In 1912, Alva Roscoe Hunt published a 610 page treatise on the law of accord and satisfaction and common law composition "with forms for use in composition proceedings." In a "Preface" he reflects on researching and writing this volume:
"This work is the result of four years of almost constant application during what might be termed the leisure moments of a practicing lawyer. That such moments so devoted, mean in the aggregate, days--and nights--and months of toil, can readily be proven by any one merely reading and analyzing a few hundred decisions of the five thousand examined by us. It was our aim to write a small volume covering the three cognate subjects that should be practically useful; but the size of the volume has exceeded our expectations.....
"We know from experience that such a work as this is needed. The lawyer in general practice is constantly making settlements; in fact more than half of his business is adjusting disputes and avoiding litigation; and in trying to relieve clients who have been overreached in a previous settlement. A client authorizing a settlement wants repose, and nothing is more damaging to the reputation of a lawyer than to effect a settlement that leads to another and more acrimonious controversy. . . .
"The labor of preparing these pages has been in a very great measure agreeable to us, notwithstanding we were at all times weighed down with the consciousness of an unfinished task and the end, at times, by reason of the call of professional duties, seemed beyond hope of successful attainment. We scarcely know whether it was the mental relaxation arising from a cessation of constant thinking and studying innumerable legal questions, together with the relief derived from having completed a lingering task, or pride in the production, that, at the conclusion of our labor, afforded the pleasure experienced. Be that as it may, we are not without pride in the production, nor hope, that in sending forth these pages they will receive indulgent consideration from the profession and some measure of praise."
There is a refreshing modesty to Hunt's sketch of the four years he spent researching and writing this book, which he believed would benefit the bar. The result is impressive as well, given that he was a sole practitioner in the town of Litchfield and that midway through his years of "toil" he ran as an "independent non-partizan" candidate for Judge of the Twelfth Judicial District against Republican incumbent Gauthe E. Qvale. Thirty-two newspapers in the district endorsed Hunt "partly due to the fact that the press is strongly in favor of taking the judiciary out of politics," as one paper put it. But in the election on November 8, 1910, he lost badly. He returned to his book and published it two years later. In 1916, he ran again for district court judge, again with considerable editorial support, but again lost. He died on December 25, 1940, at age seventy-eight.
Hunt's treatise on accord and satisfaction follows. It was reviewed in "The Central Law Journal" (April 25, 1913). That review is posted separately.
Hunt's first treatise on "The Law of Tender and Bringing Money Into Court" was published in 1903, and can be found in the "Treatises/textbooks" category in the Archives of this website.