N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 127

Tuesday, July 1, 1947 (Morning session)

would be that the judges, having to cover the whole field of everything, might not be as fully skilled in everything as in a particular field of knowledge.

Now, I'll be specific. Personally, I like the Common Pleas very much because we have a series of different kinds of jurisdictions - civil common law, criminal and probate. But it would be perfectly impossible for me to try a common law civil case today, a criminal case tomorrow, a probate case the day after that, without perhaps jumbling one. What we have to do is this. We have our judges sitting an entire term trying criminal cases; then the next entire term they try actions at law. They do not take a separate term trying probate, but they put probate in a separate week when they are not trying jury trials of either criminal or civil nature. In other words, we have tried to give ourselves the intellectual stimulant of a change of scenery, which, to my mind, is very helpful, without jumbling it all up, one right on top of the other. This makes us, perchance, a jack of all trades, and that's good enough.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: In federal practice they do very much the same thing.

MR. THOMAS J. BROGAN: Judge, do you welcome this power of review that the court has, for instance, in compensation cases and certain drunken driving cases and such other polyglot things, by statute?

JUDGE HARTSHORNE: Personally, yes, I welcome them. I really enjoy compensation cases. I know that there are others who do not.

MR. DIXON: You have spoken quite a little bit about expense to litigants. We haven't said very much about expense to taxpayers who support these courts. It seems to me that the simplification of the court system is going to have a very definite reaction in reducing the expenses of the taxpayers, who have to support these courts. I think that that is an extremely important thing, when we review the appropriations that are made from year to year for the courts.

JUDGE HARTSHORNE: If you have a third of the court's time taken up with jurisdictional cases that get nowhere on the merits, then if you didn't have them you could go along with a one-third less force.

MR. BROGAN: Judge, I want to ask you this. Do I understand that the present method of awarding compensation in that class of case, with review by certiorari and a review by the Court of Errors and Appeals to follow, has your approval?

JUDGE HARTSHORNE: No, I did not mean that. I was answering your question. If you had certiorari in really important situations, to be used with real discretion -

MR. BROGAN: Then you go to the Court of Errors and Ap-

Previous Page in Book ********* Table of Contents *********** Next Page in Book