N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 458


STATE OF NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1947
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
Thursday, July 24, 1947 (Morning session)

can be an equity specialist unless he devotes substantially all his time to the field of equity.

MR. BROGAN: Well, assuming, as I think the fact is, that the appeals from the law side and the equity side are equal, don't you concede that a man who has been devoting his time to the consideration of equity appeals for a period of maybe 15 or 18 years, as well as law appeals, becomes quite expert - as expert as anyone could be?

MR. EWART: The field of equity jurisprudence is a tremendously large field. I don't believe there is any equity judge in the United States today who knows all the equity law or equity jurisprudence. Nor do I think there is any law judge who knows all the law, but I do think -

MR. BROGAN: Well, that's a matter of opinion, of course.

MR. EWART: Perhaps I can put it this way: I have yet to meet any judge who claims to know all the law.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: You should have sat in on one of our hearings.

(Laughter)

MR. PETERSON: I was just about to say that.

MR. EWART: Well, I hold that opinion. I don't think any man can be a real specialist in equity unless he devotes substantially all his time to equity jurisprudence. I don't mean to say, however -

MR. BROGAN: If you put these equity judges into the law courts, how about their deficiency, under your argument, of the knowledge of law?

MR. EWART: I think the rule works both ways, or the argument applies both ways. I think an equity judge who has sat for years on the equity bench would not be competent for some time to hold circuit court and try law cases, but in suggesting that the equity bench ought to have adequate representation on the independent court of appeals, my thought is that with the volume of -

MR. BROGAN: You get a better cross section of intelligence.

MR. EWART: Yes. My point is with the volume of -

MR. BROGAN: A better cross-section of intelligence.

MR. EWART: You ought to have some real specialists in equity on that independent Court of Appeals to assist the court with expert knowledge.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: I take it, then, that you would want the Vice-Chancellors, as distinguished from the Chancellor, to sit on the Court of Appeals?

MR. EWART: Well, under our present system, of course, every time an equity case comes up on appeal from a decision of the Vice-Chancellor, the Chancellor retires.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: That wasn't my question. I gather that


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