N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 468

STATE OF NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1947

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY

Thursday, July 24, 1947 (Afternoon session)

(The session began at 2:00 P. M.)

PRESENT: Brogan, Dixon, Drenk, Jacobs, McGrath, McMurray, Miller, G. W., Peterson, H. W., Smith, G. F., Sommer and Winne.

Vice-Chairman Jacobs presided at the request of Chairman Sommer.

VICE-CHAIRMAN NATHAN L. JACOBS: Judge Gebhardt, representing the Hunterdon County Bar Association.

MR. PHILIP R. GEBHARDT: Mr. Jacobs, members of the Committee:

It will be necessary for me to take but a few minutes of your time. We appointed a committee of the Bar Association and thereafter held a meeting of the members, and we sent in to your Committee a copy of the resolution adopted by the Association.1 The text of this resolution appears in the Appendix to these Committee Proceedings. One thing we agreed on almost unanimously was the retention of the Court of Chancery. The members felt that because of its reputation and because of the trained personnel who were members of the court, it would be for the best interests of the State at large, citizens and everybody else, to retain the Court of Chancery. However, as I read the Newark News and see your plans with regard to the general state court, or whatever it may be called, it does appear that you recognize the benefits which may arise from what might be called a separate Court of Chancery, at least a separate division of the general state court.

We felt quite strongly, also, that the county courts as such should be retained. Now, I can speak personally from that angle because on April 1 I finished a term as Common Pleas judge of Hunterdon County, during which time I was fortunate enough to have considerable work in Warren County and also in Mercer County. I do feel that a local judge, that is, a Common Pleas judge, appointed from the county in which he resides, does have a knowledge of the whole county which is almost indispensable in the many and varied jobs which a Common Pleas judge has. He knows the geography, he knows the people, the kind of people that live in the different parts of the county, and he has a first-hand knowledge of what


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