United States v. Winston,
170 U.S. 522 (1898)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Winston, 170 U.S. 522 (1898)

United States v. Winston

No. 205

Submitted April 14, 1898

Decided May 9, 1898

170 U.S. 522


The boundaries of his district are the limits of the official duties of a District Attorney, and if he is called upon by the Attorney General to do professional duty and services for the government outside of those limits, and is allowed compensation therefor, he is entitled to receive the same, or to recover it in the Court of Claims if he has the certificate required by Rev.Stat. § 365, or if the court may, from all the evidence before it, fairly assume that the allowance was made in such a way as to secure to him the compensation to which he was entitled.

United ,states v. Crosthwaite, 168 U. S. 375, is adhered to, and the rule laid down in it is not qualified in the least by this decision.

The defendant in error, who had been the District Attorney of the United States for the District of Washington from February 19, 1890, to May 30, 1893, brought this action in the circuit court to recover for special services as an attorney rendered during that period, and there recovered a judgment. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit struck out one claim which had been allowed, but otherwise affirmed the judgment. 73 F. 149. Whereupon the United States sued out this writ of error.

The government concedes that some of the items included in the judgment of the court of appeals are correct, and disputes only three. With respect to one of these disputed items, the circuit court made the following finding of fact:

"4. That during said term of office, to-wit, about the month of April, 1892, plaintiff, at the request of the defendant, appeared in the Circuit Court of Appeals, Ninth Judicial Circuit, at San Francisco, in a case wherein the defendant was appellee and the owner of the steam tug Pilot was appellant, and, as such attorney, conducted the trial of said cause to its conclusion for the defendant. That the Attorney General of the United States allowed plaintiff for services in said cause the sum of $400, the law providing no specific compensation,

Page 170 U. S. 523

and that said services were reasonably worth said sum. Of this sum, defendant paid plaintiff $212.79, retaining the balance of $187.21 on account of excess of earnings above the maximum of personal compensation and emoluments which the law permitted the plaintiff to receive for the year in which these services were rendered and the money earned."

The other items are substantially similar, and it is therefore unnecessary to state the particular facts as to them.

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