Thursday, December 09, 2004

Business Law in Daily Use, 1881

The following compilation of business law contains the essence of a large amount of legal verbiage:


If a note is lost or stolen, it does not release the maker; he must pay it, if the consideration for which it was given and the amount can be proven.
Notes bear interest only when so stated.
Principals are responsible for the acts of their agents.
Each individual in a partnership is responsible for the whole amount of the debts of the firm, except in cases of special partnership.
Ignorance of the law excuses no one.
The law compels no one to do impossibilities.
An agreement without consideration is void.
A note made on a Sunday is void.
Contracts made on a Sunday cannot be enforced.

A note by a minor is void.
A contract made with a minor is void.
A contract made with a lunatic is void.
A note obtained by fraud, or from a person in a state of intoxication, cannot be collected.
It is a fraud to conceal a fraud.
Signatures made with a lead pencil are good in law.
A receipt for money is not always conclusive.
The acts of one partner bind all the rest.
"Value received" is usually written in a note, and should be, but is not necessary. If not written it is presumed by the law, or may be supplied by proof.
The makers of an "accomodation" bill or note (one for which he has received no consideration, having lent his name or credit for the accommodation of the holder) is not bound to the person accommodated, but is bound to all other parties, precisely as if there was a good consideration.
No consideration is sufficient in law if it be illegal in its nature.
Checks or drafts must be presented for payment without unreasonable delay.
Checks or drafts should be presented during business hours, but in this country, except in the case of banks, the time extends through the day and evening.
If the drawee of a check or draft has changed his residence, the holder must use due or reasonable diligence to find him.
If one who holds a check as payee or otherwise, transfers it to another, he has a right to insist that the check be presented that day, or, at farthest, on the day following.
A note indorsed in blank (the name of the indorser only written) is transferable by delivery, the same as if made payable to bearer.

[Source: a diary kept by John Mason Robie, my great-grandfather. "The Standard Diary Published For The Trade, 1881" begins with a dozen pages of generically useful information, including a two-page summary of business law, of which the above constitutes the first page. Boldface added by me.]

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