N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 118


STATE OF NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1947
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
Tuesday, July 1, 1947 (Morning session)

DEAN POUND: Exactly, sir.

MR. McMURRAY: Hasn't the Appellate Division worked well, however, in New York?

DEAN POUND: Yes, it has - for this reason. It's a substitute for that old General Term system. It's infinitely better, but after all, there is still the idea of having a case go from the Special Term to the Appellate Division and then to the Court of Appeals.

MR. McMURRAY: Not all of them.

DEAN POUND: Yes, but pretty nearly all of them.

MR. McMURRAY: Well, as I understand the rules, Dean, if the Appellate Division is unanimous in its view there is no right of appeal unless the Court of Appeals takes it as a matter of record.

DEAN POUND: Now, let me make this suggestion to you. Instead of having that separate and elaborate Appellate Division - let's take the New York practice, I am most familiar with that. A case is tried, there is a motion for a new trial before the trial justice, and you then go to the Appellate Division. Instead of having a motion for a new trial before the trial judge, you have it before three of the judges, and it is as simple as on a motion for a new trial. Wouldn't you save all that intermediate court, and a whole lot of expense and one thing and another?

COMMITTEE MEMBER: I think that might be true. Here was my notion - the Appellate Division does screen out about 90 per cent of the cases reviewed today. Now, when I say 90 per cent, I'm just guessing.

COMMITTEE MEMBER: Well, it's pretty close to that.

DEAN POUND: Well, my suggestion to you is that they could be screened out infinitely better by the simple procedure of, instead of having a motion for a new trial heard before the judge who tried the case, have it heard before three judges right there in that court and be done with it, unless you want to go ahead with it. No one has much compunction with the trial judges overruling or allowing a motion for a new trial.

COMMITTEE MEMBER: There is one thing I wanted to ask you; I don't know the answer to it, but I've often thought about it. Suppose a litigant loses his case and takes the case papers across the hall to another court -

DEAN POUND: Excuse me, they are all sitting right there in the royal courts of justice. Solicitor for the particular party goes to the registrar of the high court, he gives his receipt for the papers, goes across to the Clerk of the Court of Appeals who issues his receipt which is taken back to the first court where the solicitor picks up his own receipt, and there you are.

COMMITTEE MEMBER: Well, then there is only one record, you know. If you have a court of seven sitting - I don't know how


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