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direct and usual line towards the point of ultimate destination. Scc also to the same effect: Harris a'. Ry. Co., 371; Grover & Bader Co. v. Ry: Co., 70 Mo. 672; McConnell v. R. R. Co., 86 Va. 248 ; Clyde 2'. Hubbard, 88 Pa. 358. Myriell v. R. R. Co., 107 U. S. 102, and numerous other cases cited in Hutchinson on Carriers, § 149 (2d Ed., 1891).

2. In Virginia the carrier is liable, unless he is released from liability in writing by the shipper.

Code of Virginia (1887), § 129; : Prior to the code the liability of the carrier was limited to a loss occurring on its own line, unless there was an express contract to carry the goods to their ultimate destination : McConnell v. Norfolk & West. R. R. Co., 86 Va. 248 (1889).

V. ACT OF GOD OR PUBLIC EXEMY. A carrier is not liable for the loss of goods by fire, where the fire was caused by the act of God or the public cncmy: Hutchinson on Carrier's, SS 170-a and 203 (2d Ed.) 1891.

VI. WHERE CARRIER Is RELIEVED BY SPECIAL CONTRACT.

1. A carrier may stipulate for excmption from liability, in case the goods are lost or injured by fire; and if he does so, the measure of his obligation is ordinary diligence; but if the fire is caused by his negligence, or if he negligently places or Icaves the goods in a place of danger, he cannot, by sud stipulation, escape liability: Hutchinson on Carriers, $ 248-b, citing Little Rock, etc., Ry. Co. v. Daniels, 49 Ark. 352 ; Rand v. Transportation Co., 59 N. H. 363; Louisville, etc., R. Co. v. Manchester Mills, 14 S. W. Rep. 314; McFadden v. Railway Co., 92 Mo. 343. See also to the same effect : York Co. v. Central R. R. Co., 3 Wall. 107 (1865).

2. In Virginia and West Virginia the value of the goods shipped may be fixed in the bill of lading, as a limit of the liability of the carrier in the case of loss through its negligence. It is otherwise in Ohio.

In Richmond & Danville R. R. Co. v. Payne, 86 Va. 481, (1890) horses were shipped under a bill of lading, fixing the

a

value of each horse at S100. The court held that the shipper could not recover more, although the horses were injured by the railroad company's negligence. Lewis, P. J., said: “When the shipper signs a bill of lading, not cxcmpting the carrier from liabitity for the negligence of himself or his servants, but limiting the amount in which the carrier shall be liable, in consideration of the goods being carried at reduced rates, such a contract fairly cntered into, is valid and binding, and we see no reason, when its terms are just and reasonable, it should not be."

In Zoust v. Chcsa. & Ohio Ry. Co., 17 L. R. A. 116 (1892), the facts were similar, and the court rcached the same conclusion.

In Hart 2'. Pennsylvania R. R. Co., 112 U. S. 331. the carrier assumed liability in a live stock contract for " horses and mules, not exceeding $200 each." The court held that the shipper could not recover an amount exceeding $200 for each of the five horses shipped, although it appeared that they wcrc valuable racc horses.

In Muser v. Holland, etc., 17 Blatchf. 412, the shipper took a receipt exempting the company from loss by fire and from liability beyond $50. Held, that the shipper could not recover an amount in excess of $50.

3. In Ohio the carrier. is liable to the full extent of the value of the goods, where the loss has occurred through his negligence, although there is a limitation on the value of the goods in the bill of lading.

In United States Express Co. i'. Backman, 28 Ohio St. 144, whisky was accepted by a carrier, and the valuc stated in the bill of lading was $20 per barrel.

Asuburn, J., said: “This company cannot stipulate against its own ncgligence; such a stipulation would be contrary to public policy. But in all other respects a common carrier may limit his liability in case of loss by special contract. If the defendant lost this whisky by its own negligence, it cannot restrict its liability to $20 a barrel; if as may be admitted, it was advised of the nature and value of the article to be transported, and if this whisky was, in fact, worth more than $20 a barrel at the time.

W.

NOTES AND COMMENTS ON RECENT

DECISIONS.

EXECUTORS AXC ADMINISTRATORS.

Title of cxccutor to notes against testator.

A somewhat remarkable decision was arrived at in Hoffer's Estate, ctc.. 156 Pa. 473, which we overlooked at the time but which deserves notice. This was an appcal by the guardian of Thomas Minors from the decree of the Orphans' Court sustaining exceptions to the report of the auditor of the account of the exccutor of Hoffer, deccased.

