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motion, saying that the fact that an attorney may be subject to delay in receiving his fees cannot be considered by the court. The object of this provision, the court was understood to remark, is to authorize an examination into the circumstances of his employment when a counsel brings to the notice of the court the fact that a disagreement exists between himself and his client. To prevent injustice, the court, upon such a state of affairs, may view the character and extent of the service rendered, and estimate, upon knowledge of the entire case, what would be a fair and reasonable compensation.'
And where counsel moved for an allowance under this section, stating that the complainant's attorney had engaged him to argue the cause, and in consequence thereof he had prepared an argument, but that he found on coming to trial that the attorney had engaged other counsel in his stead, the court declined to enter judgment in his behalf. The court, while observing that they had no doubt that counsel had rendered important service in the preparation of the case, gave it as their opinion that, under the section referred to, they had power to allow compensation only to the counsel or attorney who has actually appeared before the court, or, at least, who has been authorized by a claimant to appear as his counsel or attorney on the records of the court.2
We have thus reviewed, section by section, the provisions of the acts of 1874 and of 1882. We have endeavored to ascertain the legislative will as exemplified in those provisions, and have examined the conclusions at which the court arrived after they had long and carefully studied the language of the former statute. There remains no occasion for remarking upon either of the enact
1 Rep. 25.
2 Rep. 26. Ít so happened that the management of nearly all of the cases had been entrusted to the hands of a comparatively few lawyers. This fortunately resulted in enabling the court to rely upon the assistance of a bar, select in point of number, quickly trained to its work, and entitled to a large measure of respect for its integrity and honor. Whatever Congress may ve had in view when they enacted section eighteen above mentioned, every one familiar with the practice of the court will testify how little need was felt of such a provision. In the few instances where counsel invoked its privileges, the step was taken with a manifest reluctance.
The act of 1882, having re-established the Court of Commissioners of Alabama Claims, qucere, Are attorneys who were admitted of record to practice in that court entitled to practice in the present court without a re-admission ?
ments as a whole. We have seen that they are similar in purpose ; that the later act, as a general rule, adopts such changes only as have become needful, in order to apply to new classes of claims the principles of indemnity recognized in the earlier act. And, in weighing the words employed in the present statute, pains have been taken to avoid giving utterance to an opinion in every instance where a doubt could reasonably be supposed to exist. It only remains to express the hope that the members of the new court will address themselves to their labors with the same fidelity and industry, and in the same spirit of a broad and liberal conception of their duties, that marked the judicial conduct of their predecessors.
The new Court of Commissioners of Alabama Claims is constituted as follows: The Honorable HEZEKIAH G. WELLS, of Michigan, Presiding Justice; The Honorable JAMES HARLAN, of Iowa, and The Honorable Asa FRENCH, of Massachusetts, Judges.
Daniel W. Fessenden, Esquire, of Maine, has been appointed clerk of the court.
Hezekiah G. Wells, who has been designated as Presiding Justice, was born, in 1813, at Steubenville, Ohio. Having obtained an education at Kenyon College, in that State, he applied himself to the study of the law. After admission to the bar he went to Mississippi, and remained there for about a year. He then removed to Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he has ever since resided, In 1845 he was elected judge of the Circuit Court, and for five years thereafter he occupied a seat upon the bench. President Grant sent his name to the Senate in June, 1874, as Presiding Judge of the newly established Court of Commissioners of Alabama Claims. The nomination having been confirmed by the Senate, Judge Wells accepted the appointment, and performed the duties of that honorable office during the period of the existence of the court.
Mr. Justice Wells has borne his full share of political burdens. He was elected a member of the convention, in 1835, that framed the constitution under which Michigan was admitted into the Union. In 1850 he served as a member of a second constitutional convention, which prepared the constitution now in force in that State. The late Governor Bagley appointed him, in 1873, one of a commission of eighteen to draft a new constitution to be submitted to popular vote. He acted in this capacity, but the proposed constitution was not adopted by the people. As a presidential elector, he cast a vote in 1840 for Harrison, and in 1860 for Lincoln. During the war he actively engaged himself in raising the Twenty-fifth regiment of Michigan infantry. For twenty years he has been President of the State Board, of Agriculture, having in charge the Agricultural College of Michigan. He declined diplomatic appointments tendered him during the administrations of Presidents Lincoln and Johnson.
