Open main menu

Page:Harvard Law Review Volume 1.djvu/215

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

A Treatise on the Law of Bailments. By James Schouler. Boston: Little, Brown, & Co. One volume. 2d edition, 1887. 8vo. pp. 795.

The second edition of Mr. Schouler’s book on Bailments and Carriers is substantially the same as the first, but in the arrangement of the matter we are pleased to note a great improvement. The different chapters have been systematically subdivided by the introduction of sections and head-lines. Separate chapters have been devoted to the topics of Connecting Carriers and Transportation of Baggage. Though the substance of these chapters will be found in other parts of the old book, yet several new paragraphs, elucidating and expanding previous statements, have been inserted. The author now mentions four exceptions to the general rule that a common carrier is strictly liable in the absence of special contract, viz.: where the loss was caused (1) By act of God; (2) By public enemies; (3) By act of customer; and (4) By public authority.

Much of the former text, which at first sight appears to have been omitted, will be found in the foot-notes, which latter have also been increased by the insertion of the latest cases. A larger and better print helps to swell the size of the present edition. It may be added that the “Forms of Pleadings” have been dropped.

A separate paragraph has been devoted to the important subject of grain-elevators. The author carefully limits the instances where the deposits of grain in an elevator attached to a mill are in the nature of bailments to those cases where the agreement on the part of the warehouseman is to keep enough on hand to respond to all demands; a qualification which is overlooked in some of our Western cases. We think that this topic has been dismissed rather hastily, and regret, among other things, that no reference has been made to the important case of South Australian Insurance Co. v. Randell,[1] which contains an able exposition of the opposite and perhaps more strictly accurate view of the legal effect of these grain deposits.

Several useful additions are to be found in the chapter on Pledge and Pawn, which, however, lack of space prevents us from referring to at length.

With regard to the question whether a common carrier has a lien as against the true owner on goods which he has transported at the request of a thief, the author states the law as settled, that he has no such lien. While conceding that such should be the law, we are unable to assent to the proposition that it is the law, at least in England. The point has not been adjudicated of late in that country; but there are several recent dicta in which carriers and innkeepers are placed on the same footing in respect to their lien on converted goods, and it is not at all improbable that an English court would to-day be influenced by the mistaken analogy. The doctrine was first put forward in the Exeter Carrier Case.[2] There goods had been delivered to a carrier by a thief, and it was held that a lien existed on them “for the premium due on

  1. L. R. 3 P. C. Ap. 101.
  2. Cited by Holt, O. J., in York v. Grenaugh, 2 Ld. Raym. 866.