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attorney's ready eye to business, 'let us hear
about them.'

'The total amount of costs adjudged to be
paid by defendants on the amount (752,500l.) for
which judgment was obtained, was 199,980l.;'
was the answer; 'being an addition of 26.5
per cent, on the amount ordered to be paid.'

'Well,' said Mr. Ficker, 'that's not so very
bad. Twenty-five per cent.,' turning to me;
'is a small amount undoubtedly for the costs
of an action duly brought to trial; but, as
the greater part of these costs are costs of
Court, twenty-five per cent. cannot be
considered inadequate.'

'It seems to me a great deal too much,'
said I. 'Justice ought to be much cheaper.'

'All the fees to counsel and attorneys are
included in the amount,' remarked the clerk,
'and so are allowances to witnesses. The fees
on causes, amounted to very nearly 300,000l.
Of this sum, the Officers' fees were, in 1848,
234,274l., and the General Fund fees 51,784l.'

'Not so bad! ' said Mr. Ficker, smiling.

'The Judges' fees amounted to nearly
90,000l. This would have given them all
1500l. each; but the Treasury has fixed their
salaries at a uniform sum of 1000l., so that
the sixty Judges only draw 60,000l. of the

'Where does the remainder go?' I enquired.

The County Court Clerk shook his head.

'But you don't mean,' said I, 'that the
suitors are made to pay 90,000l. a year for
what only costs 60,000l.?'

'I am afraid it is so,' said Mr. Nottit.

'Dear me! ' said Mr. Ficker. 'I never
heard of such a thing in all my professional
experience. I am sure the Lord Chancellor
would never sanction that in his Court. You
ought to apply to the Courts above, Mr.
Nottit. You ought, indeed.'

'And yet,' said I, 'I think I have heard
something about a Suitors' Fee Fund in those
Courts aboveeh, Ficker?'

'Ahhemyes,' said Mr. Ficker. 'Certainly
but the cases are not at all analogous.
By the way, how are the other fees

'The Clerks,' said Mr. Nottit, 'received
87,283l.; nearly as much as the Judges. As
there are 491 clerks, the average would be
180l. a year to each. But as the Clerks' fees
accumulate in each Court according to the
business transacted, of course the division is
very unequal. In one Court in Wales the
Clerk only got 8l. 10s. in fees; in another
Court, in Yorkshire, his receipts only amounted
to 9l. 4s. 3d. But some of my colleagues made
a good thing of it. The Clerks' fees in some of
the principal Courts, are very 'Comfortable.'

The Clerk of Westminster netted in 1848 . £2731
                     Clerkenwell     .      .      .      .   2227
                     Southwark       .      .      .      .  1710

Bristol, Sheffield, Bloomsbury, Birmingham,
Shoreditch, Leeds, Marylebone, received 1000l.
a year and upwards.'

'But,' continued our friend, 'three-fourths
of the Clerks get less than 100l. a year.'

'Now,' said Mr. Ficker, ' tell us what you
do for all this money?'

'Altogether,' said the clerk, 'the Courts sat
in 1848, 8,386 days, or an average for each
Judge of 140 days. The greatest number
of sittings was in Westminster, where the
Judge sat 246 days. At Liverpool, there were
sittings on 225 days. The number of trials, as
I have before mentioned, was 259,118, or an
average of about 4320 to each Judge, and 528 to
each Court. In some of the Courts, however,
as many as 20,000 cases are tried in a year.'

'Why,' said Mr. Ficker, 'they can't give
five minutes to each case! Is this
"administration of justice? "'

'When,' said the Clerk, 'a case is
undefended, a plaintiff appears, swears to his debt,
and obtains an order for its payment, which
takes scarcely two minutes.'

'How long does a defended case take?'

'On the average, I should say, a quarter of
an hour: that is, provided counsel are not

'Jury cases occupy much longer.'


'Are the jury cases frequent?' I enquired,
some feeling of respect for 'our time-honoured
institution' coming across me as I spoke.

'Nothing,' said our friend, 'is more remarkable
in the history of the County Courts than
the very limited resort which suitors have to
juries. It is within the power of either party
to cause a jury to be summoned in any case
where the plaint is upwards of 5l. The total
number of cases tried in 1848, was 259,118.
Of these, upwards of 50,000 were cases in
which juries might have been summoned.
But there were only 884 jury cases in all the
Courts, or one jury for about every 270 trials!
The party requiring the jury obtained a
verdict in 446 out of the 884 cases, or exactly
one half.'

'At any rate, then, there is no imputation
on the juries,' said Mr. Ficker.

'The power of resorting to them is very
valuable,' said our friend. 'There is a strong
disposition among the public to rely upon
the decision of the Barrister, and that
reliance is not without good foundation, for
certainly justice in these Courts has been
well administered. But there may be occasions
when it would be very desirable that a jury
should be interposed between a party to a
cause and the presiding Judge; and certainly
if the jurisdiction of these Courts is extended,
it will be most desirable that suitors should
be able to satisfy themselves that every
opportunity is open to them of obtaining justice.'

'For my own part,' said I, ' I would as
soon have the decision of one honest man as
of twelve honest men, and perhaps I would
prefer it. If the Judge is a liberal-minded
and enlightened man I would rather take his
judgment than submit my case to a dozen
selected by chance, and among whom there