Imágenes de páginas

involves any change in existing methods, however YUTIONU, STATE AND LOCAL ISSOCIATIONS, slight, or however bencficial. This is the dificulty The work of the national, of State and of local in obtaining necessary legislation for the purpose bar associations necessarily differs somewhat in charof carrying out any needed reform. Without l'm. liter. In association of lawyers from every State flection upon or experience with regard to this m:11 in the Union must necessarily have somewhat difter, it would be assumed that opposition to action ferent im- from one in which the membership is recommended by an association of members of the continerl to il single State or locality. So a local bar would most likely arise from other than mem association organized from the bar of it county or bers of the profession, and that where reforms bul city has to il considerable extent other and different been agreed upon, after careful consideration by an purposes from those which mainly occupy the attenorganized body of lawyers, there would be little or tion of a State issociation, which, with its field not no opposition from the bar. The contrary, how so broad is that of a national body but more enever, is the fact, demonstrated by experience, and largel than that of a locality, his within its purview it is found that lawyers who are members of logis- | many matters which are not relevant or proper to lative bodies are most sensitive to any change le be ('on stered by either of the others. commended by an ilssociation of members of the To illustrate : The American Buur Issociation, bar, and most difficult to win over from rictive op- drawing upon overy State and Territory for its position to any plan which has been adopted by membership, and having chief among its objects the bar associations. This seems to result from two promotion of uniformity of legislation throughout conditions:

the l'nion, inits broiler tiebai than any state organiFirst, many of the lawyers who are incluential in lation, and its mrihods by reason of this fact and legislative boilies are political leaders, in, its ;;11011, the wiele cii-tribution of its membership, must to il have to a very great extent put izsiile their profess considerable extent clitler from those of any other sional pride and their personality is members of the live ivoils. Thall ilssociation incts chiefly through bar and devote themselves (Aclusively to the police' the piper'submitted tv and discussions had at its fession of statesmanship. I proposition which isi ini merilla and the inquiry, investigation 10 not partisan in its character, or which faili lo con reports of its standing ani special committees. 11. fer a personal benefit upon some constituents, or undertakes loiudience legislative action to only a which is not likely to secure votes it the calcus or ; limited Vient through direct action, and in doing the polls, is not deemed worthy of consideration. -o is cominced mainly to such legislation is can be Hence they are unwilling to give either time or at-inacterii! llitshington ?? ubicli will affect the tention suflicient for the examination of the wisdom power or jul'isliction of the Federal tribunals, or propriety of any reform, and are likely to become hence this issociatian may be said to work mainly active opponents of proposed measures because the two!igh it moril iniluence upon the brand the have not and will not (trefully elimine thee meil: public by (Teting it wntiment upon il given topic of the matter presented.

and thus bringing about causes and reforms in Moreover, lawyers as a body are much inclined to matiit on interest in! importance to the lawyer criticise the labor of others, particularly members in the client throughout the country. of the profession, and when an aci, drawn by il A guirl, the issociation of the bar of the city of committee of il bar ilssociation med approved by New York has no liter:ry sice to its work but is that body, is presented for rtion, lawyers in the solely it -001::nd business organization, existing Legislature are very much inclined to crpil! :: foreihin purposes is voll, and devoter very largely cavil about both the form and substance of the pro to maintaining in high standard of integrity at the vision, although approving hundreds of bills ciuring b: :!!!17 op! ving the elevation of incompetent or each session which are not at all cruditable to vi!lier corrupt men to the bench. Wile 10: in full symitheir literary taste or legal judgment.

pathy with the views entertained by this ilssociation On the other hand, there are to be found in leg in

every it deserves to be said that it is in terror islative bodies many broadl, progressive, iber: to evil-aloers at the bar or upon the bench. It must mindel men who take 11pmatters of this character be ileiled that this issociation also deristes itself to with a will anal who are disposeil, through priile in

il carcivil: rigid (vination of the bills presented their profession and belief in the piecessity for re to the New York Legislature all'orting the interests form in the law, to press matters to il successful in of the bar in the public. and texlessly :ind ettersue. It is to such that we owe the fact that bir mually interpuscos ils objections to whatever is reassociations have it standing in legislative boilies; garde: - improper or licious legiation. It is onthat lawyers, as such, have their legitimiteintlii- bled to perform this work in a most thorough and ence, and that any progress whatever is made in :... li isticaory manner lig 121-01 of the lincility for ob direction of law reform.

taining meetings of the committee huiving this

[ocr errors]



matter in charge which is not possible in case of a In 1891, the attention of the association was State association, and by its numbers and standing called to the reports of the decisions of the courts is able to undertake and accomplish much that is of the State, nine sets of reports then being ordinarily outside the scope and beyond the power issued, many of them duplicates. of a purely local association.

