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are cases in which a simple explanation may the prisoner's counsel addresses the court after clear away the clouds. Till a dozen years ago they have given their evidence, and then the even this privilege was withheld, but in June, prosecuting counsel has the right to make a 1881, the wickedness and injustice of the re. speech in reply. But if no witnesses are called striction were brought prominently into notice, on the defense (the prisoner's own evidence in and such a wave of indignation swept over the the few particular cases in which it is permitted country that the most hidebound of judges does not count), then the prosecuting counsel could not but be sensible of it, and after a few has no right to follow up the speech of the months of delay the needed reform was intro- counsel for the defense. That is to say, where duced. (It was a question of unwritten pro- witnesses are called on the defense, then the cedure, not of law.) For in June of that year prosecution has “the last word,' but where no a murder was committed in a railway carriage, witnesses are called on the defense, then the and the murderer, when put on his trial, was defense has 'the last word.' But there is an not allowed to say what had happened. Now, exception to the rule, for when the solicitorin that case the guilt of the accused was beyond general appears in person on behalf of the doubt; it was a murder deliberately planned Crown, he is entitled to the last word,
But none the less, every thinking whether the defense calls witnesses or not. man felt that it was clearly unjust to shut his Now, either this final speech is of importance, mouth. It was felt that a perfectly innocent or it is not. Lawyers believe it to be of great man might be found at the end of il journey importance, and frequently refrain from calling with a dead body as his traveling companion, for witnesses on the defense in order to secure it; he might have been compelled to kill in self- but, as above pointed out, they cannot prevent defense. Take the very case of Lefroy and the solicitor-general from claiming it in such Gould. Suppose when Lefroy fire he had cases he conducts himself. Naturally missed Gould, and that Gould had closed with enough it has been pointed out again and again him, had wrested the revolver from him, and that he ought not to have this exceptional had shot him? Gould might have been tried privilege; that all prisoners ought to be treated for murder, and would not have been allowed alike. For the result of the present system is to explain matters; nay, more, his counsel to convey the idea that the Crown is ‘pressing would not have been allowed to tell his story for a conviction' whenever this unusual mafor him, since he was forbidden. All the coun-chinery is put in operation, and it is difficult to sel could do was this: He could say to the jury, combat this idea. It certainly seems to the 'On the facts proved in evidence, the prosecu. ordinary lay mind that there ought to be but tion suggests a certain theory and asks you 10 one procedure, no matter who the counsel may infer the guilt of the prisoner; I, on the other be. However, in the particular case, there is hand, suggest a different theory, and ask you no doubt the appearance of the solicitor-general to infer the innocence of the prisoner.' That helped largely to prevent a miscarriage of juswas the ruling of the chief justice of England tice, so the defenders of the system can urge on the Lefroy trial. It is worth noting, by the for it the doctrine of expediency. But what a way, that in India (where the criminal law con satire on the administration of justice it is when sists of a Code which has been arrived at by the fate of an accused man is seen to depend boiling down the English law and making cer- upon the accident of the lawyer present, and tain alterations), prisoners are allowed to give not on the evidence produced for and against evidence under fixed rules, and the system him." answers well.
No doubt the change will come sooner or later in England also, but the preju The opinion of Judge Ross, in the case of dice against reform is very strong.
the Government against the Stanford estate, " Another curious system which has attracted which action was brought to recover the share attention in this trial is “the last word.' (This due from Stanford as a shareholder of the sounds like one of Adelaide Proctor's poems.) | Southern Pacific Company, is one which will The procedure in English criminal cases is be cagerly read, as it discusses many valuable this: If witnesses are called on the defense, points in the national legislation by which the
construction of the Northern Pacific and Cen- ever, constituted contracts from which the comtral Pacific was authorized, and the provisions panies could not arbitrarily recede. made for the issuance of bonds and for their
The principle involved in this, the court said, redemption.
was elementary, but he fortified his conclusion On April 4, 1864, the California Legislature by reading authorities. The contract contempassed an act of aid to the Central Pacific, pluted a repayment of the bonds. The only which vested in it all the rights given it by the question was, how? This was a question not legislation of Congress. The Western Pacific heretofore decided, but it had a bearing on the was incorporated under these acts to connect It would have to be decided whether with the Central Pacific at Sacramento. This there was any direct promise from these stockcorporation in 1870 merged with the Central holders to repay the bonds. He found that no Pacific, and the combined property came under such promise existed by implication, and it has the legislation affecting the Central Pacific and been settled that an implied promise in such the Union Pacific. All other consolidations cases was not entered. The acceptance of the were similarly affected between the Missouri bonds was an applied promise to stockholders river and the Pacific coast.
