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Dec. 1901.]

Opinion of the Court-WHITE, J.

the South Bend Land Company to the wife, and knew pretty near what was going on in the land company.

It is a general rule that notice to the attorney is notice to his client; that this rule applies to all notices arising in the progress of a case, or as to other matters in which the relation of attorney and client exists at the time of the notice, and it applies not only to knowledge acquired by the attorney in the particular transaction, but to knowledge acquired by him in a prior transaction in which he acquired material information, if the information was so precise and definite that it is or must be present to his mind and memory in the last transaction. The Distilled Spirits, 11 Wall, 356; 2 Pomeroy, Equity Jurisprudence, § 672; Wittenbrock v. Parker, 102 Cal. 93 (36 Pac. 374, 24 L. R. A. 197, 41 Am. St. Rep. 172).

The attorneys of the appellant and the appellant himself had constructive notice that a large amount of real estate was conveyed to the wife, as early as 1890 and 1891, by the South Bend Land Company. The attorney who brought this action before 1894 examined the records in the auditor's office of Pacific county for property in the name of George U. Holcomb, and, under our system of indexing, necessarily must have obtained on such examination actual knowledge of the conveyance to respondent by the land company. The attorneys knew in 1894 that George U. Holcomb was insolvent, knew that the respondent was the wife of George U. Holcomb; knew that the real estate was conveyed to the wife; knew, or could have easily ascertained, that George U. Holcomb was the manager of the South Bend Land Company; knew, or could have easily ascertained, that the wife was of limited means before she came to Washington. The real estate in her name, under the circumstances, her husband being insolvent, as claimed,-was certainly sufficient notice to put

Opinion of the Court-WHITE, J.

[26 Wash. them on inquiry; and had they inquired, they would have obtained the same information in 1893 and 1894 as to the consideration and circumstances of the transfers as they did in 1898, on the trial of this action. Our statute, in effect, says that the cause of action is deemed to have accrued when the fraud is discovered. What is discovery? We answer, notice of the fraud. What is notice? This we can best answer in the language adopted by the supreme court of the United States:

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"Whatever is notice enough to excite attention, and put the party on his guard, and call for inquiry, is notice of everything to which such inquiry might have led. When a person has sufficient information to lead him to a fact, he shall be deemed conversant of it' "The presumption is that if the party affected by any fraudulent transaction or management might, with ordinary care and attention, have seasonably detected it, he seasonably had actual knowledge of it.'" Wood v. Carpenter, 101 U. S. 135; Martin v. Smith, 1 Dill. 86; Carr v. Hilton, 1 Curt. 390; Morgan v. Morgan, supra; Wickham v Sprague, 18 Wash. 466 (51 Pac. 1055);Hecht v. Slaney, 72 Cal. 363 (14 Pac. 88); Wright v. Davis, 28 Neb. 479 (44 N. W. 490, 26 Am. St. Rep. 347); Hawley v. Page, 77 Iowa, 239 (42 N. W. 193, 14 Am. St. Rep. 275).

A party defrauded must be diligent in making inquiry. The means of knowledge are equivalent to knowledge. A clue to the fact, which, if followed up diligently would lead to a discovery, is in law equivalent to discovery,equivalent to knowledge. Norris v. Haggin, 28 Fed. 275.

Mr. Egbert, one of the attorneys when the judgment was recovered in 1893, had actual knowledge of the prob able value of the home and its appurtenances; that the husband had given it to the wife, had furnished it for her, and had given to her 399 shares of the capital stock of the South Bend Land Company. The knowledge of

Dec. 1901.]

Opinion of the Court-WHITE, J.

these transactions had by Mr. Egbert, if investigated, would have led to the discovery of the fraud, if any, set up in the complaint, as early as 1893. This was not only constructive notice to the appellant, but was constructive notice to Hewen & Stratton, Egbert's associates in the business of looking after the claim. Wittenbrock v. Par

ker, 102 Cal. 93.

The deed to respondent in 1896 by the South Bend Land Company for two lots in South Bend was long after the respondent was divorced from George U. Hol comb. The South Bend Land Company was indebted to the respondent on account of dividends on her capital stock, and this deed was delivered to her in part payment of these dividends. If the transfer of the stock is rendered valid by the lapse of time, property purchased with the dividends cannot be charged with the original fraud. But the appellant claims that the knowledge of Egbert should not be imputed to the appellant and his associates, Hewen & Stratton, because out of personal friendship for respondent Mr. Egbert did not see fit to institute this action in 1893. The only instance wherein notice to the attorney does not constitute notice to the client is where the attorney, in collusion with the adverse party, suppresses the information that he may have. The respondent did not know that Egbert had suppressed such information. She never advised with him relative to the suppression of such information. There is not a scintilla of evidence offered to show that there was any collusion between the respondent and Ebgert. The fact that Egbert did not inform his client of the knowledge he had cannot militate against respondent, Ida Holcomb, as she was in no way to blame for the failure to give such information. If the attorney did not proceed with his action when he

Opinion of the Court-WHITE, J.

[26 Wash. obtained the knowledge, that is a matter between the attorney and appellant, under the circumstances disclosed in this case, with which the respondent had nothing to do, and which in no way binds her. We think that the evidence overwhelmingly sustains the defense of the statute of limitations.

The evidence clearly shows that the debt due from George U. Holcomb, to the appellant was the separate debt of George U. Holcomb, and was not a community indebtedness in any sense of the term. That being the case, real estate acquired in this state by George . Holcomb and wife in the manner the real estate in controversy is shown to have been acquired was community real estate, and was not subject to execution for the payment of the separate debts of the husband. It is immaterial whether such real estate stands in the name of the husband or wife. The conveyance of such real estate to the wife is not even evidence of fraud. The husband could give his interest in such real estate to the wife, and no one could question the good faith of such a transaction but the creditors of the community. The appellant is not such a creditor, and a transfer of such property is a matter of no concern to him. Bump, Fraudulent Conveyances (4th ed.), § 220.

George U. Holcomb testifies that in drawing the last three dividends on his wife's share of stock he was acting as her agent. There is no evidence to contradict this. There is no evidence in this case in any way tending to support the allegation of the complaint that the respondent holds any of the property in controversy in trust for the benefit of George U. Holcomb. The most favorable construction, in favor of the appellant, that can be put upon the testimony, is that George U. Holcomb made a gift of the 399 shares of stock, and the furniture in the house,

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and the dwelling house, and his interest in the real estate, to the respondent. This gift was made in 1890. George U. Holcomb was solvent at the time, and the gift in no manner crippled him financially. The evidence fully shows that until 1893 he had a large bank account, sometimes as high as $15,000 on deposit, and that the stock retained by him in the land company was worth over $100,000, and paid large dividends. It is the sacred duty of a husband and father to provide for his wife and children. George U. Holcomb's wife had rejoined him in this state after he had abandoned her and his child. She came to him because he said he would make suitable provision for her and her child. When the stock in the land company was given to the wife, it was not of much value but afterwards rose to be worth three or four hundred dollars per share. We understand the rule of law to be that if the debtor, after making a gift, has ample means left to discharge all of his pecuniary obligations, the gift cannot be said to be a fraudulent disposition of his prop erty, and it will be upheld. Bump, Fraudulent Conveyances (4th ed.), § 263, and cases cited.

The judgment of the court below is, therefore, affirmed with costs to the respondent.



PER CURIAM. This is a motion by appellant to retax costs, for the reason that one dollar per page is an unreasonable price for printing the briefs; the assertion being that seventy cents per page is the customary price. A second objection is that pages from 7 to 23, inclusive, of respondent's brief, contain only the findings of fact made.

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