The committee held a meeting and reached the conclusion that inasmuch as the subject of taxation so far as the situs of real and personal property for the purpose of taxation is concerned is in charge of a special sub-committee of the General Committee on Uniform Laws, and also in view of the fact that the committee thinks it would be unwise for the Association to undertake to submit a scheme of national taxation, as that is a matter in the domain of politics, the committee should be abolished and its members discharged from further labors. It so reports.

The Chairman:

What committee did the Chair understand the gentleman to say has taken action with respect to the subject matter?

Albert W. Biggs, of Tennessee:

The Special Committee on Uniform State Laws on the situs of real and personal property for purposes of taxation. That committee made quite a lengthy report to the last meeting of the Association, and asked to be continued, with leave to co-operate with the National Tax Association and with other similar bodies. This sub-committee has a larger membership; and it has more time. It is covering the same ground which the committee on taxation would cover, and, therefore, we see no necessity for continuing the latter committee.

A few years ago a motion was made to abolish the committee, but the members were continued in office. Now, we find that the field which we should cover is being covered better by this subcommittee than we can cover it.

The Chairman:

The recommendation of the committee with regard to its own elimination is out of order, inasmuch as a Standing Committee on Taxation is provided for in the By-laws of the Association. The report will be received and filed.

The Committee on Uniform State Laws.

Charles Thaddeus Terry, of New York:

The committee is happy to report very satisfactory progress in the matter of unifying the laws of the various states applying to

inter-state subjects, but not falling within the definition of inter-state commerce.

Not only is the progress satisfactory from a statistical point of view in that in upwards of twenty instances, during the past year, the legislatures of the states, territories and possessions have adopted acts heretofore approved by the Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, but also in ways that are not capable of being put into statistical form; forty-eight states, territories and possessions have appointed Commissioners on Uniform State Laws; governors and legislatures have apparently awakened to the work being done by the committee and by the conference, and are lending aid and support, not only financially, but in the way of approval, to the work.

The committee has had in mind a field which has not yet been covered by the committee or by the conference, namely, the unifying of judicial decisions under Uniform State Laws. To that end the committee has, in co-operation with the Conference of Commissioners, been looking to that part of the field which has been unploughed, and has taken action with regard to it. The committee makes just two recommendations, viz.:

It recommends that the so-called "Marriage Evasion Act" be approved. It is a very brief act, and, therefore, is appended in full to the printed report of the committee. It seeks in substance to prevent fraud upon the courts of any state through residents going to another state and contracting a marriage relation which would be void in the state of their residence, and then returning to resume the residence which had really never been interrupted.

The other recommendation is that the Workmen's Compensation Act, which has been the subject now of study and consideration for upwards of three years, and which the Conference of Commissioners has now tentatively adopted-the Compulsory Act-which means simply that the conference and the committee are not willing to say that the knowledge and experience on the subject has reached a point which makes it clearly undesirable to say that this is a final work, but that it has reached a point which makes it advisable to submit the same as a model to

legislatures, in that form tentatively. The committee asks approval of this recommendation.

The report was thereupon approved.

(See Report in Appendix, page 528.)

The Chairman:

The Committee on Publicity.

Charles A. Boston, of New York:

The report is short and merely formal. The best report is the work that has been done. If you see accurate reports of the proceedings of this meeting in the newspapers, you may give some part of the credit to the committee, though, of course, the greater part of the credit is due to the newspapers themselves. Throughout the year the committee has kept the newspaper press not only of the United States, but also of Canada, and in some instances abroad, well informed with accurate information of the proceedings scheduled for this meeting. In order to do 80, as the meeting approached, the committee had over 2000 copies of all the reports and of the speeches that were prepared in advance, and summaries of the same, transmitted to the press. through agencies in the City of New York, and extended the mailing list so as to include every legal periodical in the United States and Canada and every law school in both countries.

The committee hopes to cover, in the best method possible, the public which is interested in the proceedings of the Association, and it thinks that the results show favorably.

No recommendation is made.

The Chairman:

The very acceptable report of the Committee on Publicity will be received and filed.

(See Report in Appendix, page 533.)

The Committee on Membership, Lucien H. Alexander, of Philadelphia, is the Chairman. The report will be passed for the present.

The Committee on Obituaries. I ask the members of the Association to stand while the report is being read.

(The report of the Committee on Obituaries was then read by the Secretary. It appears in full in the Appendix, page 537.)

The Chairman:

The reports of special committees. The report of the Committee on Uniform Judicial Procedure.

Thomas W. Shelton, of Virginia:

A resolution was adopted at the 1912 meeting for a complete uniform system of law pleading in the federal and state courts, and that a system for use in the federal courts, and as a model, should be prepared and put into effect by the Supreme Court of the United States. The resolution also provided that all conflicting provisions of law should be repealed and appropriate statutes enacted; also that a committee of five be selected by the President to be known as the Committee on Uniform Judicial Procedure.

The Committee on Judicial Administration and Remedial Procedure, to which this resolution had been referred at the Boston meeting of 1911, in favorably reporting it, made a comment and a prediction, the repetition of which will serve the end of giving brief expression to the two objects sought and the reason for creating the new committee.

Immediately upon the designation of the committee, a statute was prepared, with the advice and assistance of Judge Henry D. Clayton, chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives, and was by him introduced into the 62d Congress on December 2d, 1912.

I hardly think it necessary for me to read this report, as it is printed and copies are on the Secretary's desk.

W. L. January, of Michigan:

I move that the report be read. We want to hear it.

The Chairman:

That motion is out of order, because the rules require that printed reports shall be stated as to their purport and substance and not read.

Thomas W. Shelton, of Virginia:

This bill has been introduced by the respective chairmen of the House and Senate Committees, but for lack of time, largely owing to the impeachment trial of Judge Archbald, it was not reached. I feel sure that with the support the committee has received from the President of the United States and from the Attorney-General and from ex-President Taft there will be no difficulty about its passage at the next session of Congress.

The Chairman:

The substance of the report is, as the Chair understands, to the effect that the Supreme Court of the United States be empowered to prescribe rules of pleading and procedure in actions at law, as well as in actions in equity, with a view to establishing uniform judicial procedure throughout the United States. The gentleman from Virginia moves the adoption of the report.

Moorfield Storey, of Massachusetts:

All through the United States, under existing statutes, we have uniform procedure in every state, because the rules of practice are the same in federal and state courts. It may be extremely desirable to have a uniform system of procedure all over the country, but that would require legislation by each state. If the Supreme Court of the United States is to impose on the federal courts one system of rules we certainly shall have different practice in every state according as you bring your suit in the federal or in the state court; and I think that variation between the two forms of practice would be more dangerous than the existing system.

I really feel that the proper way to deal with this subject is to have a representative commission appointed who shall take it up carefully and make recommendations. I am quite content to have their work passed upon and approved by the Supreme Court of the United States before its adoption, but I do not think we ought to ask the Supreme Court, in the fragments of time which it can spare, to deal with so important a question and to formulate a system of rules. If I may speak with bated breath, we have had the result of that in the equity rules which the Supreme

« ForrigeFortsett »