This case, the trial of which was reported in the last number of the Journal, has had a very satisfactory ending. It will be remembered that Mr. Dods gave notice to the relieving officer that Miss Dowling was insane, stating the grounds of his opinion, and stating further that if she, in her then state of mind, acted as a dispenser, she would be a danger to the community. On this notice, or certificate, as it was called, Miss Dowling sued Mr. Dods for libel, and gained damages £100. Mr. Dods, however, appealed, and applied for judgment or for a new trial, on the ground that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence, and that there being no evidence of malice the judge of first instance ought not to have left the case to the jury. The text of the decision of the Court will be found in another column, and it could not have been more satisfactory to Mr. Dods than it was. The Court found, in the first place, that the occasion was privileged, and that there was no evidence of malice to withdraw the privilege, so that the plaintiff had no case. But even if the occasion had not been privileged their lordships were of opinion that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence. The jury had found that part of the letter was true and part untrue, and that the justification which the defendant pleaded was not true. But the Court of Appeal considered such a finding was so inconsistent with the evidence that had the defendant not already succeeded upon the ground of privilege they should have sent the case down to be re-tried on the ground that there was no evidence at all upon which the jury could fairly find that the justification was not true.
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