The combined effect of the equity rule allowing rescission for a material misrepresentation, and the authority of the common-law courts which treat misrepresentation as fraud, is gradually establishing the doctrine at common law that a misrepresentation of a material fact is ground for an informal rescission at law.1 There are two additional considerations which in part aid in establishing this rule and which in part obscure its true nature. One is the fact that unless an innocent misrepresentation purports on its face to be a matter of opinion or pure hearsay - in other words, if it really purports to be a statement of fact, it is treated as a type of fraud by many, courts which assume that misrepresentation is not operative unless it is fraudulent. They assume that such a positive statement involves a statement of personal knowledge, the falsity of which amounts to fraud, no matter how innocent the party who makes such statement may be.2 The other is the fact that many of these cases are decided

13 Burke v. Ry. Co., 83 Wis. 410, 53 N. W. 602.

14 Beland v. Brewing Association, 157 Mo. 593, 58 S. W. 1.

15 Ernst v. Cohn (Tenn. Ch. App.), 62 S. W. 186.'

16 Wilson v. Carpenter, 91 Va. 183, 50 Am. St. Rep. 824, 21 S. E. 243.

17 Tatman v. Philadelphia, Baltimore & Washington R. R. Co., 10 Del. Ch. 105, 85 Atl. 716.

18 Long v. Inhabitants of Athol, 196 Mass. 497, 17 L. R. A. (N.S.) 96, 82 N. E. 665.

19 Pacific Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Glaser, 245 Mo. 377, 45 L. R. A. (N.S.) 222, 150 S. W. 549.

20 Pacific Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Glaser, 245 Mo. 377, 45 L. R. A. (N.S.) 222, 150 S. W. 549.

21 Denne v. Light, 8 De 6. M. & G. 774; Cowan v. Curran, 216 111. 598, 75 N. E. 322; Bowker v. Cunningham, 78 N. J. Eq. 458, 79 Atl. 608.

22 Brown v. Smith (la.), 89 N. W. 1097.

23 Boynton v. Hazelboom, 96 Mass. (14 Alt.) 107, 92 Am. Dec. 738.

24 Denne v. Light, 8 De G. M. & G. 774.

25 McFerran v. Taylor, 7 U. S. (3 Cranch.) 270, 2 L. ed. 436.

26 Winston v. Pittsfield, 221 Mass. 356, 108 N. E. 1038.

1 United States. United States v. Utah, Nevada and California Stage Co., 199 U. S. 414, 50 L. ed. 251; Joslyn v. Cadillac Automobile Co., 177 Fed. 863, 101 C. C. A. 77.

Alabama. Perry v. Johnston, 59 Ala. 648; Bethea-Starr Packing & Shipping Co. v. Mayben, 192 Ala. 542, 68 So. 814; Baker v. Clark, 14 Ala. App. 152, 68 So. 593.

Colorado. Lathrop v. Maddux, 58 Colo. 258, 144 Ac. 870.

Georgia. Woodruff v. Saul, 70 Ga. 271.

Illinois. Thome v. Prentiss, 83 111. 99; Ruff v. Jarrett, 94 111. 475; Blue v. Smith, 46 III. App. 166; Ellefritz v. Taylor, 84 111. App. 396.

Iowa. Rauen v. Prudential Ins. Co., 129 la. 725, 106 N. W. 198; Diamond v. Peace River Land & Development Co., - la. - , 165 N. W. 1032 (obiter).

Maine. Pitcher v. Webber, 103 Me. 101, 68 Atl. 593.

Massachusetts. Bates v. Cashman, 230 Mass. 167, 119 N. E. 663.

Michigan. Mooney v. Davis, 75 Mich. 188, 13 Am. St. Rep. 425, 42 N. W. 802; Houder v. Reynolds, 195 Mich. 256, 161 N. W. 856.

Minnesota. Jacobson v. Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Ry., 132 Minn. 181, L. R. A. 1916D, 144, 156 N. W. 251; Helvetia Copper Co. v. Hart-Barr Co., 137 Minn. 321, 163 N. W. 66o; Smith v. Great Northern Ry. Co., 139

Minn. 343, 166 N. W. 350; Althoff v. Torrison, 140 Minn. 8, 167 N. W. 119.

Mississippi. McNeill v. Bay Springs Bank, 100 Miss. 271, 56 So. 333.

Nebraska. Johnson v. Gulick, 46 Neb. 817, 50 Am. St. Rep. 629, 65 N. W. 883; Hitchcock v. Irrigation Co. (Neb.), 95 N. W. 638.

North Dakota. Clark v. Northern Pacific Ry. Co., 36 N. D. 503, L. R. A. 1917E, 399, 162 N. W. 406.

Ohio. Byers v. Chapin, 28 O. S. 300; Gallipolis Furniture Co. v. Symmes, 19 Ohio C. C. 659, 10 Ohio C. D. 514.

Oklahoma. Mt. Hope Nurseries Co. v. Jackson, 36 Okla. 273, 45 L. R. A. (N.S.) 243, 128 Ac. 250; Chisum v. Huggins, 55 Okla. 423, 154 Ac. 1146; Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Ry. Co. v. Burke, - Okla. - , 175 Ac. 547', Leasure v. Hughes, - Okla. - , 178 Ac. 696.

South Dakota. Bank v. Graham, 16 S. D. 49, 91 N. W. 340. .

Utah. Smith v. Columbus Buggy Co.,

40 Utah, 580, 123 Ac. 580; Qgdtm Valley Trout & Resort Co. v. Lewis,

41 Utah 183, 125 Ac. 687. Wisconsin. Montreal River Lumber

Co. v. Mihills, 80 Wis. 540, 50 N. W. 507; Krause v. Busacker, 105 Wis. 350, 81 N. W. 406.

2 See Sec. 314 et seq.

"A person seasonably may rescind a contract to which he has been induced to become a party in reliance upon under codes of procedure which provide that an equitable defense may be interposed in an action at law. Whether the court in permitting such a defense does so on the theory that it is a good defense at common law, either originally or in its ultimate development, or whether it does so on the theory that the defense is an equitable defense which can be made at law only by statutory authority, is a matter which has no practical significance and which, indeed, can never be ascertained, except from obiter, in jurisdictions in which such question is tried to the jury. If legislation is a part of our law, it makes no difference except from the historical view point which theory we take, and whether we regard it as a development of common law by judicial decision or a growth by direct legislation.3

In some jurisdictions the courts seem inclined to adhere to the original common-law rule and to hold that an innocent misrepresentation is of no legal significance, and that the party who is injured thereby can not avoid the transaction into which he has been induced to enter,4 unless, possibly, he can show that the adversary party was guilty of negligence.5