N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 184


STATE OF NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1947
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
Wednesday, July 2, 1947 (Morning session)

should be one trial that can hear all of the case and determine it finally, and then one appeal and no more.

I agree that there should be such flexibility as will permit the Chief Justice, under any organization, so to dispose of the - what was known in the 1944 draft and 1942 Committee's proposal - so to dispose of the Superior Court judges as to make the best use of them either at the trial level or appellate level.

I personally believe there is no sound argument, I have read no sound argument - for a separate Court of Chancery in New Jersey. I am not impressed with the oft-repeated statement that our Chancery has been great because it has been separate. You can count the great men in Chancery in New Jersey on the fingers of one hand, just the same as great judges. I am not speaking of the living, and I will say nothing of the dead except good.

The greatness of judges, distinguished for opinion, either in Chancery or at law, comes from able minds, legal genius. We have had some, and we are very fortunate. But I don't think that has arisen because Chancery has been a separate court, and I do not see how anybody can fail to realize that the fact that we have had a separate Chancery Court has delayed and befogged issues many, many times.

I would like to make a note of the cases cited in the Journal of the American Judicature Society, on page 29 of the June, 1944, issue - cases that are not cited by the Essex County Bar report which you have, I am sure. They might be multiplied many times.

I am glad that this Committee has as many laymen on it as it has, because I am satisfied that if people of this State, not lawyers, not judges, could realize what this duplication of effort has been, what waste there has been in time and effort, they would see to it that we had an integrated court. I don't put much faith in judges or lawyers. Every time you have to go back to another court it is so much money in the lawyer's pocket. They like to play ring-around-the-rosy with the litigant's money and the taxpayer's money. I give you an illustration out of my own experience.

I was representing a man who was divorced from his wife, and there was an agreement - this was back before the days when alienation of affections had been outlawed - made between them that he would not molest, and so on and so forth. Then he did molest, that is, he took the children. He had reason, he thought, and suit was brought by the former wife. I moved to strike on the ground that the contract was illegal as having been made before the separation. A very noted Hudson County lawyer represented her and her second husband, and took it immediately to the court of equity for an injunction to stop the defense. We spent six months in equity, where I was successful. They took an appeal to the Court


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