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WITH ABSTRACTS OF LECTURES UPON SEVERAL TORTS
CHARLES A. KEIGWIN
Melius est petere fontes quam sectari rivulos
This collection of cases dealing with the elementary principles of torts is due to the need of such a work experienced by the compiler in his instruction upon that subject. The purpose is to acquaint the student with the authorities which establish the fundamental propositions of his text book, rather than to develop the doctrines so established in their more particular applications. The cases selected are, therefore, for the most part, those best known, preference having been given to the older and more generally cited adjudications on the various points; and the points presented are, it is supposed, sufficiently elementary in character to deserve introduction in the early stages of legal study.
In the allotment of space to the several subjects, I have been guided partly by my own impression of their relative importance and partly by observation of their difficulty from the standpoint of the student. One or the other of these considerations will account for the apparently disproportionate number of cases upon such topics as Trespass, Conversion, Defamation and Negligence, for the comparatively meager treatment of such as Nuisance, and for the entire omission of a few like Lateral Support. In respect of Interference with Contract, beside the reasons just suggested, it has seemed to me that the law on that subject is at present so diversely declared and in a state so acutely transitional that the topic could not, consistently with the general plan and limits of the present undertaking, be profitably presented.
My experience, both in my own initial study of law and as an instructor, has led me to doubt the availability of cases, in the form in which they are reported, for the reading of the student in the first months of legal learning. The reports are, of course. not intended for institutional purposes ; they usually state the facts somewhat too much at large for the easy apprehension of the reader unfamiliar with such literature, and often in confusing connection with matters foreign to the particular point for which the case is consulted; and these circumstances are likely to embarrass one not yet acquainted with the law in general and not accustomed to dealing with legal difficulties in concrete presentation. In stating the cases here offered, I have. therefore, endeavored to follow the manner of Mr. Shirley in his Leading Cases on the Common Law, without, however, attempting to emulate the humorous spirit by which he renders his accounts amusing and so the more effective. By setting out shortly the only facts directly bearing upon the proposition sought to be exemplified, much space has been saved, so that a larger number of cases has been made possible, and it is believed that the cases have been made more intelligible and more useful for the purposes to which they are cited.
The comment, or abstracts of lectures, prefixed to the cases on the several subjects is, of course, not intended as a treatise on Torts. Indeed, what I have said generally presupposes on the part of the reader a knowledge of his text, and the effort is principally to reduce into more systematic arrangement the matter already in his mind and to outline the doctrine of the subject with a view to developing the relations of the various elements of the subject. To this end it has cccasionally seemed expedient to restate some of the propositions found in the text books, but never to undertake an exhaustive treatment of the topic. It is hoped that these abstracts will be found useful in reviewing, and that, by formulating the principles which underlie the cases, they will assist the student in
Mastering the lawless science of our law,
In the preparation of this work I have become greatly indebted to Mr. Roger O'Donnell and to Mr. Willard Robertson for much laborious and very valuable assistance, both in the examination of authorities and in the composition of the mat: ter selected, most of the work upon the Maryland and the District of Columbia cases having been done by one or the other of those gentlemen.
Sharp v. Powell...
ASSAULT AND BATTERY.
Tombs v. Painter.
Patterson v. Pillans.
Anonymous, 1 Ventris, 256.
Cole v. Turner...
Coward v. Baddeley.
Hannabalson v. Sessions.
Cockroft v. Smith...