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Trial by Jury in Scotland
From Tait's Edinburgh Magazine


It it upwards of twenty years since the trial of civil causes by jury was introduced into Scotland; and the experience we have obtained has increased, rather than diminished, the dislike with which this manner of deciding lawsuits has always been regarded on this side of the Tweed. The only persons whom we have ever heard speak favourably of it are some of the lawyers and agents, who, as will be afterwards seen, have good reason for their partiality: but, even in the profession of the law, the trial of a civil cause by jury is generally regarded with no ordinary feelings of dread and apprehension; and there are few litigants who do not quail when they find their suits have reached the fearful point of “Notice of Trial." Hence is to be explained the fact that not one-half of the causes in which all the expense of the preparation for trial has been incurred, and the jury has been summoned, are actually brought to trial; for, however clear may be the case, and however much satisfied a party may be that he has justice on his side, he can never have any reliance that he may not on the day of trial be defeated by some quirk, quibble, or oversight, against which, in other modes of trial, some remedy might be found, but which this summary and peremptory form of proceeding does not admit of. In a great number of the trials which have taken place, an impression very generally prevails that justice has not been obtained; yet the attempts to get redress have generally failed, and have involved the parties who made them only in greater expense.

Trial by jury evidently takes its origin in those times when law has not yet become a science, and when no such profession as that of lawyers exists. Then the baron, or other feudal superior—the judge in time of peace, and the leader in war—assembled his vassals, who were as ignorant as himself, for the adjudication of such disputes as arose. This practice the English— ever remarkable for their reverence for antiquity, their attachment to established forms, and dread of innovation—have always adhered to, and gradually moulded, so as to adapt it to a state of matters very different from that for which it had originally been intended. In this process, how^ ever, as in many others, those who affect to respect so much the wisdom of our ancestors have not always been guided by their principles. We have a striking instance of this in the regulation which requires the jury to be unanimous in their verdict. By the ancient English practice unanimity was not required; all that was needed was the concurrence of twelve in the verdict, when the jury consisted of a greater number.

To this day in England, a grand jury may consist of any number from twelve to twenty-three; but a presentment cannot be made by fewer than twelve. So, in the High Court of Parliament, and the Court of the Lord High Steward, a Peer may be convicted by the greater number; yet there can be no conviction unless the majority consists of twelve, at least. When, therefore, in the progress of time, only twelve jurymen were impannelled, there became a necessity of their concurring in opinion; and, in this way, the absurdity of unanimity was reached. Of the manner in which absurdities once established may be defended, we have a fair specimen in a treatise of Lord Somers, a writer of some pretension at the end of the seventeenth century. He remarks—In analogy, of late, the jury has been reduced to twelve—like as the prophets were twelve, to foretell the truth; the apostles twelve, to teach the truth; the discoverers twelve, sent into Canaan to seek and report the truth ; and the stones twelve that the heavenly Jerusalem is built on; and, as the judges were twelve, anciently, to try and determine matters of law; and always, when there is any waging law, there must be twelve, to swear in it; and also, as for matters of state, there were twelve councillors of state ; and anything now which any jury can be said to do,-must have the joint consent of twelve; otherwise, it is, in the construction of law, not the doing of the jury, but of private persons, and void/* Yet the necessity of unanimity, which can he supported only by such absurd arguments as the preceding, and which has been reprobated by Sir William Blackstone and other English lawyers, “as repugnant to all experience of human conduct, passions, and understandings,** has, in Our blind adoption of English forms, been made a part of the system of jury trial in Scotland in qivil causes.

