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son seeking admission to the Bar. Without this assistance from the members of the profession, the investigation of the character of applicants is seriously hampered.
I believe that I may venture to say that the methods which I have attempted to describe, as employed by the Committee on Character in the City of New York, have met with substantial success. Through the labors of this committee, the profession has been spared many unworthy additions, and in the opinion of the members of the committee, and I think also of our courts, the moral standards of the newer members of the profession have been elevated.
It must not be supposed that the benefits of a thorough investigation of the character of candidates for admission to the Bar can be measured by the number who are found to be unworthy and are excluded from the profession. In my opinion the benefits are vastly more far reaching By the strict proof required of the good morals of each applicant and by the investigation conducted, every successful candidate is made to realize that he is entering an honorable profession in which an upright character is no less essential than knowledge of the law. At the very threshold of his professional life he finds himself placed on trial as to his character, and I believe that in after years the lesson thus taught will remain as a guide of his footsteps and as a restraining influence amidst the pitfalls and temptations that may beset
SECTION OF PATENT, TRADE-MARK AND
Salt Lake City, Utah, Monday, August 16, 1915. The Section of Patent, Trade Mark and Copyright Law of the American Bar Association met in the United States Circuit Court Room, at 3 P. M. Mr. Robert H. Parkinson, of Illinois, in the Chair.
The Chairman explained that the meeting had been called for this date in order to avoid conflicting with the meetings of the Association, which he desired to attend and presumed that the other members of the Section would also desire to attend.
The report of the Secretary being called for, that official stated that the report is a part of the July, 1914, number of The American Bar Association Journal, which has been printed and distributed to all members, and for this reason he suggested that its reading be dispensed with. This was done. The Chairman delivered his annual address.
(The address follows these minutes, p. 779.) The Chairman then introduced Mr. Charles E. Townsend, of San Francisco, California, who read a paper on the subject
Possibility of Rights of Discovery in Patent Litigation: Some Recent Judicial Developments."
(This paper follows these minutes, p. 796.) The Section then devoted a short time to a general discussion of the papers submitted, both of which met with the general approval of those present. The discussion was participated in by Mr. Edward Rector, of Chicago, Mr. Benj. S. Grosscup, of Tacoma, Washington, and the Secretary.
On motion, the papers were ordered spread upon the minutes of the Section.
The next order of business being the election of officers, Mr. Rector moved that the present officers be continued for the coming year. The motion was seconded and unanimously carried.
No further business appearing, on motion, the meeting adjourned.
ERNEST W. BRADFORD, Secretary.
ADDRESS OF THE CHAIRMAN.
ROBERT H. PARKINSON,
OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS.
RECENT EXPERIMENTATION IN FEDERAL EQUITY PRACTICE.
There is no garden sufficiently fertile to justify its maintenance which may not accumulate weeds in the absence of persistent attention to their suppression, and no system of judicial procedure which may not be invaded by noxious practices and require eternal viligance to counteract them. If either garden or system become infested with vicious growths, seasonable repression of such growths is generally more prudent than renouncement of the soil upon which they have intruded and search for other soil sterile to all intruders.
Man has not yet discovered a region luxuriant with wholesome • fruitage in which nothing pernicious can thrive, or a system of administration efficient for justice and impotent for abuses.
Our federal courts have been, especially during the last score of years, criticised by exponents or pro-ponents of certain political propaganda, as insufficiently responsive to popular sentiment. Whether we accept the theory of the judicial office upon which such criticism proceeds, or reject it altogether and regard this indictment as a tribute to the courage, fidelity and integrity with which our courts have discharged their duty in administering the law, we may discern during the last decade, alike in the trend of decisions and in the rules which it has promulgated, indications that even in our Federal Supreme Court, insensibility to popular currents is relative rather than absolute; that it has not been entirely immune from the spirit of innovation so pervasive elsewhere.
The rules in equity in force prior to February, 1913, had been so long interpreted and applied that their meaning and effect was generally definitely ascertainable. They had been amended from time to time as experience indicated the need of specific modifications or corrections, and the circumstances under which such amendments were made usually served to define their precise application as well as to assure their adaptation to conditions prevailing in this country.
In common with every system of practice that has been contrived, or that is likely to be contrived, they were not incapable of abuse through malice, ignorance or incompetence; and experience had suggested, or changed conditions required, certain amendments which would simplify or conduce to convenience, expedition or economy, or safeguard against abuse and injustice. Such requirements could have been readily met by a few brief eliminations, insertions and modifications, retaining the underlying plan of the old rules, affording, in my opinion, the most precise, simple, efficient, reliable and economical system of justly determining such controversies as generally come before our federal courts of equity that has ever been devised. But such a revision, which held fast to that which was good and made only such changes as experience had indicated to be desirable, would not have accorded with the wide spread penchant for radical change in existing institutions and systems. There has been substituted an essentially different code of rules, many of which · are open to such diverse interpretations that neither lawyers nor courts can agree concerning their meaning and application; that confusion and delay are inevitable and that new abuses, obstructions and burdens, greatly exceeding the old ones are impeding and deflecting the course of justice.
The dominant concept pervading the new rules is the extension of the authority exercised by the judges into what has before been the province of the lawyers as representatives of the litigants, withdrawing from experienced counsel, who may have devoted months to familiarizing themselves with the conditions and requirements of a particular controversy, discretion concerning the manner of developing and presenting it, and appropriating that discretion in increased degree to the court, unacquainted with the special circumstances of the case as the judge must be and inexperienced in the preparation of such cases and the practical conditions incident to them as he often is. The tacit assumption is that while the most experienced counsel are liable to err concerning
the preparation and presentation of a case whose circumstances they have thoroughly investigated, appointment to the bench confers such impeccability upon those who have had little experience in the preparation of complicated equity cases and little conception of the factors which enter into their preparation, that they can, in the rush of a crowded docket, with no time for consideration and no familiarity with the elements involved, unerringly dictate the whole course of procedure.
When we consider how impossible it is for counsel having the widest experience and best qualifications, to determine, without days or weeks of careful investigation, the requirements and appropriate mode of procedure for preparing and presenting such cases as mainly occupy federal courts of equity, and how seldom occupants of the federal Bench bring to it much practical experience in the preparation of such cases—especially in all varieties of equity cases encountered there—it requires a credibility in the plenary inspiration conferred by appointment to the Bench quite as implicit as the most devout papist ever entertained concerning the infallibility conferred by election to the Holy See, to suppose that such control, hastily administered as it generally must be, superficially and unintelligently administered as it often may be, would remove more perils than it introduced or promote justice as often as it impedes or deflects it. It would be strange if the results were not in many instances freakish, subversive of the rights of litigants to have their causes suitably presented through such qualified counsel as they select and upon such competent evidence as such counsel deem essential, disturbing to the confidence which should be entertained in the administration of equity, and prolific in error.
The principal causes of complaint concerning practice under the old rules were due more to the refusal of the courts to give prompt relief against abuses, when applied to for such relief, than to defects in the rules themselves. No rules can altogether eliminate abuses. They are inevitable until all lawyers, all clients and all judges become perfect in knowledge, judgment and integrity; then all rules of court may be obsolete.
Expedition was one of the leading objects at which the new rules purported to aim; brevity in pleading another; the exclusion of incompetent evidence another; economy to litigants an