As in the case of the Constitutional amendment, The ownership of a valuable library in an accessi a committee was appointed to take the matter in ble locality in most desirable quarters, makes the charge, and this resulted in such legislation and rooms of this association valuable for professional | bringing about of such concert of action among the work, in which respect it is somewhat unique reporters and publishers that the official reports among bar associations.

now in existence are known as the Combined As to the responsibilities of a State association, Series, consisting of the reports of the Court of I can best carry out the purposes of this paper by Appeals, of the Supreme Court and of the Inferior briefly referring to the work carried on and the Courts of Record, each constituting a series commethods adopted by the New York State Bar Asso-plete in itself, but issued in weekly numbers at a ciation. I feel at liberty to do so only by reason

very moderate price, these pamphlets being subof the kind suggestion which accompanied the in- sequently replaced by bound volumes, giving a vitation to address you, that as a member of that system equal is not superior to that existing in body I am somewhat acquainted with the character any State or country. of its work and the manner in which it has been

A little later began an agitation in favor of a more sought to be accomplished. I may be excused

thorough system of examination for admission to

the bar. therefore in stating some of its recent efforts in the

At the annual meeting of the association,

the deans of the several law schools of the State way of reform in the law and its administration and their results, rather than confining myself to a

read papers advocating the movement, and it has purely theoretical view of the subject.

resulted in the enactment of a statute providing for

the appointment of a permanent commission to THE WORK OF THE STATE ASSOCIATION ILLUS- examine such applicants, the members of which

receive a stated compensation, and whose duty it is The New York association entered more actively to formulate proper rules and regulations for that upon the work of reform in the law and procedure purpose. Their recommendation is a condition in 1890. At the annual meeting in that year a precedent to admission to practice, furnishing a a paper was read entitled, " What shall be done to

uniform system of examination which has been relieve our courts?” in which it was urged that a found to work in the interest of both the student Constitutional Commission should be appointed to

and the lawyer, and must ultimately be highly report a new judiciary article for adoption by the beneficial to the client. people. This was followed by the appointment of The Code of Procedure of New York, by reason a committee for the purpose of drafting an act and

of changes made from the original draft by obtaining such legislation. This became a law and David Dudley Field, and in opposition to his views, such a commission was appointed, upon which the

has become complex, complicated and cumbersome. association was very largely represented. A new

In 1894, the president of the association, in his judiciary article was framed by this body which, al annual address, recommended that action be taken though not acted upon at that time, became the for the purpose of bringing about a revision and basis for the article adopted by the Convention of simplification of the practice. The subject was 1894. The association continued the agitation of taken up by the committee on law reform, which the question of reform in the judiciary by mak- reported favorably upon the subject, and it was ing that subject a topic for discussion at two of its made it matter for discussion at the last annual annual meetings, at which leading members of the meeting, when a bill which was submitted by the bar throughout the State presented arguments and committee, providing for the appointment of three papers.

A Constitutional Convention having at commissioners to revise the Code, was recommended length been provided for, a committee of the asso) for passage and the Committee charged with prociation was charged with the duty of presenting the curing its enactment. This bill became a law, and views of the association with regard to the judi- the governor of the State has just appointed the ciary. This committee urged substantially the three commissioners provided by its terms, thus plan which had been proposed by the Constitu- putting the State in the way of obtaining a revision tional Commission of 1890, and its recommenda- and simplification of its procedure. tions, with a single exception, were embodied in The methods pursued in bringing about these the provisions relative to the reorganization of the results have been already indicated. They are, in judiciary which became part of the Constitution as brief, in the first instance, to present the matter to adopted by the people.