Whether jury trial in England la so valuable an institution, and worthy of the praises so fulsomely lavished on it, is a question on which we shall not enter. But it is easy te see that a procedure which has been familiar for centuries, which has been engrafted on and grown with the law, and for the conducting of which peculiar facilities exist in England, may there be found beneficial, while it may be totally unfitted for the present state of the law and the habits of the people of Scotland. In England the law appears much more fixed than with us; it having sometimes occurred that many years have elapsed without the judges in some of the courts having once differed in opinion. The English lawyers are also, we suspect, much better acquainted with their law, than the Scottish have generally been with theirs; the former making it the constant and unremitted study of their lives, while politics and other pursuits have always occupied a great proportion of the time of Scottish lawyers. Lord Mansfield once remarked, that, if Blackstone’s Commentaries had been published when he was a student, they would have saved him five years’ study! Sergeant Marryat, on being asked if he had read some new publication, observed, that he had not looked into an unprofessional book for thirty years. One of the judges of our Supreme Court characterised the English judges as “ legal monks.** Matters are managed differently in Scotland. The first step of promotion at the bar is the appointment of deputy to the Lord Advocate of the day, necessarily a political office; next a sheriffship, worth from £300 to £800 a-year, and having some patronage. Besides numerous clerkships, there are about thirty sheriffs; and, although they are judges having jurisdiction, both in civil and criminal cases, very little inferior to that of the 8upreme Court Itself, there never, we believe, was a single instance of the appointment being given to a lawyer of political opinions opposed to those of the minister of the day; or, indeed, we ought rather to say, that keen political partisanship has uniformly been considered the sole test of fitness for that important office. Matters have hardly been better in the Supreme Court. The appointment of a political opponent is never made, as long as any materials for the office, however inferior, are to be found on the side of the party in power. The great weakness of the Scottish bar at present is to be attributed to this unprincipled system. The Tories, during their long career of power, left the eminent Whig lawyers of long standing at the bar, till there were so many of them that it was unnecessary to employ the younger men in the management of any law-suit. Thus, the latter had not a fair opportunity of exercising their talents, and of distinguishing themselves; and many who might very probably have been at the head of the profession, left the bar in disgust. At length the bench became so much inferior to the bar in knowledge and talent—by the appointment of men whose chief qualification for the bench, in some instances, was, that they could not do so much mischief to the government there, as in the subordinate offices which they held—that 8ir Robert Peel was forced to break through the established practice, and promote one or two of the most eminent Whig lawyers to the bench. 8ince their accession to power, the Whigs, as they are well entitled, have promoted their own party; and the bench of the Court of Session, instead of being, as formerly, an undi. luted mass of Toryism, now presents an equal array of the adherents of the two factions which have so long divided the loaves and fishes between them. In this way, it has happened, that all the men of known talent who were at the bar a few years ago, who have not died, have been removed to the bench. A more favourable field for the display of talent at the 8eottish bar than at any former period now presents itself; but, sorry are we to say, that there is as yet little appearance of the field being occupied, either by men of talent and learning, or of eloquence and genius. The lawyer and the orator are both to be sought for.

In the circumstances in which the bar is placed, independence is not to be looked for. All—witb the exception, perhaps, of one in a hundred— attach themselves to one or other of the dominant parties, hitherto the sole depositaries of power in this country. Partisanship is a better recommendation to promotion than learning. During the volunteer mania, for example, almost every person connected with the Court of 8esaion was enrolled. The Lord President of the Court was the Colonel; and the steady attendance of the officials in the field was conducive to their advancement, in at least as great a degree as the punctual discharge of their duties in the Parliament House. At all political dinners, the law. yen are the chief spokesmen, and in every job they are the tools the most to be relied on. Whether in such a state of matter the bar or bench is likely to acquire that profound know-ledge of the law, and that readiness in its application, which jury trial in civil causes imperiously demands—where the mo6t difficult questions may suddenly arise, and must be instantly argued and decided, without time for reflection or reference to books of authority—may, we humbly venture to think, be well doubted.

Another impediment to jury trial in Scotland, is our juries. We do not impugn their integrity, though one or two cases have occurred where the conduct of particular jurymen has been called in question ; but to the fact tbat, in London and the large towns of England, juries are to be found of a very superior kind to those we have in Scotland. These jurymen consist of eminent merchants and intelligent men of business, who, in numerous instances—as in lawsuits among merchants—are better qualified to instruct the court than to receive directions from it, as to the verdict they should pronounce. Hence, at Guildhall, instead of the three or four hours* harangues which the judges hero think it necessary to address to the jury, the only remark the court often make, is—“Gentlemen, you moat be much more familiar with the matter which has formed the subject of this day's investigation than I can pretend to be, and your own experience will teach you where the justice of the case lies. I, therefore, consider it unnecessary to trouble you with any observations.4 It is no unusual thing for the English judges to send for eminent merchants to their chambers, for the purpose of being informed as to their practice in mercantile questions. The trying a case with juries composed of such men, is a very different matter from doing so with juries ignorant of all sorts of business, whose only qualification is the possession of property of £6 of yearly rent, or movables to the amount of £200; aud who often, from the beginning to the end of a trial, never comprehend the nature of the subject in dispute.

