Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Brief of Argument
in Abraham Lincoln vs. Illinois Central Railroad [1]

[June 23, 1857]

Proof Retainer.

Brayman & Joy's [2] letters, with proof of their signatures, and that they were the active agents of the Company.

That I did the service, arguing the case twice.

Logan & Stuart. [3]

What was the question. How decided---& on what point.

The record---the final order---& the opinion. That l,and not Joy, made the point & argument on which the case turned.

Logan & Stuart.

The Company own near two million acres; & their road runs through twentysix counties.

That half a million, put at interest, would scarcely pay the tax.

Page  398Are, or not the amount of labor, the doubtfulness and difficulty of the question, the degree of success in the result; and the amount of pecuniary interest involved, not merely in the particular case, but covered by the principle decided, and thereby secured to the client, all proper elements, by the custom of the profession to consider in determining what is a reasonable fee in a given case.

That $5000 is not an unreasonable fee in this case.


[1]   AD, owned by Mrs. Edna Orendorff Macpherson, Springfield, Illinois. See Declaration, April, 1857, supra. The case was called June 18. No one appearing for the railroad, the jury assessed damages a $5,000. On June 23, on motion of the defendant's attorney, John M. Douglas, the verdict was set aside, and another jury called. This jury found for Lincoln in the amount of $4,800, Lincoln having forgot a $200 retainer paid to him by the railroad.

[2]   Mason Brayman and James F. Joy.

[3]   Stephen T. Logan and John T. Stuart.