N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 224

Thursday, July 3, 1947 (Morning session)

any one division. I think the system should be left flexible to give play to special talent, interest of judges, and volume of business.

Another argument that is frequently voiced by those who would like to preserve the present system, is that the prestige and quality of equity jurisprudence, which has been built up during the years, would be sacrificed. I think, generally speaking, that this argument is based on a complete misconception. The real fact, as history will prove, is that the prestige of our equity law has no connection whatever with Chancery as a separate system. That prestige is due in large measure to a number of great judges, and some of them were not Chancery judges - many of them were judges of the Court of Errors and Appeals, who were not regarded as specialists in equity. Judges like Beasley, Henry W. Green and Van Fleet left their imprint on our equity jurisprudence. That was one of the most important factors in that prestige. In other words, it wasn't the separateness of the Chancery Court; it was the personalities in the court.

I want to make special note of the influence of our Court of Errors and Appeals in developing our equity jurisprudence. After all, Errors and Appeals is our court of last resort, and its judges the final fountain of justice in equity as they are in law. The greatest equity opinions have been written by judges in the Court of Errors and Appeals, including your distinguished member, Justice Brogan - and I will refer later to a few opinions written by him.

We had no official equity reports prior to 1830. The first volume of New Jersey Equity Reports appeared in that year. Prior to that time, and stretching ages back, our equity practice was very haphazard, and very few people know much about it. I was told recently that some years ago someone in Trenton dug up the Chancery annals during the colonial period and proposed to write a book about it. It was suppressed because the law prior to and during that time was too haphazard and so incomplete. The Court of Chancery administered many legal remedies that now belong to the law courts, and it was feared that that book might disrupt the symmetry of the law which had developed since 1830.

Another factor which gave prestige to our equity law, which had nothing to do with the separateness of the Chancery Court, was the fact that prior to the regime of Governor Wilson New Jersey was considered the "mother of corporations." I would like to quote some New Jersey decisions, if time permitted, because our law was a liberal law for corporations during that period. Therefore, our law became popularized in the large law offices and in the offices maintained by corporations throughout the world. It would even seem that New Jersey has become the "grandmother of corporations" because of its equity law. Chancery enjoys the prestige that

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