James Harlan was born August 25, 1820, in Clarke County, Illinois ; was graduated from the Indiana Asbury University in 1845; studied law; was superintendent of Public Instruction for Iowa in 1847; President of the Iowa Wesleyan University in 1853. Mr. Harlan was elected to the Senate of the United States from Iowa in 1855, and served in that body as Chairman of the Committee on Public Lands. January 12, 1857, because of informality in his appointment, his seat was declared vacant; but on the 17th of that month the Iowa legislature chose him senator for the term ending in 1861. He was a delegate to the Peace convention in 1861. He was re-elected to the Senate for the term ending in 1867. In May, 1865, he became Secretary of the Interior, after having resigned his seat in the Senate. He was again elected to the Senate in January, 1866; and in July of that year resigned as secretary, the resignation to take effect in September. He served as senator until 1873, having acted as chairman of the committee on the District of Columbia, and member of the committees respectively of Foreign Relations, Post Office, and Pacific Railroad. In 1869 he was appointed President of the Iowa University. Since bis retirement from public service he has resided at Mount Pleasant, Iowa. 1
Asa French, named as third judge, descends from ancestry who settled at Braintree, Massachusetts, in 1640. He was born in that town October 21, 1829. After being graduated from Yale College in 1851, he entered the Harvard Law School, Cambridge, and took a degree there in 1853. For six months of this period he studied
1 These facts are mainly taken from “ Lanman's Biographical Annals of the Civil Government.”
at the Law School in Albany, and enjoyed the instruction of the late Ira A. Harris. Upon leaving Cambridge, Mr. French entered, as a student, the office in Boston of the late Harvey Jewell, who afterwards was made one of the judges of the Court of Commissioners of Alabama Claims. Since his admission to the Suffolk bar, Mr. French has been successfully engaged in the practice of his profession at Boston. In 1869 he became District Attorney for the Southeastern District of Massachusetts, comprising the counties of Plymouth and Norfolk, which office he has filled by successive elections down to the present time. Governor Long recently tendered him the position of judge of the Superior Court, but the honor was declined.
Daniel W. Fessenden, of Portland, Maine, is a brother of the late William Pitt Fessenden. He is a lawyer of good attainments, and of high standing at the bar. As clerk of the new court he will not be without experience, having served with very general satisfaction as clerk of the court of Cumberland County, Maine.
The Honorable John A. J. Creswell, of Maryland, has accepted a re-appointment as counsel before the court in behalf of the United States.
I. THE ACT OF 1882.
AN ACT re-establishing the Court of Commissioners of Alabama Claims, and
for the distribution of the unappropriated moneys of the Geneva award.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Court of Commissioners of Alabama Claims created by chapter four hundred and fifty-nine of the laws of the Forty-third Congress is hereby re-established, in the manner and with the obligations, duties, and powers imposed and conferred by said chapter, except as changed or modified by this act.
SECTION 2. That the number of judges for said court, to be nominated and appointed in the mode directed by section two of said chapter, shall be three, each to receive the compensation provided by section four of said chapter. The presiding justice shall be designated and vacancies filled as therein provided. The agreement of two of the judges shall be necessary to decide any question arising before said court; and said court shall be allowed the necessary actual expenses provided for in said section four. A clerk and reporter shall be appointed and counsel for the United States designated as provided in sections four and five of said chapter, each to receive the compensation therein provided; and the marshal of the United States for the District of Columbia, or his deputies, shall perform the duties prescribed in section six of said chapter.
SECTION 3. That the judges of the court hereby re-established shall convene and organize, in the city of Washington, as soon as practicable after their appointment; and the court so organized shall exist two years; and all claims provable under this act shall