McGowan v. Parish,
237 U.S. 285 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

McGowan v. Parish, 237 U.S. 285 (1915)

McGowan v. Parish

No. 150

Argued January 25, 26, 1915

Decided April 12, 1915

237 U.S. 285


The appellate jurisdiction of this Court in all cases coming from the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia, under § 250, Judicial Code, is general, except those coming under the first class specified in § 250 in which the jurisdiction of the trial court is in issue, and is the only question certified.

Where, as in this case, the jurisdiction is invoked on a substantial ground, other than that of jurisdiction, it extends to the determination of all questions presented by the record, irrespective of the disposition that may be made of the particular question on which the appeal rests.

Where officers of the government find that they do not have to invoke the protection of Rev.Stat. § 3477 and are willing to pay the amount of a claim upon the United States, or a portion thereof, into court and so protect the rights of one claiming an interest in the warrant, and all parties consent, and grounds for equity exist, and it is not clear that there is an adequate remedy at law, the court may acquire and exercise equity jurisdiction.

The right of defendant to object to equity jurisdiction on the ground that there is an adequate remedy at law may be waived. Even if the trial court might have dismissed the bill for want of jurisdiction of its own motion, if it did not do so, this Court is not called upon to pass upon the question.

A consent decree that the claimed portion of a warrant be deposited in court not only amounts to a clear and express waiver of jurisdictional objections, but renders irrelevant all questions as to whether there was or was not an actual lien on the warrant.

A court of equity should do justice completely and not by halves, and should retain the cause for all purposes even though it be thereby called upon to determine legal rights otherwise beyond its authority. Camp v. Boyd, 229 U. S. 530, 229 U. S. 551.

In this case, held that attorneys originally employed, under a written contract containing a provision against revocation, to collect a claim against the government and who had rendered substantial services

Page 237 U. S. 286

in connection therewith, but had been superseded by other attorneys over their objection after their offer to proceed with the case, were entitled to compensation to an amount equal to that provided by the contract.

39 App.D.C. 184 reversed.

The facts, which involve the respective interests of various parties in a claim against the United States which had been adjudicated after a long litigation in the courts in which appellants had at divers times represented the claimants, are stated in the opinion.

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