N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 240

Thursday, July 3, 1947 (Morning session)

MR. SMITH: I am afraid that with the Chancellor appointing the Vice-Chancellors and if, as you see it, the Vice-Chancellors are trying to conform to the views of the Chancellor, you would have more talk about that than giving justice in the cases before the Vice-Chancellors.

MR. KAUFMAN: There has been no injustice done in the Court of Chancery in history that can't be remedied. The Chancellor doesn't appoint "yes" men. He appoints men that he thinks are men of integrity, men of ability, who will follow the precedents that are already established in this State. The law is progressive and streamlined.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Kaufman.

We will now hear from Mr. E. J. Gilhooly.

MR. EDWARD J. GILHOOLY: My knowledge of what has already been presented to this Committee by eminent jurists, educators and lawyers is necessarily limited to what I have been able to gather from the public press. I sincerely trust the views which I express today will not be unduly repetitious.

Three years ago I had occasion to take an active part in public discussion of the proposed Revision of 1944. I believe I engaged in as many as 40 debates on various provisions of the Revision then proposed, and as a result of this experience I was able to gain a valuable knowledge of the opinions of many of the people of my County of Essex and elsewhere.

It was my opinion then, and it still is, that our Court of Chancery should be retained in our Constitution as an independent court. Much of that which has already been said might have been suitable and some of it might have been persuasive if we could turn back the calendar to the Convention of 1844. Whether the framers of our present Constitution and the people who voted for its adoption acted wisely or unwisely, the fact nevertheless remains that we have built up institutions in our present courts as we know and understand them. Thus the Court of Chancery has become as definitely intrenched in legal jurisprudence as has the Supreme Court. It seems to me that it would be as logical for us to say that the Supreme Court should be merged into the Court of Chancery as to say that the Court of Chancery should become a part of the Supreme Court.

I cannot find myself unduly impressed by the arguments, usually coming from the younger members of the Bar, that our court system is complex, and the further argument that the ordinary layman cannot follow the procedure in our courts. I was a professor of law for 12 years and have been a trial lawyer for over 27 years. I have had the opportunity of observing the development of the younger members of the Bar, lawyers of greater and lawyers of equal experience,

Previous Page in Book ********* Table of Contents *********** Next Page in Book