Surreal law facts
The truth is always stranger than fiction.
July 4, 1826
On this 50th anniversary of one of the world's most important legal documents, the American Declaration of Independence, two of it's founders, authors and supporters - and sometimes political foes - died hours apart.
On July 2, 1826, John Adams (a lawyer) the 2nd President of the United States, died in Quincy, Massachusetts.
Adams' relationship with his colleague Thomas Jefferson was volatile. Adams, for example, boycotted Jefferson's inauguration as the 3rd President of the USA in 1801.
Born in 1743, Jefferson died on the same day as Adams, July 4, 1826, but in Virginia, only a few hours earlier.
Judgment for $304,840,332,912,685.16
In 1922, California Superior Court judge J. R. Welch calculated that the amount owing on George Jones' promissory note dated January 18, 1897, and including interest, payable to Henry B. Stuart, was $304,840,332,912,685.16.
Both lived in San Jose, Stuart, a grain and feed dealer. The $100 promissory note carried interest of 10% compounded monthly.
The defendant declared bankruptcy shortly after the judgment was issued.
Mr. Abel Crook, Attorney
There was an attorney in New York City with the best name ever: Abel Crook (1841-1917). He was called to the New York Bar in 1864 and practised law for 55 years.
Crook was, amongst other achievements, counsel for the New York Fish Mongers' Association and one of the first cottage-owners at Brant Lake, New York.
On December 19, 1922, Theresa Vaughn, then only 24, told the Police Court in Sheffield, England that since 1917, she had married some 61 men (in addition to her first) without ever having obtained a divorce from any of them, in cities in Europe, South Africa and England, giving a whole new meaning to the word polygamy.