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Mr. Rowland: Mr.President, I am opposed to this motion of Mr. Grosscup's at this time. At the few Bar Association meetings that I have attended I find that whenever any matter is brought up here we promptly proceed to refer it to a committee and have the committee report at the next meeting, which is a yearly affair. This probate code here is no primary matter. That probate code has been under consideration for four years, ever since Governor Hay appointed the commission, and he appointed five as good lawyers as there are in the State of Washington, and I know they put a great many months time on that proposed law and it came to the legislature and was submitted to the Judiciary Committee, composed of twenty lawyers. I do not say they are the peers of you gentlemen here, but it was given much consideration by them, and it passed the House by just one vote two years ago. It did not get to the Senate. A motion was made the last night of the session that this probate code be printed and that a copy of it be placed in the hands of every lawyer in this state, and it was pursuant to that motion that this probate code is in your hands today, with the idea that you should have two years in which to examine it and within the two years we might come to some decision and we might, at the next session of the legislature, enact a probate law. If we do what is proposed here to do, appoint a committee of thirteen to examine this thing and report back to the next session, you know what will happen. That committee of thirteen will not meet, probably, until the night before the next annual meeting, and maybe not until the the morning of the next annual meeting, and then it will come in here with a half-baked report. Mr. Henderson has proposed many amendments to this probate code. I think many of them are good, and that was the purpose of putting this in your hands at this time, so that suggestions might be made and that

proper suggestions might be made to the next legislature. Every lawyer has a different opinion and every man's suggestion is usually good and very many of them ought to be considered and put into that probate code. Let me suggest that you do this, if you want a probate code, and I am assuming we do, and we ought to have it at the next legislature, because we have been four years fiddling with it now; I suggest that you appoint a committee, not of thirteen but a smaller number, say six; let the President appoint six members and let them invite suggestions from every member of the Bar Association; let them take the recommendations of this committee here; let them go before the next session of the legislature and adopt such proposed recommendations as they think proper as their report and let them put them in that code as amendments and alterations there and changes; let them have power to recommend that code for passage to the next legislature and let it be considered there as the recommendation of this Association.

They will have the proposed amendments that may be sent to them and these that have been made here today, and they are more competent to make a recommendation to the legislature than we are, and I am perfectly willing to take their recommendation.

I therefore make an amendment to Mr. Grosscup's motion, that this matter be referred to a committee of six members, to be appointed by the President-the ensuing President; that this proposed code be referred to them and that they be empowered to invite further suggestions and amendments, and that the whole matter be left to them and that they be given power to prepare a proposed code and submit that, with their recommendations, to the next session of the legislature.

The amendment received a second.

Mr. Henderson: Mr. Rowland is correct in his

statement that the House provided for the printing of this code and that resolution went to the Senate and it approved it and tacked on to it that we print a thousand copies of the fish code. I called a special meeting of this committee to consider this report. Mr. Faussett was the only other member of that committee present. Lawyers are busy and they come from several parts of the state and, if they come, they have to go down in their pockets and we have heard today that lawyers don't have any money, anyway. If you leave it to them, I am afraid you will not have a report to recommend to the legislature a year from now. As the code is now, I do not feel like recommending it to the legislature, as you have it in its form for passage, and have it said that the Association went behind the code and approved it. I would favor a committee to be appointed by the President of the Association, the President of the Association to be a member of that committee with authority to relieve members and appoint others who would act, having authority to recommend it to the legislature as the recommendation of the committee but not as the recommendation of this Association, because, after the law is passed some of us would probably have the temerity to attack the constitutionality of it. There is no question in my mind but what there are some constitutional questions involved in the code as it is now.

Every estate has its distinctive features that involve the law and involve the construction of it. And it is impossible, I believe, for a committee of thirteen to get together and approve a code and get it before the next Bar Association meeting, and, when it is presented, we will be here and tear it to pieces. I therefore favor the amendment by Mr. Rowland, except that it be a committee recommendation and not the Association's recommendation.

Mr. Rowland: I accept that amendment, that it be the recommendation of the committee.

Mr. Gnagey: It seems to me there may be a little bit of mistake in our method of procedure. For my part, I cannot see what the use is in coming up here with an entirely new code and then criticizing a code that is not in force. I think the proper method would be to come in prepared to say wherein and in what respects the code that is in force now is not what we want. Instead of writing an entirely new code, with verbal inaccuracies and everything else that goes with it, and then spending our time in criticizing that code, which is not in force, why not go to work and point out wherein the present code is not satisfactory, and if all the lawyers in the state do that and send their recommendations to the committee, that will enable them to write a code that will be satisfactory.

Mr. Faussett: Mr. President: We lawyers are criticized, more or less, for being dilatory. Now, if it is true, and I believe it is, that Governor Hay recommended that a committee be appointed to prepare a probate code, I want to know if the members of the bar of the State of Washington want to have it stated that they dallied around for five years trying to prepare a code and haven't one ready that they can present to the legislature? I, for one, do

not want to be in that class, and I do not believe the other members do, either. If we cannot prepare a code and have it ready by the time the next legislature meets, we had better quit. I am in favor of the motion that was made by Brother Rowland over here of a committee, I do not care whether it is five or six, but a small committee will work better than a large one.

Mr. Burcham. It seems to me that some of the suggestions made by some of the later speakers reenforce the motion as originally made by Mr. Grosscup. The matter of putting any body of law into a code is one that experience teaches is of the very greatest difficulty. Any lawyer who has spent any

particular amount of time in drawing a single contract, covering a single transaction, knows how often, in spite of all of his endeavors, there are points overlooked. He may not acknowledge it. We are

not trying to cover a small or simple transaction like that, but a great body of law. It has been conceived that no body of law is in condition to be codified until it is of great antiquity. Probably the best illustration anybody could find of a work of codification in the negotiable instruments law. It was put on its feet by Lord Mansfield in 1700 and something over a hundred years that it existed with practically no change. Mr. Chalmers feeling that the body of law was complete, then wrote what is called Chalmer's Digest, putting it in simple paragraphs. The House of Commons appointed a committee, including him, to draft what they called a Bill of Exchange Act, and Chalmers' Digest was practically codified in the Exchange Act. It is complete and cost an infinite amount of time and infinite attention was bestowed upon it. Someone has said if we tried to discuss this we would take two or three days. Frankly, I think there should be months of solid work given to work it out. I do not mean in any way to deprecate the work that has been done by the commission appointed. Undoubtedly they have examined the decisions. But I will venture the assertion there is not a lawyer here who has read it but is able to point out quite serious defects.

I think, Mr. President, we should have our committee instructed to report a year from now, and that we should include, as a part of Mr. Grosscup's motion, a specific request to the legislature, asking them not to enact a code at this time, definitely pledging ourselves to submit one at the next ensuing session. If we should commit ourselves to that action I think the legislature would feel bound to respect our action and we would have a better piece of work. Our present code is confusing and imper

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