« PreviousContinue »
State Bar Examination Questions.
For the benefit of the law school student who is studying in one state and erpects to engage in practice in another state, we will publish, from time to time, in this magazine, questions asked in recent state bar examinations.
OLLOWING are the first 20 questions in an examination held December 7, 1909,
by the Pennsylvania State Board of Law Examiners. Forty-eight questions were asked in this examination.
1. A. was the agent of B. for the management of numerous properties in the city of X., the making of leases therefor and the collection of rents. For several years he periodically remitted to B. certain balances said to be due him, but without any detailed statement of the collections and expenditures made on B.'s behalf. B. now has reason to suspect that there is still a large amount owing to him which A. bas never paid over. lle, has, however, no particulars as to the amount.
How should he proceed against A.?
with an option to B. to purchase the same at any time within five years from the date of the lease for the sum of $20,000. In 1898 A. made his will whereby he devised and bequeathed all of his real estate to his son C. and all of his personal property to his daughter D., and, in 1899, died. On July 10, 1901, B. exercised his option to purchase as provided for in the lease.
Who is entitled to the $20,000, the proceeds of the sale, C. or D.?
Give the reasons for your answer.
2. On July 5, 1908, A. gave to B. his check on the X. National Bank for $5,000 in payment of a debt then due to B, by him. The same day, shortly before the close of banking hours, B. presented this check to the bank for payment, which was refused by the teller on the erroneous supposition that the balance to the credit of A.'s account was insufficient for the purpose. Early in the morning of July 6th the bank was duly served as garnishee with a writ of attachment in execution upon a judgment against A. in favor of C. for $6,000. The actual amount to the credit of A.'s account with the bank at the hour of closing on July 5th was $5,460. A. is apparently insolvent.
Has B. any claim against the bank? As his counsel, what course will you advise him to pursue?
Give the reasons for your answers.
6. By his last will and testament, A. devised to his son, B., in fee simple, his home farm in the county of X., with the proviso, however, that "in case my said son shall at any time attempt to sell or mortgage said farm, then and in such case the same shall pass to my grandson C.” On November 10, 1909, three years after the death of A., B. entered into a written agreement with D. to sell and convey, within 60 days from that date, the farm to him, for the sum of $20,000, and was paid $1,000 on account of the purchase money. C. now claims that he is entitled to the farm under the terms of his grandfather's will, and that B. cannot make a valid conveyance thereof to D.
What are the respective rights of B., C., and D. under these circumstances, and by what proceedings can this question be brought before the court for judicial determination?
Give the reasons for your answer.
him with the intent never again to resume her conjugal relationship with him, what, if any, defense can be made to such action by the respondent?
10. On January 10, 1908, A. obtained a judgment for $2,000 against B., and on January 13, 1908, issued an execution attachment thereon summoning C. as garnishee. On January 15, 1908, at 3 o'clock a. m., B. died, and on the same day, at 11 o'clock a. m., the writ of attachment was served by the sheriff on C., the garnishee, who was indebted to B. in the sum of $2,500. The total value of B.'s estate, including the amount due him by C., is $10,000, and his total indebtedness at the time of his decease was $15,000.
As counsel for D., the administrator of the estate of B., what advice will you give him in respect to A.'s attachment, and how will you proceed with the settlement of B.'s estate?
Give the reasons for your answer.
discounted at the X. Bank, on July 12, 1909. On the day of the maturity of the note it was duly protested for non payment, and the bank thereafter brought an action of assumpsit on the note against B., the indorser, to recover the amount thereof.
Is the bank entitled to recover or not in such action?
Give the reasons for your answer.
15. Explain when and upon what principle a person may be held liable for partnership debts, although he may never have been an actual partner in the firm with whose debts he is thus charged.
16. Explain and illustrate the distinction between an erecutory and an erecuted contract of sale, and, also, the distinction between a conditional sale and a bailment.
11. Where part of a tract of land has been taken by a railroad company for its right of way under the power of eminent domain, what is the true measure of damages for ascertaining the amount to be awarded by the jury to a party a portion of whose land has been thus appropriated ?
12. Draw the statement of claim in an action of trespass for the recovery of damages for personal injuries sustained by the plaintiff through the negligence of the defendant, a contractor, in leaving unguarded at night an opening lawfully made by him in a public street, supplying the names of the parties, terni, number and court, and all other necessary particulars to make your statement complete.
