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Fuman affairs, litigation in regard to this wonderful and mysterious power must necessarily increase. It is perhaps not an unsafe prediction that at the end of the next twenty-five years, nearly one-half of the decided cases will involve an application of legal principles to the determination of some vexatious questions relating to this agency. As electricity has revolutionized existing material conditions whenever introduced, so it may require in its workings the application of legal principics other than those which are now applied in similar cases.
The importance, therefore, of keeping in touch with the growth and development of the law of electricity can hardly be underestimated. The collection of all important electrical cascs and publication in one series of books to be known as American Electrical Cases will greatly facilitate both the lawyöer and the electrician in making and keeping themselves up with the decisions relating to this important agency.
The first volume of the proposed scrics contains one hundred and fifty-five complete reports of decided cascs, and, in notcs, nicmoranda of over thirty additional cases decided between the years 1873 and 1885. Each casc is followed by a short annotation, varying in length srom one linc to a page and a hall, which contains a list of the cases in the volume in which the particular casc is cited, cross references to other cases involving a discussion of similar principles and rescrcnccs to earlier cases with short digests of some of the leading ones. About seven pages of the book are devoted to a “gencral note" which contains short digests of cascs decided during the period covered by the volume, but which for various reasons were not selected for reprinting in full. At the end of the book there is a full index, under cach hcading of which are collected short: digests of all the cases relating to the subject indicated. The index, therefore, consists practically of a collection of short annotations under appropriatc hcadings.
As ncarly all of the cascs in Volume I relate to telegraph companies, the book can hardly be said to present anything new to the profession, this subject being well covered by the various works on telegraph companies.
The succeeding volumes will doubtless contain much that is new, and with the
increase in litigation in this subject should prove useful and convenient aids to the profession.
EDWARD BROOKS, JR.
New ROADS AND ROAD LAWS IN THE UNITEV STATES. By
Roy STONE, Vice-President National League for Good Roads, etc. New York: D. Van Nostrand Co. 1894.
Although this book does not, strictly speaking, belong to the domain of legal literature, it will nevertheless be read with profit by all lawyers interested in the broad and important subject of road improvement. The wretched roads which disgrace so many sections of the country are evils which must be corrected not only by the adoption of scientific methods of construction, but also by radical changes in the antiquated road laws and in the system of public expenditure. Mr. Stone devotes the greater part of his work to a description of the kinds of roads suitable for various localities, etc., and gives us somc very encouraging information as to the practical value resulting to the farmer by the laying of smooth, hard surfaces without the accompaniment of increased taxation. Thc appendix contains the substance of the recently cnacted road laws of sixteen states, as well as the schemes for much nccdcd legislation and plans for statc aid in scvcral important states. It is to be regretted, however, that the author did not dwell upon the incomplete and unpractical features of the old road laws (still in force, alas, in too many states), and contrast them with the new provisions.
The book is exceedingly well turned out. The illustrations add much to the intcrcst.
W. S. E.
TABLES POR ASCERTAINING PRESENT VALUE OF VESTED AND
CONTINGENT RIGHTS OF Dower. CURTESY, ANNUITIES AND OF OTHER LIFE ESTATES; DAMAGES FOR DEATH BY WRONGFUL Act, Etc. Computed and Compiled by FLORIEN GIAUQUE, A. M., and HENRY B. MCCLURE, A.M. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co. 1894.
These tables, based chiefly upon thc Carlisle Table of Mortality, appcar to have been prepared with anxious care by the compilers, who represent themselves as having taken every precaution to prevent crrors, whether in computation or in the printing. The profession will undoubtedly find this volume of great service in the solution of the complicated "present value problems," which so frequently arise in the domain of rcal property law, and also in the determination of troublesome questions relating to the true measure of damage for the premature termination of life by negligence or wrongful act. The volume contains Life and Annuity Tables, with rules for their use in respect of vested and contingent dower and scurtesy rights and damages for injury, a death from another's wrongful act, negligence, etc.; the Bowditch Table, table of expectancy of life as shown by the Carlisle, the Combined Experience, the American Experience, the Thirty Officers' Experience, the Farr No. 3, and the Northampton Tables of Mortality, ctc., etc. There is also a table and rule for ascertaining the present value of any sum at 2, 2%. 3, 3%. 4.4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 per cent. for any number of years from one to cighty, inclusive. This latter table is especially valuab!c. It is computed upon a compound interest basis and the formula uscd is 14" = "".