to repay them
in fact, their acceptance under The Central Pacific accepted the terms of- the language of the statutes was an absolute and fered. In all the corporations affected in this unqualified agreement to pay to the governState Stanford a stockholder, holding ment. The stockholders accepted the assist130,880 shares in a total of 520,000 shares paid ance, with an agreement as to how it should be in. He owned 13,500 shares of the Western repaid — if the acceptance was unqualified, Pacific railroad when it received aid.
which it was, it could but be accepted as a total charged that no part of the money due the acceptance. While there was no statement as government had been paid, and that it now to this in the clause providing for the forfeiamounted to more than $78,000,000, which the
ture, if considered in connection with the conproperty of the company, if seized, would be text of the law, no other construction was possiinadequate to cover,
ble. There was no doubt that the company The court said it could not be influenced by had accepted all the responsibilities of the loan. any event which occurred subsequent to the
The question remained as to whether the contract with the government. The only ques responsibility rested with the stockholders. tion was what Stanford's liability was as to the Beyond any douiit there was no common law payment of the debt to the government. The liability. It reverted to the application of the money made by Stanford and what has been State Constitution and subsequent
State done with the money earned by the Central statutes as to such liabilities. It has been held Pacific were not matters of which the court that the States statutes did not fix any definite could take cognizance. Sections of the State liability. The court referred to the original legislation were read to show the liability of State Constitution and to the later Constitution stockholders. The court said the only legisla- of 1879, and to intervening legislation. While tion bearing on this case was section 12 of the in later legislation the responsibility of stockact of 1861, which provided that when any holders for liability is in the proportion of their stockholder should cease to be such, his respon- stock to capitalization of their corporation, the sibility for a proportion of his debts should legislation of the era in which the railroad debt cease, except as to debts incurred prior to his accrued did not so provide, and subsequent having become a stockholder. There was no legislation had no bearing on the debt. doubt that, though Stanford and his three part But the court said he did not believe the ners only heid a portion of the stock, they were state legislation material, as the contract bethe moving spirits.
tween the company and the government would The court referred to decisions which showed have to be relied upon - he was satistied that that the government grants were made under the government did not intend that the stockpeculiar circumstances which made them in a holders should be individually responsible for sense national enterprises. The grants, how- | the debt. It had extended its aid in a way
which showed that it was an extraordinary to the memory of Prof. Parsons. He was then occasion, and that it made the stockholders of the most eminent of the professors of the law the railroad company its instruments in delegat- school, and the only one from whom I ever ing to them great powers. It evidently did not learned anything. I do not claim that he was intend that any individual responsibility should a profound lawyer, at least before he made the be with them. Subsequent legislation could acquaintance of Prof. Langdell, but he was one not alter the case in favor of the complainants. of the most charming of men. It was his
The decision was in favor of Mrs. Stanford, maxim of life, which I have endeavored to foland the federal officials said, after it had been low, that it was the duty of every lawyer to get rendered, that the case would not be further all the entertainment possible out of his work prosecuted They regarded Judge Ross' de
as he went along. I do not think Prof. Langcision as final, as all the points at issue had dell was the first inventor of the system of been covered.
studying law by original research in actual The Honorable Joseph Hodges Choate, presi
Mr. Justice Gray began it fifty years dent of the recent Constitutional Convention, ago, and has kept it successfully to this moment. jurist, humorist, and, it is claimed, the perse do heartly approve. It sends out to the great cit
There are results in the modern system which I cutor of Sage, the multi-millionaire, is always a ies of this Union young men far better equipped subject of pleasure and delight. There is cer- with legal knowledge and with the fundamental tainly a keenness to his wit and a grace to his principles that are to prepare them for the pracwords which add to the charm of his presence, tice of law than any of their predecessors have and we always seek his remarks on lawyers and enjoyed, and I think I may fairly say that his arguments on the Income Tax, or other we practitioners of the New York bar welcome subjects, as one would search for sweet clover all we can get of them. There is only one among bristling thorns. At the commencement trouble, Prof. Langdell, and that is they know exercises of the Harvard Law School, James C. altogether too much. They know it all. And
there are none of us old men in the law who Carter, Esq., the toastmaster, introduced Mr.
But Choate, and said that he was the person who, it is their misfortune that at the outset they are
cannot learn a great deal from them. at the recent trial, was constrained to read a
topheavy. And it is only after six months or a chapter of the bible to the millionaire defend- year of running about our streets, when they ant in the case of Sage v. Laidlaw, and might have learned that the legs are as important to have something equally as good and apropos the young lawyer as the brain, that they make for his legal brethern. In speaking of Sir themselves as useful as you inten led them to be. Frederick Pollock, Mr. Choate said:
“I consider that America is the paradise of “I can remind him," said the speaker, “that judges and lawyers, especially of lawyers, and there was a Harvard school before he was. I
when any pessimistic views are expressed of claim myself to have enjoyed the tuition of what all these coming lawyers are to do, I say,
come to New York. Mr. Carter will soon be Harvard College and of the Dane law school in
retiring, and will leave room for a thousand men. the golden age of each of these institutions.
