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What Is an in


WHAT IS AN IN TEREST? It is laid down as a general rule that "an authority coupled with an interest is irrevocable." And the question arises, What constitutes such an interest? "Certain it is," says Professor Mechem, "that it is not any interest which will suffice. But it must be an in terest or estate in the thing itself or in the property which is the subject of the power; the power and the estate must be united and co-existent, and, generally, of such a nature that the power would survive the princi pal in such a way as to be capable of execution in the agent's name after the death of the principal." Anson states that "the cases which illustrate this rule seem to make it clear that we must not understand by such an interest as is here meant the advantage which the agent may derive from a continuance of the author ity, or the inconveniences, or even the loss which he may suffer by its revocation. An authority given to an agent to pay to a third party a debt which Ile owes to his principal, or to sell lands and pay himself a debt due to hint out of the proceeds, are instances in which an interest has been held to be coupled with the authority so as to make it irrevocable. The 'result appears to be,' said Wilde, C. J., in Smart v. Sandars, 5 C. B. 917, 'that where an agreement is entered into upon sufficient consideration, whereby an authority is given for the purpose of conferring some benefit on the donee of that authority, such an authority is irrevocable. That is what is usually' meant by an authority coupled with an interest.' " (Contracts, pp. 358, 359.) Instances of agencies held irrevocable by the prin cipal by reason of the agent's interest therein are as follows: Authority given an agent to collect a debt due the principal, and from the proceeds to reimburse himself for moneys advanced by him to the principal. (Marizou v. Pioche, 8 Cal. 522.) Authority to. the agent to sell the property of the principal and front the pro ceeds pay a debt due to him from the principal. (Barr v.

Schroeder, 32 Cal. 6o9.) Where the authority forms part of a contract, and is giverpas security in connection with the same. (Hunt v. Rousmanier, 8 Wheat. 175; Knapp v. Alvord, 10 Paige, Ch. 205). So authority given to enable an agent to reimburse himself for prior advances, or to indemnify a surety against loss, are irrevocable under this rule. (Mechem on Agency, Sec. 206; Hynson v. Noland, 14 Ark. 710.) But, as stated by Anson, the mere interest of the agent in the result, as by way of compensation, is not enough to prevent the revocation of the agency; as where the agent's authority is to sell lands and receive a commission out of the proceeds for making the sale (Chambers v. Seay, 73 Ala, 372; Simpson v. Carson, Oreg. 361) or to collect a claim and retain one-half of the amount collected, such agencies may be revoked at the will of the principal. (Flanagan v. Brown, 70 Cal. 254.)

authority, principal, agent, irrevocable and debt