The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 47, November 21, 2010, Article 17


Pete Mosiondz, Jr. writes:

I must tell you that your work every week on The E-Sylum is much enjoyed and greatly appreciated. It is truly yeoman work. Should we call you Wayne Yeoman?

Well his publisher added "man" to Richard Yeo's real name, making him "Yeoman". I guess I could be "Homren-man", superhero editor, squashing typos and rambling side comments in a single bound. -Editor

Relating to last week's Numismatic Diary, Bill Eckberg wrote the following in the Early American Coppers Region 8 newsletter tonight:

R8 member and Numismatic Bibliomania Society guru Wayne Homren organizes a monthly dinner for a group of us in Northern Virginia. This week, we had as a guest, Ed Moy, Director of the Mint. He was very engaging and enjoyable to talk with. He had many interesting stories to tell about the inner workings of the Mint. Wayne bought a copy of the original Mint establishment bill to show him, and one of the other guys brought Gallery Mint replicas of the earliest silver coins. I gave him a spreadsheet showing the weekly wages of all the Mint employees in 1793, which was part of my research for a story that will be in the November P-W. He said he was going to share it with his senior staff, who think they are underpaid.

Philip Mernick writes:

Regarding Taylor & Challen, Roy Hawkins' book on Medallet & Check makers has a section about them.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: QUERY: TAYLOR & CHALLEN MEDAL INFORMATION SOUGHT (

Regarding penalties imposed by the Hobby Protection Act, last week I wrote:

Any damages an individual could claim would be based on their actual dollar outlay, and as sold by the maker these repros are cheap and plainly marketed as copies. Only if a third party passes one of these off as genuine and at a high price would there be any substantial outlay. But then the case would be against the third-party seller, not the maker.

David Ganz writes:

Its not often that you miss the mark, but you did this time you're wide of it. The "damages" are never the issue in a statute like this. They are small. That's why Congress made it an attorney's fee statute (one of only about 100 in all U.S. law).

It is similar to anti-trust law. When Trump's USFL won its antitrust suit against the NFL, the jury awarded nominal damages of $1 which were trebled to $3. His lawyer then presented a bill of $12 million, which he duly passed on to the defendants. They said that given the recovery, it was never what Congress intended. The Supreme Court disagreed. And so it is with the Hobby Protection Act. A small violation could result in a lot of attorney's fees. Yeah team!

Thanks for the clarification. The key action here is "His lawyer then presented a bill of $12 million, which he duly passed on to the defendants." Assuming it's legal, if the lawyers indeed kick back a large chunk of the award to the defendants, then it could indeed be worthwhile for an individual to be party to a suit. Otherwise the plaintiff would get next to nothing while the lawyers collect everything. -Editor

David Ganz adds:

The quintessence of a statute like this is that it is very costly to the defendant to defend it (i.e., his own attorney's fees). Also that the legal profession should be attracted to handle a case where the damages are nominal.

Congress did not intend that lawyers, already a relatively well off professional class, receive excess compensation or incentives beyond the amount necessary to cause competent legal work to be performed in these fields. Legislative history speaks of "fees which are adequate to attract competent counsel, but which do not produce windfalls,"

The statutes use the words "reasonable" fees, not "liberal" fees.

Regarding the picture of the Reparations Commission, Tom DeLorey writes:

Where I said "The 1926 conference," that should have been "The 1929 conference."

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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