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Smyth v. Fidelity and Deposit Co.

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Jun 25, 1937
192 A. 640 (Pa. 1937)


May 24, 1937.

June 25, 1937.

Principal and surely — Bonds — Injunction bonds — Damages — Natural and proximate result of injunction — Attorney's lien — Bailor and bailee — Conversion or destruction of bailed property.

1. In an action on an injunction bond, plaintiff is entitled to compensation only for those losses which were the natural and proximate result of the injunction.

2. In an action on an injunction bond, in which it appeared that plaintiff, an attorney at law, had been restrained by an injunction from transferring a certain stock certificate, then in his possession but belonging to a client and upon which he claimed a lien for professional services, judgment n. o. v. was properly entered for the defendant surety, where there was no evidence to show that the injunction caused the stock to depreciate in value, or that the stock had any value when plaintiff obtained his judgment against his client or at any time between that date and the dissolution of the injunction.

3. The rule that a bailee in possession of personal property, is entitled, as against a third party, to recover the full value of the bailed property in case of its destruction or conversion by the third party, the bailee being liable over to the bailor for any damage recovered in excess of his interest, was not applicable in this case. Attorney and client — Lien — General lien — Enforcement by sale — Act of December 14, 1863, P. L. 1127.

4. An attorney's general lien is the right to retain possession of documents, money, or other property of his client coming into his hands by virtue of the professional relationship, until he has been paid for his services.

5. Such lien is merely passive and may not be enforced by sale.

6. The Act of December 14, 1863, P. L. 1127, is not applicable to an attorney's retaining lien.


Appeal, No. 228, Jan. T., 1937, from judgment of Superior Court, Oct. T., 1936, No. 321, affirming judgment of C. P. No. 2, Phila. Co., Dec. T., 1934, No. 8581, in case of Charles L. Smyth v. Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland. Judgment affirmed.

Assumpsit on injunction bond. Before KUN, J.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Superior Court, reported in 125 Pa. Super. 597.

Verdict directed for plaintiff. Judgment entered for defendant n. o. v. Plaintiff appealed to Superior Court, which affirmed the judgment of the court below. Appeal by plaintiff allowed to Supreme Court.

Error assigned was action of Superior Court in not sustaining plaintiff's assignment of error to the judgment of the court of common pleas.

William A. Schnader, of Schnader Lewis, with him Louis F. Floge, for appellant.

Francis F. Burch, with him George O. Philips, for appellee.

Argued May 24, 1937.

The judgment is affirmed on the opinion of CUNNINGHAM, J., reported in 125 Pa. Super. 597.

Summaries of

Smyth v. Fidelity and Deposit Co.

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Jun 25, 1937
192 A. 640 (Pa. 1937)
Case details for

Smyth v. Fidelity and Deposit Co.

Case Details

Full title:Smyth, Appellant, v. Fidelity and Deposit Co. of Maryland

Court:Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

Date published: Jun 25, 1937


192 A. 640 (Pa. 1937)
192 A. 640

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