the association in a paper prepared usually by some

[ocr errors]

member of the committee on law reform, reflecting mendations. Names selected solely by reason of the views of its members, but not authoritative as locality, influential connections or marked ability, such. This is followed by a reference to that com are not in many instances those likely to be most mittee for consideration and action, and a report useful in the work of committees of this character. follows, by which the subject is usually placed upon In no part of the work of the association, however, the programme for consideration at the annual is greater care necessary than in the selection of the meeting, and when favorably passed upon, the committees who have in charge the securing of committec originally reporting is put in charge of proper legislative action, and no committee can be the necessary legislation to carry out the views of charged with more important duties than that which the association. The committee has usually ap- “shall consider and report to the association such pointed a sub-committee to take charge of the spe- amendments to the law as they shall deem beneficial, cific matter and carry on correspondence with the oppose such as they shall deem injurious, observe other members of the committee and of the associa the practical working of the judicial system of the tion and members of the Legislature with reference State, and recoinmend from time to time such to the proposed enactment. It has in some instances action as they shall deem best.” been found desirable, in addition to the personal

ESSENTIALS TO SUCCESS. efforts of the members of the committee, to call the But beyond these considerations among the esattention of the members of the association and of sentials to success in practical work of the associathe bar generally, by a circular letter, to the tion are: proposed enactment, asking their opinion and First, unanimity and harmony of action. It will endorsement. In such cases a postal directed be impossible to accomplish results where action is to the chairman of the committee, printed so as to recommended by a bare majority against the wishes leave a proper blank for the member to insert his of a powerful and energetic minority who will freviews, has accompanied the circular, and upon re quently be much more interested in defeating a ceipt of the answers the chairman and other mem

measure than its friends in securing its passage; bers of the committee have appeared before the and on the other hand, a minority does well to bear committee of the Legislature having the matter in in mind that it should bow gracefully and unqualicharge. It has also been necessary at times to pre-fieilly to the will of the majority, and that nothing sent the subject to the governor, and procure his

can be accomplished in an association of this approval

character except by the hearty cooperation of all its

members. The moral to be drawn from this sugIMPORTANCE OF COMMITTEE WORK. gestion perhaps is that it is unpolitic and unwise to The methods of work must, of course, vary with attempt to bring about radical changes or decided

reforms except in those instances where there is a the specific matter in hand, but by far the most

substantial consensus of opinion among the memserious difficulty to be met in connection with active

bers of the association. practical work of an association in procuring proper

The second suggestion is that the efforts of the legislation such as it may recommend, is to be

association as a whole and of its members and comfound in the indifference of members to the calls

mittees must be directed to and concentrated upon upon them by the respective committees, and unless

a single important matter and that the energies of extraordinary care is taken in the formation of the

the body cannot be wasted upon a number of minor committees, much embarrassment arises in obtain

and unimportant details in which very few persons ing a sufficient number of men willing to take active will be interested and which are in themselves of and energetic interest in the affairs committed to

no great importance. It is necessary to arouse the their charge. But as the members acquire confi- scutiment of the bar in favor of some needed reform dence in the methods adopted, and become encour

which is apparent to all and which is calculated to aged by the results obtained, and the committees awaken the interest of the entire profession. Great come to understand that their labors are appreciated

danger exists that the efforts of the entire body will and acted upon, there comes il decidedly increased be frittered way in procuring the enactment of interest, and very much stronger disposition toward | legislation of trisling importance, perhaps only afeffective action, which later ripens into something recting individual interests. This can only be like enthusiasm for the work, coupled with a justi- avoided by the adoption of an inflexible rule that fiable and honest pride in its results. The commit the association will not act upon matters except tee work necessarily falls upon : very limited num those of public interest and importance affecting the ber, but the support of the entire committee is rights, obligations and remedies of the whole body necessary to enable its active members to give char of citizens and having some relation to the people acter and strength to its suggestions and recom of the entire commonwealth.

