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accustomed to modern and efficient methods of dispatching business, the delays and uncertainties of our administration of the law have become intolerable. They at the same time afford a sure refuge to the unscrupulous. In view of the just reputation of our people for quickness and efficiency, this grotesque condition of the administration of justice would be laughable if it were not so serious. The absurdities of the administration of our criminal law have allowed the hysteria which exists in a more or less positive form in every community to find outward expression in the crime of lynching; the delays of the civil law, tending to deprive the economically weak of justice, have been a potent factor in creating that widespread disrespect for law and distrust of courts which renders it increasingly difficult for us to meet the new and complicated problems of our social life.

Though the answers to the tests of the way in which the egal profession is performing its service to our communities are not all unfavorable, taken as a whole the word failure predominates. Disguise it as we may, our profession is not administering justice with efficiency.

If we look more closely at the lines along which these failures occur, we will find that the lawyer is found wanting in the performance of his public duties rather than in his private duties. For instance, the lawyer as an individual practitioner performs his whole duty if, taking existing methods of doing legal business, he conducts his client's case with skill. The judge performs his whole duty to the parties before him if he properly applies to their case the existing principles of law. But on the profession as a whole falls the duty of providing methods of practice which result in the quick and certain dispatch of legal business. This last is an example of what we may call the public duty of the profession as distinguished from the private duty of individual members. The public duty is a duty which cannot be performed by the individual lawyer in the course of his practice, but must be performed, if at all, by associate action. My point is that it is along the

line of associate action on legal public matters that we fail, rather than in those duties which depend solely on our own efforts. The public do not complain of poor lawyers, but of the delays and uncertainties of the law. The common law, as developed by our courts, each acting separately, meets new situations as they arise, but where concerted action to effect legislation is demanded, we fail. Taken as a whole, the conduct of individual members of the Bar respresents a fairly high standard, yet, when that standard is violated by individuals, there is not, except in extreme cases, any associate action taken to discipline the offender. In short, in a world marked for increasing efficiency in organization, the lawyers of our country exhibit the anomalous spectacle of a body of persons apparently incapable of efficient co-operation for public ends.

When the individual makes a failure of his life, he usually blames external conditions-the fates were against him. If that which happened to Jones had happened to him, he, like Jones, would have been a great success.

So with the apologists for the failure of our profession to perform its appointed work. Take our failure to force individual lawyers to conform to a proper ethical standard. It is said that when our cities were small it was comparatively easy for the leaders of the profession to come into contact with all members in active practice, and hold a strict rein over their conduct, but that today, in cities like New York, Chicago or Philadelphia, this is impossible. The explanation sounds plausible, but London is nearly as large as all those three cities combined, and the supervision of the Bar over their individual members down to the smallest detail of professional conduct is most strict. It is true that the increase in the numbers of the profession may require different machinery to deal with cases of improper professional conduct; but is not a test of efficiency the ability to meet new conditions?

Again, it is said that the delays of the civil law are due to the complicated nature of our business transactions. But do

not these delays occur in the simplest cases? Our business transactions are no more complicated than those of England, and yet the Englishman has succeeded in devising a system which disposes of legal business with reasonable celerity. But I can hear the apologist replying that England with a single Bar can carry out reforms; but for us, who are merely a collection of innumerable state and county Bars, it is impossible. It may be admitted that the fact that we do not have a single system of courts, and therefore necessarily have many Bars, renders it difficult for us to adopt a single plan to expedite justice, or deal with other professional problems, but the almost universal failure of the Bar of any one of our states to adopt any reform which goes to the root of the causes of the delays and uncertainties of our legal proceedings is not explained by the fact that there cannot be a Bar of the United States in the sense that there is an English Bar.

Again, it is said that our country is new, and that our problems are therefore more difficult. Yet our country can only properly be said to be new in spots, and the failure to maintain professional standards and expedite legal business is as great in the Eastern, as in the Western states, if not greater. England, too, has colonies in which all the conditions of a new country exist; yet it is true of these colonies, as it is of England, that the people are satisfied with the celerity of administration of the law, both civil and criminal. In the colonies, as in England, in the last seventy-five years not a single life has been sacrificed to mob violence, a fact which bears eloquent tribute to the confidence of the people in the


Lastly, if you will talk to a lawyer on the reasons which make for greater efficiency in the administration of the law in England, he will usually point to the high salaries of English judges, and the aristocratic origin of the English barristers as a class, as the true cause of efficiency on the other side of the water. To one who doubts, as I do not, the ability of a democracy to govern, this last reason appeals with almost

conclusive force, yet even to the admirer of aristocracies in this instance the reason disappears on examination. English judges were better paid, relatively to the standard of the rest of the community, in the days of Lord Eldon, than they are now; yet, the crying evil of the chancery of that day was the very delays which are the worst features of our own legal administration. Again, the Bar of England never was distinctly aristocratic. It is less so now than ever before. Its membership is open to anyone; English citizenship is not even required. One of the leading barristers today is an American citizen. Indeed, the efficiency of the administration of law in England seems to have increased as the Bar has become more and more democratic. If an aristocratic Bar meant efficiency, why would not an aristocratic army mean efficiency? If the national administration of democratic America compares, as I think it does, favorably with that of England, why not our administration of law? Our medical profession is forging ahead of their English competitors, why do we of the law lag behind?

Though an individual, when he makes a failure of his life, turns for an explanation to external conditions, the real root of the matter usually lies in his character, not necessarily in his bad character, but in the fact that his character does not conform to the necessities of his external circumstances. So it is with any group of men-as the members of the legal profession. Our failure to meet with efficiency what I have called our public duties is not due to external conditions, but to our character as professional men. By this "character" I mean our ideals of our professional duty. The reputable American lawyer, if he is typical of his class, has an ideal of correct conduct towards clients, towards the courts, and towards the other members of the Bar. But here his ideals usually end. He is blind to any public duty of the profession towards the community as a whole. Even his comparatively feeble efforts to enforce some standard of professional conduct, or to relieve some local delays in the administration of justice

by the establishment of new courts, seem to be largely dictated by the feeling that a Bar composed in part of criminals, or courts having a great congestion of business, increase the difficulties of practice. The public interest is not, apparently, a real factor. This blindness to the existence of public obligations is so general and so absolute, that even in this presence I may be pardoned for giving a few illustrations.

Besides this American Bar Association, there is a State Bar Association in the majority of the states, and innumerable county organizations. But as far as I can ascertain, no one of them ever appointed a committee to examine any question relating to the care of criminals. Even in efforts to deal with the trial and punishment of juvenile offenders, the community has gone unaided by any effort on the part of these numerous legal organizations. The most unobservant person who enters at all into the life of the community in which he lives must have had forced upon his notice the growing dissatisfaction with the delays of justice. The crime of lynching has become a menace to the stability of the whole administration of the criminal law. Other common law countries, England and her colonies, have made great improvements in their legal administration, and have been working successfully under these improvements for more than thirty years. While these facts have been pointed out by individuals at our meetings, few organized attempts have been made by this or other Bar associations to deal with the delays of criminal or even civil practice, or with the "lynching" problem, and while occasionally committees have been appointed to investigate the causes of the delays in the administration of justice, we cannot say that a single important association has as a body seriously taken up the work of improving the administration of the law.

Or, again, no one of us doubts that the poorest classes of the community, especially the very poor in our large cities, are as a class largely denied justice, partly through their own ignorance, but in a still greater degree, by the class of attorneys who take advantage of that ignorance. I am well aware of

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