Keely Not Yet In Jail



PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 18.- There was a lively legal battle in Common Pleas Court No. 3 to-day in the suit of Bennett Wilson? against John W. Keely. Ex-United States Attorney-General Wayne MacVeagh? and Lawyer Charles B. Collier appeared for Keely, and Lawyers Rufus E. Shapley? and A. S. L. Shields? represented Wilson. Judges Finletter and Reed were on the bench. Bennett Wilson owns about one-half of the Keely Motor stock, and Lawyers Shapley and Shields went into court to get a writ of attachment for Keely's arrest. Mr. Shields simplified the mode of procedure by saying: "We want to put Keely in Jail."

The application for a writ of attachment was based on the fact that Keely had not obeyed the order of the court, made on the 7th of April, that he must show up his machine within 30 days. The time was afterward extended to 60 days, but Keely has not divulged his secret yet, and Lawyer Shapley said he didn't believe Keely ever would. Lawyer Shapley declared that Keely's failure to obey the order of the court was outrageous and audacious, and that it stood without a parallel. He said he didn't believe Keely ever intended to obey the order of the court, and Judge Finletter? said: "I don't believe that Keely intended to obey the order of the court when it was made, but we are loath to imprison a man until we have more information. I think the court should have more information about this machine before it acts upon the application for a writ of attachment."

Then Judge Reed spoke up, and he also said that he didn't believe Keely intended to obey the order of the court, but he agreed with Judge Finletter? that the court's knowledge of the whole Keely business, except the machine, was very foggy, and that the court must have the mist cleared away before it would issue a writ to send Keely to Jail. Lawyer Collier was glad to hear that the Judge wanted more information. He invited them to go up to Keely's shop and look at the machine. Lawyer MacVeagh thought it was a bright idea, and jumping to his feet he pointed his finger at Judge Finletter? and said:

"You ought to go and tell Keely what to do."

"Yes, and Keely will do everything except what you tell him," said Lawyer Shapley, addressing Judge Finletter?.

The Judge declined the invitation, and then Judge Reed was asked to go. He bowed, smiled, and also declined. Lawyer Shapley told the Judges that they wouldn't miss much; that all there was to see at the shop a little machine that resembled a peanut roaster and a lot of old bolts. Still Lawyer Shapley was in favor of the Judge going to the shop. He said they would then see how foolish and untrue Keely's story was about needing more time and money. Judge Finletter? said the proper thing to do was for Keely to exhibit his machine to the public, counsel, and experts. "Let the experts go there and examined the machine," said Judge Finletter?.

"And then decide," added Lawyer MacVeagh.

"There's nothing for an expert to decide so far as the running of the machine goes," said Judge Finletter?.

"Well, you ought to go and attend the circus," said Lawyer MacVeagh, which brought laughter to the eyes of the stockholders in the back seats.

Lawyer Shields said the statement that it would cost $1,000 to put the machine in running order was ridiculous, and Lawyer Shapley added that $50 would put it in order. After considerable lively talk about experts Lawyer Collier, pointing to Messrs. Shapley and Shields, said:

"They are in a conspiracy to wrest from Keely a secret that belonge to him; that is his just as much as a man's watch is his own."

Judge Finletter? stopped the talk by saying that it was not necessary for the machine to operate, and ordered that the experts meet at Keely's workshop and report singly what they saw, and if they could not reporte intelligibly then the court would appoint single individual. Lawyer Collier left the court room with all the stockholders as his heels. When he got down stairs on the pavement he said to them in an exultant manner: "We've got them now, gentlemen." Lawyers Shapley and Shields were not happy because they didn't get their writ for Keely's arrest. (The New York Times) 9/19/1888

See Also

Law Suit

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