N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 206
Bergen County Bar Association likewise will appear this morning, instead of this afternoon. Chancellor Campbell has written to us saying that he could not accept the invitation that has been extended to him, but he would like to at a later time or, possibly, he could present his views to one or more members of the Committee. I think we will suggest a later time next week, and if he can appear, have him present his views to us either personally, or in writing, whichever he prefers, so that we will have it as part of our records before the close of next week.
MR. DIXON: Do you not think a personal appearance would be better?
VICE-CHAIRMAN: Yes, preferably a personal appearance; otherwise by written communication so that we may have his opinions expressed in the record.
All right, Justice Colie.
JUSTICE FREDERIC R. COLIE: Mr. Jacobs, and members of the Committee:
I do thank you for this invitation. There are a few things that I would like to say. I think, probably, your Committee is pretty much in agreement on many of them.
The first thing I would like to speak on is the court of last resort that is to be established, and I am certain that there must be an agreement on the fact that it should be a court free of all duties other than appellate work. Now, with reference to that court, I thought that I might be of some assistance to you. I have heard suggestions to the effect that that court, unless some method were provided, might find itself short of work to do. That brings to my mind one of the most important things that this Convention has to deal with in connection with courts, namely, the importance in the court of last resort of giving to the members of that court, whoever they may be, adequate time in which to study the cases before them. And that leads me to a brief discussion of matters that should come up to the court of last resort. Necessarily, what I have to say to you may, perhaps, seem a little disjointed. If, at any point, I don't make myself clear, I trust that you will pick me up.
Under our present system, every member of the court of last resort, the present Court of Errors and Appeals, has a volume of work that no man whom I have ever met in my life could do as well as he would wish to do. It is a constant drive from year in to year out, against the clock, and that perhaps is the most serious fault that I have to voice, and one of the faults that I think is most sorely in need of correction. Bear in mind, please, that this court of last resort is, of course, the court in this State where the last word is said. Incidentally, and I think this is important, it is the court which, in its judicial opinions, will attempt so far as it is able to correlate existing
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