Taylor v. Bemiss - 110 U.S. 42 (1884)
U.S. Supreme Court
Taylor v. Bemiss, 110 U.S. 42 (1884)
Taylor v. Bemiss
Argued December 119-20, 1883
Decided January 7, 1884
110 U.S. 42
1. A citizen of Louisiana in his lifetime had a valid claim against the United States for the recovery of which a remedy was given in the Southern Claims Commission. After his decease, his widow was duly appointed tutrix to his minor children and heirs. Held that it was her duty to take legal steps to recover the money from the United States, and that whether the action was brought in her own name or in hers jointly with the children, she was equally bound to prosecute it with diligence.
2. On the principles set forth in Wyman v. United Slates, l09 U.S. 654, held that a payment of a claim against the United States to a tutrix appointed under the laws of Louisiana is a valid payment making her responsible to the minors, if wronged, for the receipt of the money by herself or by her authorized attorney.
3. A contract with an attorney to prosecute a claim for a contingent fee is not void, and under the circumstances of this case, the parties having agreed upon fifty percent, of the claim as a contingent fee, the Court is not prepared to assume that the division is extortionate. Stanton v. Embrey, 93 U. S. 548, approved and followed.