Mackall v. Willoughby - 167 U.S. 681 (1897)


U.S. Supreme Court

Mackall v. Willoughby, 167 U.S. 681 (1897)

Mackall v. Willoughby

Nos. 274, 281

Argued April 21-22, 1897

Decided May 24, 1897

167 U.S. 681

Syllabus

Willoughby, being counsel for Mackall in three cases numbered 2373 and 8118, both against Alfred Richards, and 8038, Mackall v. Mackall, respectively, the latter agreed with him, after reciting the fact that

"in consideration of the services of said W. Willoughby as such counsel, performed and to be performed, he hereby agreeing to conduct . . . No. 2373 to a final termination and adjudication by the court of last resort to the best of his ability as such counsel, the said Brooke Mackall, Jr., hereby agrees to allow and pay to him as compensation for such services, in addition to what has already been received by him, a sum equal to fifty percent of such money as may be adjudged to the said B. Mackall, Jr., in . . . No.,8118, by way of mesne profits, damages and costs, provided that if such fifty percent be less than $5,000, the said W. Willoughby shall have such sum of $5000, and . . . shall have a lien

Page 167 U. S. 682

therefor upon said judgment and property as may be recovered against the said Alfred Richards."

The litigation referred to in the agreement related to lot 7, in square 223 in the City of Washington, on a portion of which the Palace Market was erected. Held that the lien thus given to Willoughby was on all the property that might be recovered in the three cases.

In May, 1892, Westel Willoughby filed a bill of complaint in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia against Brooke Mackall, the Mutual Fire Insurance Company, Samuel C. Wilson, trustee, and Leonard Mackall, trustee, and Oliver Thompson, trustee. The principal object of the bill was to establish an alleged indebtedness of Brooke Mackall to the complainant, and to charge such indebtedness on certain land situated in the City of Washington. To this bill a demurrer was filed on the part of Brooke Mackall, which was sustained, and a decree was entered that the bill be dismissed. On appeal to the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia at November Term, 1893, the decree of the Supreme Court of the District was reversed and the cause was remanded to that court for further proceedings. The other defendants disclaimed, and proceedings against them were discontinued, but Brooke Mackall answered and filed a cross-bill. The cause was put at issue and evidence adduced. On May 29, 1894, the Supreme Court of the District, upon final hearing, dismissed the original bill and the cross-bill, but without prejudice to a certain action at law pending between the parties. On January 24, 1895, a mandate was issued by the Court of Appeals of the District, reciting that the decree of the Supreme Court of the District had been reversed, and remanding the cause to that court with directions to pass a final decree in conformity with the opinion of the Court of Appeals.

In the Supreme Court of the District, on January 30, 1895, a final decree was entered adjudging an indebtedness of Brooke Mackall to the complainant in the sum of $5,000, with interest from November 24, 1884, and decreeing that the same was a lien upon the land described in the bill, and that said land be sold, etc. On February 7, 1895, an appeal was taken from this decree to the Court of Appeals,

Page 167 U. S. 683

which court, on motion, dismissed said appeal on May 17, 1895. 5 App.D.C. 162.

It appears by the record that on January 23, 1895, the defendant moved in the Court of Appeals at No. 361, January Term of that court, for allowance of an appeal from the decree of the Court of Appeals, entered in January, 1895, to the Supreme Court of the United States, and this appeal appears to have been allowed on May 3, 1895, and constitutes No. 274, October 7, 1896, of the records of this Court. An appeal from the decree of the Court of Appeals of April 23, 1895, 6 App.D.C. 125, dismissing, on motion, the appeal to that court, was taken on April 23, 1895, and constitutes No. 281, October term, 1896, on the records of this Court.



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