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act or thing to be done or forborne by some or one of those persons for the use of the others or other of them.” Taking “an act in the law” to be a matter “capable of having legal effect and concerned with rights and duties which can be dealt with by a court of justice,” the learned justice concludes that an agreement between A and B to enter into a contract at some future time is not a contract; but that an agreement by A with B that he will make a contract (as for a lease of land in this case) with C, is a contract in law that may be enforced. Specific performance not being asked for at the trial, he gives damages to the plaintiff.

Lord Cairns’ Act, 1858, first gave the right to assess damages to the Court of Chancery, but limited it to cases in which the Court had jurisdiction to grant specific performance. The Judicature Acts, 1873, took away this limitation by providing that the High Court and the Court of Appeal shall give all remedies that seem just either upon a legal or equitable claim properly before them under the Acts.

See Fry on Specific Performance, second edition, p. 552.


A recent discussion of the medical jurisprudence of inebriety, at the December meeting of the Medico-Legal Society of New York, was excellently summed up by Ex-Judge Davis in the two following propositions:[1]First. That if—as all the medical experts there represented concurred in holding—inebriety be a disease, it is the duty of medical men to lead the community at large in the use of proper measures to extirpate the sources of that disease, or reduce them within the narrowest practicable limits, as is already done or attempted in the case of other diseases which afflict the community. Secondly. That the law treats inebriety, and must treat it, precisely like any other disease, that is to say, as no excuse for crime. If in a particular case the actual effect of inebriety is shown to be such that there was no criminal intent,—that is to say, no crime,—in such case it is not properly spoken of as an excuse for crime, but as a disproof of the existence of crime.”

The “Daily Register”[1] suggests, in connection with expert testimony of medical men in such cases, that a “provision should be made under which all expert testimony of a medical character shall be made independent of the selection of parties, and placed, in respect to impartiality, though not perhaps in respect to controlling authority upon the jury, in a position like that of the Judge.”


The action of slander of title has become more common of late years under the influence of the sharp competition of modern trade. The nature of that action has been decided in the recent English case of Hatchard v. Mege,[2] which was an action for falsely and maliciously publishing a statement injurious to the plaintiff’s trade-mark. The plaintiff died after the commencement of the action; the question arose whether the right of action survived to his personal representatives. It was held that, in so far as the claim was for the libel against the plaintiff, the right of action was put an end to by the plaintiff’s death; but in so far as the claim was in the nature of slander of title for maliciously decrying the plaintiff’s property and producing special dam-


  1. 1.0 1.1 The “Daily Register,” Jan. 5, 1888.
  2. 18 Q.B.D. 771.