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Shedaker v. James

Decided: April 8, 1931.

BENJAMIN D. SHEDAKER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CLARENCE JAMES ET AL., DEFENDANTS



On defendants' rule to show cause why plaintiff's verdict should not be set aside.

For the rule, Howard Eastwood (Philip Wendkos, of counsel).

Contra, Ernest Watts and V. Claude Palmer (Thomas D. Begley, on the brief).

Before Gummere, Chief Justice, and Justices Trenchard and Lloyd.

Trenchard

The opinion of the court was delivered by

TRENCHARD, J. The complaint contained three counts. The first, to recover the contract price of certain asparagus roots which plaintiff sold to one Isobel Shedaker, his daughter-in-law; the second, to recover his share of profits resulting from the purchase by himself and Isobel of certain other asparagus roots, which share of profits had been ascertained and agreed upon between them; the third, to recover compensation for services rendered to Isobel in the management of her business, which, like his own, was the raising and marketing of asparagus roots. Isobel died in 1927, leaving certain heirs-at-law, and they, with her administrator, are the parties defendant. The trial resulted in a verdict in

favor of the plaintiff and against the defendants, and the latter were allowed this rule to show cause why the verdict should not be set aside.

The first reason upon which the motion for a new trial is rested is:

"That the court erred in permitting the plaintiff, Benjamin D. Shedaker, to testify concerning conversations and transactions by and between him and the decedent, Isobel M. Shedaker."

This reason is not properly subject to consideration since it is not in compliance with rule 125 of the Supreme Court, which requires that the party entering such rule "shall write down the reasons upon which he rests such motion with such particularity as is now required in stating grounds of appeal." A reason which, as here, states merely that testimony was admitted "concerning conversations and transactions by and between plaintiff and decedent" is too general and indefinite. The alleged illegal testimony objected to, question and answer, should be embodied in the reason. The court is entitled to know precisely the specific ruling to be dealt with, and opposing counsel what he is expected to meet. Stathos v. Bunevich, ante, p. 269; Alling v. Walton, 7 N.J. Mis. R. 101; Napper v. West Jersey and Seashore Railroad Co., 6 Id. 1035; State v. Blaine, 104 N.J.L. 325; Benson v. Brady, 5 N.J. Mis. R. 13; Carey v. Deems, 101 N.J.L. 419.

The next reason is:

"That the verdict returned by the jury was improper and that it was against the ...


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