N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 250

Thursday, July 3, 1947 (Afternoon session)

judges, would you say then that they are equity judges really - that they have the feeling for the subject, or whatever it is that makes an equity judge?

MR. GILHOOLY: Oh yes. I think they do remarkably well with their limited experience. Don't forget that they were guided in the first instance by the opinion of the Vice-Chancellor. You know the past experience of our recent Chancellor? ... When men are on the bench for awhile, then they know the equity side. The most notable example is Vice-Chancellor Stein, who served for many years as an able Common Pleas judge. Then he went on the equity bench and his equity decisions, at first, were too legalistic. Now, today, he is one of our really excellent equity judges because he has been tempered with his experience in equity.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Now, to get back to my question, which was, can you tell me the experience of our recent Chancellors? To a layman they are the equity judges.

MR. GILHOOLY: So they are.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: They have come from the law side?


MR. AMOS F. DIXON: Mr. Gilhooly, your argument seems to imply the statement that it was really up to the litigant to determine, when he had a case, whether he should go to an expert equity lawyer or whether he should go to an expert law lawyer; that it was up to an expert either in one court or the other to be sure whether his case is properly handled. Now, the indication would be that it was up to the lawyer to bring his litigating client into the proper court.

MR. GILHOOLY: All right, by the same implication, if you turn that backwards, you get back to the litigant just the same to determine that. Now, how is the litigant who knows nothing about the complexities of this law, which you yourself said the layman couldn't be able to understand, now how is the litigant going to be able to determine whom he should go to with the case? He doesn't know whether his case is law or equity, even if he knows the lawyer. Secondly, he probably does not have the information which will tell him who the prominent equity lawyers are and who the prominent law lawyers are. Now, how is he going to fix his case so that he doesn't get the law expert for an equity case, and the equity expert for a law case?

MR. EDWARD A. McGRATH: If he selects a lawyer who is not fully competent, the lawyer should be liable.

MR. DIXON: I am not talking about the lawyers; I am talking about competence in different lines. If you have courts with different shadings, if you get into the wrong court you are in trouble. If you have a single court to start your case in, your lawyer is pre-

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