N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 460


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

ordinary lawyer who has some equity practice as well as some law practice would have to serve some years -

MR. DIXON: Ten or fifteen?

MR. EWART: The present term of the Vice-Chancellor is seven years. I think a Vice-Chancellor is a better equity judge at the beginning of his second term than he was at the beginning of his first; and I think he probably would be a better equity judge at the beginning of his third term than he was at the beginning of his second. It's a vast field and that's the reason we require specialization.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Any further questions?

(Silence)

VICE-CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Ewart.

MR. EWART: Thank you for your time.

VICE-CHAIRMAN: We will now hear our next speaker, Mr. Harry R. Cooper.

MR. HARRY R. COOPER: Mr. Chairman, lady and gentlemen:

I only want to reiterate what Judge Kremer said as far as the broad field of equity and law is concerned. I do want to add this however: that in New York, while I was in law school and during my brief term of practice there, it came to my attention repeatedly that there is as much difference between law and equity in New York as there is in New Jersey, even though New Jersey has a separate Court of Chancery. There is one difference there that has been alluded to by Judge Kremer, and that is that the judges who sit in the equity court have only the briefest experience in equity matters, and for that reason the New York courts themselves regard the decisions in equity in New Jersey as being of the highest type, because those decisions are made and rendered by men who have spent years of practice in the equity courts.

Now, in New York the practice is probably more specialized, let us say, than in any other state, and all of the big law firms have their leading law and equity specialists who try the cases in those respective courts. I can tell you from experience that I know that the large firms in New York, if they have equity cases involving serious equity principles, will wait until they know that one of the Supreme Court judges who is best versed in equity practice is assigned to that court before they will try their case there, if they can accomplish it by a gentlemen's agreement with their opponent. The reason for that is that these men who specialize in that field feel that they want the judges who they feel are best qualified to hear that particular case, based upon equity principles.

I don't think that I need take the time of your Committee any further, except to reiterate what Judge Kremer said about the Monmouth County Bar Association - that it desires a separate


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