that the evidence is admissible under the circumstances of this case for whatever it is worth in indicating the value of one of the several factors enumerated in the statement of applicable principles.
As already indicated there is really no 'expert' who can testify as to the value of the services rendered here and as it was stated in Ridder Brothers, Inc., v. Strassburger, 1943, 154 Pa.Super. 524, at page 527, 36 A.2d 191, at page 192:
'In order to prove the reasonable value of personal services it is not always necessary to introduce the testimony of experts, and whether the contention requires expert testimony is largely in the discretion of the trial judge.'
And in Ryder v. Jacobs, 1897, 182 Pa. 624, 630, 38 A. 471, 472, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has stated:
'We do not deprecate the production of expert testimony in sciences and subjects with which the people are not generally familiar, but it must be borne in mind that jurymen are yet presumed to have some knowledge, and to be able to form opinions from their own observation.'
I have therefore allowed the plaintiffs the sum of $ 45,000 for their services in connection with the obtaining of the Certificate of Necessity.
I do not believe that the plaintiffs are entitled to any compensation for their services relating to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation loan. The provisions of Sections 13-15, in Title 13 of the Code of Federal Regulations of the United States, absolutely prohibits the payment of any fee 'for the purpose of, or in connection with, obtaining loans,' and as phrased in the complaint, the plaintiffs' claim is for 'securing' and 'obtaining approval' of the R.F.C. loan.
At the trial of the case of the plaintiff Hardt testified that he had engaged the services of the law firm of Cummings and Stanley and had been rendered a bill for the sum of $ 40,000. The bill was not available at the time. At a subsequent hearing, some time after the major testimony was closed, counsel for plaintiffs produced the following copy of a bill:
'July 15, 1941
'Messrs. Walter K. Hardt and Stanley Hartzell and Heller Bros. Inc.
'Newark, New Jersey
'To professional services rendered Messrs. Hart and Hartzell in connection with certificate of necessity, conferences with various Government departments and corporation officers regarding refinancing plans of Heller Bros; conferences with Heller Bros. re same; conferences with Procurement agencies of War Department and Bureau of Aeronautics of the Navy regarding expansion of the Heller Bros. properties in New Jersey; preparing memoranda of law; conferences with the officers of Federal Reserve Bank in New York and various individuals in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Chester, Pa. . . . $ 30,000.00
'Payment Received 'Cummings & Stanley 'By
'Payments agreed to be made as follows:
Due July 15, 1941 . . . . .$ 7500.00
Due August 15, 1941 . . . $ 15000.00
Balance to be due at conclusion of work.
Counsel for defendant objected to the admission of this copy in evidence, and plaintiffs' counsel stated that he would attempt to produce a member of the law firm of Cummings and Stanley to testify with respect to this bill. It was finally agreed that if within twenty-four hours the plaintiffs did not desire to offer any further testimony with respect to the bill the defendant would withdraw his objection. Plaintiffs subsequently advised the court that the witness was not available because he was leaving about this time for South America. The case was therefore closed with the record as it now stands.
I have considered the bill as admissible only for the purpose of corroboration that the plaintiffs employed the law firm. I have given it no probative value because on its fact it discloses that it was for services rendered in connection with both the Certificate of Necessity and the R.F.C. loan and there was no further testimony as to the charge for each item. Under the circumstances any attempted estimate as to how much of the Cummings and Stanley services may be attributed to the Certificate of Necessity alone would be speculative and thus improper.
The Certificate of Necessity was granted on July 3, 1941. The bill is dated July 15, 1941, and provides for payments on July 15, 1941; August 15, 1941; and the 'balance to be due at the conclusion of the work.' I have limited the compensation of the plaintiffs to the services in connection with the Certificate of Necessity and this work was completed July 3, 1941. There are references in the said bill to 'refinancing plans of Heller Brothers' and 'conferences with the officers of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.' This apparently refers to the loan of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and I have ruled that the plaintiffs are not entitled to any recovery for this employment.
In accordance with the above I state the following
Conclusions of Law
1. This Court has jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter.
2. The defendant entered into an oral contract with the plaintiffs under which the plaintiffs agreed to perform services for the defendant in the securing of a Certificate of Necessity in the amount of $ 1,500,000 and a Reconstruction Finance Corporation loan in like amount and the defendant agreed to pay the plaintiffs suitable compensation for such services and their expenses.
3. The plaintiffs having successfully performed the services called for in the oral contract of employment in the securing of a Certificate of Necessity in the sum of $ 1,500,000, and the defendant having accepted and reaped the benefit of plaintiffs' services, the plaintiffs are entitled to a reasonable compensation therefor.
4. Plaintiffs are entitled to recover from the defendant the sum of $ 45,000 af fair and reasonable compensation for their services in the securing of the Certificate of Necessity, with interest thereon from July 3, 1941.
5. The plaintiffs are not entitled to recovery for their services in arranging and obtaining the Reconstruction Finance Corporation loan under the provisions of Sections 13-15, Title 13 of the Code of Federal Regulations of the United States of America.
An order may be submitted in accordance with this opinion.