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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/782

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ister justice without much regard to mere technicalities or legal hairsplitting, and which kept in view, first and foremost, that the courts were for the benefit of the people at large, and not to furnish a living for lawyers, the gain to justice would be something akin to what modern inventions have given us in contrast with the methods of former generations. From the graduates of these schools our judges should be appointed to serve during good behavior, with promotions regulated according to ability in the discharge of duty, and seniority of service where otherwise there was equality, such considerations to rule as would secure the best service. The details for such a school, and for selections from its alumni, could be readily worked out, but are unnecessary here. The gradations of courts, after the system was once inaugurated, would give the new graduates the necessary experience from the lower courts up, and would bring into the service a class of judges who, owing nothing to the lawyers, would not be influenced by them in any schemes for delaying or defeating justice, or in allowing them enormous fees because great sums were at stake. These judges should take the place of lawyers to a certain extent in examining witnesses, so as to draw out the whole truth and only the truth, instead of only such parts of it as suit the ex-parte counselors. As long as the lawyer was an aid to the court he might be tolerated and encouraged, but when he proved an obstruction the mandate of the court should remind him of his true work and keep him in line with it. Such a system would greatly discourage the unscrupulous and "bumptious" lawyer, of course, because it would dwarf his importance; but if justice can be so administered as to do without him, and to turn his talents into more useful channels—for instance, the mechanic arts, agriculture, auctioneering, mining, cattle-driving, etc.—who will complain? Every new invention cripples or overturns some vested interest to promote something better; and if, after centuries of long-suffering and forbearance, the grip of the lawyer class can be shaken off and justice administered with speed, regularity, and exactness, and at a great reduction in cost, it would be a consummation worth other centuries of effort, and be the best token of an advancing civilization.

Another much-needed reform is to sweep away the useless verbiage that now so greatly encumbers law papers and makes them legal terrors. The reader will best appreciate this suggestion by trying to "digest" the clause of a warranty deed following the names of the parties, and which assumes to state the purpose of the document, thus:

"Witnesseth", That the said party of the first part, for and in consideration of the sum of—— dollars, lawful money of the United States of America, to us in hand well and truly paid by the said party of the second part, at or before the ensealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, and the said party therewith fully satisfied, contented, and paid, have given, granted, bargained,