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374 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW
same reasons a contract of employment as long as the employee does
faithful work has been held valid. 8
Nor is an agreement by which one person obtains permanent
employment from another deemed to be against public policy, merely
because it has the effect of restraining the servant from engaging in
business as long as he continues in the employment. 9 And it has
been held that an agreement by which one person agrees to serve
another for the term of his natural life, in the same occupation, is
not invalid as being in restraint of trade, such a contract merely
limiting the servant's action in respect to the manner of following
the occupation. 10 But such contract must be by deed. 11 It is, how-
ever, submitted that this proposition, though based on high author-
ity, must at the present day be regarded as open to question, 12
since in substance such a situation amounts to slavery, which is
W. G. S.
Dower — Divorce — Conveyance in Fraud of Dower or Ali-
mony — The courts of equity will protect a spouse against a volun-
tary conveyance by the other which will result at law in the exclu-
sion of marital rights, if made pending an engagement of marriage,
without the other's knowledge prior to the marriage, even in the
absence of express misrepresentation or deceit, and whether the one
attempted to be deprived had knowledge of the existence of the
property or not. "The concealment of what it is the right of the
330 (1895); Usher v. N. Y. C. & H. R. R. Co., supra, note 1; Pierce v.
Tenn., etc., R. Co., 173 U. S. 1 (1808) ; but see St. Louis, I. M. & S. R. Co.
v. Mathews, 64 Ark. 398 (1897), in which it was held that an agreement
between employer and employee that the latter should not be discharged
without cause, there being no agreement on the part of the employee to
serve for any specified time, was not enforceable on the ground that the
agreement of both parties is necessary to fix the duration of a contract of
8 L. & N. R Co. v. Offutt, 99 Ky. 427 (1896).
9 Camig v. Carr, 167 Mass. 544 (1897)-
10 MacDonell, Master & Servant (2nd Ed.), page 29; Wald's Pollock on
Contracts (3rd Ed.), page 481; Wallis v. Day, 2 M. & W. 273 (Eng. 1837) ;
see Carnig v. Carr, supra, note 9. Under the Civil Codes of France and
Quebec a contract to serve for an unlimited period is invalid. French Civil
Code, Art. 1780; Quebec Civil Code, Art. 1667. In some jurisdictions the
length of the term for which a servant may lawfully engage himself has
been specifically fixed by the legislature. British Columbia Rev. Stat. (1897),
chap. 121 (Master and Servant Act), §2; California Civil Code, 1980; Louis-
iana Civil Code, Arts. 167, 168 (160, 161) ; Manitoba Rev. Stat. (1902, Masters
and Servants Act); Ontario Rev. Stat. (1897), chap. 157 (Master and
Servant Act), §2.
"Viner's Abridgment, 323, Master & Servant, n. (5).
"Davies v. Davies, 58 L. T. 209 (Eng;. 1888).
one to know and the duty of the other to disclose, is itself a fraud
in law." 1 The American jurisdictions have adopted this rule, prac-
tically without exception, in declaring that such conveyances are
void as to the husband's rights in the wife's property, and as to the
wife's right to dower, either inchoate or presently accrued by sur-
vival. 2 England, however, restricted the application of the rule to
such conveyances made by the wife, 3 refusing the reciprocal right
to the wife upon the ground that a woman's marriage operated as
a gift to her husband of all the property, not settled to her separate
use, of which she was then possessed; but that she acquired no
rights in his property, as such, except the inchoate right to dower
in the property of which he was actually seised during the cover-
That declarations for the protection of dower rights, inchoate
or present, is the full extent to which the courts will go in declaring
this class of voluntary conveyances to be void is laid down in Deke
v. Huenkenwier, 5 where the complainant asked that a deed of certain
realty executed just prior to the marriage, and without the knowl-
edge of the fiancee, by the husband, without consideration, to a
daughter by a former marriage, be set aside upon the grounds of
(i) fraud upon her inchoate right of dower, and (2) that, in the
event of her husband abandoning her she would become entitled to
separate maintenance, or divorce with alimony, in either of which
instances she would suffer injury to her "marital rights" in that
his estate, which would form the basis of computing the amount
then due her, and to which it would attach, is diminished. After
'Chandler v. Hollingsworth, 3 Del. Ch. 99 (1867).
