This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
If A makes a contract with B by which he contracts for B's personal skill or labor, or reposes special trust in B, B cannot assign such contract without A's consent as long as it is executory on his part.1 Thus an attorney cannot assign an executory contract whereby he agrees to render professional services,2 nor can an abstracter assign a contract employing him to do certain abstracting,3 nor can a publisher assign a contract with an author for publishing a book,4 nor can a printer assign a contract to do public printing,5 nor can a nurseryman assign a contract whereby he is to prune and care for certain trees,6 nor a hemp groover a contract for the sale of hemp " of his own raising.7 So a son cannot assign a contract whereby he has agreed to furnish his father a home and support.8 Contracts whereby one party agrees to extend credit to the other cannot be assigned by such other so as to 'require credit to be extended to the assignee.9 So a contract whereby A agrees to allow B to use A's name in business cannot be assigned by B to C.10 If the contract is fully performed by B, he may assign to C the right to receive compensation from A even if B's services were personal.11 Thus an attorney who has performed all services to be performed under his contract may assign his compensation thereunder.12 If the person who contracts for the skill, personal labor or credit of another consents to the assignment of such contract by such other, he cannot subsequently object that the contract could not be assigned.13 The personal services of the adversary party must be expressly contracted for or necessarily involved in the subject-matter of the contract to prevent assignment. The mere fact that it is believed that the adversary party will perform in person does not prevent assignment.14 Contracts between the state and an owner of property exempting his property from taxation are personal in their nature and cannot be assigned with such property,15 unless it appears to be the legislative intention that such right should pass with the property.16 Where a promise by a vendee of realty whereby he assumes and agrees to pay a mortgage thereon is personal to the vendor and mortgagee the latter cannot assign the benefits thereof.17
5 Hare v. Headley, 54 N. J. Eq. 545; 35 Atl. 445.
6 Pardoe v. Bank, 106 la. 345; 76 X. W. 800.
7 Terry v. Allen, 134 Ala. 259; 32 So. 664.
8 Smith v. Bank, 137 Cal. 363; 70 Pac. 184.
1 Burck v. Taylor, 152 U. S. 634; Colton v. Raymond, 114 Fed. 863; 52 C. C. A. 382; Tifton, etc., Ry. v. Bedgood, 116 Ga. 945; 43 S. E. 257; Sloan v. Williams, 138 111. 43; 12 L. R. A. 496; 27 X. E. 531; Omaha v. Oil Co., 55 Neb. 337; 75 N. W. 859; Zetterlund v. Texas, etc., Co., 55 Neb. 355; 75 N. W. 860; Poling v. Lumber Co.. - W. Va. - ; 47 S. E. 279. "You have a right to the benefit you contemplate from the character, credit and substance of the person with whom you contract." Lord Denman in Humble v. Hunter, 12 Q. B. 310, 317.
2 Sloan v. Williams, 138 111. 43; 12 L. R. A. 496; 27 X. E. 531; Hilton v. Crooker, 30 Xeb. 707; 47 X. W. 3. The client may treat such attempted assignment as a renunciation of the entire contract. Hilton v. Crooker, 30 Neb. 707; 47 X. W. 3.
3 Linn County Abstract Co. v. Beechley, - Ia. - ; 99 X. W. 702.
4 Griffith v. Publishing Co. (1897), 1 Ch. 21.
5 Ellis v. State, 4 Ind. 1; Campbell v. Sumner Co., 64 Kan. 376; 67 Pac. 866.
6 Edison v. Babka, I11 Mich. 235; 69 X. W. 499.
7 Shultz v. Johnson, 5 B. Mon. (Ky.) 497.
8 Eastman v. Batchelder, 36 N. H. 141; 72 Am. Dec. 295; Thomas v. Thomas, 24 Or. 251; 33 Pac. 565. (Such assignment ends the contract and forfeits the realty granted in consideration thereof.)
9 Arkansas, etc., Co. v. Mining Co., 127 U. S. 379; Sims v. Ice Co., 119 Ga. 597; 46 S. E. 841; Rappleye v. Seeder Co., 79 la. 220; 7 L. R. A. 139; 44 N. W. 363; Lansden v. McCarthy, 45 Mo. 106; Menger v. Ward, 87 Tex. 622; 30 S. W. 853.
10 Bagby, etc., Co. v. Rivers, 87 Md. 400; 67 Am. St. Rep. 357; 40 L. B. A. 632; 40 Atl. 171.
11 Houssels v. Jacobs.. 178 Mo. 579; 77 S. W. 857.
12 Taylor v. Mining Co., 86 Cal. 589; 25 Pac. 51.
13 Cleveland, etc., Ry. v. Wood, 189 111. 352: 59 N. E. 619; Weath-erhogg v. Board of Commissioners, 158 Ind. 14; 62 N. E. 477.
14 Horst v. Roehm, 84 Fed. 565.
15 Gulf, etc., Ry. v. Hewes, 183 U. S. 66; Mercantile Bank v. Tennessee, 161 U. S. 161; Armstrong v. Athens County, 16 Pet. (U. S.) 281; affirming, 10 Ohio 235; Yale University v. New Haven, 71 Conn. 316; 43 L. R. A. 490; 42 Atl. 87; Lake Shore, etc.. Ry. v. Grand Rapids, 102 Mich. 374; 29 L. R. A. 195; 60 N. W. 767.