N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 477

Thursday, July 24, 1947 (Afternoon session)

when the Legislature was considering a constitutional amendment to abolish the Court of Chancery, who very frankly said that while he had a great deal of love and respect for the federal judges and for the justices of the Supreme Court of New York, a search of the records and the cases had failed to disclose to him the establishment by any justices of the Supreme Court of New York or any federal judge of a fundamental principle of equity or a fundamental theory of equity?

Wasn't it Judge Biggs who stated that an examination of those states that had gone away from the separate and distinct Court of Chancery system showed that the law became predominent in the consideration of cases by the one court? Whether it was by the one judge or not, I don't know, but there must be a reason for everything and I think the reason is this: In establishing in our system our calendars, you have two cases, two types of cases for trial. You have either a jury case or you have a non-jury case, and you establish your court calendar in that fashion. You bring your juries in, maybe six, eight, or ten weeks, and you try your jury calendar, sit in criminal cases and civil jury cases. Then you go to work on the non-jury cases. In our system alone we may today try an income tax case - you list your cases in numerical order according to their age, their filing number in the clerk's office, so that, I think properly, you try to dispose of the oldest cases first; I think that justice requires that, at least you give them an opportunity to have a trial in that fashion - income tax case today; portal-to-portal pay suit tomorrow. The next day you may find right in with all of those which are fundamentally and basically law cases according to legislative enactment, you may find following that and right in with it a suit for specific performance that fundamentally should be in the Court of Chancery in New Jersey but finds it way into the United States District Court by reason of diversity of citizenship.

Gentlemen, I can't help but feel - pardon me, ladies and gentlemen - that when the world is moving more and more every day in all fields of endeavor into the idea of specialists, why in the particular realm of judicial action here in New Jersey should we move away from the specialist field and go into the general practitioner, the old-time family doctor. He was wonderful, but I think we all recognize the field of specialists in that profession. I think it is the mechanical thing which produces the effect. I think it's the mechanical thing that we can't get away from, because we are all practical people and we lead practical lives and we must conduct our courts on a practical fashion. You can't have juries today, non-juries tomorrow, juries the next day. You waste so much of the taxpayers' time and money in a system like that, it would not be practical. I think the practice that would be involved of placing

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