« ZurückWeiter »
SPOKANE, WASHINGTON, July 19th, 1895. Association met pursuant to adjournment. President Forster in the chair.
Hon, Charles S. Fogg, Chairman of the Committee on Grievances, submitted the following report, which was accepted :To the Washington State Bar Association :
Your Committee on Grievances respectfully beg to report that no complaints have been laid before this Committee, and it is not advised of any grievance that should be brought to the attention of this Association at this time.
CHARLES S. FOGG,
SAMUEL R. STERN. Hon. N. S. Porter, Chairman of Committee on Publications, submitted the following report, which was accepted :To the Washington State Bar Association :
Your Committee on Publications most respectfully report that the only matter before us during the past year was the printing and publishing of the proceedings, in part, of all the former sessions of this Association, in one volume, which has been distributed pretty generally among the members, and a number of copies are here for the inspection of all. Hoping our acts will merit the approval of the Association, we submit the same for your consideration.
N. S. PORTER, Chairman, Hon. George Turner, Chairman of the Committee on Jurisprudence and Law Reform, submitted the following report, which was, on motion of Mr. Porter, adopted :To the President and Members of the Washington State Bar
Your Committee on Jurisprudence and Law Reform, to which were referred those portions of the address of the President referring to reform in Transfer and Registration of Land Titles, and to the evils arising from the acceptance of free passes on railroad and other transportation lines, by members of the Legislature and judges, beg leave to report that they have con
sidered said subjects, as fully as the limited time given them would permit, and that, in their judgment, the recommendation of the President concerning reform in transfer and registration of land titles was wise and judicious. Any system which will tend to simplify conveyancing, and to make titles to land safe and secure, and to relieve the people from the need of litigation concerning such property, ought to be commended by the legal profession. The public have the erroneous impression that members of the bar are interested in fomenting litigation. The contrary is true. No class of men are more public spirited, and more readily and cheerfully initiate and carry through needed public reforms, even at their own expense, than our profession. Your Committee have not had time to examine carefully into the merits of the Torrens system of conveyancing mentioned in the address of the President, but the subject merits the careful consideration of the Association, and your Committee would recommend that the whole matter be remitted to the Committee on Jurisprudence and Law Reform, to be hereafter appointed, with instructions to consider the matter carefully and to report to the next annual meeting with such recommendation as they may deem wise.
Concerning the other branch of the President's address referred to your Committee, they would report that, in their judgment, the evils arising from the acceptance of free passes by judges and legislators are very great. They are so great that the framers of our Constitution saw fit to insert this provision in that great fundamental law: “It shall not be lawful for any person holding public office in this State to accept or use a pass, or to purchase transportation from any railroad or other corporation, other than as the same may be purchased by the general public, and the Legislature shall pass laws to enforce this provision.” That the Legislature has never seen fit to obey this positive mandate of the Constitution by passing the laws therein referred to, is remarkable. That the members of the Legislature and the judges of our Courts should continue to accept free passes, in the face of this constitutional prohibition—if
, indeed, they do accept such passes, as asserted by the President-is still more remarkable. The evil, however, is one which affects the entire public, and which does not appear to be within the special province of this Association to deal with. In view of the many matters in which this Association has a special interest - and which it will, no doubt, bring to the attention of the Legislature and ask to have favorably considered — your Committee would not recommend any action in the premises beyond that already taken, namely, the public reprobation which the practice referred to has received at the hands of the President, and which we believe to be concurred in by every member of this Association.
GEORGE TURNER, Chairman,
Hon. Harold Preston, of Committee on Judicial Administration and Remedial Procedure, submitted the following report, which was, on motion of Mr. Bates, adopted :
To the Washington State Bar Association :
The Committee on Judicial Administration and Remedial Procedure respectfully report that they have not met as a Committee at any time since their appointment, and prior to this Convention. No matter has been referred to them, except certain portions of the address of President Forster.
While heartily endorsing all the criticisms upon what is called Hill's Code therein contained; and although feeling the pressing necessity for the preparation of a new code, we fear that the time is not propitious for us to endeavor to obtain a new code commission. Let our next code commission be so constituted, so long commissioned, and so well paid, as to ensure the avoidance of a recurrence of past failures. In other words, we need a high-priced code revision, and until we can have such a one, let us struggle along with the existing one.
