N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 106

Tuesday, July 1, 1947 (Morning session)

one whose duty it is, as it was the duty of the Lord Chancellor in England, to see that the judges are where judges are needed; to see that the business of the courts goes on; that there is no delay. He can be held responsible if there is a wasting of judicial power.

Well, the results of that have proved they were wonderful. Once in a while you get a Chancellor who is an admirable lawyer but a poor administrator, but he doesn't last long. Then there is a general feeling of having a new Chancellor take over the reins. Perhaps he is not so strong a lawyer, but he is a good lawyer who has that administrative ability. He won't be found sitting on the roadside. And all the difficulties I have spoken of seem to disappear.

Then there is another feature - Lord Selborne's idea which has proved very important. In the old days in England if you wanted to take a case from one court to another you had to have a transcript of the record, you had to have a bill of exceptions transmitted to another court, and you started a new proceeding there. Whereas under the system which has obtained in England since 1873, you go from one branch of the court to another simply by taking the papers across the corridor and getting a receipt for them from the registrar of one branch and depositing it in the branch from which those papers are being taken. This is the simplest, shortest and easiest move of procuring the opinion of another judge. When you think of the expense that used to be involved - and that today too often is involved in many of our states in appellate procedure - you can see how important that is.

The matter, I suppose, that this Committee would like me to go on with is this whole matter of administering the clerical work of the courts. When I came to the Bar it was very generally true in most of the states that when a judge had a case tried before him he wrote some things on a blotter. That went to a clerk who could decipher his handwriting; he was to put into typewritten form what was on that blotter and make a journal entry of it, and that was elaborated into a long recital of what had taken place. Then, when you wanted to sue on that judgment in some other court, you had an elaborate transcript of this elaborate record which really got down to a very small entry on the judge's blotter.

Now, they discovered in Illinois in 1906 that there was an enormous amount of expense involved that wasn't necessary there, and so they adopted a system whereby the judge's notes simply were recorded, and then if you had to sue in some other jurisdiction, or wanted to prove that judgment somewhere, you moved to have those expanded into a formal record - and you had that whole record, if anybody needed it for any purpose. Why, it was just as if it were the original.

When I tell you that the nuisance and expense involved there

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