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more attention to it and had taken part in the discussion of it, it might have been changed still more. As amended it was passed by the Senate.
Any man who undertakes to construct a court act for this State has a big job on his hands. In the first place he must construct an act which, in his judgment, will accomplish the desired purpose, that is, simplify the practice of the law and make it honest and decent. In the second place, he must construct an act which he thinks he can induce the Legislature to pass. We have in this State counties of seven thousand people, and we have a county of two million five hundred thousand people. We have County Judges who get $300 a year and are not lawyers, and we have a County Judge who gets $10,000 a year and is an able lawyer, and yet any court act which is prepared must be general, and applicable to all the counties of the State. It can not be special. It must be uniform in its operation throughout the State. Now, methods of procedure which may be satisfactory in Cook County, might not be satisfactory in Peoria County, or in Putnam County, or in a number of other counties. So, the man who goes to work to accomplish the desired object has a pretty difficult task.
It is said this bill is radical and revolutionary. I admit it. We need something radical and revolutionary. What is the use of talking about the administration of justice in this State being decent and respectable? It is not. Everybody knows it, and we know that we are to blame for it. I do not say that I am the man that can get up a proper act, but I do say that I have spent the necessary time and I have certainly had the necessary experience. I have done nothing during my professional life except to attend to litigated cases. I have had every kind of a case that the ordinary lawyer has, and if I had the ability I would certainly have the experience to do the work, and I believe I have had the industry. In two years I have done three years' work. The work of drafting this bill would be equivalent to an entire year's work devoted to nothing else. It takes six days to read the proof, and the proof has been read six times, and when
this act was ordered to a third reading in the Senate it was written out in long hand and I read every word of that. One chapter alone of this bill cost sixty days' work. That is the chapter in relation to files and records. Another, on Appellate Procedure, cost at least thirty days' work. The work is difficult and it is hard. I am willing you should criticise it. I hope you will, the more the better, because that bill, in a modified form, modified in the direction of being more radical and revolutionary than it is, will be introduced in the next session of the Legislature, and from appearances there may be danger that it will pass. I do not say it will, I do not say that I expect it will, but it has passed the Senate, and when it again comes before the Senate it will have more votes than it had before, unless I have been incorrectly informed. Now you better get to work. If you want to beat this bill, get to work and beat it. If you want to help it, get to work and help it. Gentlemen, I thank you. (Applause.) THE PRESIDENT: Is George B. Gillespie in the room? Mr. S. A. Hubbard, of Quincy?
MR. HUBBARD: Would it be in order to suggest about five minutes recess on my time, to give us a chance to stand up?
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Hubbard suggests that he thinks the people are getting a little tired of sitting, and that a five minutes recess be taken in which they might be allowed to stand up and shake themselves.
A VOICE: Let us have five minutes.
(Whereupon a recess was taken, after which the following proceedings were had:)
MR. HUBBARD: Mr. Chairman, and gentlemen of the State Bar Association: I have found, in my experience before juries, that it is better to give them a few minutes recess and then talk to them perhaps a little faster, than it is to keep them tied down and try to talk to them when they do not listen. And, although you gentlemen of the Bench and Bar may not, as Mr. Gilbert, just preceding me, said, have all the accomplishments of jurors, nevertheless I think you are constituted about the same, that you physically require a recess.
Now I am sure that
I can say more to you in ten minutes than I could have said in fifteen minutes before.
I hope that the Gilbert Bill will accomplish one great object in this State, that is, the object of getting the lawyers of the State of Illinois interested in our procedure. We all know that most of us do not know our procedure. We claim to have a common law procedure, but we do not. There is said to be only one common law procedure in the United States, and that is in the District of Columbia. Four states have a combined common law and statutory proceeding, but that is foreign to our subject. Our subject is, Judicial Administration in Illinois, and I am going to talk to you specifically on judicial administration for the benefit of ourselves and the public. As I view it, gentlemen of the Bar, whatever is for the interest of the public in the matter of procedure, is to our interest. The simple procedure and effective procedure written of by President Taft in the Yale Law Journal last year, and it has been discussed for the seven or eight years that I have been a member of this Bar Association, is to your interest and my interest. It is not to your interest or my interest, financial or otherwise, that the impossible should prevail, that a meritorious case may be defeated by the manipulation of procedure. Every litigant believes that he is right, and unless he believes that right will win in the courts of the State of Illinois, he will accept any kind of a compromise in preference to a law suit. It is not to your advantage financially, or mine, that a bad compromise should be preferable to a litigant, to the administration in the courts, to justice in the courts. And what is to the public interest there is to your financial interest and mine, and to ours as men.