[ocr errors]


Again, I need only advert to the necessity, on Abstracts of Recent Decisions. the part of the oilicers and committees chargeil with the performance of any duty, of persevering ADVERSE POSSESSION.- Where one who has color labor and untiring vigilance. Nothing is more dis- of title to a tract of swamp and timber land goes couraging than the efforts to bring about a reform upon the land, cuts and deadens timber thereon, which is universally conceded to be desirable and clears part of it, and makes rails and railroad ties necessary, but yet arouses no special degree of out of the timber, he has such possession of the interest or enthusiasm in any except its active pro- entire* tract as will set the statute of limitations moters; the temptation is great on the part of those runuing. (Johns v. McKibben [III.), 40 N. E. Rep. charged with a duty of this character to feel that 448.) their obligation does not extend beyond its pre CORPORATION-POWER TO INCREASE STOCK-ESsentation to the proper authorities, and that in case

Where a corporation is absolutely withthe bar as individuals or the association as a whole

out power to issue stock, or to increase its stock does not exhibit that degree of interest which the above a certain limit, no act or consent of a stockoccasion demands, the committee is absolved from holder who receives stock issued without authority further labors and responsibilities. Il such a spirit can estop him to deny its validity, or his liability to is indulged in it will be fatal to success. The time

pay for it. (Larla Imp. Co. v. Stevenson [U. S. C. and labor necessary to accomplislı results are known

C. of App.), 66 Fed. Rep. 632.) only to those who bave experienced the difliculties

FEDERAL COURTS --JURISDICTION OVER PARTIESand discouragements of the work.

NON-RESIDENTS OF DISTRICT.-In section 1 of the Still further, and of the last importance, is the necessity for full confidence in and hearty support judiciary act of 1887--88, the clause defining the disof the officers and committees charged with any

tricts in which suits may be brought is not limited

in operation to the classes of cases enumerated in given duty, by the members of the association

the preceding part of the section as being within individually and by the association as an organiza- the jurisiliction of the Circuit Courts, but applies to tion. In such case only can an association obtain

all suits, including

patent cases; hence a New that degree of authority to which it is entitled, Jersey corporation cannot be sued in the district of and the influence of such co-operation upon the

VIissachusetts for infringement, although it has a officers and committees in enabling them to carry place of business there. (Donnelly v. United States out the wishes of the organization is not only Cordage Co. (U. S. C. C., Mass. 1, 66 Fed. Rep. desirable but absolutely necessary. It is only by a 013.) long pull, a strong pul and a pull all together that


-On a bar issociation is able to accomplish any results presentation of a claim against a decedent's estate in any field, and a failure to accord to those under-barred by the statute, indefinite evidence of declarataking to carry out the measures resolved pon the

tions by the decedent that he intended to set up warmest sympathiy, heutiest support and highest his nephew, the claimant, in business, because he ilegree of confidence,effectually dlampens enthusiasm, owed him certain money, is insufficient to overcome discourages effort and invites defeat.

the presumption raised by the bar of the statute. THE FUTURE OF PENNSYLVANI I Asso

(Appeal of Ferguson | Penn., 31 Atl. Rep. 733.)

NEGLIGENCE Presenting my excuses for the apparently olidactic Plaintill, while turning an iron ladle fastened to manner of this paper and for its reference to the car trucks and moving on a railrond track, put his experience of other ilssociations, ils only justified foot on the rail, close to the wheel, and was injured by the practical purpose for which it is intended, I by the sudilen moving of the wheel. He could congratulate you upon the formation of this asso bave done his work while standing out of danger, ciation, upon the interest manifested in it by your and he knew that the wheel was liable to move. presence and enthusiasm und upon the genuine Held, that he was guilty of such contributory neglisuccess of your first annual meeting. I can only gence that the question neod not be submitted to express the wish, coupled with the confident ex the jury. (Werk v. Illinois Steel Co. [Ill.], 40 N. pectation, that the bar of Pennsylvaniil, which has E. Rep. 412.) always maintained so high i standard of edua RAILROAD

RAILWAYS.--The tion, ability anıl professional honor, will make this

use of a street for an electric railway does not imassociation most creditable to lawyers, helpful to pose an additional burden or servitude to that imcourts and beneficial to clients, thus fully realizing plied by the delication. (Limburger v. San Antonio the highest and best results possible to be attained Rapid Transit St. Ry. Co. [Tex.], 30 S. W. Rep. by the association of members of the bar.

| 53:3.)








