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a remedy to a great deal of the injustice by delay that now exists. State judges, as well as federal judges, should be interested in the adoption of this federal measure as a model for the states.
We have a great many complaints of the failure of justice in trials which have great publicity and in which the jury does not seem to do its duty. That subject I discussed in a paper read at the meeting of this Association in Montreal. I merely wish now to emphasize the fact that if the legislature takes away the power of judges to conduct trials as they ought to be conducted, and as they have been conducted in English courts of justice and in federal courts of justice since their organization, and reduces the judge to a mere moderator, the complaint as to bad results should not be laid at the door of the judiciary-it must rest with the legislature. The members of the profession, however, cannot escape criticism on this head. With one or two exceptions, every state legislature is full of lawyers and the profession has a very great power, if it would exercise it, to perfect the machinery for the administration of justice. But too often lawyers in the legislature have allowed themselves to be influenced by personal considerations, by small jealousies of the power of judges and by shaping the administration of justice to suit the character of their particular practice. It is important that the responsibility for unsatisfactory legal procedure should be put where it belongs.
Of course we of the judiciary cannot go off scot free. We have defects of our own. A judge exercises a great deal of power. If he allows his head to be turned thereby, he becomes a danger to the community. If he is disliked by the Bar, it is ordinarily his own fault, because no member of the Bar is likely deliberately to antagonize him. All he has to do is to administer justice without fear or favor and teach the Bar that that is the principle upon which he is acting and he will establish a position for himself among the lawyers that they will respect and recognize. Some trial judges are lazy, especially when their powers are taken away from them by the legislature and do not give that close attention to the conduct of trials that all judges should exercise. When a judge does not follow every item of evidence and direct all his energies to the case before him, it will get away from him, and the more powerful of the counsel before him will
have a great advantage. Even under the most adverse legislation, a judge can exercise much influence in the trial of cases if he will only possess himself of the case and keep himself advised of every turn in its progress. In addition to that, he may learn a great deal and no matter how erudite and familiar he is with the principles of law, there is usually something he can learn about the particular case to aid him in reaching a just conclusion.
SIXTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF BAR
A Section of the American Bar Association Consisting of
the American Bar Association.
The Sixth Annual Conference of Bar Association Delegates was held in Cincinnati, Ohio, on August 30, 1921.
There were present 210 accredited delegates representing the American Bar Association, the Far Eastern American Bar Association, the Bar Associations of the Philippine Islands and of the District of Columbia, The American Judicature Society, the State Bar Associations of 40 states, and 76 City and County Bar Associations. The number of delegates was more than twice the number present at the 1920 meeting. Besides the associations represented by delegates in attendance, 35 associations also named delegates, and thereby became members of the Conference.
Chairman Stiles W. Burr, of St. Paul, Minn., presided over the Conference.
The following officers were elected for the ensuing year: Chairman, Clarence N. Goodwin, of Illinois; Vice-Chairman, Charles A. Boston, of New York; Secretary, Herbert Harley, of Illinois; Treasurer, Nathan William MacChesney, of Illinois.
Members of the Council: Stiles W. Burr, of Minnesota ; William Velpeau Rooker, of Indiana ; Julius Henry Cohen, of New York.
Elihu Root, of New York, who created the Conference in 1916, made a brief informal address.
It is a great pleasure to observe the evidences of prosperity in this organization, to observe that this Conference is becoming a great institution.
Let no one think that what is said and done here is perfunctory. This great country, and, increasingly, the whole world, is coming under the realm of democracies, and depends upon the formation and adequate expression of public opinion. It is not presidents or governors or congresses or legislatures that rule. It is the informed, matured and definite opinions of the people of each country that rule the world today. Opinion requires institutions for its expression. Opinion, without some institution to give it effect, becomes dissipated in thin air. It is like the angry murmurs of a mob leading to nothing unless it be indiscriminate violence.
The creation of institutions which, in an orderly way, may crystallize and present and preserve the opinions of men who are especially competent to form them in each field and branch of public affairs, is a necessary part of the process of free selfgovernment. It seems evident to me that this Conference, which was begun years ago
with a great deal of doubt as to whether it would amount to anything or not, as to whether it would not simply be taken as a novelty and then die out, is fulfilling a need for the expression of opinion, and a need which takes in the multitude of associations of the Bar in the states and cities, towns and counties all over this great land. It is a great function, and everyone who takes part in it ought to feel that he is rendering in peace a service to his country which entitles him to feel that he is, after all, not such a very bad citizen.
There are evidences of the recognition of the value of this institution for the expression of opinion and the formation of opinion in all localities of the country. The meeting which is to take place this evening, in which the Committee on Ethics of the American Bar Association has sought the instrumentality of this Conference for the purpose of securing a consideration and discussion of the ways in which the standards of the American Bar Association may be made more effective in the different localities of the country, is an evidence of the recognition of the effectiveness and utility of this Conference.
There was a time when this Conference was not popular in the American Bar Association. There were some people who thought it was a sort of tail that was trying to waggle the dog. But here
is evidence that a most earnest and devoted set of men who are responsible for compelling attention to the formation of a code of legal ethics recognize that this is the institution through which they can best accomplish what they seek, namely, to make the code of ethics effective in the opinion of the members of the Bar of all sections of the country.
The Special Committee of the Section on Legal Education, in the report which it is to make to the Section this afternoon, have put in a clause recommending that, if the Association agrees with their views about legal ethics, a conference be called for the purpose of making it effective. There, from an entirely different group in the American Bar Association, comes another recognition. I do not know what will be done with their report, but that is of no particular consequence for what I am speaking of. That group of men in their report have recognized the fact that the way to get things done throughout the country is through the state and local associations, and the way to move the state and local association is through a Conference like this.
So that there is every reason to feel satisfied with the progress of this institution, and there is every reason to feel that you are rendering God's service to your country when you come here and give your time to the open discussion of the subjects that come up here. Do not forget that no man ever seriously and sincerely devoted himself to the service of others without being affected by it himself.
When you go back to your practice you are quite likely to find in the representation of your clients, that from the contact and stimulus of these meetings, from the enjoyment of the spirit which comes from unselfish service for the common good, are brought little gleams, little side winds of higher spirit into the work that you do at the Bar, making you all the better and all the more effective lawyers.
I. Resolved, That this Conference welcome the cooperation of the Committee on Professional Ethics of the American Bar Association and recommends that in those states where the canons of ethics have not yet been adopted that they be adopted, and that each state and local bar associa