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amount of the bill is $43. The first item is dated July 5, 1871, and the last July 12, 1872. The latter is the charge for drawing the contract. There is also a like bill against Baker and Smith of $45, and one against Baker and Mears of $6. These accounts throw light on the relation of client and counsel as it subsisted between the attorney and Baker.
With respect to Chapman we shall let the record speak for itself. Vincent testifies : “ I asked him, How is it, Chapman? I thought you owned that property” (referring to the premises in controversy). “He said, “No; I never paid anything on it.' He said, “Sammons has a right to rent. It is his property.' ... 'I asked him how he came with the deed from Scott, and he said, “It was only to shield Sammons; that afterwards Michael Dansmon paid the debt and the property went back to Sammons.' . . . . When I met Bela Chapman, and he asked for Sammons and wife, he said he had drawn a deed from Sammons and wife to Belote for the premises, and wanted them to sign it.'”
Francis Sammons, a son of Sammons, the grantor to Belote, says: “A part of a house situated on that lot three was leased by my father to Bela Chapman, in 1851, for the purpose of storing goods, and he afterwards lived in it a while. I collected the rent. I think he occupied it with his goods and family about three months. He never occupied or had possession of the premises at any other time, to my knowledge. He came from Mackinac when he put the goods in that house. He remained here four or five years after he came from Mackinac. He lived in Mackinac until his death. He came over to Cheboygan several times after he went to reside at Mackinac. Sometimes he would stay a week or two, visiting. At the time he lived here he was a notary-public, justice of the peace, and postmaster. I know he was in the habit of drawing deeds and mortgages for any one that called on him. I don't think there was any one else here during the year 1852 and 1853 who drew deeds and mortgages but Bela Chapman in this village. My father sold the premises to William S. M. Belote. My father was in possession of the premises from 1846 until he sold to Belote.” Medard Metivier says: “I hold the office of county clerk
and register of deeds for Cheboygan County; have held these offices since 1872.' ... 'I am in my sixtieth year. I came to live in this village in 1851. Lived here ever since, except about six years when I lived in Mackinac and Chicago during the war. I know Jacob Sammons and Bela Chapman ; they are both dead. I remember being at the house of Jacob Sammons when a deed was executed by Sammons and wife to Belote. I witnessed the deed. That deed was witnessed by and acknowledged before Bela Chapman, as notary-public. I think there was another deed executed by Sammons and wife to Belote, which I witnessed when Bela Chapman was present. I remember the circumstances distinctly of one deed being executed, witnessed by myself and Chapman, from the fact that the room was very dark, owing to Mrs. Sammons having very sore eyes, and we had to raise the curtain for more light. There was not any other full-grown person there, unless Mr. Belote was there, about which I cannot state positively, than Mr. and Mrs. Sammons, Mr. Chapman, and myself. A part of the deed which I witnessed was in print. It was an old-fashioned form of printed deed. Mr. Chapman brought the form from Mackinac or somewhere. He only had them here. I know the premises described in the bill in this cause, and Chapman was never in possession of them to my knowledge. I know Mr. Chapman's handwriting very well, and I remember particularly that the deeds witnessed by myself and Mr. Chapman and acknowledged before him were in his (Chapman's) handwriting, and that he drew both of them. I know one of the deeds then executed by Sammons and wife to Belote conveyed the premises in question and other property ; cannot tell all of the other property."
These witnesses are unimpeached and are to be presumed unimpeachable. Their testimony is conclusive as to Chapmans's relation to the property. If there could be any doubt on the point, it is removed by the fact that for $25 he conveyed property about to be sold and wbich was sold by Baker to responsible parties for $8,000. This fact alone is decisive as to the character of the transaction with respect to both parties. No honest mind can contemplate for a moment the conduct of the attorney without the strongest sense of disapprobation.
Chapman conveyed by a deed of quit-claim to the attorney's brother. The attorney procured the deed to be so made. It was the same thing in the view of the law as if it had been made to the attorney himself. Neither of them was in any sense a bona-fide purchaser. No one taking a quit-claim deed can stand in that relation. May v. Le Claire, 11 Wall. 217.
There are other obvious considerations which point to the same conclusion as a matter of fact. It is unnecessary to specify them, and we prefer not to do so.
The admission of Chapman while he held the legal title, being contrary to his interest, are competent evidence against him and those claiming under him. He said the object of the conveyance to him was to protect the property against a creditor of Sammons. If such were the fact, the deed was declared void by the statute of Michigan against fraudulent conveyances (2 Comp. Laws of Mich. 116); and it was made so by the common law. The aid of the statute was not necessary to this result. Clements v. Moore, 6 Wall. 299. Nothing, therefore, passed by the deed to Chapman's grantee.
