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grope your way through the two volumes, one at a time. If you do not find it in one, try the other, and if in neither, see if it ever existed in any previous Code, and if so, was it ever repealed. After you have perchance found something touching the subject under consideration, you are not safe until you have waded through both volumes to see if in some other chapter, under some misleading head, some other enactments do not exist or conflict, and then, when you think you have run it down, what does it mean? You commence searching the reports of our Supreme Court for a construction. If none be found, or if it is doubtful or evaded, you try to find from what code of another state the particular section was raped with a pair of scissors in order to see if that state has judicially determined what the section means, and so, being led backward and pushed by unseen hands that long ago were dust, you feel like some bewildered slave, all at sea, without rudder or compass, in utter despair.

Let us have a code that shall be constructed in the spirit of the Reformed American Procedure. This is a young State, and if we have started wrong in this matter, let us have the courage to say so without hesitation. Let us retrace our steps and begin over again.

Let us then have a code prepared that shall be clear and concise, logical and scientific— not too cumbersome; not an endeavor to cover every possible exigency that may arise; not a lot of declarations of the common law; but a code that can be understood with ease and certainty ; a code that shall tend to make the law respected, for disrespect for the law is said to be next neighbor to open violation of it.

If every man is conclusively presumed to know the law, why should it be put in such shape that the obligation is absolutely impossible? And, above all, let us have an index that will at least be of some assistance in finding its contents.

In my judgment, this Bar Association should take hold of this matter vigorously, to the end that some scheme may be presented to the next Legislature looking to the production of a code such as I have suggested.

Another matter that should receive the serious thought of this body is the necessity for



This matter is receiving the serious and thoughtful consideration of the members of this profession and the general public all over the Union, and no other subject is entitled to more attention at this time. Many of the states of this Union have had, and still have, this under serious consideration, as all seem to recognize that in the near future some change is necessary. In the city of Chicago, since the famous fire, nearly five thousand large books of records of deeds have accumulated. In New York, Boston, St. Louis, and other cities, the accumulation is in like proportion, until it has become a serious question to pass upon any title. A number of states have adopted, and in others the Bar Associations have recommended the adoption of, what is known as the “Torrens System.” It was first adopted in Australia, in 1858, and with subsequent amendments is still in force there. It has subsequently been adopted in British America, and in many of the countries of Europe, and seems to afford almost universal satisfaction. Among the benefits claimed for the system are:

1. It has substituted security for insecurity.

2. It has greatly reduced the cost of conveyancing, and the time occupied from months to days.

3. It has substituted clearness and brevity for obscurity and verbiage.

4. It has so simplified ordinary dealings that any person who has mastered the three R's can transact his own conveyancing, and many other benefits are claimed, such as protection against frauds, the restoration of values upon clouded titles, and the diminution of chancery suits by removing the conditions which afford grounds for them. I have been able to find from those who have tried or examined the system only praise and commendation. I would particularly invite the attention of the bar to the able and exhaustive presentation of the subject by the Hon. Charles F. Libby, President of the Maine State Bar Association, in his annual address at Portland, Maine, February 14, 1894. The subject has received, and is still receiving, the attention of the American Bar Association, as well as the Bar Associations of most of the states, and is one of the laws that will, in the near future, be urged for uniform action in all the states. If this State ever contemplates such a reforin, action should not be longer delayed, and it seems to me it is a fit subject for the earnest attention and action of this Association.

There are kindred matters that should receive attention which may be conveniently grouped under the head of


