N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 120

Tuesday, July 1, 1947 (Morning session)

DEAN POUND: Prior to 1937 the procedure was different. It used to be very awkward when the cases were removed to the federal court; then would come the controversy on the equity side or the law side of the federal court, and you would get an order on it to conform your pleadings to the federal system. And sometimes it was rather difficult to decide whether to file a declaration or a bill. Well, those things have been ironed out since the procedure of 1937.

COMMITTEE MEMBER: Well, if that system is satisfactory, why, in most of the discussions we have heard of the state court, is there always this talk of dividing it into different divisions? Would you feel that the federal system would be strengthened if that were divided into divisions?

DEAN POUND: No, I don't for this reason - you have to provide for federal districts, anywhere from one to four or five, in 48 different states. In fact, you have a very different problem.

One of the serious difficulties of the federal system, as I see it, is that in the Circuit Court of Appeals there are always three judges. Now, for many cases three judges is enough, but after all, some tremendous questions come into the Circuit Court of Appeals and they are pretty big for three judges.

While I think your court of 16 here is beyond all reason, I think a bench of three to do the work of passing on motions for a new trial - to do the work that's done by the Appellate Division in New York - would be a good thing. I think that your ultimate tribunal might run into such very important questions arising all the time, that three is a little too small.

COMMITTEE MEMBER: Do you think seven would be an ideal number?

DEAN POUND: I think seven is much better than three, sir, to me. In England, in the House of Lords, they habitually use five, but on very important questions, seven. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council for a long time only used three, but the colonies didn't like that and I notice that five have been sitting recently. Five or seven is about right.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Are there any further questions?

Dean, may I express the appreciation of the entire Committee. It's been a pleasure to listen to you again. Frankly, as the years have gone on, I've been more and more amazed at your learning and your capacity for learning more. We appreciate your having taken the trouble to come down. I know that you have been performing ever so many public services, and I am sure that the State of New Jersey appreciates your coming.

We have invited Judge Hartshorne to express his views, and we will follow the same procedure as with the previous speakers. You may ask questions of the Judge when he is finished, if that is agree-

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