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TREATISE

ON THE

LAW OF WITNESSES.

BY

STEWART RAPALJE.

BANKS & BROTHERS,

144 NASSAU STREET, NEW YORK ;
473 AND 475 BROADWAY, ALBANY, N.Y.

1887.

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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1887, by

BANKS & BROTHERS, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Wasbington.

PREFACE.

FIVE

VE or six years since, while preparing a brief, the

writer had occasion to look up many of the earlier as well as the more recent authorities

upon

the

competency and credibility of witnesses; and while doing so, was greatly impressed with the discovery that these, as well as all other matters appertaining to the law of Witnesses, were very briefly and inadequately treated of in the existing text-books on Evidence.

This state of things, taken in connection with the fact that no distinctive treatise on witnesses had ever been written, so far as he could ascertain, by any English or American legal author, induced the writer to prepare this book, in the hope that it would serve to fill one of the few still remaining gaps in the literature of the law.

The inherent difficulty of the task has been greatly increased by the want of harmony among the decisions upon nearly every important point; this having been, doubtless, occasioned by the same state of affairs that inspired the idea of undertaking the task.

The main endeavor has been to cite all the cases exhibiting the different shades of opinion, leaving it, generally, for the reader to pin his faith to such of them as, in his judgment, most correctly lay down the law; but the writer has not liesitated to denounce as unsound some few decisions which appeared to him to be clearly

wrong and in

no way reconcilable with fundamental principles of law.

If the book meets with the same kind indulgence at the hands of the bar, which his former works have been so fortunate as to receive, the two years' labor bestowed upon its preparation will, by. no means, be time thrown away.

S. R.

LEONIA, N. J., May 1, 1887.

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