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prosecution of claims against the government. The effect of the former[1] in some of its provisions can only be fully determined by judicial interpretation. Section 1 amends the Act of March 3, 1875;[2] it leaves the original jurisdiction of the Circuit Court as at present, except in raising the value of the matter in dispute, required to give jurisdiction, from $500 to $2000, and in making this a requisite in all civil suits, whether the jurisdiction therein is founded on the subject-matter of the controversy or on the citizenship of the parties; and in altering the provision as to suits by assignees of choses in action so as, apparently, to give jurisdiction of them only in cases of foreign bills of exchange, unless the assignor himself could have sued in the Circuit Court. Removal for local prejudice is still allowed in the same cases as formerly, but express provision is made for trying the truth of the affidavit alleging local prejudice; and it is also enacted that if only one of several defendants is entitled to remove the suit on this ground, and if it appears that the rights of the parties will not be impaired by a severance, then the cause shall be remanded to the State court as to all the other defendants. The act also makes the decision of the Circuit Court, that a case has been improperly removed, final, and allows no appeal or writ of error from the order remanding it, thus leaving the party to whatever remedy he may have by writ ot error to the highest court of the State. Other sections contain provisions as to receivers appointed by federal courts, and, following the act of July 12, 1882,[3] make national banks suable as citizens of the States in which they are situated. The act closes with a section prohibiting any judge in an court of the United States from appointing any relative, within the degree of first cousin, to an office or duty in the court of which such judge is a member,—a measure suggested by the alleged abuses or improprieties said to exist in some of the Circuit and District Courts.

The act as to bringing suits against the government[4] gives the Court of Claims jurisdiction of all claims against the United States, founded on the Constitution, any act of Congress except for pensions, any regulation of the Executive Department, or any contract, or for damages, in cases not sounding in tort, in respect of which claims redress could be had if the United States were suable, and also of all counter-claims set up by the government; it also gives the District Courts concurrent jurisdiction in cases involving less than $1000, and the Circuit Courts concurrent jurisdiction in cases involving more than $1000, but less than $10,000. Special provision is made for closing up accounts with the government, and detailed regulations are laid down as to conducting the litigation provided for.

The volume of law business done in Washington is very considerable. There are multitudinous claims prosecuted before the departments by attorneys midway between lobbyists and lawyers, and also the business naturally arising in a city of this size and character, of which the courts of the District have jurisdiction. The important work, however, is that before the Supreme Court and the Court of Claims. Practice before the latter is chiefly in the hands of lawyers living in this city; but the same is no longer true in regard to the higher tribunal. Formerly, owing to the difficulty of communication, it was customary for cases brought here on appeal to be put in the hands of men living


  1. Public, No. 159, March 3, 1887.
  2. 18 Stat., 470.
  3. 22 Stat., 162.
  4. Public, No. 145, March 3, 1887