In Edinburgh, the exemption of the members of the College of Justice from serving as jurymen, has an injurious effect; and we have heard -counsel of much experience in jury trials state that they never saw a good jury, except in Glasgoe—that city and neighbourhood being the only place in Scotland which furnishes intelligent mercantile men in sufficient number to afford materials for efficient juries.

The consequence of having juries of shoe-makers, cow-feeders, tavern keepers, sheep-farmers, and so on, is, that, if the case is not exceedingly simple, they soon become bewildered by the conflicting evidence, and the contradictory speeches of counsel; and they could come to no verdict whatever, did they not regulate themselves by the address of the presiding judge, which is generally a strong pleading for one or other of the parties; for Scottish juries are never left in any doubt how the court would decide the question. In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, the opinion of the judge is the-verdict of the jury: in the hundredth the jury, often from mere obstinacy, and to assert their independence, give a contrary verdict. In one case— where a large estate, too, was at stake—it was suspected that the jury had decided their verdict by lot; but, as the court ruled that the jurymen themselves could not be examined as witnesses, and no other person, of course, was present, it was impossible to ascertain the truth.

The great length of the trials is an evil not to be disregarded. It is no unusual thing in England to try 150 or 200 causes in fourteen days; in Scotland, a trial generally-lasts ten or twelve hours; and*to get through ten in five days, would be* considered great work. The cause of the length of the trials, is the examining of more witnesses than are necessary, and the extreme length of the speeches of counsel, to which is sometimes added a tedious charge from the bench, recapitulating the whole evidence which the jury have just heard from the mouths of the witnesses themselves.

But the unpopularity, or rather failure, of jury trial in Scotland is, in part, also, to be attributed to other causes besides the unfitness of this sort of proceeding to the state of the law and of the country. As originally established in 1815, the Jury Court was of so anomalous a kind that it was not easy even for the practitioners themselves to determine whether it was a distinct court, or merely a branch of the Court of Session. The separate functions of the Jury Court and Court of Session were so little fixed, that frequently a cause was bandied from one court to another, until the litigants were exhausted by the delay and expense thus occasioned; nor were they without the suspicion that remits were occasionally made for the purpose of getting rid of a troublesome case. Then, instead of leaving the general issue to the jury'—for example, if the question were regarding the authenticity of a deed, instead of putting the question —Whether it was or was not the deed of the party? the jury were asked, Whether be could write? Whether he could see to write? Whether he could read a written paper? and numerous other questions; the result of which was, that, although the jury might be of opinion on the whole that the party was in the right, yet they found themselves compelled to give a verdict against him, simply because they could not find any one of the issues among which the case was frittered away, in his favour. On the other hand, the objection to general issues is obvious; for, by resorting to them, the jury is made the judge of the law, as well as the fact—a state of matters which we cannot consider satisfactory -in the present advanced state of the law, when no one can obtain an accurate knowledge of it without dedicating his life to its practice and study. The ordinary notion, and one which tyrannical judges have in all ages inculcated, is, that the jury have nothing to do with the law, but only with the facts of the case; but this* is incorrect. For example, to take a simple case—that of murder:—The jury have not to find merely that A fell by the hand of B; but whether A was murdered by B; whether the offence of murder has been committed—a question which no one can solve who does not understand what is the legal definition of the crime of murder. The same remark applies throughout. Thus no jury can decide whether a document ie the deed of a party, until they understand what a probative writ is in Scottish law. The Court, no doubt, explains the law; but the jury are not bound to take the explanation given their, but may decide the matter according to their own notions. Thus, for example, no one doubts that, in our law, to occasion death in a duel is murder ; yet no jury in modern times can be prevailed on to convict a person who has had the misfortune to kill his antagonist in a fair duel. Numerous other instances in trials for libel, sedition, &c., might be pointed out. In England, juries have not hesitated to intrude on the undoubted province of the Court—that of inflicting punishment. When stealing in a dwelling-house, to the extent of 40s was a capital offence, juries did not hesitate to return verdicts contrary to the fact, in order to save the accused. In numerous instances, they returned verdicts of stealing to the amount of S9s.v where the property was proved to be of much greater amount. In one case, such a verdict was returned, though among the articles stolen, was a Bank of England note for £10!

