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MR. WILLIAMS: We have not all been fortunate enough to hear a case presented by the late W. C. Goudy. I heard him present a case in the Supreme Court in this State, and I noted that his suggestions, scarce twenty minutes in each case, were attentively listened to by the court, for the very reason given by Judge Cartwright, that he understood what he was about and shed some light upon his case. I do not believe that kind of oral argument will be discouraged. As to the Appellate Court in Cook county, the country is not responsible for it.
MR. ORENDORFF: If there is no further discussion, I move that the thanks of this Association be tendered to Judge Cartwright, and that a copy of his paper be solicited for publication.
The motion was carried.
PRESIDENT HARKER: The next number on the program is the appointment of a nominating committee.
MR. GROSS: It has been customary, in the history of the Association, to move the appointment of a committee on nominations--a special committee of five appointed by the chair-to bring in a report suggesting nominations for the offices for the ensuing year. I would move the appointment of such a committee.
The motion prevailed, and the President appointed as such committe W. L. Gross, S. P. Wheeler, L. L. Bond, E. B. Sherman and James C. Courtney. (Mr. Bond asked to be relieved from serving on the committee, and at his suggestion Mr. Frank H. Scott was appointed in his stead.)
PRESIDENT HARKER: The next number is the report of the Committee on Legal Education. Mr. Julius Rosenthal is chairman of that committee.
MR. PAYNE: Mr. President, Mr. Rosenthal came to my house last night and said that he had made all arrangements to come here, but that his physician had instructed him not to leave the house and he could not come. I apprehend that a member of the committee may be present. If not, I will say substantially what he desired to report.
PRESIDENT HARKER: The records show that Judge Payne is a member of that committee.
MR. PAYNE: Then I will withdraw some of the remarks I made. (Laughter.] The chief proposition pending before that committee has been that of raising the standard for admission to the bar. The chairman of our committee and of the Chicago Bar Association committee have acted together in that matter. A committee representing the best thought at the bar waited upon the Supreme Court and presented some resolutions embodying fully that question. During the time that Judge Bailey sat upon the Supreme Bench he was actively opposed to the adoption of the rules recommended by the bar associations, and I think perhaps some other members of that court were opposed to their adoption. Mr. Rosenthal recommends that the matter be still pressed upon the Supreme Court, believing that the resolutions which have been reported and presented embody the best thought of the bar. Mr. Dent, president of the local bar association of Chicago, Mr. Furness and Mr. Lyman constituted the committee, or a majority of it, for that association. They, in person, waited on the court and presented these resolutions, assisted, I think, by the State Bar committee. I believe that is all that is to be said on that subject. The report was made and acted on at a former meeting, and the only thing to do is to get the action by the Supreme Court there recommended.
PRESIDENT HARKER: I suggest that a motion calling on the committee to continue its efforts with the Supreme Court will be sufficient without any written report from the committee.
MR. PAYNE: This Association might appoint a committee to present the matter to the Supreme Court-a committee with instructions to wait upon the court and present it as the Chicago committee did. I do not know that this has ever been done. I make that suggestion.
MR. BRADWELL: Mr. President, on this question the bar throughout the State is not a unit. Some lawyers are in favor of the two years' course, and some of them are in favor of a three years' course. In the last few years the standard of admission has been advanced a good deal, and a better and more thorough examination is required than was exacted
a number of years ago. I can remember the time when it was necessary only for somebody to say to the Supreme Court that his friend, John Jones, wanted to be admitted to the bar; the court would name three men to examine the applicant, and he would send in his papers and get his license. But that was a good many years ago. It is different now. Some of the schools have increased the course to three years. The Northwestern University has changed its course so as to require three years of study, but at the same time, at the end of two years, it gives a certificate that admits to the bar. Whether a man should be allowed to commence the practice of the law after two years of careful study, or whether three years of preparation should be required, is a question on which members of the bar throughout the State are not at all united.
PRESIDENT HARKER: If it is desired to have the report of this committee in writing, the chair would suggest that a report be written out.
