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Chicago's answer to crime and lawlessness was “Clear the dockets of the Criminal Court and keep them clear," and the record shows it was a most effective answer.
There is unquestionably a strong feeling on the part of lay citizens that lawyers are responsible for the laws and their administration. In consideration of this prevailing view, does not the American Bar owe a duty to the several communities to ascertain the facts and take steps as a profession to speed up the legal machinery having to do with the administration of law in criminal cases ?
SECTION OF PUBLIC UTILITY LAW
The Fourth Annual Meeting of the Section of Public Utility Law of the American Bar Association was held in Room 7, Hotel Gibson, Cincinnati, Ohio, on Tuesday, August 30, 1921. There were three sessions, 10 A, M., 3 P. M. and 8 P. M.
Bentley W. Warren, of Massachusetts, Chairman of the Section, presided.
Upon calling the meeting to order, the Chairman stated that Stephen S. Gregory, of Illinois, a prominent member of the Section, had died since the last meeting of the Section, and that an address in his memory would be made at the Association meeting.
The Chairman called the attention of the Section to present conditions existing with reference to investments in public securities, and stated that he felt that public utilities were slowly returning to their former popularity as stable and reliable investments.
The report of the Secretary was read, which called attention to the improvement in the situation all over the United States, with reference to public utilities.
The following questions were submitted for discussion by the members of the Section :
(a) Under what circumstances is a provision in a municipal franchise fixing rates legally binding upon a utility and a municipality, and to what extent?
(b) May a utility under the law fix a rate above the value of the service. 80 long as it does not exceed an adequate return?
(c) How can the value of the service be ascertained to meet the legal requirement?
(d) Is the present value of the property, in view of the high prices, a proper basis for a commission to fix rates? (e) What is the legal duty of a com
ommission, when a rate of return formerly adequate has become by reason of higher interest paid investors no longer attractive to capital?
(f) Should not a sliding scale of rates, depending on factors of cost, be fixed so as to adjust themselves from time to time to meet the legal rule of a reasonable rate and fair return?
(g) Should public service automobiles on highways be allowed to operate in competition with street railways, and if so, to what extent, and may such service lawfully be carried to the supplanting of such railways?
(h) What will the effect of the general use of public service automobiles on highways carrying passengers and freight, be upon street railways and steam railroads, respectively and how far may or should they be legally restrained, if at all?
(i) In commission hearings how far is it wise to disregard legal rules of evidence, under the legislative permission not to “be bound by the technical rules of legal evidence?”
Joseph Wilby, of Ohio, then read a paper, entitled “ Public Utility Regulations in Ohio, with special reference to Street Railroads."
(The Address follows these minutes, page 609.)
After a discussion of Mr. Wilby's address, the Committee on Nominations presented the following report:
For Chairman, Charles R. Brock, of Denver; Vice-president, John B. Sanborn, of Wisconsin; Secretary, Edward A. Armstrong, of New Jersey; Treasurer, John Randolph Tucker, of Virginia.
For the Council: Bentley W. Warren, of Massachusetts ; Chester I. Long, of Kansas; Julius Henry Cohen, of New York City; R. E. L. Saner, of Texas; Joseph Wilby, of Ohio; David A. Frank, Horace D. Pillsbury, of California ; William H. H. Piatt, of Missouri,
They were unanimously elected.
The Secretary then read a paper, prepared by Leroy T. Harkness, of New York, on “ Transit Tendencies in New York City.” Mr. Harkness was unable to be present at the meeting.
(The Address follows these minutes, page 623.)
Julius Henry Cohen, of New York, then read a paper entitled, “ Developing Port Facilities by Interstate Compact and Agencies.”
(The Address follows these minutes, page 644.)
A. G. Gutheim, of the District of Columbia, then read a paper, entitled, “Legal and Practical Aspects of Co-operative Uses of Carriers' Facilities."
(The Address follows these minutes, page 632.) After a discussion of the questions presented in Mr. Gutheim's paper, and all other matters presented to the Section by the members, the Section adjourned.
E. A. ARMSTRONG, Secretary.
PUBLIC UTILITY REGULATIONS IN OHIO, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO STREET RAILROADS.
And whereas divers waggoners and other carriers, by combination amongst themselves, have raised the price of carriage of goods in many places to excessive rates, to the great injury of trade; be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the justices of the peace of every county, and other place within the realm of England, or dominion of Wales, shall have power and authority, and are hereby enjoined and required at their next respective quarter or general session after Easter day yearly, to assess and rate the prices of all land carriage of goods whatsoever, to be brought into any place or places within their respective limits and jurisdictions, by any common waggoner or carrier, and the rates and assessments so made, to certify to the several mayors and other chief officers of each respective market town within the limits and jurisdictions of such justices of the peace, to be hung up in some publick place in every such market town, to which all persons may resort for their information.
In this wise in 1691 in the reign of William and Mary, was it enacted by Parliament that Justices of the Peace should once a year assess rates of carriage for goods, and cause those rates to be hung up in some publick place in every such market town, to which all persons may resort for their information.
More than two centuries thereafter the General Assembly of Ohio passed an act granting state control of railroad rates to a commission; and causing schedules to be filed with it and kept open to public inspection showing all rates, fares and charges for the transportation of passengers and property.
In the course of campaign speeches and messages to the Legislature of New York in 1907, Governor Hughes made convincing argument in favor of regulation of public utilities by commission. The New York Commission resulted. Like commissions in other states followed; every state now has one.
Governor Hughes said:
The first question is: Why should there be a Railroad or Public Service Commission? .. Every question of rate or fare, of safety *9. Statutes at Large, 3 and 4 W. & M. c. 12, Sec. 24.