“One question I should submit for the conProfound as is my admiration for our distin-sideration of our distinguished guest from over guished president, I wish to say I graduated the water. Why is it that such an enormous under the genial reign of David Sparks, the number of lawyers and judges are required to happy period of college life at Harvard. He meet the modest wants of the American people? had but one motto, which he universally ap- | Take our State of New York, with 7,000,000 of plied in his treatment of the undergraduates: people. It has 70 judges of the Supreme ‘Be to their faults a little blind, and to their Court, besides seven judges of the Court of virtues very kind, and clap the padlock on the Appeals, three federal judges and one judge in
each of the counties, 60 in number, for probate mind.'
and legal business, making 140 judges to meet “When from there I proceeded to the law | the wants of 7,000,000 people. Well, as I school a similar state of things prevailed. Hap- understand it, though I may be mistaken, Engpily, there was no such thing as dean of the land, with her 30,000,000 people, finds 32 judges law school. I do wish to pay a single tribute l of the first-class ample for all her wants.”
THE WORK OF THE BAR ASSOCIATION of the legal profession; having, as a subordinate
and secondary aim, the cultivation of social interAddress before the Pennsylvania State Bar Association, at Bedford Springs, July 10, 1895, by J. NEWTON FIERO,
course among its members, and the perpetuation of T is a time-honored introduction to the charge by the memory of those who have passed over to the
the court to the grand jury, that “the oath majority. This may be termed the relation which which you have taken is a brief and beautiful epi- the association holds toward the profession; second, tome of your duties," and it is usual to add that it the more important duty which lawyers, as memis unnecessary to enlarge upon the powers and re bers of an association, one to and undertake to sponsibilities which are therein so elearly and suc- perform toward the public, is, by way of revision cinctly stated. It is equally the custom of the and repeal of unwise, improvident and obsolete judge thereupon to proceed to an elaborate expla- laws, through appropriate legislation ; the prevennation of the rights, privileges and functions of tion of ill-considered, basty, careless and vicious the grand inquest.
legislation, so far as practicable under existing conIn the by-laws of the Pennsylvania State Bar ditions, and the exercise of care and watchfulness Association, as in the constitutions of its sister
over the administration of the law by duly constiassociations, there is embodied a concise and lis
tuted tribunals. tinct statement of the purposes of the organization.
In the discharge of the obligation which lawyers This declaration seems an adequate and complete
owe to themselves, the first to be considered, and presentation of the objects sought to be accom- perhaps the more important, as influencing all the plished; but following the example of the court in others and relating most intimately to the welfare like case, I shall somewhat amplify this provision and standing of the profession, and at the same and enlarge upon the practical work of associations time affecting the public interest, is admission to of mer the bar.
its membership Questions relative to legal educaThe formation of associations of this character is tion and qualification have, during the past few a recognition of the futility of individual effort and years, received most careful consideration, and the of the power and influence of organization; an adl- standard of legal learning has thereby been, and is mission that the lawyer, unaided by co-operation on
being, raised tv and maintained at a much higher the part of his brethren, can, except in rare cases,
point than was heretofore cleemed practicable. accomplish but little that is of value to the profes
Scarcely less important is the preservation of the sion or the public, beyond the performance of his high standing of the members of the bar, and the duties as counsel and advocate.
maintenance of the reputation for honor and integIt is the outgrowth of and possibly an improve- rity which is demanded from the profession, by ment upon the compact and influential organizations
means of discriminating, yet firin and uncompro of lawyers in the mother country, concentrated in misiug action in the discipline and exclusion of and gathered about the inns of court, which have
Nor is the association of the members of the bar done so much toward preserving the standard of ability and integrity of the bar of England, and its
for mutual improvement by closer acquaintance and efficiency has been most thoroughly recognized by a
the enjoyment of the social courtesies of life to be recent movement among English barristers looking passed lightly over, and as we recall how little is toward the formation of a like association.
preserverlof the record of the life of the active lawyer,
who has attained even a very high degree of promiTHE PURPOSE OF BAR ASSOCIATIONS. nence in his profession, we more fully appreciate The association of members of the bar has a the desirability and necessity of that branch of the higher purpose, however, than is possible for any
work which is devoted to keeping green the memory organization which, as in most cases, has for its sole of those who bave passed away, rendering the deobject the protection of the interests of a trade, 'partment of legal biography one of the greatest inclass, or profession, in that it cultivates a broader terest and highest importance. and more liberal spirit in its effort to improve the Thus far, as to the duties lawyers owe to and unscience of jurisprudence in the interest and for the dertake to discharge toward each other big mutual benefit of the people of the State.