Another cause of unpopularity ia the unnecessary and uncalled for introduction of English technicalities. The constant use of affidavits on the most trivial occasions, the adherence to English forms in the notices of motions for trial, &c«, and in many other matters of no nonsequenoe in themselves, are found annoying to the practitioners, and expensive to the litigants. The judge who originally presided in the Jury-Court, an English lawyer, being necessarily ignorant of the manner in which law business is conducted in Scotland, and enamoured of the law practice “in the other end of the island,” was ill fitted to engraft the new system on the administration of the Scottish law. The inferior officers of the Court, though ignorant of the mode of conducting jury trials in England, and ihost of them having no professional experience of any kind* aped, to the best of their ability, the language of the head of the Court. Being all paid by salaries, and so, independent of the practitioners, they do not give that accommodation and those facilities to which the practitioners have been accustomed from officers paid by fees, and where there is a competition for employment, by a choice being given of more than one officer. For example, the issue clerks insist on counsel and clients attending them, to adjust issues, precisely at the time when they are least likely to be at leisure; that is to say, when both divisions of the Inner House and three or four Lords Ordinary are sitting hearing causes. Although all the offices in the Register House, connected with the Court of Session, are open ia the evening, that connected with trial by jury ia open only from two to four. The trouble given by these inconveniences cannot be estimated by any one who has not experience in such matters. Twenty or thirty meetings often take place, and an expense of forty or fifty pounds is frequently occasioned in the adjustment of a single issue j for it is very improbable tt> find three or four counsel disengaged at the hour at which alone the issue clerks will give attendance. In the case of jury trial, as everjf-1 when else, the pernicious effects of high salaries is experienced. By giving £600 cr £800 a-year, where £900 or £300 an sufficient, you secure the appointment of persons, who think signing a receipt for their salary is quite sufficient duty, and who look upon attendance in their offiees, and answering the inquiries of the practitioners, as a task beneath them.

The judges who now preside Over jury trials, labour under the disadvantage of having hid no experience in such matters while at the bar; And it has been rather ingeniously managed, that those who had acquired tome experience under the original constitution of the court, are not required to attend and give their assistance in the trials which take place at Edinburgh—always the most important.

The great expense to be incurred in a single day, is another cause of the dislike to jury trial. Accounts of expenses, amounting to £300, £400, £400 for each side, are by no means unusual, and many of much larger amount could be pointed out. It is true that, in the sixty-three causes first tried, the expense averaged £119 for each party; but, when the trifling nature of some of the causes is considered, the expense will be found greatly beyond the veins of the matter in dispute- Indeed, a large proportion of the oases tried hove been actions of damages for technical blunders, occasioning no loss to any one, but regarding which our courts, of late years, have become singularly scrupulous, or for trifling injuries, which would never hive been brought, had it not been for the establishment of trial by jury. For example, on the Perth circuit in 1393, an. action of damages against an innkeeper was tried, for dismissing a cook as unqualified, she having, as he alleged, spoiled a wedding supper. To decide this important matter, a judge of the jury court, in all his state, with clerks, smeers, counsel, and agents, proceeded from Edinburgh to Perth; and thirty-six jurymen, some of them from the counties of Fife and Forfar, were brought from forty to fifty miles, at a considerable expense, and to the neglect of their own business. The jury very properly complained of the hardship of being put to so much trouble and inconvenience to decide so paltry a case. Actions, however, of equally trifling amount, are every year tried by jury.

The unanimity required of the Jnry has not been attended with so many bad effects as might have been anticipated, simply because juries, seeing the absurdity of the rule, and being accustomed to a majority in all other cases, except civil trial in the Court of Session, have had the good sense practically to disregard it, the minority yielding to the majority. To say nothing of the perjury thus forced, by law, on the jurors, there have been many instances which prove the necessity of reverting to the recognised rule in Scotland of allowing the majority to decide. The plausible argument in favour of Unanimity Is, that, in all cases, the side of truth and justice is to be discovered, if the jury .take efficient pains. But those who know any. thing about a court of law most be aware that, in a large proportion of law-suits, the right is net entirely on one side; but, on the contrary, that, as in most other disputes, both parties are very generally to blame. Besides, in questions of evidence, the testimony of the witnesses and the documents on each side may nearly, or altogether balance each other. Such a case, for example, was the famous Douglas cause. The President of the Court of Session decided it one way, and a majority of a single vote in the House of Lords the other. Now, when would the judges or the Peers have come to an unanimous judgment in such a case? In questions of law even, the arguments and authorities on the opposing sides, may leave the point exceedingly doubtful, of which we have daily experience. It la in vain, therefore, to assert, that, in all law-cuita, one of the sides is absolutely in the right. . 80 far from it, that it vary seldom happens.