MR PAYNE: I ought further to have stated that another recommendation is that the certificates of the law schools do not admit to the bar. As the rule now is, they do. The Northwestern University not only has raised its course to three years, but recommends, as I am advised by Mr. Rosenthal, that the certificate shall not admit without examination.
MR. WILLIAMS: I think that the observations of the members of bar coincide with the observations of Judge Payne—that the simple certificate of the law school is not always entirely satisfactory. It should entitle the candidate to examination-nothing further.
Hon. Martin L. Newell delivered an address on "The Art of Writing Law Books."
[The address will be found in Part II.]
At the conclusion of Mr. Newell's address the Association, on motion of Mr. Gross, adjourned until 2 o'clock.
The Association reconvened at 2 o'clock P. M.
PRESIDENT HARKER: The first matter that comes before the Association this afternoon is the consideration of the paper last read—“The Art of Writing Law Books," by Senator Newell. The paper is open for discussion now.
MR. BRADWELL: Mr. President, Judge Gross is very methodical, and I agree with him on almost everything, except. when he undertakes to hypnotize the Appellate and Supreme Courts (laughter), and I would like to hear his experience.
MR. GROSS: Mr. President and gentlemen, I can only say to you that the making of a law book, as I understand it and as my experience has been, is, from necessity, to a. very great extent mechanical in its character. The author who undertakes to state propositions of law and support them by citations of authority must, if his work is to be entitled to any consideration whatever by the profession at large, be in he highest sense systematic and methodical in his methods. I listened to the paper of Senator Newell with more than ordinary interest, and I fail to discover in it any want of that method and system which, judged by my experience, limited as it is, and from my observation, is a prerequisite to the writing of a law book. The time has passed, I take it, in respect to legal authorship, when any man is so great, when any man can be said to occupy such a position, that he can, from his own mind, formulate legal rules and definitions and principles. That work is not the result of a single mind, not the result of a few minds, but the result of many intelligent minds working to a common end, and the work of a modern author, in preparing a law book, is to take the material available to him and from the great mass of authority ascertain and arrange philosophically the results of the best thought of ages. In doing that he may perhaps be compelled-he will be compelled many times to depart from the old definitions, because, like every other science (and we can speak of the law as a science), the law has been undergoing its changes and its evolutions.
The value of an author's work lies in his ability, first, to ascertain what has gone before; second, to be able to discriminate between that which has outlived its time and be
come dead twigs and dead timber and to eliminate that, and to preserve the very life and soul of the law as it may appear in its present state of development. About all I can say at this time on this topic is this, that the author who is to write successfully must have a discriminating mind; he must have that degree of industry which will force him to search out, from the horn-books of the law, great principles, as they have been enunciated from time to time during the progress of the development of the law; he must be able to discriminate between that which is living and that which is dead; he must have the literary skill and ability to accurately express the results of his researches; and finally, by means of the mechanical methods which have been referred to here and which are indispensable, he must be able to sustain every proposition by the citation of authorities when that can be done, and when that cannot be done he must have the ability to suggest philosophical principles which may in time become the accepted doctrines of the courts.
MR. PAYNE: Mr. President, I do not know anything about writing law books; I am very glad I do not; I wish I had the power to suppress most of the gentlemen who do. I think the profession is cursed with too much writing of law books. You can count on the fingers of your
hand the books which have been worth the writing in the last century. If we knew better the old books and occupied ourselves less in making new ones, I think the profession wonld be better equipped for the administration of practical justice. I have no doubt the paper admirably expresses the more recent thought on the subject of writing law books, but I think we have entirely too much law-book writing. The judges put too much in their opinions. There is too much effort to answer every proposition that somebody may suggest, and the writing of law books has become, in a large sense, mechanical and is carried on for the purpose of making merchandise out of the profession.
MR. BOND: I wish to add one thought. I was very much interested in the methodical manner in which the book concerning the law of libel and slander was prepared, and, I think, that if all text-books were prepared with that care, they would be of very much more value than they usually are. I know we look upon text-books as being written by students;