association, embodying, howerer, rery much due to While the line of differentiation is not sharply : the public as well as to the profession. I in no drawn, yet the aims of such an association divide wise underrate their importance, but the reference themselves into two classes: first, the oversight and made to them must suflice at this time, since our care of the education of the prospective lawyer object in this paper is to consider more particularly previous to his admission to practice, and the re-, the work of the association in its relation to the ntion and maintenance of such a sentiment in the citizen and the State, and the manner in which bar as sball tend to uphold the honor and dignity that work can be most readily and effectually ac
complished, and as to this branch of the subject leaders are too muchi engrossed in their practice to only that portion can be touched upon relative to give this subject their personal attention, those wbo the general features of reform in the substantive manifest an interest in the subject find the majority law and methods for its administration.
of their brethren wedded to existing conditions,
and the organization of the courts, the regulation A PLEA AGAINST CONSERVATISM.
of the practice and the enactment of the statutes The lawyers of America are not to overlook the are left very largely to men who are but indifferent fact that we are nearing the close of the nineteenth lawyers although exceedingly able politicans not to century, with a strong predeliction in many quar- say eminent statesman. ters for the adoption of twentieth-century methods The truth is, and it should be enforced on every of thought and action. It must be appreciated that proper occasion, that the lawyers of these United rules of law and methods of procedure which were States as a body do not exhibit a proper public established at the period of the Norman Conquest, spirit in performing the duty which they owe to the devised by the early chancellors of England, and community by way of enforcing a careful, thorough modified by the decisions of Eldon and Mansfield, and complete revision of the laws, State and Fedare not now accepted without question or contro- eral, and insisting upon the simplifying and renderversy. As affairs have been influenced by steaming less expensive the existing methods of procedure. and electricity, so laws which were adapted to the The indisposition of the bar to give sufficient time of William the ('onqueror served the purposes time and attention to the science of jurisprudence, of a rude kind of justice in the days of Thomas į the enactment of statntes and the proper constituBecket, and were admivistered with many misgir- tion of the courts, is il conceded lamentable fact, ings by the doubting chancellor and the great com and so far as it has become a spirit of opposition to mon-law judge, will not be tolerated by the busi- necessary reforms it is to be criticised and deprecated. ness public of to-day. The conservatism of the bar. I can only presume that your bar is so liberal in its must necessarily give way to the spirit of progress, views, modern in its spirit and progressive in its and we must adopt such rules of action and such methods, that I may thereby be relieved from even methods of business as are reasonably consonant the suspicion of comment or criticism. with the disposition and responsive to the demands That our statute books are full of crude, illy-conof the client. This boasted conservatism is not only silerea, unintelligible, inconsistent and obsolete beyond criticism, but deserves all praise, in so far laws is conceded. That this is a disgrace to our as it does not stand for opposition to modern civilization does not seem to be appreciated. That thought and action; but when that conservatism is it is the duty of the bar to remedly it, does not arrayed against the spirit of the time, it requires no appear to be seriously considered. Yet here is a prophet to foretell the result, and it is the part of field which can be most profitably occupied without wisdom for the profession, acting through associa creating objection or arousing antagonism from any tion of its members, to recognize the existing con quarter. dition of affairs, and adapt laws and procedure to It is the province of bar associations to correct such conditions. The demand of the itge is for this evil, to educate the sentiment and enforce the greater simplicity, both in the law and in the prac- views of its members who are in sympathy with tice, and this demand must be heeded, and is not modern ideas, to formulate the plan and regulate the acceded to by the profession, they will no longer manner and method in which the law shall be conbe the leaders, but will be obliged to follow the densed, revised and simplified, and in so doing it steps of those who are mfit for and incapable of will conserve the highest and most important inframing laws or constitutions.
terests of the bar, the bench and the State. There is a decided indisposition on the part of
This demands careful, painstaking and unremitthe individual lawyer to devote cither time or atten- ting labor, carried on with a clue spirit of revertion to the amendment of the law in any respect,
ence for the past, with a large measure of wisdom and he therefore resigns himself to a condition of
and prudence as to the present, and a wise forecast
for the future. inertia which from absolute indifference soon becomes active opposition to any effort on the part of OBSTACLES TO WORK OF ASSOCIATIONS, his brethren to reform either the substance or the
The practical question is, “In what manner can administration of the law, contenting himself with a bar association best accomplish the ends of its the view that present conditions bave existed for existence ?" and in answer to this question we must nearly a thousand years and that any change or not overlook the obstacles to be met and overcome. amendment is not only disadvantageous but will be There is a most formidable obstacle in the way of dangerous.
effective action, even when the members of the proAs a profession, we are not up to the times; our session are agreed upon a course of action which