[G.R. No. L-3731. January 15, 1908. ]
J. T. CASSELLS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. ROBERT R. REID and JUAN T. FIGUERAS, as administrators of the estate of John Henry Grindrod, deceased, Defendants-Appellees.
Rothrock and Foss, for Appellant.
Ruperto Montinola, for Appellees.
1. AWARD OF ARBITRATORS. — An award does not bind parties when it is informal and not accepted by them.
2. EVIDENCE; STATEMENT BY PARTY IN HIS OWN FAVOR. — A statement of account made by an interested party since deceased and operating in his own favor may be rendered independently admissible by proof of its correctness given by a third person who has duly verified its terms.
D E C I S I O N
This is a proceeding brought as an appeal from the disallowance of a claim against an estate to establish as preferred a supposed award of arbitrators, amounting to P22,629.45, and also to declare the plaintiff the owner of one-half of certain credits aggregating P38,529.92.
Upon the dissolution of the house of Cassells, Buchanan & Co. of Iloilo, in 1897, a new firm was formed consisting of the plaintiff, residing in England, who was the principal capitalist, and John T. Grindrod, of Iloilo, who was the resident managing partner and contributed a small amount of capital. A disagreement having arisen between the partners as to the terms of settlement, turning principally on the classification of accounts and the ownership of certain lighters, it was referred to two arbitrators in England, one of whom wrote Grindrod as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"LONDON, June 29th, 1905.
"DEAR GRINDROD: Referring to my letter by last mail, Patterson and I had, as I told you, a discussion over the accounts, and we ultimately came to the following conclusion.
"The question of how long Cassells remained or did not remain your partner seems to be immaterial at the moment, seeing that you are both agreeable to take as a starting point the balance as shown by you on the 31st March, 1903.
"The other smaller items were not disputed on either side, and therefore the whole question resolves itself into that of the entry for the lighters and the value to be put upon the lighters, and the question as to whether Alvarez’ account belonged to the firm or to Cassells individually.
"As regards the former, we came to the conclusion that the entry of half the value of the lighters should not have been made to your debit, and we therefore accepted your account to write it back with interest. With regard to the value of the lighters, we agreed that the valuation of $7,000 each put on them by Cassells, on an estimate sent him by Bethell Jones, was too high; but it was agreed that they stood in the books at too low an amount, considering that their value had to be taken as on the 19th of March, 1902, when the values of craft were pretty high. We came to the conclusion that it would be fair to value the 3 lighters at $15,000, thus writing them up $4,333.34.
"With regards to Alvarez’ account, after going into the matter as carefully as we could we came to the conclusion that this account belonged to the firm, and not to Cassells alone. We had not really sufficient documents before us, but we understand that this account did not appear in the balance sheet dated 30th of April, 1897, on which basis you took charge of the business, as per your letter to Cassells on the 20th of the month, but that it did appear in the following balance sheet; and we have therefore treated it as belonging to the firm.
"On the basis I have made up a fresh account current which I enclose, showing that with interest, 21 months, the amount owing to Cassells by you on the 31st December, 1904, was $22,629.45 (Conant), and Cassells is prepared to settle on this basis, plus interest at 8% from 31st December, 1904, to date of payment, the first payment to be made as soon as possible, but not later than the 31st December of this year, and the remainder not later than the 30th June, 1906.
"I trust you will agree with the view we have taken and agree to settle on these terms, in which case you can use the cipher words given in your letter to me of 3d April, 1905.
"H. A. MCPHERSON."cralaw virtua1aw library
"P. S. — I have omitted to say that the adjustment of balance of C. B. & Co. in liquidation mentioned in the account arises from the following memorandum from Cassells, which seems to us to be corrected:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"In a balance of C. B. & Co., in liq. dated 31st March, 1908, I find that J. T. C. has a credit balance of $660.80, and J. H. G. a debit of $2,616.51, therefore I have to be credited with the $660.80 plus