FEES. The compensation of lawyers and phy sicians for their professional services. In Eng land neither barristers nor physicians' could recover their fees by legal proceedings against their clients or patients, except under a special contract. The ground of this rule was that such fees are regarded not as payment. but as an ex pression of gratitude for services the value of which cannot be expressed in money. The origin of the rule in the case of the advocates is traced to the relation which subsisted between patrons and their clients in ancient Rome. When the former appeared as the defenders of the latter, they practiced, as Blackstone says (iii. 29), gratis, for honor merely, or at the most for the sake of gaining influence; and so. likewise, it is established in England that a counsel ean main tain no action for his fees, which are given, not as locatio vel conductio, but as quiddam hono rarium ; not as a salary or hire, but as a mere gratuity, which a counselor cannot demand with out doing wrong to his reputation. The rule at Rome was maintained even under the Emperors. and Taeitus mentions (Ann., lib. ii. e. 5) that it was directed by a decree of the Senate that these honoraria should not in any ease exceed 10,000 sesterces, or about $400. It has further been decided in England that no action lies to recover back a fee given to a barrister to argue a cause which he did not attend. But special pleaders, equity draughtsmen, and eonveyaneers, who have taken out certificates to practice under the bar, and therefore are not counsel. may recover their reasonable charges for business done by them. As regards physicians, the rule that a fee could not be recovered by an action at law was applied in the case of Chorley vs. Bolcot. June 30, 1791 (4 T. IL 317). lf, however, either a barrister or a physician acted under a special agreement or promise of a certain payment, then an action might be brought for the money. But all medical
practitioners were relieved from the above code of honor by the Act of 21 and 22 Viet. 90, which applied to the United Kingdom, and enabled them to recover in any court of law their reasonable charges as well as costs of medicines and medical appliances used. This rule applies to physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries as defined by the statute. Members of the inferior branches of both professions—attorneys, solicitors, etc., on the one hand, and surgeons, dentists, clippers. and the like un the other—were always entitled to maintain an action for their fees. In Scotland, the same rules prevail as in England with refer ence to both professions. In France, though the delicate sense of honor of the bar has always been preserved with quite as much care as in England, the rule is somewhat different. In law, an action for the recovery of fees would be main tainable in that country by an advocate; but "in Paris the rule of the ancient bar, founded on the disinterestedness which was its characteristic and according to which any judicial demand of pay ment of fees was strictly forbidden under pain of erasure from the table (of advocates), has been religiously preserved." There is no law in the United States which puts contracts for services by lawyers nr physicians on any different basis from contracts made by other persons. In most of the American States an attorney at law has a lien on the cause of action and on the papers in his hands for the costs of the suit, including his fees. See ATTORNEY; BARRISTER; COSTS.