Chapman's connection with the deed from Sammons to Belote would bar him, if living, from setting up any claim at law or in equity to the premises. The facts make a complete case of estoppel in pais. This subject was fully examined in Dickerson v. Colgrove, 100 U.S. 578. We need not go over the same ground again. See, also, City of Cincinnati v. the Lessee of White, 6 Pet. 431; Doe v. Rosser, 3 East, 15; and Brown v. Wheeler, 17 Conn. 353.
If Chapman had nothing to convey, his grantee could take nothing by the deed.
The latter is in exactly the situation the former would occupy if he were living and were a party to this litigation. The estoppel was conclusive in favor of Belote and those claiming under him, and this complainant has a right to insist upon it.
But there is another and a higher ground upon which our judgment may be rested.
The relation of client and counsel subsisted between the attorney and Baker. The employment to draw the contract with Hurds & Smith was not a solitary instance of professional service which the latter was called upon to render to the former. The bills of the attorney found in the record show the duration of the connection and the extent and variety of the items charged and paid for. They indicate a continuous understanding and consequent employment. Undoubtedly either party had the right to terminate the connection at any time; and if it were done, the other would have had no right to complain. But, until this occurred, the confidence manifested by the client give him the right to expect a corresponding return of zeal, diligence, and good faith on the part of the attorney. · The employment to draw the contract was sufficient alone to put the parties in this relation to each other. Galbraith v. Elder, 8 Watts, (Pa.) 81 ; Smith v. Brotherline, 62 Pa. St. 461. But whether the relation subsisted previously or was created only for the purpose of the particular transaction in question, it carried with it the same consequences. Williamson v. Moriarty, 19 Weekly Reporter, 818.
It is the duty of an attorney to advise the client promptly whenever he has any information to give which it is important the client should receive. Hoops v. Burnett, 26 Miss. 428; Jett v. Hempstead, 25 Ark. 462; Fox v. Cooper, 2 Q. B. 827.
In Taylor v. Blacklow (3 Bing. N. C. 235) an attorney employed to raise money on a mortgage learned the existence of certain defects in his client's title and disclosed them to another person. As a consequence his client was subjected to litigation and otherwise injured. It was held that an action would lie against the attorney and that the client was entitled to recover.
In Com. Dig. tit. “ Action upon the case for a Deceit, A. 5," it is said that such an action lies “ if a man, being entrusted in his profession, deceive him who entrusted him; as if a man retained of counsel became afterwards of counsel with the other party in the same cause, or discover the evidence or secrets of the cause. So if an attorney act deceptive to the prejudice of his client, as if by collusion with the demandant be make default in a real action whereby the land is lost.”.
It has been held that if counsel be retained to defend a particular title to real estate he can never thereafter, unless his
client consent, buy the opposing title without holding it in trust for those then having the title he was employed to sustain. Henry v. Raiman, 25 Pa. St. 354. Without expressing any opinion as to the soundness of this case with respect to the extent to which the principle of trusteeship is asserted, it may be laid down as a general rule that an attorney can in no case, without the client's consent, buy and hold otherwise than in trust, any adverse title or interest touching the thing to which his employment relates. He cannot in such a way put himself in an adversary position without this result. The cases to this effect are very numerous and they are all in harmony. We refer to a few of them. Smith v. Brotherline, 62 Pa. St. 461; Davis v. Smith, 43 Vt. 269; Wheeler v. Willard, 44 id. 641; Gidding: v. Eastman, 5 Paige (N. Y.) 561; Moore et ai v. Bracken, 27 Ill. 23; Harper v. Perry, 28 Wis. 57; Hockenbury v. Carlisle, 5 Watts and S. (Pa.) 348; Hobedy v. Peters, 6 Jurist, pt. 1, 1,794 ; Jett v. Hempstead, 25 Ark. 462; Case v. Carroll, 35 N. Y. 385; Lewis v. Hillman, 3 H. L. Cas. 607.
The same principle is applied in cases other than those of attorney and client.
Where there are several joint lessees and one of them procures a renewal of the lease to himself; the renewal enures equally to the benefit of all the original lessees. Burrell v. Bull, 3 Sandf. (N. Y.) Ch. 15.
Where there are two joint devisees and one of them buys up a paramount outstanding title, he holds it in trust for the other to the extent of his interest in the property, the cestui que trust refunding his proportion of the purchase-money. Van Horne v. Fonda, 5 Johns. (N. Y.), Ch. 388.
Where a surety takes up the obligation of himself and principal, he can enforce it only to the extent of what be paid and interest. Reed v. Norris, 2 Myl. & Cr. 361.
Where a lessee had made valuable improvements pursuant to the requirements of his lease, and procured an adverse title intending to hold the premises in his own right, it was held that he was a trustee and entitled only to be paid what the title cost him. Cleavinger v. Reimar, 3 Watts & S. (Pa.) 486.
The case in hand is peculiarly a fit one for the application of the principle we have been considering. It is always danger