N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 735


The undersigned, presently holding the office of Law Reporter, begs to submit the following memorandum concerning that office:

In the present Constitution the office of law reporter is provided for under Section II, "Civil Officers," of Article VII, by paragraph 4:

"4. Law reporter; appointment; term.

The law reporter shall be appointed by the justices of the supreme court, or a majority of them; and the chancery reporter shall be appointed by the chancellor.

They shall hold their offices for five years. As amended, election Sept. 7, 1875. Proclamation Sept. 28, 1875."

I note from the newspaper copy of the new Judicial Article that no mention of the office of law reporter is made therein, and while some provision may be made elsewhere in the draft of the new Constitution, such provision has not come to my attention.

In the draft of the proposed Constitution submitted to the people a few years ago, the office of law reporter was continued as a constitutional office, but the term of such office was made one year.

I believe that the office of the law reporter is of sufficient importance to be continued as a constitutional office and that the work of the law reporter being a continuous operation, I submit that limiting the term of such office to a period less than five years would tend to disrupt the efficiency of the work of the reporter and the promptness of getting out the reports. The reporter first gets the copies of the opinions from the office of the clerk of the court, then prepares headnotes, checks citations and reads proof as the pages of the volume are built up, finally completing the index and the delivery of the volume. The reports average about eight in five years and it is the objective of the reporter to get the volumes delivered to the State just as soon after the final pages are completed as possible. It would seem to me that if the reporter were subject to a term of one year it would interfere considerably with the continuous flow of material for the publication of his volume.

With the constitutional office as a basis, the preparation and printing of the law reports and the compensation to be received by the reporter are the subject of statute found in Title II, Chapter 18, Sections 1 to 5 of the Revised Statutes.

Respectfully submitted,William Abbotts,Law Reporter

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