1 U.S. 313 (1788)

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U.S. Supreme Court

WILLIAMS v. CRAIG, 1 U.S. 313 (1788)

1 U.S. 313 (Dall.)


Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

July Term, 1788

This cause being referred, a report was made in favor of the Plaintiff for a considerable amount, to which the following

Page 1 U.S. 313, 314

exceptions were filed, and argued on the 12th of July, by J. B. M'Kean, Lewis, and Ingersoll for the Defendant; and Sergeant and Coultburst for the Plaintiff:

1st. That the Referrees heard the Plaintiff's witness ex parte.

2nd. That they heard the Plaintiff ex parte, without giving notice to the Defendant.

3rd, That they have allowed interest upon an unsettled account.

4th, That they refused to allow a set off.

5th, That the Defendant has discovered new and material testimony since the report.

6th, That the Referrees allowed a charge for Premium and Commissions in making an Insurance for the Defendant, without requiring the Plaintiff to produce the policy, or having any other proof that the Insurance was effected, than a letter from the Plaintiff himself to his Partner in Philadelphia, in which he says he has done it.

As the CHIEF JUSTICE, in delivering the opinion of the Court, adverted to those exceptions which were groundless, or immaterial, and stated those particularly on which their decision was formed, I shall avoid recapitulating the arguments of counsel, and only subjoin the authorities on both sides.

M'Kean, Chief Justice. [314-Continued.]

There are four species of Awards: first, those made by mutual consent, in pursuance of arbitration Bonds entered into out of Court; secondly, those which are made in a cause depending in a Court of Law or Equity, upon the consent of the parties to refer the matter in variance (which are awards at common law) thirdly, those which are made under a rule of Court, by virtue of the statute of 9 and 10. W. 3. c. 15. which was calculated to remedy the delay and circuity of action attendant upon Awards made merely in pursuance of arbitration Bonds, without the intervention of a controuling power, to compel the acquiescence of the parties. These are the only Awards in use at this day in England; but the Legislature of Pennsylvania, in the year 1705, introduced another species here, which are fourthly, those awards, or reports, that are made in pursuance of the act of Assembly setting forth, that 'where the Plaintiff and Defendant consent to a rule of Court for refering the adjustment of their accounts to certain persons mutually chosen by them in open Court, the award, or report, of such Referees, being made according to the submission of the parties, and approved by the Court, and entered upon the record, or roll, shall have the same effect, and be as available in law as a verdict by twelve men.' 1 State Laws 48. 4 Ann. c. 36.

This act differs essentially from the statute of W. 3. in many respects, but particularly, that to render a report, or award, valid and effectual, the former requires, that it be approved by the Court; but no such provision is made by the latter, and, therefore, awards under rules of Court, are conclusive in England, unless some corruption, [1 U.S. 313, 315]

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