The auditor had refused to allow credit for two notes made by decedent and payable to accountant. Both notes were overduc at the date of the decedent's death. There was evidence that the notes were in possession of accountant's wife immediately after decedent's death, and were handed over by her to accountant.

Exceptions to the auditor's report were sustained by the court (MCPHERSOX, J., delivering the opinion) on the ground that an executor, who is the payee of the note of his decedent, which is overdue at the time of the decedent's death, must show clearly that he held the note by a title hostile to that of deccdent, which he may do by showing that the note was in the custody of his wife immediately after the decedent's death.

This decision, which was accepted without comment by the Supreme Court, practically amounts to this, that, although fraud is never assumed but must be proved, an executor hold ing notes of a testator is presumed to have stolen them unless he can prove that he was the holder at the time of the death. That he was once the holder the paper proves, but payment

presumed though liable to be dis

and subsequent theft are proved.

When we turn to the authority on which this remarkable

deduction is founded we find it was the case of a note signed by a marksman, not witnessed and, therefore, without any outward sign of inward validity, moreover its cxistence was wholly inconsistent with proof of the holder's admissions that he was not a creditor. (McMahon's Est., 132 Pa. 179.)

We have quite cnough instances of inverted reasoning without adding more to the list, cven though it may be but a single dictum. That it could have entered into the mind of the most suspicious to suggest such an argument is bad enough; to have it accepted by a court is scrious and descrves noticc.

RECENT CORPORATION CASES. In 150 U. S. 371, there is reported a most interesting decision upon the limits of the doctrine that the capital stock of a corporation is a trust fund for the payment of debts. Our readers will remember that in the AJERICAN LAW REGISTER AND Review for February, 1893 (32 Am. L. R. & Rev. 175), we published an editorial review of some of the more important decisions of the Federal Courts which bear upon this question. In view of such considerations as must suggest themselves to every careful rcader of these judicial utterances, we ventured to give our adherence to the opinion that the attributes of a trust fund are in many respects wanting in the case of capital stock, and that the use of the term is not only not helpful, but actually misleading. A propos of these comments (which included a resumé of an article on this subject from the pen of R. C. McMURTRIE, Esq.), it is interesting to examinc the decision above referred to, Hollins 2. Bricrfield Coal & Iron Co. In this casc a trustee of a corporate mortgage had instituted procccdings thereunder which resulted in a decrce for the foreclosure of the mortgage deed and a sale of the property. Somictime after the commcnccnicnt of this suit, but before the decrce, Hollins and others filed a bill in the same court, making the corporation, the trustce, and sundry stock and bond-holders, parties defendant. The plaintiffs were unsecured creditors of the company, whose claims had accrued several

ycars after the issue of the mortgage bonds; and, after stating their claims, they alleged that the mortgage conveyance was absolutely void, and that a large amount was still due on the stock. They prayed for the appointment of a receiver and for the salc of the property in satisfaction of their claims, and they asked that thc recciver be given authority to collect thc unpaid stock subscriptions for their benefit. They alleged the pendency of the trustee's suit, but did not ask to intervenc. The bill was dismissed upon the merits. Upon appeal, thc Supreme Court, in an interesting opinion by Mr. Justice BREWER, sustained the decision of the court below in dismissing the bill, but decided that it should have been dismissed, not upon the merits, but for want of jurisdiction. Mr. Justice Brows and Mr. Justice Jacksos dissented, but gave no reasons for their dissent. Mr. ALEXANDER T. Londos, for the appellants, strenuously contended that unsecured crcditors of a corporation have a right to proceed in equity, without first reducing their claims to judgment at law. He relied upon the general principle recognized in Case ?'. Beauregard (101 U. S. 688). that whenever a crcditor has a trust in his favor or a lion upon property for a debt due hin, he may go into equity without exhausting his legal remedies. He then claimed the benefit of the many decisions to the effect that the capital stock of a corporation is a trust fund for the benefit of creditors and insisted that it is a necessary conclusion from these premises that a corporate crcditor, without judgment, may come into a court of equity upon the insolvency of the corporation to protect the trust fund and to enforce his lien. He also cited expressions of judicial opinion that such a course is in strict accordance with principle and quoted the language of Mr. Chief Justice Waite in Terry r'. Anderson (95 U. S. 628).

The argument upon these grounds is conceived to be formally valid, and thc conclusion follows from the premises as a matter of logical necessity. As the conclusion, however, was too prepostcrous to be accepted, and since the major premise contained a statement of law which was indisputablc, thc court was compelled either to deny the validity of the syllogism as a mode of inference or else to deny a distinctive attribute of a

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