[ocr errors]

may arise.


mental that all such corporations have a legislative

origin; that all their powers are statutory; and, TIIOMPSON OY PRIVATE CORPORATIONS.

moreover, in the constitution of every State there New York, July 2, 1995. are provisions limiting legislative power in respect Editor of the Albany Larr Journal :

of the creation of corporations and the powers that: The work of Judge Seymour 1). Thompson on may be conferred upon them. These constitutional Private Corporations, * is an event of so much im- and legislative provisions are largely the basis of portance in our legal literature and history that I the judicial judgments relating to corporations and will ask

you to give place to this short notice of it. their powers, and make it necessary in many cases A careful examination of the three volumes whichi to give the text of the positive provisions in order have already appeared (the rest will soon follow), accurately to understand and apply the doctrines has impressed me with the conviction that this l of the courts ils exemplified in the adjudged cases. work is far beyond the ordinary range of legal | The author has wisely recognized this necessity and authorship. It will take as of right possession of has, in our opinion, constructed his work on the the field that it is designed to cover, and I predict, right, and, indeed, on the only true plan. It is not for reasons which I shall brierly give, that it will 100 large for the highest usefulness. It is a cyclopermanently hold it.

pedia of corporate law. Inasmuch as the body of It is national in its scope. It aims at nothing the profession throughout the country bas not less than to state fully the law concerning private cess to all of the statutes and decisions of the corporations as they exist to-clity throughout the verious localities, and if they had, would find it United States.

very inconvenient to refer to them in the daily When we consider that the scope of such an un work of the profession, the author's plan is one of dertaking requires an examination into the legisla- the highest utility and practical value. tion and adjudications of about fifty separate With this book before him the case will be exStates, as well as of Congress and the federal courts, ceptional where the inquirer will find it necessary we at once realize how laborious, how extensive,

to go beyond it in order to solve, or get the data almost immeasurable, such an undertaking is. Di to solve', any legal problein on the subject that versity in details are infinite, but it is surprising

I find that it is a work specially deafter all to see in matters fum.lamental and basic signed for the practitioner and the julge. lly what a substantial uniformity is found to exist. It | own experience illustra:es this. On the clay these is the latter fact that has made the author's attempt volumes came into my hands I was engaged in tracto state the whole law relating to private corpora- | ing the law concerning the transfer of shares and tions in this country practicable.

the right is against the corporation of an assigneee The execution of the scheme requires six volumes of shares whose rissignment has not been registereil of about 1,100 pages cachi, in which the vast and on the books of the corporation. I found the subvarious details are, for the purposes of methodical jeet so exhaustively considered that it saved me treatment and reference, arranged into sections, several days' labor and made it needless to look numbering in all, izbout $,000.

further. And this statement of its bulk raises a most im

The author has the essential requisites for doing

his work well. portant question, namely, whether the treatise is

Ile is a man of unwearied diligence, constructed on the best plan, and if so, whether in

and an active lile has been exclusively devoted the execution of that plan the author has been un

to the literature and the actual work of the law. necessarily diffuse. The plien ou ubieh what goes

Ile has codifier statutes, Ile has edited for

Tie is under the name of an elementary legal work ought lears leading law journals and reviews.

not i mere doctrinaire. to be constructed depends upon the subject which

Ile was for a long period is to be dealt with. Undoulteilly there are certain

il master in chancery, daily dealing with the actual subjects which may largely be treated in what may

incl judication of disputes of wide and varied range. be called an institutional manner, where the illithor's,

Ile served for twelve Veilr's on an appellate bench. chief labor is to state ultimate principles, with their He has written various works, civil and criminal, ground and reasons, without much detailesi or

on legal topics, all of which display his learning specific reference to cases. But there :tre other; and his capacity for original thought, and the forsubjects as to which such is more of treatment is i mation of independent and fearless judgments. not the best; and to this class belongs the subject

this learning and extensive and ripe experience he of private corporations. In this country it is fundal-: h:14 brought to the production of this masterpiece

of legal work. Not the least of its merits is that it • Comunentaries on the Law of Private Corporations, log is not manufacturer Seymour I). Thompson. In six volumes. Bantofi-\l hitney

:19 so muy modern law Co., San Francisco, 1895.

books are, by the aid of students and hired assist

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »