N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 688

(Copy of letter sent to President Robert C. Clothier by Augustus C. Studer, Jr., Esq., June 16, 1947, and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.)

responsibility of trustees was developed. I might go on interminably and point to many other highly civilized approaches to the perfection of reason which have emanated from that court. Surely it is extremely doubtful if a jurist functioning in the forensic tensities of suits at law could move over into what may be termed an equity branch of his law court and there strip himself suddenly of its restrictions and at once orient himself into that cloistered mental atmosphere so essential to satisfactory work in equity.

There are so many reasons why our court of equity should forever maintain its separate entity that one might go on and on in a recital. To take the opposite position, it seems to me, is to deny the principles involved in the division of labor in industry and to deny the efficiency of specialization in medicine, surgery, art, literature, and music and to force our jurisprudence down to those lower standards which obtain in jurisdictions where they know not equity in all its fullness. To lay our Court of Chancery open to the weakness of a union with our law courts would constitute an unforgivable sin against reason and result in a blight on human progress. Not only would Jerseymen suffer under such an ill-advised change, but the blight will also fall wherever a man is thinking out a better and saner way of life. It is no exaggeration to say that its emasculation will be regretted wherever Anglo-Saxon traditions obtain.

Oh yes! I know, lawyers and others have claimed they have been browbeaten at times in the equity court; they have suffered interminable delays; politics and favoritism have played a part in its work and outside corruption has approached to its portals. However, the Court of Chancery cannot be singled out as standing alone with such evils occasionally found in its fabric. These unfortunate and wicked frailties leak through into all human endeavor. In business, in the professions and even in ecclesiastical society.

It is sometime erroneously stated that New Jersey is the only state wherein a separate Court of Chancery is still functioning. As I understand it there are at least five states maintaining such separate courts, New Jersey and Delaware being the leaders among them. Our senior Circuit Court Judge, John Biggs, Jr., is a Delaware lawyer; it would be indeed interesting if you could obtain his views concerning the Court of Chancery in his state.

Many centuries ago a great letterwritter who was concerned with eternal truths, wrote to the Thessalonians expressing a thought forever modern. Said he: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."


Sincerely,Guy L. Fake

Previous Page in Book ********* Table of Contents *********** Next Page in Book