The manner in which juries proceed in assessing damages is too valuable an illustration of the folly of requiring unanimity, to be passed over. Instead of the verdict In such cases being the unanimous opinion of the jury, it is not the right of any one of them! The jury, after some talk, finding they cannot agree on the sum to be swarded, write down what each juror is inclined to give, and, dividing the sum total by peers, the quotient is the verdict, thus leaving the matter to the decision of Cooker, as judges are sometimes said to leave their decisions to the dice. Were the damages each juryman is inclined to give nearly equal, no great harm would arise; but these are not the cases in which Cocker is resorted to. It is where there are gnat differences of opinion; and then a minority of the jury, or a single juryman, may control the verdict of the whole. 8uppote, for example, tight jurymen think £100 enough, but four think it should he £800: these four have, in order to obtain what they conceive the justice of the cast, only each to put down £400 on the paper; for £100 x 8 == £800, and £400 X4 = £1600, and £1600 + £800 = £9400 19, gives £800, the verdict required. In several cases, great trouble baa been given to juries by the obstinacy of one or two jurymen, whom the rule for unanimity prevents the majority controlling. No longer than last year, after a case bad been abandoned by the pursuer, and his counsel declined addressing the jury, one juror kept the whole jury locked up, and the Court waiting for three hours, because he would not concur with the vast. To prepare himself for the task he had undertaken, of bringing the majority of eleven to ass that the truth was on his side, he brought a bottle of whisky with him; and it is difficult to say what might have been the result, had the error not been discovered and taken from him by order of the Court before the jury were incloses.

In the anomalous proceeding of trial by Jury, "toe persons ignorant of the law are called oh. to aid, and, indeed, if they please, control those whose life has been spent in its study and practice, it has been found absolutely necessary, for the sake of justice, to permit the Court to review the proper duties of the jury—that of judging of the evidence, and of the amount of damages assessed. Thus, the allegation, that the verdict is contrary to the evidence, is a good ground for applying for a new trial; and new trials have been granted on such a ground, even although the verdict was supported by the charge and opinion of the judge who presided. Giving too little, or giving excessive damages, is also a ground for a new trial; and, even although the second jury coincide in opinion with the first, this is no absolute bar to a third trial. It thus appears, that, notwithstanding the boasted finality of trial by jury, there is ample room for further litigation after a verdict is returned. And so it has been found; for, wherever the litigants have been sufficiently keen, and rich enough to pay the expense, they have found ample scope for litigation in excepting to the decision of the judge in the rejection or admission of evidence, to his directions to the jury, or to the verdict itself, as contrary to evidence, contrary to law, or on the ground of the damages being excessive or the reverse.

Although we have serious doubts as to the utility of jury trial in civil cases, we certainly do not mean to defend the former practice of the Court of Session, and which is still followed in all our inferior courts—that of taking proofs by commission. A commission was granted to a lawyer, generally of little experience or knowledge, to call the parties, or their counsel or agents, and the witnesses, before him; and to write down the evidence of the witnesses. In the inferior courts, the commission is granted to one of the clerks of court, or one of the practitioners in general little acquainted with the rules by which he ought to regulate his proceedings. Day after day, and week after week, is spent in writing down an immense mass of matter, great part of which has often little or no bearing on the point at issue. Objections to witnesses and to questions, are discussed with provoking and tedious pertinacity; and, after a great consumption of time, it often happens that the objection and answer must be written down and referred to the judge for decision. The sitting is, in the meantime, broken up, and a new meeting must he held after the decision on the objection is obtained. When it is considered that there are never fewer than five persons present at such a proof, and often more—all of whom must he paid by the litigants—the expense of such a proceeding may he judged of. At length, after a delay of many months, the proof, now swelled into a large volume, is concluded; and, to enable the court to judge of it, the parties are generally allowed to write memorials as long as itself on its import, in which they take good care to distort it as much as possible. The judge, who is deprived of the advantage of judging, from the appearance of the witnesses, how far they are speaking the truth, and haring no opportunity of expiscating the facts which appear to him important, is then left to decide the case in the best way he can; and no wonder the decision is often unsatisfactory, and is carried from one Court to another, by appeal, and at a great expense—the costs being now probably more than the whole sum in dispute—until at length the chequer is shut by the decision of the House of Lords.