Developing ourselves as lawyers, we are encumbered today by an immense amount of burden of procedure. There is the only place where I shall dissent from the opinion of Mr. Gilbert. In Mr. Gilbert's bill of 2034 sections, greater than any code, I believe except that of the State of New York, he burdens us with too much; it is too large a burden to add to us as lawyers. I want to refer briefly to some things which perhaps
you have noticed in the law journals. The English Judicature Act has 100 sections and 58 rules; compare that with the 2034 sections of the Gilbert Bill. I understand from those who have noticed the administration of justice in England, in the courts, which I have never been privileged to do, that the English procedure is far superior to ours. It is expeditious, the suits are litigated and decided in a short time. The fifty-eight rules are prescribed by their higher court, the one hundred sections enacted by their Parliament.
The Connecticut code,-now I am not going to argue in favor of a code, do not understand that. I do not care what you call it, common law code or anything else, the only thing I want is a simple, effective procedure which I referred to in the expression of President Taft. I do not care what you call it. I think it is much better, gentlemen, that we do not have so many pages defining nomenclature and terms with which we are all supposed to be familiar, like in the front part of the Gilbert Bill. I think it is much better not to have all those terms in there with definitions or questions, whether the terms are the terms as they used to be or whether they change them to some other form. But I think to accomplish a simple procedure in this State-and I am going to be brief-that we can do it with less than 2034 sections; I think perhaps we can do it with less than five hundred and some odd sections of the Connecticut code, and I hope. it can be accomplished by some act of our Legislature with the assistance, perhaps, of a few rules by our Supreme Court in the line of the English rules, in the line of our national bankruptcy rules, with which some of us are more or less familiar by practice.
Now some of the specific things which should be remedied: We all agree with Mr. Gilbert; I presume that delays are common in your procedure, the delays written of by Mr. Taft in his articles of last year, we all agree to those, no use to spend time on that argument. Mr. Gilbert cited most excellent illustrations to you, and I am not going to spend any time to cite others. But let us see what will help our procedure. One specific point,
for illustration. We have, in the State of Illinois, a game of hide and seek on the opposite sides of the same judge sitting on the same bench. For instance, on a simple promissory note you can go into the Circuit Court of the State of Illinois and get judgment against the defendant; the defendant can go in on the chancery side and enjoin the judgment for a ground that existed at the time of the filing of the original suit, and stop the collection of the note. Both right, under the procedure of the State of Illinois, correct, legally. I am like the old justice who had an execution in favor of himself. I know that it is right because I did it. In the defending of a man on a promissory note, the maker of the note is not a competent witness in favor of the security against the deceased holder of the note or his administrator, but in chancery he is a competent witness. So you can go into court for the administrator of a deceased holder of a note, recover judgment; then the security on the note can go in and file a bill in chancery, according to the 180th Illinois, if you want authority, and enjoin the collection of that note on the ground that the time has been extended and there is no competent witness to that extension except the maker of the note. Now why, in Illinois, in these modern times, should there be two sides of a judge, where you can play hide and go seek on one side and they can not find you, but they can find you on the other? There is no occasion for it. And now since we have amended our practice act we permit the plaintiff to go over on the chancery side if he has mistaken his remedy, or on the common law side if he has gone in on the chancery side, to permit the defendant to make any defense at common law that he can in chancery, and any evidence that is honest and just in chancery ought to be honest and just in law. That is one illustration. I am going to devote my time to those illustrations, not on employer's liability, because that is a subject to be covered tomorrow.
We have now in the State of Illinois a number of appeals beyond anything that has been mentioned before this Association since I have been a member. It has been discussed in our