N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 231


STATE OF NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1947 COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
Thursday, July 3, 1947 (Morning session)

MR. GREENE: Well, that is a very interesting inquiry, and perhaps some statistics have been gathered on that. I don't know. But my feeling about this shunting back and forth is that we could probably have a small cause court where a lot of the work, particularly in the field of the concurrent jurisdiction and the auxiliary jurisdiction could be disposed of. In other words, I think that ultimately there would be less work for the equity judges to do. My thought is that the remedies which are exclusively equitable - for instance, specific performance of contracts, the administration of trusts and estates, receiverships, bills to quiet title - those things that are traditionally and fundamentally and exclusively equitable, be basically administered by the Chancery Division of the unified court. All equitable defenses and remedies which arise incidentally in regard to a case on the law side should be determined by the trial judge sitting in the Law Division. That would do away with the shunting of cases back and forth.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much again, Mr. Greene.

Gentlemen, if you are ready, we will call our next speaker, Samuel Kaufman, of the law firm of Bilder, Bilder & Kaufman.

MR. SAMUEL KAUFMAN: Mr. Chairman, lady and gentlemen. I have no prepared statement, but I am unqualifiedly in favor of the retention of the Court of Chancery, headed by the Chancellor, as it is today.

Many years ago I lectured in the field of equity, and for the purpose of preparing myself I undertook to read every case in the State of New Jersey, beginning with Volume I, the volume that was then current, and in so doing I attained a perspective a little different from that which a teacher gets, and a little different from that which the normal advocate gets. I think I attained a perspective both as a teacher and as an advocate, and what impressed me in that tremendous body of law that you had was the splendid judicial thought and the fine uniformity of the decisions that was maintained in the State of New Jersey.

I had undertaken, years before, an analysis of the New York procedure, special term, the equity side, and noted what I thought was a deterioration of the equity jurisprudence in New York, from the days when they had their old Court of Chancery, to the abolition of the Court of Chancery and the merger of the law and equity side under the code, which was mentioned by the previous speaker. And I tried to analyze why New Jersey maintained its high standards of equity jurisprudence and why New York had gone down. In my own way I worked it out as follows:

In New Jersey the Chancellor is the court and the Vice-Chancellors, from the earliest days, have always conformed to the views of


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