It was to get rid of this system in the Supreme Court, and to check appeals,5 that trial by jury was resorted to; but we cannot help thinking that it would hare been desirable to hare tried the experiment of examining the witnesses, in open Court before the judges, previously well acquainted with the facts in dispute, without troubling six-and-thirty shopkeepers, farmers, &c., about the matter. In Scotland, where the judges are certainly not “legal monks" whatever they may be elsewhere, but men of the world, the court is as well fitted to assess the amount of damages for breach of promise of marriage, assault, or the like, as any jury whatever. Indeed, in many cases which it is imperative at present to try by jury, in Scotland, there may be, and often is, no question of fact at all to be ascertained, and no damages to be assessed—such, for example, as actions on policies of insurance, where there is no denial of the facts, but simply a defence in law—as that the voyage insured was illegal.

As a check on the court, we think the value of juries in Scotland has been greatly overrated. In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, no such check is required; and to apply the incumbrance of a jury trial to the ninety-nine cases, because it may be useful in the hundredth, is as sensible a contrivance as to keep the drag constantly on the carriage wheel, because it may possibly be once a*day needed in descending a hill. We would allow the parties to decide whether they would have a jury or not. Why not give them their choice? The great curse of all legislatures is gouvemer trop. So much care must be taken of the subject, that he is allowed to do nothing in his own way. The statute-book is filled with restrictions, regulations, and prohibitions. Our ancestors ascertained the lengths of coat tails, of shoe-points, the number of dishes to be placed on the tables of each rank; exporting a salmon, or marrying an Englishwoman, have been, in Scotland, alike capital offences. To this day, it is held dangerous to allow the importation of foreign grain, and absolutely destructive to the empire to permit the consumption of foreign meat. On the same principle, the management of a law-suit is taken out of the hands of the parties concerned. But the truth is, that, practically, Scottish juries have not restrained the political inclinations of the court. In 1794, the jury were as eager for conviction as the court. Under Castlereagh's reign, in 1817, no greater difficulty was found; and it was from the vigorous efforts of the bar, in defence of the accused, and not from the conduct of the jury, that any check was given to the career of despotism. Still later instances might be pointed out, of the inefficacy of Scottish juries to protect the subject against the crown. We suppose ve must not do more than allude to the case of Gilbert M'Leod, the editor of the "Spirit of the Union" in 1819, who, although unanimously recommended to mercy by the jury, was transported for five years, for what was termed sedition. To a man in his rank of life, the sentence was, in reality, what it proved to the martyrs of 1794— a capital punishment. The manner of protecting the subject from the Crown, is sufficiently obvious —viz., by excluding politics from the bench, and not by going into the streets and the fields, to find men who will construe the law differently from the judges of the land. It is a matter well deserving of consideration, whether the only efficient check is not for the people to appoint the judges themselves. Why should the expounders of the law not be elected by popular suffrage, as well as the makers of the law?

Whatever opinion may, however, be formed of jury trial in civil causes in Scotland, there can only be one as to the merits of Mr Macfarlane’t treatise on the subject. In the space of a moderate-sized volume, he has condensed the substance of many hundred decisions, besides acts of Parliament, and acts of sederunt, relative to jury trials. His work is lucid in its arrangement, and complete in its details; and no counsel nor agent, engaged in a trial by jury, will do justice either to his client or himself, without consulting it. It will be found highly useful during the trial, from the ready solution it affords of the numerous questions, requiring immediate decision, which arise. The former treatises on jury trial were, even when published, very paltry performances,' and now are completely obsolete i from the changes which have taken place; and every practitioner has long felt the want of such a work as the present. Nor is it to those engaged in jury trials alone, that it is valuable.

In conducting proofs before the commissaries, and in cases depending in the inferior courts, it will be found extremely useful, by furnishing the rules by which questions relative to evidence, such as the admissibility of witnesses, the questions which may competently be pat, the documents which may be received, and the mode generally of conducting a proof, are to be judged of. The appendix contains issues applicable in the various classes of actions, taken from cases which have actually been tried, and all the practical forms in use in jury causes. Nothing could have tended more to the safe and satisfactory management of that branch of business, the roost troublesome and hazardous to the practitioner-trial by jury—than the publication of this book.


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