Knode v. Williamson
84 U.S. 586 (1873)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Knode v. Williamson, 84 U.S. 17 Wall. 586 586 (1873)

Knode v. Williamson

84 U.S. (17 Wall.) 586

Syllabus

1. Where a notice to take depositions at a place specified informed the opposite party that they would be taken on a day named, and that the taking would be adjourned "from day to day until completed," and, a portion of the witnesses, having been examined (at whose examination the opposite party with his counsel attended), the taking of the examination of the others was adjourned until the next day, when it was again adjourned until the next succeeding day, and so on, from day to day till a particular day, when the taking of the testimony was completed in

Page 84 U. S. 587

the absence of both the opposite party and his counsel, held that an exclusion of the deposition on the ground of want of sufficient notice was error.

2. Where the purpose of testimony is to impeach a witness for want of veracity, it is not improper to ask the person on the stand what is the general "reputation" for truth of the witness sought to be impeached. It is even more proper than to ask what is his general "character" for truth, though the question is sometimes asked in the latter form, the word "character" being then used as synonymous with "reputation."

3. A notice without date, given to a party that depositions will be taken "on the 12th of September" (no year mentioned), at the office of a person named, "in the City of Guilford, State of Maine," is insufficient to let in a deposition taken on the 12th of September, 1867, "in the Town of Guilford," it not appearing whether the Town or Township of Guilford was the same as the City of Guilford, and the opposite party not having attended at the taking of the depositions, and so waived the defect in the notice.

Knode sued Williamson in the court below in trespass.

In the course of the trial, the plaintiff offered in evidence the deposition of J. A. Chapline, which the court excluded.

He also offered in evidence the depositions of certain persons, Biddle, Jamieson, and others, which the court equally excluded.

The defendant, on the other hand, offered in evidence the deposition of a certain Ellis, which the court admitted.

Verdict and judgment having gone for the defendant, the plaintiff brought the case here on exceptions to the exclusion of the two first-mentioned depositions and the admission of the last-mentioned one.

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