N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 227

Thursday, July 3, 1947 (Morning session)

Errors and Appeals, saying that the procedure in the law courts, by legislative action, was designed to assimilate and follow the pattern of equity.

So you can see that this process of (if you want to call it) moralizing the law, or making the law more equitable, has been going on for a long, long time and will continue to go on. When you really get down to it, the two systems are not contradictory, they are complementary.

The final argument which has been advanced for maintaining the present system, is a professional item. Many lawyers, particularly the old-time practioners, who are comfortably established in the profession, say it would be a difficult thing for many practioners to start from scratch and learn a new system. I do not agree. Upon reflection, I think you will realize they wouldn't have to learn a new system at all. As a matter of fact, the practice of law will be very much easier. At the present time a lawyer has to learn three systems of practice in New Jersey. He must learn the practice in the law courts; the rules of the law courts are different from the rules of the Court of Chancery. He must learn the Chancery practice. I'm speaking against self-interest, but I think the Chancery practice in this State has been something of an esoteric act. Most lawyers are afraid of Chancery practice. I don't know what there is about it, but it appears to be regarded as something in the nature of a trade secret. And then there is the third system they have to learn, and that is the system of the federal courts, which is fairly easy to learn. Now, if you have a unified court, and power is given to the judges of the highest court to fashion one set of rules for all courts - making those rules dovetail, not only for the general courts, but for the court of appeals - you will really have but one system to learn, and that system would so closely resemble the federal system that for all practical purposes it would be one. Maybe there would be differences in detail, as far as the jurisdictions of the various courts are concerned, but substantially you would have a unified court system in this State, as you have a unified court system in the federal courts. Thus, when a lawyer learns one system he will know all the systems.

Now I want to deal, with your permission - what I am trying to do is to summarize all the points, pro and con ... Let's consider the difficulties of the present system. First, I want to deal with jurisdiction. I think every lawyer who has had any practice at all will agree with me that even the best lawyers in the State have at times had qualms, had difficulty in deciding the parliament of litigation. I could give you a list of about a hundred cases in this State where litigants have been kicked out of one court into another, and then back again. And then there were the lawyers that the litigants

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