N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 302

Tuesday, July 8, 1947 (Morning session)

MR. BROGAN: And the men in that court should do the work of that court, and no other work?

MR. SUTTON: Yes, they become specialists.

MR. SOMMER: Suppose we have an equity judge and we do not limit the power of assignment. Isn't it reasonable to assume, if a man is assigned to the equity section and he demonstrates unusual ability in the administration of equity, that he would be permitted to remain there?

MR. SUTTON: I think that would be the thing to do, of course. If the justice showed very great ability in equity matters, he should be retained in that branch of the court.

MR. SOMMER: And on the other hand, if he were appointed to the equity section and did not demonstrate ability, he could be moved from the equity section to the law section.

MR. SUTTON: Yes, but you would still retain your specialists.

MR. SOMMER: Yes, with unlimited power of assignment.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: When you talk about your own specialists, you have unlimited power of assigning them from time to time in accordance with their efficiency, haven't you?

MR. SUTTON: Yes, that is true. Usually a thing of that kind would be done by the board of directors, perhaps on the recommendation of the president, if he were able to present an argument that made it appear advisable.

MR. DIXON: However, when you pick out your top executives in your bank, you don't pick out specialists, very narrow specialists; you pick out men with a lot of rounded experience.

MR. SUTTON: Well, I am president of our bank and I am supposed to have a general knowledge of banking - so much so that I am supposed to be able to judge whether or not the other officers of the bank are capable of specializing in their particular branches of banking. If I found they weren't, and I weren't able to correct the difficulties, it would be a matter to be decided by the board of directors whether or not they should continue in their respective particular branches of banking.

MR. DIXON: I take it that you have demonstrated your ability to do that and take that broad view, or you wouldn't be president.

MR. SUTTON: Yes, that is correct.

MR. SMITH: I believe, Mr. Chairman, while Mr. Sutton speaks of maintaining the present situation, what has been proposed - unification with two divisions - would serve his purpose and meet his requirements. Would you explain the two systems to Mr. Sutton?

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Well, there have been several systems offered. What Mr. Smith refers to, I believe, is the suggestion that there be one court with separate divisions, so that the equity judge would be administering equity and the law judge administering law, but there will be superimposed upon that, power in a top

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