Legal Subject: Compensation

Case Date Legal Subject Abstract
Mary Muir v. Isobel Buchanan 1771 Debt, Estate, Compensation, Oath of Party, Intrinsic and Extrinsic In connection with the marriage of James Taylor and Mary Muir, Mary’s brother James Muir agreed to pay a tocher, or dowry, of 2000 merks. The debt went unpaid for several years. However, shortly after James Muir’s death, Taylor sought payment from Muir’s widow, Isobel Buchanan, and her children. (James Taylor died during the litigation, and the case was taken up by Mary Muir acting as his executrix.) As defender, Buchanan claimed that the tocher debt was more than offset by various sums that James Muir had advanced to his sister and brother-in-law over the years. In considering the parties’ competing claims, the court addressed a number of questions about which debts could properly be used to offset each other and what evidence was competent to prove those debts. Case documents discuss various commercial pursuits by the parties, including Mary Muir.
Robertson v. Robertson 1782 Compensation, Trust The trustees for the creditors of David Sibbald held an auction to sell a portion of Sibbald’s effects. At the auction, John Carnegie purchased a stack of wheat and transferred it to the petitioner, Thomas Robertson. Carnegie and Robertson did not grant a bill to the trustees for the price of the wheat, and the trustees eventually raised an action before the sheriff for payment, damages, and expenses. Robertson raised a counter-proceeding, alleging that the trustees owed him payment for certain business matters. The parties engaged in extensive litigation, leading to an order by the Lord Ordinary stating that Robertson had engaged in “manifestly improper conduct” and finding him liable for expenses. Robertson challenged this order on two grounds. First, he argued that his legal actions were justified. Second, he argued that the trustees were not competent to pursue the action because they had already been denuded of their trust. The trustees disputed these claims.
Walter Sloan-Laurie v. Alexander Spalding-Gordon 27 Jul 1779 Next of Kin, Confirmation, Compensation This is one of several cases litigated by the heirs of Walter Laurie of Redcastle. Laurie of Redcastle was a creditor of Robert Gordon of Shirmers. After Laurie's death, his nephew, James Laurie, assumed ownership of his uncle's moveable effects, for which he obtained partial confirmation. Thirty-five years later, after the death of James Laurie, his nephew Walter Sloan-Laurie brought action against Alexander Spalding-Gordon, the representative of the deceased Robert Gordon, for payment of the aforementioned debt. The defender, Spalding-Gordon, argued that as he had been a creditor of the late James Laurie sufficient to compensate, this debt was extinguished. The pursuer argued that because James Laurie had never been fully confirmed as an heir, the credit remained in bonis (in the goods of) Walter Laurie of Redcastle. Lord Hailes ruled in favor of the defender. The pursuer then appealed to the full court, which decided in his favor.