N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 450

Thursday, July 24, 1947 (Morning session)

to accomplish substantial justice, and I don't propose to take your time to go into any history of its background. But being a court of conscience, the Chancellor must be the conscience of that court, and the equity dispensed by the Court of Chancery must be controlled by the head of the court. Otherwise, if you create an Equity Division and simply assign judges to it with the flexibility of the administration of jurisprudence and no head to that court, we might have as many brands of equity as there are equity judges, simply because equity, under its maxim that it suffers no wrong without a remedy, has a latitude in the administration of justice that is not permitted to law courts. I say, therefore, that the important thing is to preserve the control of the Chancellor over that court, and everything that militates against that control will tend to emasculate the Court of Chancery.

Another reason for the separate court, and of course the overwhelming reason, is the splendid part that it has played, not only in the development but in the administration of law in New Jersey. I think I ought to bring to the attention of the Committee the fact, if it has not already been alluded to, that the reputation which it enjoys is not confined to the limits of our State. I took the trouble, as chairman of this committee which appears here today, to write to lawyers of repute in the 48 states of the country. I picked the names at random and indiscriminately - not people whom I knew but people who stood well in the Martindale Legal Directory. I told them in these letters of the nature of the problem and stated that there was a suggestion that the Court of Chancery should be abolished in New Jersey in the new Constitution. I asked them if they would be so good as to give me their experience with opinions of our court in their states, and to answer the question whether the opinions of our court were looked upon with that degree of respect which I had been led to believe they enjoyed. I recall that, as I read from the newspapers, Dean Pound said that the equity decisions in New Jersey were a joy forever. I found that many persons who replied did not have any such experience one way or the other. Some did not reply, of course.

I have before me 16 letters from 16 different states. I shall be glad to deposit these with the Secretary if you wish me so to do. Each of these letters is to the effect that the opinions of the Court of Chancery of New Jersey are looked upon almost as gospel in those states, although the term gospel is my phrase, not theirs. One from Minnesota is typical. The writer says that "certainly no court cited in the Minnesota cases is accorded more respect and authority than the New Jersey Court of Chancery. The equity decisions of that state are commonly cited in the reports of the decisions of the

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