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pots of Cambridge. Perhaps we shall get relief from the Field Code, which begins to loom up with terrible distinctness, and already poses as the layman’s panacea and the lawyer’s dragon. Some of us believe that it will prove a boomerang. Even the Statute of Frauds, it will be remembered, has required interpretation. But I digress, and forget that my subject is a question of privity, while with this code it can never be a question of consideration.

Jesse W. Lilienthal.

New York.




THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF AMERICAN LAWYERS.

IT is one of the popular fallacies of the present day that the responsibility for the state of the law rests entirely with the legislative branch of the government. In reality, this responsibility is in every country shared to a great extent by the legal profession, and the slow development of the law, which results from the writings of jurists, the judgments of courts, and the customary practice of lawyers, is, perhaps, more irresistible, because less noticed, than the violent changes produced by direct legislation. This is especially true in countries where the decisions rendered in actual cases furnish the main source of legal authority. It is not, however, the general responsibility of lawyers in lands where the common law prevails that I wish to consider. It is the more restricted but more weighty duty which is laid upon the legal profession in America by the peculiar nature of our system of government.

The immense power given to the courts by our constitutions is so familiar to us that remark upon it has become commonplace, and for that very reason we sometimes fail to realize its true significance as fully as does the foreigner to whom it is a subject of astonishment. We are in the habit of speaking of our political system as a government by the people, carried on by means of three coördinate branches,— the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial; but when these expressions are examined carefully, it is evident that they are misleading, and, perhaps, inaccurate, at least in the