N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 251

Thursday, July 3, 1947 (Afternoon session)

sumably around and he knows something about equity and he knows something about law, and he may know something more about one than the other. But if he gets into the court he doesn't find, after he has spent a considerable amount of money, that he is in the wrong court and has to back out and go into another court and start all over again.

MR. WALTER G. WINNE: Now, wouldn't this integrated court that you are talking against, solve that difficulty?

MR. GILHOOLY: I don't think so, because the equity case would be heard in the special term, if you call it that, or the equity branch, and the law case would be heard in the law branch.

MR. WINNE: Wait a minute. I am talking about an integrated court where, regardless of whether your case were a combination of equity and law, the case goes all the way through, and the judge decides both equity questions and law questions. As has just been pointed out here, our Chancellors in the equity courts have been law judges. They apparently are able to decide equity as well as law, and furthermore, the ultimate decision goes to the Court of Errors and Appeals. And after all, that is an integrated court - of both equity and law. Now, if we take our highest court and set it up on that basis, why shouldn't we expect to get reasonable justice and a reasonable handling from a procedural standpoint in the court that is below the higher court? What is there in the fact that it is a court down below that you have got to have experts handling only one, shall I say, narrow part of the law which that case covers, and if you get another narrow part of the law, such as a law and equity case, you have got to have another court? Do I make myself clear?

Now, where do you draw your objections to that lower court over and above the same objections you have to the higher court?

MR. GILHOOLY: Well, based on the premise which I won't concede, that you have to take the practice in the upper court, of having integration - in the first place, I don't think there should be integration in the lower courts, because you will get better administration of justice in the hands of an expert. My argument is, why take something inferior when you already have something that is better? And secondly, I think the Court of Errors and Appeals should have a man on there who has had actual equity experience.

MR. WINNE: Who hasn't? We are talking about -

MR. GILHOOLY: I meant, that we should change it to see that we do.

MR. FRANK H. SOMMER: You mean, someone who has had actual judicial experience?

MR. GILHOOLY: Yes, actual judicial experience; then you have

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