1 Lord Howden v. Simpson, 10 Ad. & El. 821; Simpson v. Lord How-den, 1 Keen, 583; 8. c. 3 Myl. & Cr. 97; Vauxhall Bridge Co. v. Earl Spencer, 2 Madd. 356.
2 Shrewsbury v. North Staffordshire Railway Co., Law R. 1 Eq. 593 (1865).
3 Clippinger v. Hepbaugh, 5 Watts & Serg. 815; Powers v. Skinner, 34 Vt. 274 (1861), and numerous cases cited. See also Fuller v. Dame, 18 Pick. 472. But some courts hold that a party may contract to work for the passage of a bill by the legislature, if he does not conceal his interest in the matter; but states to the members for whom and by whom he is employed. Miles v. Thome, 38 Cal. 335 (1869). In New York it has been held that a contract to give "all the aid in one's power, spend such reasonable time as may be necessary, and generally to use one's utmost influence to procure the passage of a certain law," is void, as tending to subject a legislature to secret, improper, and corrupt influences. Mills v. Mills, 40 N. Y. 543 (1869). And see Frost v. Belmont, 6 Allen, 159; Powers v. Skinner, 34 Vt. 281.
4 Tool Oo. v. Norris, 2 Wall. 45 (1864), a valuable case on this subject. But the mere employment of an agent to negotiate a contract with a government officer, for supplies, by sending in a bid for his principal, is not illegal. Winpenny v. French, 18 Ohio St. 46$ (1869).
1 Blachford v. Preston, 8 T. R. 89; Card v. Hope, 2 B. & C. 662; East Ind. Co. v. Neave, 5 Ves. 173; Thomson v. Thomson, 7 Ves. 470; Morris v. M'Cullock, Ambler, 432; 1 Story, Eq. Jur. § 295; Chesterfield v. Janssen, 2 Ves. 125; Waldo v. Martin, 4 B. & C. 319; Cardigan v. Page, 6 N. H. 183; Lewis v. Knox, 2 Bibb, 453; Bowers v. Bowers, 26 Penn. St. 74 (1856); Martin p. Wade, 37 Cal. 168 (1869). Nulla alia re magis Komana Respublica interiit, quam quod magi stratus officia venalia erant. Co. Litt. 234 a. In Filson v. Himes, 5 Barr, 452, there was a covenant to pay a gross sum in consideration of a transfer of certain property, and a promise and guaranty on the part of the vendor, that a post-office should be removed from a neighboring village to the place of business of the vendee, and that he should be appointed to it as postmaster, and it was held, that the bargain was one, the consideration one, the covenant one, and that as the procurement of an appointment to office by private influence was part of the indivisible consideration, and illegal and void on the ground of public policy, the whole was void. See also Bourke v. Blake, 7 Irish Com. Law, 348.
2 Richardson ft. Mellish, 2 Bing. 242, 243, 246, 247.
3 Winpenny v. French, 18 Ohio St. 469 (1869).
4 Lidderdale v. Montrose, 4 T. R. 248; Flarty v. Odium, 3 T. R. 681; Barwick v. Reade, 1 H. Bl. 627.
5 Stone v. Lidderdale, 2 Anstr. 533, in which the case of Stuart v. Tucker, 2 W. Bl. 1137, holding the contrary doctrine, is expressly overruled. See Palmer v. Bate, 2 Br. & B. 676; Arbuckley v. Cowtan, 3 Bos. & Pul. 321; Flarty v. Odium, 3 T. R. 681; Methwold v. Walbank, 2 Ves. 238; Meredith ft. Ladd, 2 N. H. 517; Cardigan ». Page, 6 N. H. 183.
6 Nichols v. Mudgett, 32 Vt. 546.
7 Meacham ft. Dow, 32 Vt. 721 (1860).
§ 710. Contracts for the maintenance of suits, or for champerty, or embracery, or bribery, or extortion (which are void by common law and by statute, and are indictable offences), come under this rule, and are void.1 Indeed, wherever the contract is to do acts which are illegal and prohibited, it is void, and no action can be maintained on it.2 Maintenance is the officious assistance by money or otherwise, proposed by a third person to either party to a suit in which he himself has no legal interest, to enable the party to prosecute or defend it.3 It is not, in the strict sense of the term, maintenance to advance money for, or to agree to pay the costs of a suit, before it is commenced, but only after the suit is commenced;4 yet the mere fact, that the agreement is made before the suit is commenced will not render agreements good in equity which would be void for maintenance, if they had been made after suit was commenced.5
§ 711. But the doctrine of the common law as to maintenance does not apply to persons who either have any real interest in the suit promoted by them, or who act in the bond fide belief that they have. Indeed, the law in this respect has been greatly modified by the late cases, and by the general change of opinions and customs; and maintenance has been said to be now confined to cases where a stranger, having no interest in the suit, improperly, for the purpose of stirring up litigation and strife, encourages others to bring actions, or make defences which they have no right to make.1 Advice by any person to institute a suit does not amount to maintenance, unless it appear to have been urged maliciously or without reasonable or probable cause.2 So, also, if money be advanced from motives of friendship and charity, and not of speculation, to a poor person, to enable him to prosecute a suit, it is not maintenance.3 The same rule also holds where the person advancing money has any supposed interest in the subject-matter of suit, independent of his advance, whether such interest be great or small, certain or uncertain, vested or contingent; the sole object of the rule as to champerty and maintenance being to prevent entire strangers from fomenting litigation by officious assistance.4 If, therefore, there be any privity of interest growing out of peculiar relations of trust or confidence between the parties, independent of the assistance rendered to carry on the suit, - as if they stand in relation of landlord and tenant, father and son, master and servant, husband and wife,5 - mere assistance by money or services would not amount to maintenance. And this rule would also embrace the relation of attorney and client, if there were no ingredient of champerty to poison the contract.1 Maintenance is, however, to be carefully distinguished from champerty, and only constitutes a part of it; and if there be no bargain for an interest or share of the subject-matter of the suit, money advanced or assistance rendered will often be a good consideration for a contract, when, if such were not the case, the consideration would be bad.2