« PreviousContinue »
action. At the same time, I think there should be some determined action by the Association on the report of the Committee as presented, and then if the Association desires to take subsequent action it can do so. I therefore move a substitute for the preceding motions, that the report of the Committee on Law Reform be adopted.
The motion was seconded.
MR. HUBBARD: I would like to ask if this House Bill 31 as proposed in the legislature does not contain several provisions that are not in the report of the Practice Commission ? I suppose Mr. l'endarvis is familiar with it and can state very quickly whether or not it does. At the time the Practice Commission made their report I was somewhat familiar with it, but do not remember it now. And then another thing, Mr. President. At the last session of this Bar Association this matter was fully discussed and much to the detriment of the bill as proposed in the legislature, it seemed to get the worst end of the discussion, and then to take it up this afternoon and vote on it and rush it through without any discussion, I think is a little swift. MR. BALDWIN: I rise to a point of information. I was
: unfortunate in not being present yesterday when the report of the Committee was read, and in view of the last motion and the subsequent motion, it seems as though it might be a matter of information to those who were unfortunate, like myself, to have this report read, unless it should be a very voluminous one, and then we will know what we are voting on when we vote upon this motion.
PRESIDENT PAGE: Is there a second to that motion to substitute? It has been requested that the report be read; if there is no objection it may be read.
The report was read by the Secretary.
PRESIDENT PAGE: The disposition of the Chair is to hold that Mr. Fullerton's motion is out of order. This report was finally disposed of yesterday. It has had its day in court, and
if his motion is adopted it will only embrace a part of that which is embraced in Mr. Pendarvis' motion should it be adopted.
MR. CHAPMAN: I think that the opposition to the motion of Mr. Pendarvis is caused by the motion, if carried, substituting the entire Bill No. 31 as presented. There are many excellent features, but there are some, I think, that will meet with considerable opposition, and if the motion simply empowered the committee to take charge of the matter and present to the legislature that bill without our endorsing the entire bill, but leaving it discretionary with the Committee as to whether or not they would present the entire bill, it seems to me that would be satisfactory.
MR. BALDWIN: If I remember the wording of the motion as stated by the Chair. at least the motion made by Mr. Pendarvis, it was in such a form as to cover the objection which the gentleman now makes. My recollection of the motion was that the matter be referred to a committee for their consideration, and for them to present, in their judgment-I am not quoting the language, of course, but that is the idea—but for them in their wisdom or otherwise to present the matter to the legislature. I ask that the motion be read in order that we may know what it is.
The motion was read.
PRESIDENT PAGE: The motion is to refer the report to a special committee of five, which includes House Bill 31, to take up the whole matter and put it in shape for the purpose of presenting it to the next General Assembly. That is the substance of the motion as read by the reporter.
MR. PENDARVIS: May I have the indulgence of the Association just a moment, in response to what Mr. Chapman has said. He will notice the Committee has recommended the elimination of two sections, 60 and 66. If you will permit me I will read from the report of the Association of last year, from the paper that I presented, stating the substance of Sections
60 and 66. Section 60 is the one regarding those interrogatories to which Mr. Riggs has referred.
“Section 60 met with serious opposition. That is a provision, as you will note, permitting a party to file certain interrogatories upon certain issues in a case. It met with considerable favor in the committee, and the original bill was changed from ten interrogatories to fifteen interrogatories. But in the House it met with a great deal of opposition, yet it seemed to me that the consensus of opinion was that this provision of the bill ought to operate to great advantage in the trial of most cases, in bringing the issues of a case down to the narrowest point possible.
“Section 66 probably excited more opposition than any other section in the whole bill."
That section requires a party filing his case to file with his first pleading a request for a jury, if he wants a jury. They recommend that that section be eliminated. Those are the two sections that excited the most opposition in the House. I cannot from memory place the other small changes they suggest. But every committee that has passed upon this bill, after investigating it, has acted favorably upon it.
MR. RIGGS: Isow many gentlemen present now know what the effect of the recommended amendments in that report will be upon the bill ? I will warrant there are not ten men in the house, probably not five, perhaps not one, outside of such members of the Committee on Law Reform who may be here, who have read it since a year ago this month, because, as was said by Judge Hubbard, it got a discussion then that did not do it much credit, and nobody here, not even the sponsor for it, did it the honor to make a motion that it be recommended again at that time, and it was supposed to be, by those who opposed it, quiescent at least, if not entirely dead.
I will admit that Mr. Pendaryis made one statement of fact in his commentary on the bill, and that is, he said the Gen.
eral Assembly refused to pass it. That, perhaps, ought to be a recommendation of it. (Laughter.)
MR. PENDARVIS : That is not your usual attitude toward actions of the General Assembly. You do not take actions of the General Assembly as recommendations, usually.
MR. RIGGS: Perhaps you do not get just the force of what I said. I said the fact that the General Assembly refused to pass the bill perhaps ought to recommend the bill.
MR. PENDARVIS: I stand corrected.
MR. RIGGS: Here is what I want to say now. I have not read that bill in a year. I read it pretty carefully a year ago this month, more than once. I doubt if anybody else here has. It was more fresh in our minds a year ago. It met serious objection in this Association, very serious objection. Now, not having it fresh in our minds, having nothing here to show us what relation the amendments proposed by this committee have to the sections they propose to amend, or how to use them after the amendments are made, I suggest that it is springing a trap on us—I do not mean that in an offensive sense. Yesterday that report was made. If anything was to be done, why was it not done then when we had time? We now have no time; there is a banquet close at hand that can not on any account be neglected, and there is no time to discuss this matter or go into this matter, and that is the reason why I suggested it had better be postponed in order that if it is to be brought up in seriousness and be recommended by this Association as a measure that should be adopted and become the law of the land, we should know what we are doing exactly when we do it. Now I will admit that the committee might do just the right thing, but the bill has its peculiarities, and some of them were very peculiar originally, and I suppose the committee would be in favor of it and do all they could to get it passed; but I do not think we need it at all. But I will say frankly that the elimination of Sections 60 and 66, if they be eliminated, is a vast improvement
on the bill, and if about sixty more sections were eliminated, it would be better.
Calls for the question.
MR. BALDWIN: I wish to say this: It seems to me that it is a very poor reflection upon the work of the Commission who were selected in part from this Bar Association and by this Bar Association originally, and who spent months of time in all parts of the State, and then submitted in writing the results of their labors to nearly all the lawyers in the State and asked for suggestions and got these suggestions and considered them and incorporated them in a bill which was presented and has been re-presented and re-presented and modified, --it seems to me that it is a reflection upon the value of their labors that we put them aside with a sneer. In all seriousness and in all kindness and courtesy to the gentleman who last spoke here; he said that he does not remember what was in that bill, and yet he says that sixty sections of it ought to be eliminated. I supposed that there were some of the best lawyers in the State, some of the most careful and painstaking men,-men not from the city of Chicago, although the representatives from the city of Chicago were good lawyers, were painstaking lawyers, and they devoted months of careful and intelligent and painstaking effort to preparing a bill that should be an improvement upon our practice. And I supposed also that it would be a very great improvement. I have received by mail, as I know a great many others have received by mail, or did during the session of the legislature, a copy of the bill. I had the pleasure of inspecting it, and it seems to me when we refer a matter of this sort, or any matter, to a committee, to such a committee as the one that brings in this recommendation here today, that the recommendations of the committee are entitled to some weight and consideration, and it cannot be expected that we should sit down here in this Association and go over line by line, and word by word, all that the committee itself considered. The main subject matter of this report is reasonably familiar to us all, and I, for one, am most