Over twenty states have grappled with this subject with encouraging results. Diversities of opinion, of course, exist, not because they do not all recognize the benefit and importance of such legislation, where practicable, but because many men of many minds wish to reach the same result in different ways, just as different sects desire that every one should go to Heaven by their route. No one expects that all the states will ever agree upon absolute uniformity in all state legislation. In fact, all admit that it would not be desirable, but all acquiesce that, as to many subjects of legislation, there is no reasonable excuse for the diversity of state legislative enactments. No doubt an intelligent committee, composed of authorized delegates from all the different states, could agree to recommend a system of uniform legislation regarding the execution, acknowledgment and record of conveyances, weights and measures, divorce and age-of-consent laws, laws regarding commercial paper, mining laws, methods of taking and certifying evidence out of the state, interstate extradition, method of proving claims, existence of copartnerships and corporations by affidavit as prima facie evidence, a national bankrupt law, uniform insurance policies, and other matters that might be particularized, and this Association should not be backward in furthering this purpose. The American Bar Association, to its credit be it said, has taken active measures in the direction indicated, and every state bar should help to hold up its hands and strengthen its purpose to a successful termination.

Do not suppose that I intend to overlook the necessity of the continued vigilance and active work of this Association necessary to uphold and dignify the profession of the law in the matter of


Perhaps no other matter is of greater importance to the bar of this State. Its standing in the community, the usefulness and integrity of its members, the estimation in which the profession shall be held, and the proper administration of justice, depend upon the profession.

The powers, duties and obligations of attorneys are special and entirely different from those which apply to other employments. Before admission they must take an oath to support the Constitution and laws of the United States and this State, and this obligation is not satisfied by failure to assail them, or by remaining passive and quiet while others defy the laws and the officers of the law and trample on constitutional rights. To support the Constitution and laws means more than this, and he who has no higher conception of his obligation should never receive a license.

The lawyer, of all others, should be swift to resist every attempt to violate the spirit of the Constitution and laws; he should be ever ready to uphold and maintain law and order.

Unfortunately, we too often find lawyers, not only remaining passive when mobs are lynching men without trial; when White Caps are applying the whip or the torch; when the property of individuals and corporations is being seized and destroyed by lawless men; when armed men' march upon the Government to enforce, by threats, intimidation and violence, their anarchistic ideas; when striking mobs enforce— by murder, if necessary-their commands to honest laborers to quit work and join their riotous bands; and many other kinds of organized violence that could be particularized, — but some openly applaud, or even actively assist such revolutionary actions.

The remedy is with Courts and the bar. No attorney should recommend for admission any one whose moral standing and devotion to law and order he does not know, and he should be held responsible for his recommendation. If he does not know, he is under no obligation to vouch for the applicant; if he knows aught against him, it is his duty to make it known. The Courts should more closely scrutinize the previous standing and moral character of every one applying for this important privilege. It is not enough that he be learned in the law, and fully qualified and equipped, so far as his general and legal education is concerned. If he is not in spirit in sympathy with the Constitution and laws by which he is governed, and under which he is to practice; if he is not of good moral character ; if he would not be ever ready to raise a warning voice to correct dangerous public sentiment, — then he has no right to a place at the bar, and to admit him is to place in his hands a dangerous power for evil. When the Court issues to him a license to practice law, it is saying to the public whose patronage he will seek, that he is a competent, reliable, trustworthy, honorable lawyer, -one who may, with safety, be employed in his profession. Fortunately for this State, our last Legislature took a long step in the right direction by passing a law requiring all applicants to be examined by the judges of our Supreme Court. This fixes a uniform rule for all, and it is safe to presume, from the high standing of that body, that the Supreme Court will use every effort to prevent the admission of unworthy persons. It is not likely that persons knowing that they are not qualified will seek admission there, and it does away with the temptation of the judges of the inferior Courts being influenced by the past or prospective services of political strikers. We are not likely to again witness the spectacle of any one walking out of prison, after serving a time under sentence for violating the laws and assisting in riots, applying for a license to practice law.

Let the bench and the bar coöperate to raise the standard of the profession. In the language of Hon. Alton B. Parker, in his address before the New York Bar Association, in 1893: “For the public good, and for the honor of the profession, we should be alert and ready to dam up every muddy or poisoned rivulet which might discolor or taint the pure current of the law.")

The enactment to which I have just referred also provides that “no person shall be excluded from acting as an attorney at law and practicing in all the Courts of this State on account of sex.” This section has called forth some criticism, which I do not think is either manly or courageous. If women can

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