In view of the number of decisions in favor of the admissibility of such tables as cvidence in suits involving the questions to which they relate, the importance of having this volume at hand cannot readily be over estimated. The tables are printed in type that is admirably clear and the arrangement of the figures is in all respects satisfactory. G. W, P.
A LEGAL DOCUMENT OF BABYLONIA. By MORRIS Jas
TROW, Jr., Ph.D. From the "Oriental Studies" of the Oriental Club of Philadelphia. 1894.
In this little pamphlet Dr. JASTROW discusses a Legal Document. of Babylonia, dealing with the recission of an invalid contract of sale. Thc Document" in question is
a little clay tablet owned by Mayer Sulzberger, Esq., of the Philadelphia Bar, and is said by Dr. JASTROW to be in an excellent state of preservation. Dr. JASTROW classifics the legal documents of Babylonia under four heads, which (if we may reduce then to the terms of modern legal parlance) correspond to (1) due bills and receipt; (2) bills of sale; (3) deeds, settlements and formal executory contracts; and (4) judicial records. He comments upon the value of these documcnts as containing important incidental evidence of manners and customs in ancient Babylonia; and he then translates the document in question and finds that it belongs to the fourth class. The date is fixed at 642 B. C. One Aplà affected to sell to Nurea real property over which he possessed no power of alienation. Nurea paid the considera tion and (it is assumed) entered into possession. A paternal uncle of the vendor's then asserted a title to the property and, upon restoration of the consideration to Nurea, the latter surrendered the deed to the claimant. All the parties being before the court complete justice seems to have been done by combining many of the scatures of ejectment, the action for money had, and received, and the common law fine. Dr. JASTROW's scholarly and suggestive comments upon the document in question and upon Babylonian documents in general will be read with great interest by those into whose hands this pamphlet comes.
G. W. P.
Great DISSEXTING Opinions of THE SUPREME COURT OF THE
UNITED STATES. A Paper Read at the 17th Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association (1894). By HAMPTON L. Carson, of the Philadelphia Bar. Reprinted from the Transactions of the Association.
For his address to the Bar Association Mr. Carson selected a subject as fortunate as it is unusual. Dissenting opinions are too generally looked upon as feeble remonstrances of .stubborn members of the court against the decision of the majority, or as something, at all events, which is not the law.
hence docs not concern the practitioner. The student, however, should no more overlook the opinion of the minority upon an important question than he should the argument of counsel for the losing side. But the disscnting opinio::s of the United States Supreme Court have, in several notable cases, an importance greater than to the student mercly, for thcy have, as Mr. Carsos points out, become finally the scttled law of the land. Only onc cntirely familiar with the history of our highest tribunal, with the careers of the men who from time to time have composed it, and with thc opinions they have delivered, as well as with the circumstances which influcnccd thosc opinions, could have presented in such a scholarly and critical manncr thc sketch of these great protests. llistory of a kind that is not clsewhere obtainable (unless it be from the same author's great work on " 'The llistory of the Supremic Court ") is contained in this little pamphlct.
W. S. li.
Ax ILLUSTRATED Dictionary of Medicine BIOLOGY AND
ALLIED SCIENCES. By George M. GOULD, A.M., M.D. Boston, Mass.: Littlc, Brown & Co.
This work consists of 1633 large octavo pages. From such cxamination as we have been able to give, it appears to have fulfilled all the promises made by the publishers concerning it. It contains a large number of new words and definitions from all the correlated sciences.
We notice among its editors the names of Dr. Chas S. Doily and Dr. Burt G. WILDER, each of which is a sufficient guarantee of the accuracy of the departments under their charge. Thic work gives the pronunciation of every word and is profuscly illustrated.
It has numerous useful tables, such, for example, as those of Surgical Operations, Tumors, Animal Parasites, Composition of Electrical Batterics, Pigments, etc., besides the usual Bacteriological, Chemical, and Anatomical Tables.
To the medical practitioner, such a book must be indispensable, and to the legal practitioner who, at the present day,