Referring to what is termed by the President “the affidavit nuisance," we consider his terminology accurate, and the evil a growing one. A few vigorous prosecutions for perjury by affidavit or pleading, would result in much good remedially. The lawyer is largely to be blamed for the failure to prosecute this class of criminals. It is the opposing counsel who has knowledge and can afford proofs of the commission of the crime. It is his duty to see to it that prosecution follows.
Again, many false statements in affidavit and pleading would be avoided if the lawyer were more careful to fully explain the contents of the affidavit or pleading to the affiant. Where the false statement results from misunderstanding or carelessness on the part of the party making the oath, the lawyer is not less to be censured than the client. We, therefore, believe that the remedy for the “affidavit nuisance" lies not in the hands of the Court or lawmaker, but with the practicing attorney.
Hon. John J. McGilyra then read before the Association his paper on the subject of “The Pioneer Judges and Lawyers of Washington.” (See Appendix.)
MR. D. P. JENKINS:— There is one thing in this paper that I am inclined to find fault with, and that is that it has disclosed with some exactness my great age. There is, however, another matter that I will briefly allude to, and that is that some of the members of the Association, it appears, did not get the point and force of my remark yesterday as to my Brother, Colonel Feighan, taking an appeal in the Dred Scott decision. What I meant was this, that in taking up arms in the war of the Rebellion, the valiant Colonel took a very vigorous appeal from that decision, from the fact that that decision, or the principle involved therein, was the primary cause of the war.
MR. N. T. CATON:-I did not rise with the intention of making a speech, but I want to criticise the paper of Mr. McGilvra in this, that he used my name in connection with the word venerable. I am only 35 years old. I would have been much better pleased had the paper given us a few more instances of those early experiences that I know the eminent Judge could have given just as well as not.
MR. J. P. Hoyt:-I am not one of the early pioneers of this fine State. I do not think I ought to occupy the attention of the members of the Association by any remarks directed to
I do want to say a word, however, to this Association with reference to another matter. I think I have noticed that some members of the Association have a sort of reluctance about speaking out freely in the meetings, from the fact that certain of the judges of the supreme or superior bench are present. I wish to say that I think it one of the most excellent things about our Association that judges are members and present at the meetings of the bar. I have long felt a need of greater familiarity between the bench and bar. I call these Bar Association meetings splendid opportunities for that purpose. I wish that there might be a very free discussion of all matters appertaining to the bench and its relation to the bar. We should air our views, and give each other the chance to reply, and discuss and criticise. Judges are entirely human. They are liable to the same mistakes as the members of the
bar. They are, one day, judges; the next, members of the bar. As to the matter, now, of disagreement of opinion - dissenting opinions among the members of the supreme bench. It seems to me to be a very fortunate thing that they do disagree. This fact shows me that the different judges are honest in their individual sentiments and opinions. I cannot conceive of a bench of judges doing otherwise. Each judge takes the view of the matter in hand peculiar to himself, and, if he is honest, he will state his own view and judgment, irrespective of the opinions of the others. In this way, and in this way only, can we hope to arrive at a satisfactory decision of a case. This method, if it is found that a majority of the bench agree upon an opinion, becomes the judgment— the decision of the Court-and ought to be, for it has stood the best possible test. This is about all I have to say, excepting that I always wish to be considered as a member of the Association only, and not as a judge of any bench, and that I wish all discussion and consideration of any proper question to go on just as if I was a member of the bar.
Association took a recess till 2 P. M.
Association called to order, President Forster in the chair.
Mr. Shepard moved to amend Section 3 of the By-Laws of the Association by striking out the words, “If required by the Association," in line four thereof.
Mr. Boney moved that the Secretary be instructed to notify all members of the bar in the State of the meeting of the Association two weeks before the time fixed for the meeting.
Several amendments were offered and lost.
Mr. Hughes moved, as a substitute, that the Executive Committee be requested to notify the bar of the State of the annual meetings of the Association.
Mr. Bates moved that the matters before the several committees not reported on, be referred to the incoming committees.
Judge Emmett N. Parker invited the Association to hold its next annual meeting at the city of Tacoma.