17. A. was a widow, over twenty-one years of age, residing with her father, B., as a member of his family, consisting of his wife, C.. and another daughter D. B. had a running account at the store of E., in which were charged against him purchases made by A. 01 any other member of the family. On April 6, 1907, B. paid the account in full and then instructed E. to charge all purchases thereafter made by either A. or D. against them individually and not against him, but that he would himself pay the bills when sent to him. In May, 1938, A, intermarried with F., at which time there was charged against her on E.'s books for purchases made by her the sum of $250. In June, 1908, this bill was presented to B. by E. and B. promised to pay it in July, but on June 30, 1908, he suddenly died. E. has since brought an action of assumpit against A. to recover from her the amount of the bill.
Is E. entitled to recover in such action or not?
Give the reasons for your answer.
13. A. brought an action of trespass against B., the owner of a store building in the city of X., of which C. was the tenant in possession, to recover damages for personal injuries caused by the tilting of a cellar door in the pavement, on which he had stepped to look into the store window. The cellar door slid in grooves at its sides, instead of swinging on hinges, but this peculiarity of construction did not render it unsafe. It tilted when stepped on by A. because it had been improp erly closed.
Is A. entitled to recover or not in his action against B.?
Give the reasons for your answer.
18. In an action of tort for misrepresentations by the defendant in the sale of a chattel or in making a trade, what must be proved by the plaintiff to entitle him to a verdict and judgment?
19. In the trial of an action at law by A. against B. for the recovery of $5,000 in a Circuit Court of the United States, the trial judge directed the jury to find a special verdict upon certain questions of fact raised by the pleadings and in relation to which a conflict of evidence existed. This the jury did and was discharged. Later, on motion by A., duly made, for judgment upon the special verdict, it was ordered by the court "that judgment be entered for the plaintiff on the special verdict of the jury and on the additional facts which have been duly found from the evidence by the court."
If upon all the facts, as found by the jury
14. A. gave to B. his promissory note for $2,000 bearing date the 10th day of July, 1909, and payable four months after date with interest at tive per cent. The note was of the usual form but written across its face in red ink were the words, “It is the understanding that this note will be renewed at maturity.” B. indorsed the note and had it
and by the court, the plaintiff was clearly entitled to judgment, should or should not this judgment be reversed?
Give the reasons for your answer.
20. Give some account of origin and nature of the writs of Quo Warranto and Mandamus, and of the purposes for which they are respectively available in Pennsylvania practice.
In an examination held July 20, 1909, by the State Board of Law Examiners of Wisconsin, in which a total of 45 questions were asked, the following are the first 20:
above note is made for the benefit of my separate estate and I hereby charge it with payment thereof." The entire transaction took place in this state. Default being made upon the note, the lender, being the plaintiff, sued the husband and wife as joint defendants in an action at law to recover upon the note. Upon the foregoing facts, was he entitled to recover against the wife?
1. The mother was compelled to leave the father by reason of his cruel and inhuman treatment. She took with her an infant child, the only child of the parties, sued for and obtained a divorce on the ground of the busband's conduct. The husband was then insolvent. The decree awarded the custody of the child to the mother, but made no further provision concerning it, and awarded alimony to the mother for her support, payable monthly out of the husband's earnings. The alimony was paid, but being sufficient only for the mother's support, she placed the child with a brother of hers, who supported and cared for it at his own expense for six years. At the end of such time, the father having become wealthy, such brother demanded of the father compensation for the care and support of the child. Is he entitled to recover?
4. Plaintiff wife obtained judgment of divorce on the ground of habitual intoxication and cruel and inhuman treatment on the part of the husband. It appeared that the husband had household furniture to the value of $500, real estate to the value of $3,000 and other personal property to the value of $500. The parties had no children, and the wife was an able-bodied woman, about thirty years of age, in good health, and had a separate estate of the value of $1,200. The court decreed a final division of the estate, awarded the household furniture to the wife, and decreed that the title to the husband's real estate be vested in the wife, subject to lien and charge in favor of the husband to the amount of $1,000. Both parties appealed from the portion of the gment awarding a final division of the estate. Give decision on appeal.
2. G. was appointed, and qualified as, guardian of the estate of M., an orphan boy, fourteen years of age, and received as such guardian a fund of $3,000. Until M. became twenty years of age, G., without obtaining the order or approval of the court, paid out all the income of such fund from time to time in discharge of demands owing for M.'s necessary care, education and support. When M. became twenty years of age, he desired to go into business, and G., upon demand of M., without order of court, paid over to him the principal sum of $3,000, which M. invested in a business, intending thereby to earn his livelihood. M. had no other means than the estate in Gi's hands; and M. lost all of such principal sum of $3,000 through the failure of the business and died before reaching the age of twenty-one. An administrator, being appointed of M.'s estate, upon an accounting with the guardian, demanded judgment for the principal sum of $3,000 and for all the income that had been paid out, without order of the court, as aforesaid. For what, if anything, was G. liable upon such account. ing?
