« ForrigeFortsett »
that it shall be regarded as illegal, for any lawyer to do what your petition says they shall not do. Now, you do that and here is A. B. has solicited through an agent,-they don't do it in person; there has been a great deal of truth told here this afternoon on that subject. They have their agents. And the lawyers are all dead or I would tell you of one of them and how much money he had made out of having his runners and every time a lawsuit was brought against these railroads, they were on one side or the other. I expect you would be astonished if I would tell you what one of those men told me they made every year.
Now, there is no law, there was no law, I know of none now, that prohibits me from saying to Mr. Lellyett, I am on the outside, I don't belong to any legal organization-I am speaking of being on the outside. I am not a professional man, I am hunting for Mr. Lellyett, or you, or any other lawyer, and I hunt up these cases whenever there is a case of that kind, or it may be occurred at night, I am there the next morning by daylight. And I make an agreement with the party about his lawsuit, to attend to it for twenty-five, thirty or fifty per cent, just whatever contract I can make. And I say to Mr. Lellyett then, or this lawyer or that lawyer, or any other: Now, you take this case and divide with me. You are not known in the contract. I am, but I am not responsible. Therefore, I say, let's go before the legislature and have a law enacted that it shall be unethical, it shall be improper, it shall make one liable to indictment, for any lawyer to be guilty of the very things that you have suggested. And when you get that law enacted, you have got something to work upon and you have got then, when a brother lawyer should do wrong, through his necessities or any other reason, why here is a law, staring him in the face. and he will say, "No." And if every one will say, "No, I can't take your case, I can't agree to it," then you have got a basis upon which to work, and until you get that, I don't believe you will ever get the law to stick that you are asking here before this honorable Bar Association,
I had no idea of saying anything, but I said to my brother in front of me here, I suggested to him, the place to go was to go first before the legislature, and I think so still. Still,
I am only one of perhaps two hundred and fifty lawyers, and the youngest one of the lot, and I yield to a majority.
President Keeble :-The meeting will stand adjourned until ten o'clock tomorrow morning.
FRIDAY, JUNE 12th, 1914, 10:00 A. M.
President Keeble:-The Association will please come to order. The first order this morning, I am going to ask the Secretary-Treasurer to submit his report, in order that it may be referred to the Central Council, as the by-laws provide, and be finally acted upon this afternoon.
The Secretary and Treasurer thereupon submitted his report, as follows:
TO THE PRESIDENT AND MEMBERS OF THE BAR ASSOCIATION OF TENNESSEE.
As Secretary and Treasurer of the Association, I submit the following report for the period ending June 10th, 1914.
You will no doubt be disappointed, as I am, to observe that while our expenses and disbursements have increased during the last year, the payment of annual dues and admission fees has greatly decreased. Last year we collected from admission fees and annual dues $1,008.25, while this year we have fallen $250.25 below that figure. At the same time, our expenses have increased $82.04, so that we have on hands only $156.05, while at our meeting held June 25, 1913, we had a balance on hands amounting to $551.76.
I call particular attention to these facts in order that we may realize the importance of a united effort on the part of all members of the Association to increase the membership and use our influence towards awakening the present membership to a greater activity in the affairs of the Association. During my connection with the Association as its Secretary and Treasurer, I have observed that the members who attend the meetings and take an active interest in the work of the Association, always pay their dues promptly, while a great many members who do not attend the meetings, allow their dues to remain unpaid from year to year until they are in arrears for four or five years, and then resign from membership and decline to pay the back dues which have accrued. This condition should not exist in an Association which has done and is doing the important work that the Bar Association of Tennessee is engaged in, and I very much hope that we may take such steps towards creating a new interest in the Association as will increase and restore its revenue to what it has been during the past few years.
CHAS. H. SMITH, Secretary.
The above report with its corroborations and vouchers have been investigated by General Counsel and by it is approved. W. W. FARABAUGH,
JOHN T. LELLYETT,
Said report was audited and approved by the Central Council, and upon motion of John T. Lellyett was unanimously adopted and approved by the Association.
President Keeble:-You have heard the report, and unless someone makes objection, I shall not go through the formality
of having a motion made, but shall have it handed to Mr. Lellyett, the head of the Central Council, and that body will report this afternoon as to whether they recommend its acceptance or adoption.
The next order of business this morning is the report of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments, to be made by Judge S. F. Wilson.
Judge Wilson:-I have been requested to present this report, which is signed by Mr. Maddin, Mr. Jackson and two other members. You will appreciate the brevity of the report, because of the facts connected with its presentation. It reads as follows:
To the President and Members of the State Bar Association:
The undersigned members of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments present beg leave to submit the following report. Before submitting this report it is proper to state that owing to conditions not necessary to be stated, that they are the only members of the committee present at this meeting of the Association. We have, however, a communication from Hon. James H. Malone of Memphis, Chairman of the Committee, embodying his views on the subject embraced in the scope of the Committee's duties, and also a communication from Judge D. L. Lansden and a letter from Gen. Charles T. Cates. Owing to the scattered location of the members of the Committee, no formal meeting of the committee was held. But the members of your committee present beg leave to report as follows, after examining the report of the committee adopted at the Memphis meeting of the Association last year. We recommend that the bills for amendments to the Constitution recommended and adopted at the Memphis meeting, and introduced at the last General Assembly, be re-recommended and the General Assembly be properly urged to pass them. These bills were passed by the last General Assembly, but under the holding of the Supreme Court in the Webb-Carter case were passed in the absence of a constitutional quorum of the General Assembly and hence were unconstitutionally passed. Without going into detail of the method of amending the Constitution as thus recommended, is what is popularly known as the Ohio method.
It is submitted that a direct way of meeting present conditions in the absence of constitutional amendments is for the General Assembly to create three intermediate courts, to be composed of three members, one for each of the Grand Divisions of the State, and invest these courts with power to try all appellate cases from all lower courts and make their findings of fact absolutely final. Parties appealing to the Supreme Court from the judgments of decrees of these intermediate courts would then come to the Supreme Court with questions of law alone. This would involve the abolition of the present Court of Civil Appeals and the appointment and election of four additional appellate judges. But the saving in jail fees in the four large counties of the State would more than pay the salaries of these additional judges.
S. F. WILSON,
We feel that we may properly add to this report the names
JAS. H. MALONE,
I desire to speak just two minutes, and I speak from an experience of nineteen years on one of your appellate benches. The scientific method and the expeditious method of administering justice, Mr. President and gentlemen, depends upon getting a finality about facts. In ninety or ninety-five cases out of a hundred there is no trouble about applying the law, when you get your facts definitely and precisely settled. Now, there is another complaint, and it is a just one, Mr. President, that under our present system, the final adjudication of rights and large rights, property values, are a one man decision, and under our present system it is utterly impossible to avoid it. Your present Court of Civil Appeals has over seven hundred cases a year. We went to Knoxville on the first of May and during the period of May and the first days of June, we succeeded in getting off our docket, in deciding them, one hundred and fifty cases, and when I left there Wednesday, there were 189 more to dispose of, and those records embrace from 350 to 400 pages, with the brief of lawyers, which adds about ten thousand more