2 Cameron on Dower, 266, 267; 2 Bishop on Married Women, 353; Petty
v. Petty, 43 Ky. (4 B. Mon.) 215 (1843); Swaine v. Perine, 5 Johns. Ch.
482 (N. Y. 1821) ; Cranson v. Cranson, 4 Mich. 230 (1856) ; Smith v. Smith,
2 Halst. Ch. 515. (N. J. 1847).
South Carolina stands almost alone in declaring such deeds absolutely
void and decreeing reconveyances, Brooks v. McMeekin, 37 S. C. 285 (1892) ;
while the majority view is represented by the ruling of the Kentucky courts,
as laid down in Petty v. Petty, supra, "To decree that the deeds be an-
nulled entirely, would be to carry the relief beyond any possible legal in-
terest or claim that the wife has or may ever have; ... a useless act,
by which she might never be benefited, as she might die first."
3 Park on Dower, 236; Strathmore v. Bowes, 1 Ves. Jr. 22 (Eng. 1789);
Swannock v. Lyford, Co. Lit. 208 a. n. 1 ; Banks v. Sutton, 2 P. Wms. 700
(Eng. 1732) ; nor was it confined to instances of where the husband knew
of the property, Goddard v. Snow, I Russ. 485 (Eng. 1826).
4 Lush, Husband and Wife, 89; Strathmore v. Bowes, supra. However,
earlier writers refer to the wife as having the right to the protection of
equity in such cases, Gilbert, Lex Pret. 267. But the later writers and cases
have shown the settled rule to the contrary, so decidedly contrary in fact
that in Banks v. Sutton, supra, we find the court saying "And if this (de-
feating of dower) were the express purpose, it is an additional reason for
allowing it to have that effect."
• 102 N. E. Rep. 1059 (HI 1913).
376 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW
ruling that the deed was void as to her inchoate right of dower the
court said: "Even if the appellant's contentions were sustained and
the deed should be set aside and the title reinvested in her husband,
we do not see how it could be kept in him without enjoining him
from future transfers of it" in order to protect her rights to ali-
mony, separate maintenance, and the like. "It would be absurd to
ask a court of equity, at the suit of a wife, to enjoin her husband
from mortgaging or selling his real estate, on the ground that the
wife might in some possible contingency want to file a bill for
separate maintenance and for alimony against him and that the land
would be required to satisfy the decree."
While the authorities expressly in point are few, 6 yet they agree
with the principal case upon the ground that dower is a vested,
though inchoate right arising immediately upon the marriage, and in
the main not to be precluded except by her act or with her con-
sent ; whereas the rights to alimony or separate maintenance are
highly contingent and problematic, dependent first upon a violation
of the marital relations by the husband, and finally upon obtaining
a judicial decree allowing the same, and to defeat which many
things may arise.
However, where those rights are no longer contingent but have
been ascertained before the bringing of the bill to set aside such
voluntary conveyances in fraud of marital rights, equity in grant-
ing the bill will also provide for the protection of them in addition
to dower. 7
/. C. A.
Employers' Liability Act — When Suit Must Be Brought
— An employer's liability has always been a fruitful source of dis-
cussion and has been productive of a vast amount of legislation,
judicial as well as otherwise. The North Carolina courts have added
a new twist to the federal Employers' Liability Act l by their inter-
pretation of the section 2 limiting the time within which an action
must be brought. In Burnett v. Atlantic Coast Line R. Co. 3 the
court held that though this section of the act says, "that no action
shall be maintained under this act unless commenced within two
years from the day the cause of action accrued," nevertheless
since the law "confers no new right and is operative only to with-
e American cases cited in the notes above.
'Decree for separate maintenance granted, Fahey v. Fahey, 43 Colo. 354
(1908) ; and decree of divorce and alimony already granted, Goff v. Goff,
60 W. Va. 9 (1906).
*Act April 22, 1908, c. 149, 35 Stat. 65. [U. S. Comp. St. Supp. 1911,
"79 S. E. Rep. 414 (N. C. 1913).