5. The city of Blankville was by its charter required to maintain a fire department for the protection of property within its limits, and required also to keep its highways in repair, and authorized for the latter purpose to acquire and maintain a stone quarry and operate thereon a stone crusher. The city acquired such quarry and, through employés specially engaged by it for such purpose, operated thereon a stone crusher, preparing material to be used in the repair and improvement of its highways. X. had, previously to the erection of the stone crusher, owned in the vicinity land and buildings, used for dwelling purposes; and through the negligent and careless operation of the stone crusher by the city's employés, creating unnecessary noise, smoke, and dust, the buildings of X. were damaged and rendered unfit for habitation. A fire bro] out on premises in the vicinity of X.'s property and in consequence of the negligence of the members of Blankville's fire department in handling and managing the fire apparatus in putting out such fire, unnecessary damage was further done to Xi's buildings. X. presents to Blank.
3. The plaintiff, at request of the husband, made loan of money to him, receiving the joint promissory note of husband and wife. The money was advanced to the husband, and was for his individual use, as plaintiff knew. The wife received no part thereof. However, the wife appended to the note the following writing over her signature: "The
ville's common council two claims for damages, for damage from the operation of the stone crusher and the action of the fire department. Both are referred to you as Blankville's city attorney. Give opinion in each
6. The Y. corporation was organized, having capital stock of 250 shares, of the par value of $100 each. A. had subscribed for and promised to pay for 10 shares, had paid in 25 per cent. of his subscription, and had become a stockholder, though no certificate was ever issued to him. A. made a transfer of his 10 shares to B. in consideration of $1,000. On the stock ledger of the corporation it was indicated that A.'s ten shares had been transferred to B.; and B. thenceforth continued to act as a stockholder, attended meetings, and voted these 10 shares. B., however, never in any form made any express promise to pay any portion of the unpaid subscription. A call was made in due form for the $750 unpaid upon the 10 shares, and suit brought against B. for this amount. B. defended on the ground that, having made no express promise to pay, he was in no manner liable, and that the liability, if any, rested upon A. Is B. liable?
being unable to find a purchaser at private sale for the par value thereof, obtained, upon due notice to all parties interested, an order of the court authorizing him to sell the shares at public sale to the highest and best bidder. At such sale the shares were sold to Y. for $3,500; Y. Leing the highest and best bidder. l'pon the settlement of the executor's account, parties interested. contesting the account, showed that Y., though ostensibly bidding for himself, was really bidding for and at the instance of the executor, and that the executor had since become the owner of the stock by transfer from Y. The county court decreed that the executor in his account should not be permitted to account for $3,300 as the purchase price of the stock, but should be charged with $5,000, the par value thereof. The executor appealed from such portion of the decree. Give decision on appeal.
7. It was part of the general incorporation law that "the board of directors may authorize a mortgage or conveyance of corporate property, but unless a quorum is present and acting, no business performed or act done is valid as against the corporation."
A corporation, organized under such law had a board of five directors. A general meeting of the board was regularly called and held in accordance with the by-laws, but at such meeting only three of the directors appeared. It was resolved at such meeting to borrow money of X., one of the three directors present, for corporate purposes, and to execute upon the corporate property a mortgage to X., securing the corporation's note, in order to secure such loan. X., though remaining present at the meeting, abstained from voting, and the other two directors present voted for the resolutions. Pursuant to the action at such meeting, the note and mortgage of the corporation were by the proper officers executed and delivered to X., and X. advanced to the corporation the mon
X. indorsed the note and assigned the mortgage for value before maturity to Z.; and, the corporation having defaulted, Z. brought suit for foreclosure. The corporation defended against the foreclosure. Upon the above facts, is Z. entitled to foreclosure of the mortgage?
9. A. died testate, an inhabitant of, and having all his property in, this state. At the time of making his will he had a wife, Mary, and three sons, Samuel, Solomon, and Sidney, and no other issue. His will, as probated, omitting formal parts, was as follows:
To my wife, Mary, I derise a life estate in Blackacre.
To my son, Samuel, I devise Blackacre subject to such life estate in my wife.
To my son, Solomon, I give q legacy of $5,000.
To our family servant, Susan, I give a legacy of $5,000.
There was no residuary clause. No further children were born to testator, and all persons named in the will survived him, except Samuel, who died before testator's death, leaving two children, Charles and Caroline, surviving testator, and no other issue.
At the time of his death, testator was seised of Blackacre and only one other piece of real estate, Whiteacre. Whiteacre had a selling value of $11,000, and was so situated that it could not be sold in parcels.
After payment of expenses of administration and debts, only $5,000 of personal property remained. How was A.'s estate to be distributed under the will, and how was the distribution to be accomplished?
