Page:The Green Bag (1889–1914), Volume 25.pdf/513

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The

Editor's

Bag

THE NEW TYPE OF LAWYER EVEN though the criminal procedure of the United States may be, as the London Times says, "hopelessly en meshed in technicalities,"1 it is never theless true that a movement is under way to simplify procedure and to insti tute a system by means of which sub" stantial justice may be administered more expeditiously and effectually than under the old system. Even though the improprieties com mitted by counsel, in working on the passions of low-grade juries by prosti tuting the art of advocacy to ignoble uses, may call forth denunciation from an able writer in an influential legal journal,2 it is nevertheless true that there is a movement in the bar to raise the standards of professional ethics, and to improve the character of criminal procedure so that it will furnish a dignified and accurate way of determining issues both of fact and of law. Even though Mr. Brooks Adams, in his "Theory of Social Revolutions," may vaguely complain that the American legal mind is contaminated by the sinister influence of capitalism,' a charge which, whatever else it may imply, seems to include the arguable plea that the Ameri can lawyer tends to over-emphasize the rights of property and to under-emphasize the rights of persons, it is neverthe■ See p. 492-3 post. 'See p. 4X0-1 ante. ■See p. 471 ante.

less true that a movement is on foot, within corporations as well as without, to promote that justice to the individual which is fundamental to a well-ordered and prosperous community. There are, indeed, when one con siders the present situation of our legal profession, depressing signs, but there are also cheering ones, and while an unduly optimistic view is not to be taken there is surely no need of a pessi mistic one. Without entering upon a discussion of the causes of the over-technicality of American procedure, or hazarding other than a few hasty remarks, one can readily see that the movement for a simplified procedure, "one trial and one review," owes something to the growing demand of the times for efficiency not only in the field of commerce but else where. Needless delay and senseless duplication, the careless waste of energy every moment of which needs to be economically utilized by a civilization aiming at production, wealth, and cul tural advance on the largest possible scale, are intolerable as society strives for a more closely knit or better synthetized co-ordination of all its working parts. We err when we assume that this movement toward closer co-ordination will go on rapidly, enthroning experts in all the seats of power, and purging gov ernment and industry completely of their present crudity of method and organization. The goal of a perfectly organized society is still too remote to