The Green Bag
ism, and add additional lustre to the glorious record of our profession, I have no doubt. He must not only contend with new questions arising from new con ditions, but must face and foil the most dangerous form of opposition ever en countered by law. The struggle of law for many centuries was against physical strength exerted to defy and overthrow it. But now secretly, intelligently, and insidiously, man's mental strength is engaged in astute, resourceful effort to remove, evade, and delay restraints which law seeks to place upon avarice and greed. Special interest shamelessly brings to the struggle all the energy and skill of purchased ability. The seductive allurements which temptation affords are thrown about those entrusted with the enactment, enforcement, and exposition of the law. Paid agents brazenly swarm wherever suggestion or argument finds legislative listener. If an obnoxious law cannot be defeated, it is amended, if possible, so as to render it unconstitutional or otherwise abor tive, and courts all too frequently bear the burden of blame properly attribu table to secret machinations in com mittee room or lobby. Some judges seem unable to compre hend the cardinal truth that the purpose of law is to curb human unselfishness, vindicate right, and redress wrong, and precedent, resting atilt upon other prece dent, finally topples, compelling atten tion to great cardinal principles of law which should never have been over looked. Ingratiating sycophantic defer ence mimics obeisance in the temples of justice, and companionship of judges is sought by those who seek to make friendship the forerunner of favor. A false environment and atmosphere, in tended to blind and deceive, supple ments false logic, and the modern judge must indeed be wary if contamination
soils no ermine or makes suspicion attach to no reputation. A false precedent, based on imperfect or erroneous concep tion of legal principles, is an unreliable guide, especially when adroit ability seeks to make such precedent lean further afield the true foundation upon which judicial decisions should always rest. Some judges have ignorantly, a few designedly, brought just criticism upon our courts, but truth compels the just reflection that, in the main, they have been true to the high responsibility and trust reposed in them. Unfortunately, this cannot be said of some members of our profession, for it must be admitted that lawyers of great ability have participated in pollution of the source of law, and have given full measure of their ability to bring about initial distortion or ultimate miscon struction of laws inimical to interests employing them. It is a common saying that the modern lawyer is at once ad viser and business agent of some clients, under present business conditions. A lawyer cannot be true to his trust and engage in practices tending to prevent enactment or enforcement of wholesale restraints upon selfish desire, and any member of our profession thus dishonor ing it should be taught that a man can not be at once the exponent and oppo nent of the law. A lawyer may, of course, be adviser and business agent without impropriety; but, if his agency involves skilful pilotage of the business bark along channels forbidden by the let ter and spirit of law, his cruise should end in the penitentiary, where such advisers and business agents belong. In such a case his profession should be nemesis rather than shield. No man deserves more severe condemnation than the law yer who uses his education and talents to undermine, defy, or destroy the sys tem of law he has sworn to uphold and defend.