10. A., the testator, had made his last will and testament, which had been duly executed and attested. Some days thereafter, he wrote after one of the paragraphs of the will, and between the lines, the following: “I further give and bequeath $500 to my friend I.;" and in another part of the will he wrote be tween the lines, “I appoint my friend Y. as an additional erecutor to the other crecutors herein named."
At the request of the testator, M. and N. signed a writing appended to the will, as
8. An executor received as assets of an estate certain shares of corporate stock of the par value of $5,000. They were inventoried by him, and appraised by the official appraisers at such par value. The executor,
follows: “The interlineations made by A. are witnessed by us."
N. Upon offering the will for probate, after the death of A., all the foregoing facts were shown. Objection was made to the admission of the interlineations to probate as part of the will. What was the effect of the interlineations?
sult, you may, if you see fit, but are not obliged to do so, award in addition to compensatory damages, such sum as exemplary or punitive damages as you think proper under the circumstances of the case by way of example or punishment in order to deter the defendant and others from offending in like manner in the future. If you award exempJary damages, you should consider the defendant's wealth so far as it appears from the evidence, as such damages, to accomplish their purpose, should be proportionate in some general way to defendant's ability to respond.”
(1) Did the court err in admitting evidence of defendant's wealth ?
(2) Is there any error in that po of the instructions given by the trial court above quoted ?
11. The provisions of testator's will, as admitted to probate, were as follows:
“I give, derise and bequeath an undivided one-half of my estate to my wife, Mary, subiect, houerer, to this condition that if she remarry after my death, such undivided onenalf is, upon her marriage, given, derised and bequeathed to my nephew X.”
"I give, devise and bcqueath an undirided one-half of my estate to my daughter, Sarah, subject to this condition that in case of her marriage, such undivided one-half is, upon her marriage, given to my nephew X.”
Testator left him surviving his widow, Mary, and daughter, Sarah, and such daughter was at the time of his death, and theretofore, unmarried. After his death and the admission of the will to probate, both the widow, Mary, and the daughter, Sarah, married. X., the nephew, demanded of each an undivided one-half interest of testator's estate, claiming that he had become entitled thereto under the terms of the will. Give decision in each case.
14. Action commenced by writ of attachment in justice court. Certain property was seized. Defendant appeared and answered, and after a trial judgment was given against him, from which he appealed to the circuit court.
In the circuit court defendant moved that the action be dismissed because the justice did not have jurisdiction of the subject-matter of the action on account of a defect in the affidavit for attachment. It is conceded that the affidavit for the attachment was defective.
Plaintiff moved for leave to amend the affidavit and the circuit court denied defendant's motion to dismiss, and granted plaintiff's motion to amend the affidavit. On trial in circuit court plaintiff had judgment for damages and costs.
Was there any error in the court's rulings?
12. A. purchased a piece of real estate, Greenacre, paying the consideration therefor with his own funds, but procuring the title in the name of B., his wife. Greenacre was purchased subject to a mortgage in the amount of $1,000, the principal of which at all times remained unpaid. B. died intestate shortly after the purchase, leaving her surviving an infant son, X., the child of A. and B., and no other issue, so that the legal title to Greenacre descended to X., subject to A.'s right of curtesy. A. then married a second wife, E. He refused to pay the interest on the $1,000 mortgage. Such mortgage was foreclosed, because of the failure to pay interest, and at the foreclosure sale E. bid in the property with money belonging to A., and E. then quitclaimed to A. A guardian of X. is appointed and consults you as to whether or not X. has any right in Greenacre. How will you advise him?
13. Action to recover damages for assault and battery. During the trial evidence of defendant's wealth was admitted, and was considered by the jury. A portion of the judge's charge is as follows:
"If you find for the plaintiff and find from a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant's act in striking the plaintiff was done maliciously, vindictively, wantonly, or under circumstances of aggravation or in
15. Action brought by plaintiff as deputy sheriff to recover from defendant, the sheriff of the county, an amount alleged to be due as compensation for services performed as deputy under the sheriff's appointment.
The statutes provide that the sheriff shall appoint a deputy and shall pay the deputy out of the compensation allowed him, the deputy's salary to be fixed by the board of supervisors. The board of supervisors fixed the salary of the deputy sheriff at $50 per month.
The evidence shows that the plaintiff deputy entered into an agreement with the sheriff by which he, the deputy, was to perform all services necessary and required of the deputy for the sum of $200 a year, and also that he, the defendant, paid the deputy in full under the contract. Plaintiff's motion to strike from the answer all allegations relating to an alleged agreement to receive less than the compensation provided by the board, and alleged acceptance of compensation under such agreement, on the ground that such allegations and such evidence were incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial was over