N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 459

Thursday, July 24, 1947 (Morning session)

you want men who have very substantial equity experience on the Court of Appeals, and that you would want Vice-Chancellors, as distinguished from the Chancellor?

MR. EWART: I don't want to deal in personalities, but I think we ought to get the best men or the best qualified men, the most experienced men on the Court of Appeals whom we have in this State. Generally speaking, that necessarily means you would take specialists from the equity field if you were going to have equity judges, and I know of no better specialists than some of our Vice-Chancellors.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: And you would take those even if it meant the exclusion of members of the Supreme Court.

MR. EWART: I am not interested in personalities nor in any one holding office now.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: I was just thinking of how that could be worked in the Constitution. You are recommending that a certain type of man go to the top court. That would have certain consequences. I was trying to envisage just how that could be accomplished.

MR. EWART: Well, of course, our group in Ocean County does not attempt to say to this Committee or this Convention the details of how these things should be worked out. We deal with the general principle and say the Court of Appeals should have adequate representation from the Chancery bench.

MR. DIXON: Mr. Ewart, in your opinion, how long after appointment does it take a man appointed Vice-Chancellor to become an expert and able to give a reasonably good brand of equity judgment?

MR. EWART: Well, now, of course, there are so many factors that have to be considered in that question. The first factor, I think, is how much equity did he know before he went on the Chancery bench.

MR. DIXON: Presumably he practiced both equity and law, as most of our attorneys do.

MR. EWART: That's true, but there is a difference. A great many have larger equity practices than others.

MR. DIXON: Presumably we pick out those we think will do the best job. What is your opinion?

MR. EWART: I am unable to express an opinion because there are so many uncertain factors. It is like asking how long it would take a man to become a skilled carpenter.

MR. DIXON: I can tell you that, if you ask me. I happen to be an engineer.

MR. EWART: But there are so many unknown factors involved, I don't feel able to give any definite answer. I would say that the

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