficult to formulate any general statement of the law on such topics because of the constant flux, existing in the several jurisdictions, as new applications of legal principles are required.
There is an illuminating treatment of the various ramifications surrounding the responsibility for the conduct of borrowers or guests, when persons who may be so classified are engaged in the operation of motor vehicles. This subject is one of increasing interest and importance, for it does not require unusual imagination to foresee that ability to operate an automobile, however imperfect it may be in some instances, is fast becoming an almost universal acquirement. Inevitably there will be an increase in the classes of operators to which reference has been made, and it is reasonable to prophesy that such operation of motor vehicles is apt to be fraught with circumstances requiring frequent application of legal principles in order that responsibility may properly be fixed.
The difficulty of stating in a volume of this character propositions of law suitable for text use is strikingly illustrated by that portion of the book devoted to the family relationship and the application of the "family purpose" doctrine. Although the author examines with particularity decisions bearing upon these subjects from numerous jurisdictions, his text serves at best merely as a guidepost to various phases of the law touching upon such matters. For final authority on many points which might be involved in litigation where these relationships are called into question a more minute scrutiny of the reports will be required.
Inclusion, by way of appendices, of tables of statutes is of doubtful practical purpose. Changes are so frequently occurring in motor vehicle legislation that the statutes contained in this volume are soon apt to have only historical interest to the lawyer.
As a source of general information on the trend of the law in its application to motor vehicles and as an accessible reference work in the definition of legal problems, concerning in some wise the automobile, this book should prove distinctly useful. There is in it a tendency toward generalisation indicating that its contents may not, in every instance, safely be regarded as exhaustive. By this latter observation adverse criticism is not intended, for a work which might be regarded as exhaustive of the field covered in this volume, would contain, of necessity, a far greater amount of material. There are, of course, practical limits which may not advisedly be transcended.
NATIONAL PROHIBITION: THE VOLSTEAD ACT ANNOTATED AND DIGEST OF NATIONAL AND STATE PROHIBITION ACTS. By Arthur W. Blakemore. Matthew Bender and Co., Albany, N. Y., 1923. pp. iv, 722.
The wide divergence of opinion concerning the Eighteenth Amendment and the consequent bitter conflict waged in the courts since its enactment made inevitable a work such as Mr. Blakemore's National Prohibition. The author attempts in some seven hundred and eighty seven pages to show fully the present situation. For that purpose, federal decisions have been quoted at length and recent analogous decisions of state courts have been inserted where they belong.
The sweeping decision of the Attorney-General of the United States on October 2, 1922, to the effect that it was unlawful for foreign ships to transport liquor within the territorial waters of the United States, upheld in Cunard Steamship Co. v. Mellon (April 30, 1923) 43 Sup. Ct. Rep. 504, is given without further comment than that foreign governments immediately filed protest. Mr. Blakemore gives briefly both sides of this grave international problem and permits the reader to draw his own conclusions.
The procedure followed in the book is to give the various sections of the Volstead Act with an historical summary and recent decisions. While the author's prefatory statement that "this conflict has been so actively carried on by both sides of the struggle that it may be said now that practically all questions in relation to the act have been already settled by our highest court" may be taken as true, yet many moot points remain unsettled in state courts [cf. Traffic Truck Sales Co. v. Justices of Red Bluff (Nov. 6, 1923) 66 Cal. Dec. 563]. And it is with certain provisions of state laws that the Bar will be concerned principally, provisions which the National Prohibition Act of 1919 attempted to avoid. The rights of innocent third parties in property seized for example, present a problem which must be solved.
For the average reader the book would be of little value, except as any compilation of law is valuable to the layman. For the practitioner, its worth lies in the carefully annotated sections.
Bartley C. Crum.
WOODROW WILSON'S CASE FOR THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS. Compiled with his approval by Hamilton Foley. Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1923. pp. 271.
With the immediate possibility that the question of foreign relations will be again the dominant political issue in the struggle for the presidency, Mr. Foley's compilation of President Wilson's official and detailed explanation of the League of Nations Covenant and of the Treaty of Versailles becomes of particular and present importance.
The book, as the title indicates, is a defense of the former president's policy following the war and through the Peace Conference
of 1919. But it is dispassionate, in the sense that Mr. Wilson's utterances are published without comment or interpretation by the compiler.
The official cablegrams sent on behalf of the present Chief Justice. Mr. Taft, and the former Secretary of State, Mr. Root, published for the first time in the volume, offer some explanaton of the Republican World Court plan. The changes contemplated by these two eminent lawyers and Republicans were necessary, they believed, to make the Covenant entirely acceptable to the United States Senate. Specific reservations of the Monroe Doctrine were included as suggested. Secretary Tumulty's opinion that "if the one article already sent, on the Monroe Doctrine, be inserted in the treaty, sufficient Republicans who signed the Round Robin would probably retreat from their position and vote for ratification so that it would be adopted," was not founded in fact, however, and the Irreconcilables succeeded in defeating the treaty.
Mr. Root's first suggested amendment seems to have furnished the basis for the late President Harding's World Court plan:
The high contracting powers agree to refer to the existing Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague, or to the Court of Arbitral Justice proposed at the Second Hague Conference when established, or to some other tribunal, all disputes between them (including those affecting honour and vital interests) which are of a justiciable character, and which the powers concerned have failed to settle by diplomatic methods. The powers so referring to arbitration agree to accept and give effect to the award of the Tribunal.
However that may be and despite our political affiliations, we can all accept without reservations the words of President Wilson to the representatives of all the Allied and associated nations at the Paris Peace Conference. "It is a solemn obligation on our part," he said, "to make permanent arrangements that Justice shall be rendered and peace maintained."
Bartley C. Crum.
THE BRITISH YEAR BOOK OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 1923-24. Oxford University Press, American Branch, New York City, New York, 1923. pp. vi, 264.
THE ART OF CROSS-EXAMINATION, 3d ed. By Francis L. Wellman. The Macmillan Co., New York City, New York, 1923. Pp. xiv, 371.
WIGMORE ON EVIDENCE, 2d ed. Little Brown & Co., Boston, Massachusetts, 1923. Vol. i, pp. lxxxvi, 1140; vol. ii, pp. xxxvi, 1069; vol. iii, pp. xxxiv, 1002; vol. iv, pp. xxxii, 972; vol. v, pp. xxx, 1141.
THE ORDINANCE Power of the Japanese EmpEROR. By Tomio Nakano. The Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, Maryland, 1923. Pp. ix, 269.
STOCK EXCHANGE LAW. By Samuel P. Goldman. The Ronald Press, New York City, New York, 1923. pp. x, 497.