N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 295

Tuesday, July 8, 1947 (Morning session)

MR. BROGAN: Or as against that, to make my question fully clear, should he just appoint a judge and should the chief judge of the top court assign the men?

MR. VAN RIPER: I have to give that a moment's thought, Chief Justice, to be perfectly honest about it. I am rather inclined to think that he should appoint a judge, but the Chief Justice should have the assignment of the judges. It may be that at that particular time and in that particular division from which the judge resigned they have a surplus of judges.

MR. BROGAN: Do you think the separation of equity from law, as it substantially now is, makes for a better equity jurisprudence, or do you think that we would come up with just as good an equity jurisprudence 25 years from now?

MR. VAN RIPER: Apparently, if we are to listen to the experts, such as Dean Pound, as I read his testimony. As I say, I read it only from a newspaper account; I didn't have a transcript.

MR. BROGAN: In other words, you think that a man does become a specialist by working in a single class of jurisprudence.

MR. VAN RIPER: I don't think there is much doubt about that.

MR. DIXON: My difficulty in considering this as a layman is to look at the attorneys - and attorneys have a general practice. They don't limit themselves, I take it from what I have heard, to either equity or law. That is the general thing, and if they become rounded and step into a judgeship, why wouldn't they be expert in both lines?

MR. VAN RIPER: Sometimes it's not much of a question whether they become rounded or not. They won't admit it, but it probably is a question. However, there are plenty of practicing lawyers who specialize. There are plenty of lawyers to whom other lawyers go to handle certain litigation.

MR. DIXON: That isn't generally true though, is it? Of course, some specialize, but isn't it a general thing for attorneys to handle both law and equity - to take the cases as they come along?

MR. VAN RIPER: I think the majority of lawyers certainly do, but at the same time there are plenty of outstanding lawyers whose services are engaged by other lawyers because they happen to be proficient in a particular line - trial work or appellate work or Chancery work.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: In practice, have the appointments been based on that consideration? Have they appointed judges to a criminal court because they have been criminal lawyers?

MR. VAN RIPER: Mr. Jacobs, I think you must know that when a man, a lawyer, is a candidate for the bench he is an expert in all phases of the law. It's only after he has resigned that he confines himself to one or two activities.

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